The Gorge Hiking Trail in Acadia National Park
The Gorge Hiking trail in Acadia National Park can be a strenuous hike, depending on the weather and how fit you are. And anyone taking up the challenge of the Gorge should bring snacks and at least a couple bottles of water. The trail begins along the One Way Section of the Park Loop Road, At the bottom of the hill there is a stone bridge, park at one end of it, and the trail begins there, begin first be taking the stone steps down under the bridge for a good view of both the bridge as well as the stream.
The Gorge Trail begins by what at first seems as though it will be a piece of cake to hike, but before long the trail becomes anything but smooth and flat.
You soon find growing walls of towering granite on either side of you, as you make your way upward through deep woods.
The steeper the trail becomes, the more pools of water you encounter along the way, in fact, much of the Gorge trail follows a Mountain stream. You will have to cross back and forth over the stream many times as you make your way along the gorge.
Here, my youngest son makes his way along the edge of a small drop off. This trail has many places where you have the opportunity to slip, stumble or fall, so if a section appears as though it could be dangerous, take your time.
You will encounter these small water falls all along the trail, and as much climbing around and over boulders you will be doing, the views make it all worth while.
These walls of granite may not look that tall, but those are full grown tree,s. This is just an amazing hike.
This is one of those trails where you will not be putting your camera away.
And every time you think out loud the trail has to get easier soon, it doesn't.
Just when you think your upard climb will never end, you finally reach the highest point of the gorge, with a nice view of the side of Cadillac Mountain and the ocean. This is a nice place to take a break, because the first section of your decent is going to be pretty steep.
There are just amazing views of Cadillac Mountain as you decend downward. Finally you leave the open views and head back into deep woods. The trail finally becomes much easier going, and becomes pretty much your basic hiking trail.
At one point, you come to the Canon Brook Trail, and if your feeling really fit, you can chose to climb it as a way to reach the summit of Cadillac Mountain, and trust me, the views are as good as you will find along the Canon Brook trail. I will be reviewing that trail this coming year.
At this point, most will want to continue along the gorge trail and head out toward route 3 or hike onward toward the Acadia National Park Nature Center. You can also catch the free buses from there.
Whenever I hike the Canon Brook Trail, I always do so from the opposite end, beginning my hike from route 3, not from the park loop road end.
And just when you thought you had left the stream behind you, you come to this beautiful waterfall, and by this time, who in their right mind isn't going to dunk their heads under it.
This is a wooden path that crosses a huge beaver dam. Once you cross this, your just a short ways from route 3. If you chose not to cross this, you will have to continue on through the woods until you come to the Tran, and a long stretch of rough rocks you have to cross along the waters edge. I cross the wooden bridge, come out at route 3, then follow the roadway to the left, which takes yoiu to the entrance of sieur de Monte Spring Nature Center, and from there catch the free buses into downtown Bar Harbor.
One final note on the wooden bridge, it is narrow, and I have seen people fall off into the water, so cross with care.
And this is the view that greets you as you step out of the woods onto route 3.