Monday, December 8, 2014

THE HOMANS TRAIL IN ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

Dorr mountain is a very popular mountain to hike, but what many hikers don't know is just around the corner from the main hiking trail is the Homans Trail.  The trail was a bit of a mystery from the start - it was built to climb high up the side of dorr mountain, using stone steps for most of the way, and it suddenly ends.  Some named it The Stairway To Nowhere.   and after the great fire, when the park service began abandoning many of the popular hiking trails in the park, the Homans trail also was abandoned.  Over the years it became the forgotten trail, until it was re-discovered in recent years and reopened.

The Homans Trail - Acadia National Park



If your going to hike Dorr Mountain - hike this path, and bring along a camera.  But before you can hike the Homans trail, you first have to find it.  Like I said, it has now been reopened, but the trail head could not be in a worse spot. To locate the Homans trail, you need to drive to the Sieur de Monts Spring parking lot, where the Wild Gardens of Acadia National Park and the Nature Center are also located.  You can reach that area three ways, off of route 3 as your heading toward Otter creek, or along the One Way section of the Park Loop road, signs let you know when your there.

Homans Trail - Acadia National Park


The other way to get there is by catching one of the Island Explorer free buses from the Bar Harbor village Green.  You want to board the Sand Beach Bus - Sieur de Monts is one of its stops.
Once at the parking lot, go to the far end of the parking lot, to the right - where you will find a fireroad with a gate across it.  Follow the fire road until you come to a four way intersection, there will be a trail to the right that's a boardwalk running through the woods.  Keep going straight, about a car length or two, and you will see the trail head sign for the Homans Trail.

View from Homans Trail - Acadia National Park


The trail curves through the woods a short ways before coming to the first steps.  After a short ways the trail comes to a cool spot where one has to bend low and pass through a hole in the granite - make sure not to bump your head as your passing through it.  On the other side the trail turns to the left and begins its climb up the mountain side using stone steps.
Soon you come to the next amazing spot on the trail, a very narrow passage that passes between two huge walls of granite.  By itself that would be neat, but when the trail was built, George B. Dorr, the founder of Acadia National Park, had work crews place a huge section of granite over the top of this narrow passage, and you almost feel like your passing through a cave.
Dorr Mountain Trail - Acadia National Park


Stone steps continue to rise upward until you reach the place where the trail use to end.  There are some fantastic views along this path, but the best view is still up ahead.
I believe the park service has added a connector path from this to the most popular trail up dorr mountain, but if not, everyone follows a worn path to the left, just a short ways to the more popular path. 
Once on the main dorr Mountain path, continue onward to the summit, which is still some distance away.

Dorr Mountain Trail - Acadia National Park

Where that worn path meets the other trail, that is where you get an amazing view and you want a camera with you.










Homans Trail - Acadia National Park

No comments:

Post a Comment