Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Acadia Hiking: Valley Peak to Flying Mountain Loop

The tourists season is over, the leaves are already turning, and the weather is becoming more and more crisp... which makes it my favorite time to hike in Maine. Here's the GPSed pictures and my accompanying description of the hike at EveryTrail:

A moderate intensity hike in one of the less trafficked areas of Acadia National Park. The parking area for the trail head is on Fernald Point Road off of 102, near Southwest Harbor. Despite the fact that the trail isn't in a tourist heavy area, the relatively low height of the peaks and large number of nearby houses don't make for a secluded hike. In fact, we heard what sounded like a wedding reception both as we started and as we finished the hike.

That said, the spectacular views of Somes Sound, Southwest Harbor, Northeast Harbor, and the Cranberry Isles make it worth the risk of noise pollution.

I would advise against taking the path we did towards St. Sauveur from Valley Peak. The trail has no views and the peak itself is unimpressive... in retrospect we should have stayed on Valley Peak trail headed towards Man O' War truck road. If you would like a more strenuous hike, you can skip Flying Mountain and just do an out-and-back on Valley Peak... but you'll miss some pretty nice views along the water.

While not my favorite Acadia hike of all time (that would be this one), it was quite nice and the views really are stunning... and dinner at Cafe This Way afterwards made the whole day a memorable experience.

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