The Precipice Trail-Acadia National Park


We had a great long weekend in Acadia National Park. One of the highlights was The Precipice Trail to the top of Champlain Mountain. The Precipice is an iron rung and ladder route up the steep cliffs along the east face.


Last year, we were not able to hike the Precipice  because the parking lot was packed. We did the Beehive instead. The Precipice is twice as long as the Beehive and harder. This year we took the park shuttle from Blackwoods Campground where we were staying with friends. It worked out great.


There is an 850 foot elevation gain up the trail and it takes about 1 and 1/2 hours if you go at a safe pace. Wear good hiking shoes and bring water. This hike/climb would be hard to do if you are afraid of heights! There are several exposed areas and narrow ledges. Sometimes you will have to wait on a ledge for others to climb. 

There are a few different trails you can take back down the other sides of Champlain Mountain.

I thought the Precipice Trail was amazing and challenging. I am glad we hiked when it was a cool 70 degree day out. It was definitely more like climbing than hiking. Have fun and be safe if you do The Precipice. Remember the trail is usually closed from March-August for Peregrine Falcon nesting.

Seasons

As spring is trying to get going here in Massachusetts, I have been thinking about how soon we will be able to “follow the weather.” Thankfully, our winter was pretty mild and we did not have a lot of snow. Especially compared to 2014’s crazy snow storms. This spring has been cold, windy and wet. The trees just started to bud and bloom a few weeks ago. Many are still not out with a month until summer! Maine and New Hampshire had snow the other day.

I do not like winter and love the sun and heat. I find myself saying-“just one more winter here” and “we have to enjoy this fall since we may not be back here in a while.” I do like the summers and fall in Massachusetts, but dislike the winters and springs. Even summer is really not warm enough for me here. We get about two very warm weeks in the 90’s. I am so excited to be able to move our home around!

We have still been clearing out clothing, books, knick knacks and selling and donating them. Some shelves are finally emptying out. We have about four boxes of things we will store at Craig’s parents until we find a place we would like to buy land. Some photo albums and photos (we rarely print anything anymore, but these are pre-digital.) A few books that were signed for us or we really like and a few scrapbooks. I would not be crushed if they had to go too, but it would be nice to keep a few memories in print form.

This is all we are keeping in storage!

This is all we are keeping in storage!

 

Empty shelves

Empty shelves

There are a few things we would like to try and see around here before next October. We have been meaning to go to The Boston Harbor Islands (NRA) for a while now. We would also like to get the Boston stamps for our National Park Passport. Maybe the Cape Cod National Seashore ones we missed as well. We would not mind going back to Acadia NP and Minute Man NHP one more time. Stay tuned for a Boston Harbor Islands post soon!

National Parks Visited

  2014-Grand Teton and Yellowstone

2015-Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Joshua Tree, Acadia, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches, Mesa Verde and the Grand Canyon

    

Future:

2016-Glacier, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Everglades, Biscayne, Dry Tortugas

2017-Shenandoah, Great Smoky Mountains, Congaree

2018-Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains, Carlsbad Caverns, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Great Sand Dunes, Rocky Mountain, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Bryce, Zion, the Grand Canyon (planned so far!)

The Beehive Trail-Acadia National Park

I wanted to try one of the iron rung trails at Acadia when we visited. I was not sure if I would be able to reach some of the rungs, but I figured if little kids had hiked some of the trails I could too! We decided on The Beehive because it was shorter than The Precipice Trail with more open views on the way up. Also, the line of parked cars near the Precipice was crazy on the day we went. There are a few other iron rung trails at Acadia.

While the Beehive is a short 0.8 miles long, it is rated as a “Strenuous” climb/hike. You have to pull your weight up in several spots and you should not have a fear of heights. There are some steep spots and thin ledges. You can go back down the easier back side after enjoying the view at the top.

There were only two spots that were scary for me, and Craig and I had a blast. It was one of my favorite hikes I have done so far. My top three so far are The Mist Trail in Yosemite, The Beehive in Acadia and Uncle Tom’s Trail in Yellowstone. I also fell in love with the Upper Geyser Basin at Yellowstone, but that is more of a walk than a climb or hike. 

Our friends joined us in Acadia for this trip, and we had a lot of fun visiting the park and Bar Harbor, hiking and getting passport stamps. The Night Sky Festival had a lot of cloudy nights, but we got to go to a great Star Party on top of Cadillac Mountain one night. I will save that for a future post!

National Park Night Sky Programs and Festivals

Did you know many of the National Parks have night sky viewing programs as well as night sky festivals? At some of the parks like Bryce Canyon, the night sky is so dark you can see 7,500 stars on a moonless night! You might even see the Milky Way very clearly.  You can check online or at the visitors centers to see what programs might be going on while you are there. There are full moon hikes and bike rides in Yosemite, solar and star viewing at Bryce and much more.    

We are excited to be vising Acadia National Park next month for their Night Sky Festival. It takes place over several days and there will be viewing parties, lectures and movies. I will do a whole post on Acadia and planning with pictures when we get back!