Schoodic Head / by Greg Westrich

Saturday, under a sharp, blue sky with a few puffs of cloud for contrast, Emma pitched her first softball game. Ann and I watched nervously in a cloud of blackflies. I got my first bite of the year—right there on my left wrist. Yep, it's definitely spring.


After lunch I headed down to the Schoodic Peninsula for two hikes. I hadn't been to that part of Acadia National Park in at least fifteen years. Recently, the park expanded its holding on the peninsula, opening a new campground a building lots of new trails. There's even a network of bike trails modelled on MDI's carriage roads.


The morning's blue sky had given way to a rolling sea of gray. Unbroken clouds spanned the sky. Along the coast, fog had drifted over the granite shore and wormed up the sprucey slopes. I parked at Blueberry Hill. A few eiders bobbed in East Pond between the shore and Little Moose Island. Farther out gulls slid by on the breeze, their white bellies shining like the full moon.


I followed Alder Trail inland. Where the trail ended at a gravel service road, stream descended through a series of terraced beaver dams to a quiet pond. On the far side of the pool, a long arcing dam held the water back.


The Schoodic Head Trail climbed away from the road, following a small stream up into a narrowing canyon. High granite walls towered overhead. The trail climbed the chimney at the head of the canyon beyond where the stream emerged from a jumble of mossy boulders. Up a series of stairs, between narrowing walls into the bright diffuse fog.


Normally, the view from atop Schoodic Head is expansive. I had to settle for the jagged line of black spruce and the thrum of distant waves pounding the granite shore. Mist so fine that the tiny drops looked and felt like snowflakes enveloped me. 


I returned back to Blueberry Hill on the Anvil Trail. The trail descended steeply to a fin of rock jutting fifty feet from the dank forest. The trail switchbacked down next to it, then away toward the Anvil—a granite knob with fine views of the surrounding hills and shoreline. The Anvil's granite was split by deep, dark fissures and covered with moss and lichen. Twisted trees clung to its irregular surfaces.


I couldn't believe I'd lived in Maine twenty years and never hiked this before. Don't wait as long as I did. The 2.8 mile hike has some steep, rocky sections, but is more than worth the work. The trails were less manicured, more wild, than those in most of Acadia National Park.