Beach Mountain, Our First Hike – Friday – July 5, 2012

Today, we decided we could not wait any longer to check out some hiking in Acadia.  Since the 4th of July crowd would be here through the weekend, we decided to make our first hike on the “quiet” side of Mt. Desert.  To get to our objective, Beach Mountain, we took Rt 3 to Rt 198 to Rt 102 past Somes Harbor where we made a left onto Beach Hill Rd. The road dead ended at the Beach Mountain Trailhead parking lot:o))

00- Mt. Dessert Island
Since this was our first hike, we wanted to make it as easy as possible.  So to get to Beach Mountain Summit without a really steep climb, we needed to hike .3 miles to the Valley Trail. Then hike .8 miles along a relatively flat trail to the South Ridge Trail.  Following the South Ridge Trail up a less steep incline for .8 miles would get us to the Summit of Beach Mountain.  We all agreed it looked like a doable 2.5 to 3 mile first hike!!
Everybody is ready to get going toward the Valley Trail:o)01 - The Trailhead
We started hiking just as the early morning sun broke through the trees.02 - Sun just coming up
The trail started relatively flat,
but you had to watch your step as you encounter rocks, roots and boardwalks.03 - Watch your footing 04 - the boardwalks
Remember...  the plan was at .3 miles, we would continue on the Valley Trail.
Well, even the best laid plans need to be adjusted when necessary;o))
At the trail marker for the Valley Trail there was also a marker for the Canada Cliffs.
That sounded interesting and was indicated as only .2 miles.
We agreed that if it was too steep, we would just back track and continue on the Valley Trail.
Somehow, we got on switch backs that went down and down and down.05 - Switchbacks down
Seems a little strange to be headed down to get to the cliffs?!?!
Finally, we decided we were headed the wrong way.
So…. we headed back UP and Up and Up ;o((
06 - heading back up
So much for gentle inclines on our first hike!!
When we got back near the Valley Trail,
we saw our mistake and headed along the Canada Cliffs:o)
07 - think we found the cliffs
It wasn’t far until we reached our first beautiful view!!
08 - Eureka 09 - the view
As I was coming up the trail,
I looked down and saw this golden mushroom!!!
10 - golden mushroom
As we got up above the tree level,
the trail was marked by cairns, the original trail marking system.11 - CC further up the cliffs cairns
As we got higher, we could see our ultimate goal…
the fire tower on Beach Mountain!!12 - CC view of firetower on Beach Mountain
It's that little dot in the middle of the picture?!?!?!
But for now, we continued higher on the Canada Cliffs. 14 - CC top of Canadian Cliffs
At the top, we were rewarded with amazing views!!!
Echo Lake with Acadia Mountain in the background15 - CC view of Echo Lake and Acadia Mountain
Somes Sound, Southwest Harbor and Greening Island16 - CC view of Somes Sound, Southwest Harbor and Greening Island
As we were heading back to our original trail,
we passed the Beech Cliff marker….
17 - BC Trail Marker
Since it was JUST .4 miles, we just HAD to check it out;o))
Now, Tricia and Bill are both a little bit afraid of heights.
You can see they are clinging to the left hand side of the trail.17b - BC Between Blueberries and the edge
Yep, their choices….
Blueberries on the left                                               Cliffs on the right
17c - BC Between Blueberries17d - BC The edge looking down
Dan, of course, goes right for the cliffs and the view!!!17e - BC Dan checking out the edge and the view
By now,
we had hiked well over 2 miles
we were nowhere close to the South Ridge Trail yet;o((
So it was time for another NEW plan….
return to the parking lot and take the STEEPEST trail up to the Summit;o((
18 - Beach Mountain Trail Sign
Checking our map, it is only .5 miles to the top.
However, that means it is much shorter, but much steeper!!!
Oh well, off we go……..18b - Beach Mountain Trail  - Yellow Brick Road
We handled the first section well… just need a little rest…18c - Beach Mountain Trail  - Time out
Yep, it is getting a little more steep…
slowy but surely we make our way up, up, up…18d - Beach Mountain Trail  - Time out over heading up
Once in awhile, we get a peak at the view:o)18e - Beach Mountain Trail  - Got a peak at the view
Wow, that was fun… time for another rest!!18f - Beach Mountain Trail  - Final break before the push to the summit
Onward and Upward…
18g - Beach Mountain Trail  - Hike to the Fire Tower
Our first peek of the Fire Tower:o))18h - BM - first view of Fire Tower
Just a little bit further….
18i - BM - almost there18j - BM - final climb
WOO HOO…. We bagged our first Summit!!!
18k - BM - The Fire Tower
18l - July 5th Beech Mountain Hike - View of Long Pond18m - July 5th Beech Mountain Hike - Mountain Views
Spectacular Views from The Summit of Beach Mountain!!!
18n -  Somes Sound, Acadia & Norumbega Mountains18o - BM - Southwest Harbor
We savored our time at the summit and enjoyed our lunch before heading back down.
We took the slightly longer, but slightly less steep trail down the mountain.
18p - BM - Down the Mountain18q - BM - Down the Mountain - Granite Walls
Almost back to the trailhead at the parking lot.18r - BM - Down the Mountain - Almost finished
OK, so our 2.5 to 3 mile not so steep hike turned into a 5 mile uphill adventure:o))
We were all tired, but the feeling of accomplishment had us sooooo excited!!!
I guess this is what they refer to as a “GOOD” tired:o))
There is no doubt we will be back out here climbing more mountains…


  1. Sure glad I have a good pair of hiking poles! I think they'll get a good workout there :)

  2. I read this one aloud to David and we are both laughing. You guys are a riot! What an introduction to hiking in Acadia. But it didn't phase you obviously. I wonder how many of the peaks you bagged while here. I heard there are 24 or 28 I forget which. Great pictures!! We did this on Tuesday, different direction and order. The sun was so bright my pictures at the firetower are pretty sad. Great post!! LOVED seeing you all on the trail.

  3. Looks like a fabulous hike even with the detour. That makes it interesting. I've decided that when the Houle's and us go to Maine, you'll all have to go again!!!

  4. That looks so fun! We'll be in that area in just a couple weeks!!! I have my hiking poles ready! I wish we could meet up.

  5. You flatlanders are doing quite well up in them thar hills! :cD