2014-07-02 Gorham Mountain and the Bowl, sizing up the Beehive

Gorham Mountain stands overlooking Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, and Otter Point, providing broad views of the coast and  a great place for whale-watching. The weather was warm and dry - this made for much more crowded conditions here than last time I visited.  Gorham Trail connects to the backside of the Beehive, and the Bowl (a glacial tarn where folks like to swim). This was a 5 mile walk and gave me a good look at the Beehive. This day, a girl broke her ankle on the Cadillac Cliffs trail (a .3 mile spur off Gorham trail where you can see ancient sea caves); the rescue team was working on getting her off the mountain, so I was unable to do the Cadillac Cliffs today. They aren't kidding about steep rough footing and boulder scrambling on Cadillac Cliffs.

The Beehive hike/climb is on my bucket list; not terribly physically demanding but you need to be mentally prepared...I've heard several accounts of folks making it up halfway and then realizing they were in over their heads. You aren't supposed to go down, only up - so you have to push on. I am trying to scout the climb and overcome my "fear of the unknown". Joe's Guide has some awesome pics that made me think "I can do this"; however, I am still pondering it and will definitely start with some easier ladder trails...

Ocean Path on a bright sunny day

A lot more people out today!

Gorham Trailhead is about 1/3 mile down from Thunder Hole

Starting up Gorham Mountain

Memorial for the pathmaker

Waldron Bates planned and engineered many trails on this island

These trails make clever use of existing granite with minor additions

continuing up

More well-designed steps

quickly you reach the first rewarding view of Otter Point

and looking northeast towards Sand Beach

And beyond is the Beehive

Look closely to see people climbing up the face of the Beehive

a bit more up

summit of Gorham at 525ft

Looking around to the west side of Otter Point, there is Otter Cove

Do you see the folks climbing Beehive?

Look again - see the folks on the ledge? Yikes

Down Gorham and then up the backside of Beehive

approaching the summit of Beehive (the easy / back way)

top of Beehive

Beehive summit

Looking north to Champlain Mountain, the Precipice, and the Porcupine Islands

Looking down over Sand Beach from the top of Beehive

And here comes a hiker, at the top of the climb - I could barely look over the edge; going DOWN is not recommended

I turned around and headed towards the Bowl

Lots of folks enjoying a dip in the Bowl
A Beautiful Day
Lots of huge tadpoles (and leeches, I hear!)
looking north to the peak of Champlain
Some other day, I'll continue here to summit Champlain
Heading up from the Bowl and then down to Sand Beach
A crew doing trail improvements
a beautiful wooded path down
well laid-out stream crossing
Meeting of the Bowl and Beehive trails at the bottom
This guy just came DOWN the Beehive - said it wasn't too bad
Returning to the loop road at Sand Beach, Beehive trailhead

2014-07-01 Hurricane Arthur is coming, better get in all your outdoor stuff now!

Hurricane Arthur was steaming up the east coast; we knew our weather and possibly the trails themselves would not be hiking-friendly during the storm and for days afterwards, so on our days off I tried to fit in as many hikes as I could. After our bike ride on the Jordan Bubble Pond Loop, Gary headed home and I headed over to finish the Bubbles.

I had previously done South Bubble in combination with the Jordan Pond Path. Today I did North Bubble and Connors Nubble (altogether 2 bubbles and a nubble) - these are little mountains with big rewards. Each is a somewhat-steep rocky trail up one side and a slower descent down the other side - the perfect hike to finish the day, with views all the way. Connors Nubble ends on the shore of Eagle Lake, then it's 2 miles along the shore of Eagle Lake - I chose to complete the hike along the lake and connect to the carriage road to Bubble Pond parking lot (4 miles total) rather than take the Jordan Pond Carry trail back to Jordan Pond. So nice to use the free shuttle and not have to worry about ending where I started.

The surprise here was the Eagle Lake, which looked like a mostly level trail along the shore but turned out to be some of the hardest footing and rock-scrambling of the entire hike. It was a challenging ankle-twister in many spots. Still, enjoyed it all. Hope to do the Bubbles again.

Up the south side of  North Bubble

More up but not too steep

More up...more granite steps for easy footing

View looking back south over Jordan Pond

There above the west shore of Jordan Pond is the carriage road we biked earlier

Then a bit more up

the summit of North Bubble looking south to Jordan Pond

crossing over North Nubble towards Eagle Lake

Following the path with peak view of Eagle Lake

And there is the south end of Eagle Lke

Looking down to Eagle Lake, with Connors Nubble ahead of me to climb over

The trail down was mostly forested

cross the carriage road and head up Connors Nubble

After a very brief climb, the summit of Connors Nubble

Looking back to North Bubble, South Bubble, and to the left, Pemetic Mountain

View over Eagle Lake from Connors Nubble

After some steep switchbacks, now on the shore of Eagle Lake

There was about 1 mile of this...no easy footing here!

Stopping to enjoy the view across Eagle Lake to Pemetic Mountain

South end of Eagle Lake

Around the south end of Eagle Lake, crossing streams the easy way

Beautiful view looking north

Cedar planks in need of replacement

southeast end of Eagle Lake, looking at North Bubble

Last view of Eagle Lake before heading over to Bubble Pond