|The Green Mountain Railroad - Acadia National Park|
It took me a few years of searching for it off and on, and one afternoon we ended up tripping over a railroad spike in the brush. That's how I located it, anyways. One big problem was that on Google Books, one account states it knows the location of the lost trail, and than goes on to give the wrong information.
Once the railroad company went out of business, and all but one section of rail was removed, people still hiked along the train route to reach the summit of Cadillac Mountain. It was treated for many years there after as if it had been an official trail. But over the years the wide path through the woods and up the mountain side slowly began to become overgrown, and partly through park efforts, branches and tree limbs found their way onto the trail, so the once popular hiking route began to fade away. Amazingly, after all these years of neglect, the trail is still in pretty good condition, marked along much of the route by railroad spikes sticking up out of the granite. The trail is easiest to locate along the Park loop road, and begins in the woods on a knoll about half way between the Cadillac Summit Road and Bubble Pond. On a calm day you can hear the rushing waters of a nearby stream.
|The Green Mountain Railroad - Acadia National Park|
Once in the woods and up the knoll, the path is at an angle to the left, there is usually a tiny rock pile by a railroad spike, and the ground there will be worn down as it leads up into the woods. There are very few railroad spikes on this end, but there should be a rock pile here and there, and the further you go the more worn the trail becomes. At a couple places the trail may seem to end, just keep in mind for the most part, the train tracks ran in a straight line, turning direction only once, so if the trail seems to end at a tree or two, simply look on the other side of the tree's, and the trail will be right there.
Now there is one spot o the lower end where there is a section of brush you have to cross, walk straight ahead in the same direction you were walking. Not far ahead of this section is one of the surprises you will come upon - a section of railroad bed built up along a rising cliff. Once you get there, the trail is really easy to follow because now more and more railroad spikes can be seen. It is also at this point the trail begins to get very slippery in places - I suggest you wear something with good footing. The granite is covered with moss made slippery from over flowing waters from a nearby brook. The Trail also begins to climb more here. Up through and under some tree's, and your not far from the next surprise.
The surprise is walking through a line of tree's and suddenly seeing that lovely piece of rail that is still on the mountain side. At this point everywhere you look you see piles of rusting railroad spikes, the few they did manage to remove, and than simply left behind in small piles.
Here the trail slopes upward some more, and at first the granite appears to be safe to cross - but in all the times I have hiked this trail, this area is more slippery than any before it. From here the trail enters and exits the woods a few more times, before the granite gives way to dirt, and the trail is very easy to follow without the aid of spikes. But just when you think things are going to good, the trail suddenly ends by thick brush and woods. Clearly the brush has grown up over the trail here and it can't be seen again. At this point your not very far from the Cadillac Mountain Summit road - either walk straight ahead for a short ways until you come to the summit road, or wait until you hear a passing car and walk toward its sound.
|Cadillac Mountain Railroad Spikes - Acadia national Park|
They say the hike is a moderate one, and I would agree, I would also warn anyone attempting it that the trail can be very slippery in places and I know of one hiker who slipped and banged up their knee.
In days gone by, the train went beyond this point, not much beyond, to where a tavern was located on the summit.
|Green Mountain Railroad Trail - Acadia National Park|
The bottom section has now also been located, though its no way close as scenic as the upper portion. It is however well hidden. We located the beginning point of the lower section by crossing the Park Loop Road and making our way down the embankment directly across from knoll where the upper section begins. You only need to go down into the brush a short ways not far from that stream to locate a gully, if you follow the gully you will soon discover railroad spikes as you make your way down toward Eagle Lake and its carriage road. At the start of the gully we found several fallen tree's and branches, but walked around that first section and went down into the gully. We followed it down hill and came upon a number of places where we found old railroad spikes sticking up out of the granite. At one point the gully comes closer to a nearby stream and we crossed over to it and found a nice little water fall. The gully soon ends and from there you can see the eagle Lake carriage road, the lake, and just to the right a wooden bridge on the carriage road.
Sadly we found no evidence of railroad spikes near the lake edge, nor any sign of an old pier, but after searching for a long time, it was nice to finally be able to add the lower section to the upper section of this once very popular hiking trail.
VIDEO OF THE GREEN MOUNTAIN RAILROAD TRAIL
HISTORY OF THE GREEN MOUNTAIN RAILROAD