Family Nature Summit in Acadia NP – Day 0

FNS1-long pond 

Here we are at Family Nature Summit for the fourth year. This year, we’re just outside Acadia National Park, in Bar Harbor.

Hannah and I came a day early to scope out the area. Yesterday, we went into Bar Harbor to eat lobster. We went into the Acadia NP visitor center to get our National Park passport stamped and ask a ranger for a trail recommendation.

The ranger was wonderful. After I outlined that we were looking for a good hike for about 5 hours, she talked directly to Hannah. She asked here how old she was (ten) and did she like stairs. Now that’s an unusual question. She recommended the Perpendicular Trail which was a set of rocky stairs for a mile and a loop afterwards.

Frankly I was pleasantly surprised that she suggested taking a rocky steep trail, rather than an easy hike around the lake. Maybe the thinking is changing. Instead of encouraging kids to get outdoors with easy, accessible hikes, give them a challenge.

FNS1-perpendicular trail 1And today we were off. Parking was a challenge, though we got to the trailhead at 9 am.

The Perpendicular Trail is a rocky masterpiece of a trail, built by the CCC. But it is well-maintained.

Hannah was leading because I always want to see her in front of me. She walked, scampered and even climbed a short metal ladder.

The mile took us up to almost 800 feet; remember, we started at about 30 feet. The view was outstanding. We could see Long Pond near by and the ocean in the distance, with a smattering of islands.FNS1-Perpendicular trail 2

We continued on the Mt. Mansell Trail and I thought that eventually I was going to find the trail down around Long Pond. But we started going down, down in a southerly directly.

To make a long story short, we took the wrong trail. It was steep and rocky but well marked. By the time, I realized that we were on another trail, we were too far down. We reached a back road and the Cold Brook Trail, almost back to the car. But we weren’t ready to head back so we walked the Long Pond Trail and found a lunch spot by the lake.

By the time we got back to the hotel, registration for Family Summits was in full swing. Hannah has found her FNSBFF (Family Nature Summit Best Friend Forever) and I caught up with my FNS friends and hiking buddies. We registered, got our name tags and T-shirts.

Another Family Summit week has started.

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