Ocean Path snowshoe hike - Acadia
Hiking/Walk DATE: 03/09/2019 - 03/09/2019
Trip/Event Location: Bar Harbor, ME
Trip Leader(s): BillyB1976
Max # People: 99
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
I'm going on a winter hike in Acadia National Park along the Ocean Path.
I will divide this hike into two separate sections......
Find your best route to Ellsworth. From there, follow Rt. 3 east (you are actually going south) to Mt. Desert Island. After the bridge/causeway to the island, make sure to stay left for Bar Harbor.
Follow Rt. 3 through Bar Harbor. Turn right at the stop sign next to the Village Green to stay on Rt. 3. (Main St) Go 1.1 miles, and turn left onto Schooner Head Rd. Follow Schooner Head Rd for 2.4 miles, and turn right to cross over to the Loop Rd. Follow the Loop Rd for 0.5 miles, to the Sand Beach parking lot on the left.
I'll be parked at the Sand Beach parking lot. Black Nissan Frontier pick-up truck, extended cab. Plate # 6039 IJ.
Anyone is welcome to join me at anytime during the hike, even if they miss the start time. If I'm alone, I'll have to walk back to Sand Beach before starting the 2nd part of the hike. I'm unsure of what I'll be wearing for a jacket, but I'll most likely have an orange hat and/or a red bandana around my head. If you are driving the Loop Rd, and see me, roll down the window and scream!! LOL
** Update **
I called Acadia today. The guy confirmed that Sand Beach parking lot is plowed. He could not confirm if the parking lots at Monument Cove are plowed. He did confirm that the parking lot at Fabbri is plowed. So, the second part of the hike might have to start at Fabbri. This will add about 0.4 miles total, but only if we go to Otter Cliff and turn around there. All other options the mileage will stay the same.
I've never been to Acadia in winter, and decided it was time to go. Since it is 4-hour drive, I spent the night in hotel. I stayed at the Atlantic Oceanside in Bar Harbor. This was the fanciest hotel I've ever stayed at!! I'm more of a Motel 6 kind of guy. Or, if I were going to Acadia in summer, a Robbins Motel kind of guy. LOL The hotel was very nice, and the ocean view from the room with balcony was excellent.
This was a perfect day to do this hike. I'm amazed at how much shorter the snow banks are down south. LOL
As planned, I did the hike in 2 sections. I altered it some, as I parked at Fabbri for the 2nd section, but it didn't add any mileage. Not long after I left Sand Beach on the 1st half of my hike, I met a guy who had hiked Gorham Mtn. I had thought of doing a loop over Gorham Mtn, but decided to do that on a future trip.
The 1st half of the hike from Sand Beach to my turn around at the Otter Cliff Rd took almost 2 hours. This includes time spent on the beach. I spent a lot of time taking pictures and enjoying the scenery. I used snowshoes on this part, but took them off frequently to go out on the rocks/ledge along the shore. Thunder Hole was rather boring. LOL At my turn around spot I took my snowshoes off, and walked the road back to Sand Beach. This part of the hike only took 1/2 hour. The total time for the 1st half of the hike was just under 2 1/2 hours, and about 2.6 miles round trip.
After the 1st half was done, I drove to Fabbri to start the 2nd half. I walked the road a short distance, and then picked up the Ocean Path. I continued past Otter Cliff to Otter Point and the Loop Rd, which is a snowmobile trail. I continued on the Loop Rd to the causeway at Otter Cove. I did not use snowshoes for most of the 2nd half because the snow didn't seem as deep along this section, and I wanted to go out on the rocks/ledge along the shore. As with the 1st half, I spent a lot of time taking pictures and enjoying the scenery. It took me 1 3/4 hours to reach the causeway where I stopped and had lunch. Total time for the 2nd half was 2 1/4 hours, and was about 2.3 miles. Total mileage for both hikes was around 4.9 miles. ** The mileage only counts walking the trail and road. It does not count walking on Sand Beach, or any of the places I went off along the shore, so my actual mileage is more than 4.9, but no way to measure it. ** The hikes were easy. There were several people out enjoying the day.
I had a second lunch when I finished the 2nd half of the hike. A couple (straight) talked to me after I got done the hike. They had seen the signs for Jordan Pond along the Loop Rd, and wanted to know how far it was to ski there. I told them it would be a few miles. I also told them how to drive to Jordan Pond, so that is where they went.
After the hike I drove to Jordan Pond. Winter access is different than in summer. The road actually has signs that say "No Thru Traffic", but that is the way to get there. And, since you have to turn around at Jordan Pond, is that really "Thru Traffic"? LOL
I met the straight couple getting out of their car at Jordan Pond. They thanked me for the info on the road, as they did not know about it.
The wind was whipping across the pond and I almost went back to my truck to get more cloths, as I only had a t-shirt and light jacket on, but I wasn't going to be there very long, so I just dealt with it. This was the only part of the day that was really windy. The view of The Bubbles is excellent from Jordan Pond. Do The Bubbles make anyone think of a woman's breasts?? ahhhhhhhhhhh LOL
After Jordan Pond, I drove back through Bar Harbor and headed home.
Along Rt. 3, I pulled over to take a picture, and a guy in a convertible with the top down drove by. I saw this guy again in Bar Harbor, down by the pier. He had his head covered. LOL It was warm, maybe around 40, but not warm enough for that. LOL. I did have my windows down a little bit.
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Gandalf Mar 10, 2019 at 11:04 AM
Awesome - what a great day you had! Thanks for taking us along!