Monday, July 13, 2015



The Homan's trail has always been a special trail for me because it is one of the first abandoned hiking trails I discovered.  The Park Service abandoned it many years earlier and rediscovered it in recent years.  The trail was spruced up (mainly this required the removal of huge tree's that had fallen across the trail) and the trail was reopened as an official trail.

When the Park service reopened the Homans trail, they added a short new section of trail at the trails end, connecting it to the main hiking trail up Dorr Mountain.  The Homans Trail does have stone steps, but not nearly as many as the main trail most people use to hike Dorr mountain, and the Homans Trail gets you up the mountainside quicker.
Dorr Mountain - Acadia National Park

It also has two features you will not find on any of the other hiking trails on Dorr Mountain, shortly after you start your hike you come to the first one, a hole in the rocks, sometimes called the Donut Hole, where   hikers have to bend down to fit through the hole.  Once you come out on the other side of the rocks, the trail turns sharply to the left and stones steps rise upward, leading you around a couple of corners when the second feature of this trail greets you.

  The trail ahead would of simply passed between two tall walls of granite, but George B. Dorr came up with a great idea, he had a huge slab of granite placed over the two walls, in effect creating a cave or tunnel effect in the middle of the trail. 
Just a little further on the trail reached the top where the trail once ended.  Here the trail turns to the left and goes on for a short distance before connecting with the main trail so many hike.
Homans Trail - Acadia National Park

Dorr Mountain Homans Trail - Acadia National Park
At that point there is a trail sign, pause for a moment and just take in the stunning views that lie before you.  Now turn right and follow the main trail to the summit of Dorr Mountain.
Once you have hiked the Homans Trail, you will most likely ask yourself the same question so many others have asked, what in the world was the Park Service thinking when they abandoned this trail?  Thankfully it has been reopened and we can all enjoy its
So how do you find the Homans trail?  I will make it really easy, drive to Sieur de Monts Spring/Wild gardens/Nature Center - either by route 3 just beyond Jackson Lab or by way of the One Way Section of the Park Loop Road.
Dorr Mountain Homans Trail - Acadia National Park

 Once at the Sieur de Monts Spring parking lot,  park and head to the far end of the parking lot - there is a gated fire road there.  Walk down the fire road and in a short time you will come to a four way intersection.  The fire road continues straight ahead, and to the right is a boardwalk -the Jesus Trail.

Map of Dorr Mountain, Acadia National Park
Continue straight ahead on the fire road about one to two car lengths and look for a trail head marker on the left, THE HOMANS TRAIL. 

The Park Service has always insisted that the Homans Trail was never completed and that it simply came to a dead end.  If you look at old maps, this simply is not the case, the Homans trail always connected to the Emery Trail.  In recent years the park reopened the Homans Trail, but claimed they added a section of trail to connect it to the Emery trail, yet that section was already there, though overgrown in places, as the old map below shows.
 Below is a link to a good article on the Homans Trail.


Sunday, July 12, 2015


The start of the Bowl Trail begins across the roadway from Sand Beach parking lot, to the right..  The first section of the trail is pretty much stepping from one rock to another as you make your way along a brook.  Soon the trail crosses large flat sections of smooth granite before coming to the start of the Bee Hive trail on the left.
The Bowl Trail soon enters the woods and the trail becomes easier.  Soon you come to the first trail on the left that leads to the Gorham Mountain Summit.
In recent years sections of this trail have been rebuilt and those sections are very easy to hike along.  The trail than begins to climb upward and you soon come to the second trail on the left that leads to the Gorham Mountain summit.  The further along you go the Bowl Trail becomes steeper before flattening out and than leading downward toward the Bowl.  Around this area you will find a trail leading up to the summit of the Bee Hive - take this trail up the Bee hive if you want to avoid the iron ladder rungs and sheer cliffs. 
Once you reach the Bowl, the trail along one edge is wood planking and easy going.  Keep a lookout for active beaver in the calm waters.  You may also find tired hikers taking a dip in the cool waters of the bowl, and it is also a spot where people come every now and than to swim nude.  There are a couple of abandoned trails in this area, one ran to the right side of the Bowl, making its way up Enoch Mountain.  A second abandoned trail is located in the area where a brook empties into the Bowl - this old trail once made its way down to route 3 noit far from the corner of the Otter Cliff Road, both abandoned trails are hard to locate.

Sticking with the bowl trail, from here you have a few choices. many hikers continue to follow the Bowl trail  and continue along it, hiking to the summit of Champlain Mountain.  Or you could hike back the way you came and return to the Sand Beach parking lot.  The third option would be to go back in the direction you came and hike one of the other four trails you passed on your way up to the Bowl.   The bowl is also a great spot to bring along a picnic lunch to as well.