Family Nature Summit in Acadia – Day 1

FNS-View of Long Pond from top

Family Nature Summits is in full swing. Up at seven so Hannah can be  ready at Junior Naturalist at 8 am. Her two leaders, Leslie and Linda, are veteran outdoor educators and have been at FNS for many years.

Her group consists of kids who have finished the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade. It’s a large group this year, 21 children.

FNS-Beech Mt Trail ascentI went on a hike to Beech Mt. The trail was rocky with a lot more ladders than yesterday. Here, Steve, a FNS veteran, climbs the metal rungs. The ladders are solid and safe. No big deal.

The hikes are short here. This one was only 5.8 miles but it’s the terrain that makes them difficult. Rocks, roots, climbs and ladders all contribute to the challenge.

But when we got up to the top, what a view. See above for a panoramic  view of Long Pond. We were only at about 800 feet but it’s the difference between the peak and the bottom that makes for an outstanding view.

FNS-Beech Mt. Trail rhodosWe hiked to Beech Mountain fire tower. The stairs up to the tower were locked after the first stage but still, the little climb offered a well-needed breeze. As we went down, we found rhododendrons. Were these small bushes the same plants as the majestic bushes in the Southern Appalachians. These bushes are puny with tiny pink flowers but they’re rhodies.

FNS-Swimming in Long PondOnce down, I took a group on the Long Pond Trail to find a swimming spot. I never thought I would swim in a lake in Acadia National Park. I was sure that it would be freezing but to my surprise, the lake was surprisingly warm. It felt wonderful.



FNS-Hannah and MarieBut the day was not over. After dinner, there was square dancing and an ice cream social. Everyone danced from the youngest to the oldest. Here’s Hannah with Marie, a new summiteer from New York.



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