Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dorr Mountain Hike


So Anna and I did this hike up Ladder Trail to the summit of Dorr Mountain in Acadia National Park last Saturday. If you click on that link, you may notice that the directions are a bit, uhm, "sparse"... and unfortunately, I was unable to locate a good trail map online... so I will try my best to explain it without.

Similar to Mansell, this trail is quite steep and has innumerable stone steps:

I found this to be particularly strenuous, relative to Mansell... it's certainly doable for a wide range of people, but if you are as out of shape as I am you will probably need some breaks as you climb up (bring plenty of water!). The good side of it being a hard hike is that you really feel like you accomplished something when you get to the top. An older woman with knee problems did end up turning back while we were there, so be aware. Also, while not as popular as some trails, it is pretty well known and well trod, so you are unlikely to get the mountain to yourself. We ran across maybe a dozen couples on out mid-afternoon on a Saturday jaunt, which is certainly not too bad... but if you want solitude, check my Mansell mountain post.

The ladder for which Ladder Trail is named is this scary bugger:

It may not look like much, but behind you as you climb up the wobbly thing is a sheer drop to certain death, so it got my heart racing a little bit... and I don't think of myself as someone who is afraid of heights.

After we got to the summit we didn't actually follow the posted directions, which call for a little back tracking before getting to where you turn off for the descent. Our different route was completely accidental, but I actually think it turned out for the best. Instead of backtracking and coming back down the eastern face of the Mountain, we descended the northern face. This afforded us some really picturesque views of Bar Harbor which we wouldn't have gotten if we went the listed way. It tacked on a few extra miles I'd guess, but they were mostly the descent and a flat trail back to where we met up with where we would have come out if we followed directions.

The trail finishes with a surprisingly fun rocky path around a body of water known as The Tarn.

I think both of us pretty much expected the trail to be basically a formality as we made our way back to the car because it was so flat, but it turns out that it was a pretty neat rock hopping experience.

So, all in all a very fun hike and well worth doing if you are in the area and like strenuous hikes. You can see the rest of my hike pictures here.