I decided to start Sunday morning with some hiking and save the paddling for later in the afternoon. I overheard some folks mentioning The Precipice and had seen the trail head as I was driving the Loop Road. As I was to later discover, The Precipice is one of Acadia’s most well-known trails. In fact, they don’t actually consider it a “trail” – it’s a “non-technical climb”. No equipment is necessary, but you do need to be reasonably fit and have no fear of heights. There are probably 15 ladders or iron rungs used to ascend the almost 1000 feet to the top of Champlain Mountain. There are also a few narrow ledges with iron hand-holds that must be traversed. A climb such as this is actually more difficult to descend so once you start, you’re somewhat committed to make it to the top. Fortunately, there are a few connecting trails that will give you a much easier route to the base of the mountain about a quarter mile north of the parking area. As you might expect, the view from the top is fantastic.
In the afternoon, I headed to the western side of the island to a lake called “Long Pond”. The launch site is at the northern tip of the lake just off Route 102. Most of the eastern shoreline as well as a small peninsular on the northern end are private land and therefore developed. Unlike Eagle Lake, there’s much more recreational activity with kayak rentals and motorized boats. There was a pretty stiff wind out of the north so I only made it about halfway before decided to turn back. Although it’s still a beautiful lake, it would have probably been better to use the launch site at the southern end and stay on the western shore where it borders a section of Acadia National Park.
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