Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sargent Mountain Loop

Two years ago when we visited Cape Cod for a week to see my sister and her family, I tried to talk Danelle into tacking on a short jaunt up to Acadia National Park.  Not surprisingly, the idea of a five-hour car ride didn't appeal to her and the request was denied.

Planning our return trip this year it had become pretty obvious that this was really the only time we got to the Northeast.  And unless we were going to make a special trip out just to visit Acadia, there weren't really any other great opportunities.  So after a four-hour plane ride from Denver to Boston we did indeed hop into our rental car and proceed to drive the 281 miles to Bar Harbor, Maine.

First order of business was obviously finding a hike to do.  Fortunately, I'd gotten a National Geographic book on The 10 Best of Everything -- National Parks for Father's Day.  And right there in the section on the 10 best day hikes was a listing for the Sargent Mountain Loop.  The version in the book checked in at 5.4 miles, but I found a 9.5-mile version online that seemed like a better workout.  So bright and early at 6 a.m. I was off.

Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park
The trail starts on the shore of Jordan Pond, which was a clear sign that this wasn't a Colorado hike for two reasons.  First, our hikes tend to end at bodies of water rather than start at them.  Second, this would definitely be considered a lake.

Acadia National Park
I'm not sure exactly what this structure was doing on the trail, or why the door was so far off the ground with no steps leading to it.  But I did like the door's texture a lot.

Acadia National Park
This is for a reader who would like to see the blog's content better reflect its name.  You know who you are. :)

Acadia National Park
Another sign this wasn't Colorado -- moss-covered boulders being used to make a bridge crossing.

Yellow Patch, Acadia National Park
We actually do have mushrooms in the Centennial State; so I can't call this more evidence that I wasn't hiking in the Rockies.  But I don't think we have this particular kind, which I believe is known simply as a yellow patch.

Penobscot Mountain, Acadia National Park
Once the trail headed up and out of the forest some terrific views to the east came available.  For the record, this was a contemplative moment and not a rest stop.

Penobscot Mountain, Acadia National Park
I'm a huge Sisyphus fan.  And also clearly a huge dork.

Penobscot Mountain, Acadia National Park
I hit the summit of Penobscot Mountain about two hours in, which seemed like a solid pace.

Sargent Pond, Acadia National Park
Next was a saddle over to Sargent Mountain which passed by Sargent Pond.  Looked like a great spot to see a moose, but none presented themselves.  The view didn't suffer much without them.

Sargent Mountain, Acadia National Park
In the early 1900s, Acadia trail builder Waldron Bates introduced what is now called the Bates cairn which consists of two large base stones supporting a mantel between them with a fourth rock, known as the pointer rock, resting on top.  The pointer rock and base stones point in the direction of the trail.

Sargent Mountain, Acadia National Park
I was peak-bagging like a boss.

Sargent Mountain, Acadia National Park
Nothing quite like being able to see so far that the curvature of the Earth becomes apparent.

Cedar Swamp Mountain, Acadia National Park
Like a boss.  Though considering something less than 1,000 feet in elevation a "peak" does seem a bit odd.

Acadia National Park
After descending back into the forest it was just a few more miles and a few stream crossings before I found myself back where I'd started.  Roughly 5 1/2 hours to cover the distance, so I wasn't sprinting by any stretch.  Carrying the tripod attached to the camera the whole way does seem to slow me down, but the additional flexibility and sharpness it allows in my photos is worth it.

With just over 24 hours to spend in Acadia there was little time to waste.  The Sargent Mountain Loop was well worth every minute!


the mac 13 said...

Hi, do you think it will snow in December for the trail?

SteveHarbula said...

I don't live in Maine, so I'm not a real authority on the subject. It looks like being on the coast the area gets more rain than snow:

I'd suggest calling Acadia National Park at 207-288-3338 and asking one of the rangers.

I hope that helps!