Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Norumbega Mountain Hike: Acadia National Park

 There are many great trails and mountains with wonderful views in Acadia National Park.  Norumbega Mountain is one of my favorites...come on along and we'll hike it together.

Norumbega Mountain Trail

Norumbega Mountain

Length: 1.4 miles from the trail head at Lower Hadlock Pond
Difficulty Rating: Moderate
The Norumbega Mountain trail is a moderate climb through coniferous woods. To access the trail head from the parking area at lower Hadlock Pond, follow the gravel road past the gate. The pond will be to the right. Stay right at the split in the road.
The path cuts toward the pond and skirts it briefly before joining the Norumbega Mountain trail in the woods. The trail substrate consists of forest floor, with some exposed roots, and granite. The woods are fairly dense but open up occasionally to reveal views of Somes Sound and Northeast Harbor. At .1 mile from the summit the trail opens and follows the ridge until reaching the summit.

The above description is from www.destinationacadia.com

 The trailhead begins behind the water pumping station on the west end of Lower Hadlock Pond, which is the water source for the town of Northeast Harbor.

Here's a link to the National Park Service listing of all of Acadia's mountains.

 The trail begins with a gentle incline through a softwood forest.

 In June, I found the wild Pink Azaleas (Rhodedendron canescens) in bloom in open areas.
The mountain is named after the mythical Norumbega, the Lost City of Gold.  Many early explorers searched the coast of Maine, but none have discovered it's riches....yet!

The trails in Acadia are well marked, but it's always good to take along a trail guide.  There are many good guide books for sale in the shops on Mt Desert Island.....but I still use my 1968 copy of the Appalachian Mountain Club's "Maine Mountain Guide."
If you prefer an online guide, try Maine Trail Finder.  Here's a link with a Norumbega Mountain trail map.

 This little guy is an American Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus).  Listen as you walk...he will announce your presence to the other forest creatures.

 Although not a particularly high peak at 852 ft, you will see some Alpine changes in the trees and vegetation as you climb.
                                                            Alpine vegetation of Acadia

Here's another story about Norumbega Mountain.
You will doubtless either see or hear Maine's quintissential bird, the Black Capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus).
Chickadee link
Here's a short video of a sunset from atop Norumbega Mountain.

 Here's the topside view to the West....looking over Somes Sound toward St Sauveur Mountain and Southwest Harbor to the left.
 Looking east over Mt Desert Island, the Cranberry Isles can be seen in the distance.
Cranberry Isles
As the years go by....Acadia gets more and more crowded.  But, it's still possible to find a quiet hike on a forest trail leading to a great mountain view.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wildflower Walk at the "Webb," WMA

 Liv and I took a springtime walk along Lake Webb in the Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area. 

Webb Lake is a beautiful, man-made impoundment in Punta Gorda, Florida.
We really enjoyed the spring wildflowers, and hope you will too.

We'd love to have someone identify all these spring blossoms.  If you can name them all, we'll send you an 8x10 print of any photo on "Field Notes and Photos."

Friday, June 15, 2012

Schoodic Spring: Acadia National Park

 The Schoodic Peninsula is the uncrowded part of Acadia National Park in Downeast Maine.  I want to share some of it's springtime beauty.  When you visit Acadia, be sure to see it for yourself.