Some believe that the Precipice Trail is indeed haunted by the restless spirit of a 12 year old girl.  In 1853 her and another 12 year old girl attempted to scale the Precipice in order to see if they could spot a relatives farmhouse from the mountainside.  They got three fourths of the way up when LUCREATIA K. DOUGLASS stood upon a large boulder looking out toward Schooner Head - the other girl climbed onto the boulder also and it suddenly gave way, tossing one girl to the side with minor injuries and carrying LUCREATIA K. DOUGLASS  down the cliff to her death.
The family was poor and for many years she lay buried in a small cemetery in downtown Bar Harbor in an unmarked grave.  It would be years later that her brother returned to bar Harbor and had a headstone placed on his sisters grave.
Some say when the fog comes in off the ocean - if your up on the cliffs, you can get a glimpse of her spirit just up ahead as it vanishes out of sight, or hear a footstep or two behind you and turn to find no one there.  She appears to have been the youngest person to die on the Precipice Trail and perhaps the first to die there as well.

Is there always thunder at Thunder Hole?

No.  It depends on what time of the year you are there and what time of the day as well.  The best action is as the tide is coming in.  Best time of the year is spring and fall, when the ocean waves are larger and rougher.  And the thunder is really unbelieveable when a large storm comes up along the coastline. 

Why is Bear Brook Picnic area always close to empty?

The main reason is the entrance is not well marked to begin with.  Plus the entrance is at a very odd angle and blocked by tree's so you don't see the paved road leading into it until it's too late.  The third reason is most people are too spell bound by the beaver pond with Champlain mountain towering over it on the oposite side of the roadway.

How do I find the Bear Brook Picnic area?

Drive along the one way section of the Park Loop road, until you pass under a stone bridge.  Continue up around the sharp curve, the roadway will become flat and straight.  Get into the left hand lane, and be closely looking for the entrance on the left hand side of the road, it is very easy to miss.

Is it possible to see one of these old bear caves?

Most are high up and off the main trails.  One cave, however, is a very short distance from the edge of the road.  Drive from Bear Brook picnic area, past the beaver pond, and park at the large pull over right there on the left hand side of the road as your rounding the corner.  There is a large ledge wall across from the parking area.  Go to the far left, where the ledge comes down to the road level.  There is a dark spot a short ways back in the trees, that is the opening to the cave.  There is a well worn path to the entrance, but rangers are always tossing branches on it so people won't see the path.

Are there hot showers available at Blackwoods campground?

Yes and no.  In the national park campground itself, no.  But almost across the road from the entrance to the campground there are coin operated hot showers.

Are there any food stores close to the Blackwoods campground?

Yes, but with limited items.  It is a small country store with very basic stuff like canned goods, bread, donuts, soda, that sort of stuff.  It is just from you come to the campground entrance.

Where is my best chance to spot a Maine Moose in Acadia National Park?

Moose sightings on Mount Desert Island are also rare, but they do happen.  The majority of moose sightings in Acadia National Park usually take place in the very early dawn, in the marshes in Bass Harbor along route 102.  Other than that, your best bet to see a live Maine moose is at the Trenton Zoo along route 3.

Is it true there are coyotes in Acadia national Park?

Yes.  There are several packs which make Mount Desert Island their home.  One pack lives high up on Great Hill, a second pack lives out on the Crooked Road, and another pack of coyotes lives out by the marshes over by Wonderland in Seawall.  If your walking out of Wonderland or Ship Harbor at dusk or just after dark and begin to hear strange yipping sounds coming from the nearby woods, that is a pack of coyotes.

Where can I see a rare Maine Falcon in Acadia national Park?

Your best chance to see a falcon is at the Precipice trail head parking lot located along the one way section of the Park Loop Road.  Rangers are usually there in the evenings pointing them out as the falcons dive off the high cliffs and streak toward the ground below.  Any Park ranger can tell you when to show up at the parking lot.

Where is my best chance to spot a bald eagle in Acadia national Park?

If you keep your eyes toward the sky, you can spot an eagle in many different locations, but your best bet might be over the waters of Eagle lake.  

Where was Robinhood Park located in Acadia national Park?

Robinhood Park use to be a horse track and stables that was once located on land where Jackson Labs now sits.  Part of the Bear Brook Picnic area also once made up part of Robinhood Park, and to this day there is a trail connecting Jackson Lab to Bear Brook Picnic area, though it is not a marked trail.

Why is Bar Island so popular?

Bar Island in Acadia national Park is so popular because twice a day you can cross over the sand bar to the island, either by car or by foot.  Four hours before low tide and four hours after low tide the sand bar is exposed.  After that, is slowly vanishes until the only way across is to swim or by boat.  So if you don't know when low tide is for the Bar harbor area, find out before heading to Bar Island for some exploring.  To reach the sand bar, at the corner of Main Street and West Street (down by the town pier), go left up West Street, and Bridge Street will be your first street on the right.  Look down the street, if it is low tide, you will see sand at the end of the street.  If it is high tide, you will see just water.

Where can I find free computer access in Bar harbor?

The town did have several wi-fi hot spots, including the Village Green.  This past year a piece of their equipment broke down, and it is very costly to replace, so for now, the town has decided to go without free wi-fi for now.  The COA on Eden street has wi-fi in the Library, and the Jesup Library on Mount Desert street also has free wi-fi service. 


Anemone Cave was abandoned by the park servie years ago, but you can still visit and explore this ancient sea cave today.  As your leaving  Bar Harbor and headed toward Otter Creek, turn onto the Schooner Head Road just before Jackson Labs.  You will come to a four way intersection, turn left into the Schooner Head parking lot. 

There is a path by a sign and fence, follow the path down to the cliffs below.  Where the path meets the cliffs is the roof of the sea cave.  There use to be railings to help you down to the opening of the cave, but the park service removed the railings when they abandoned the sea cave.  Enter cave at low tide.

You can also reach Anemone cave by driving along the park loop road - the one way section, and just as your driving up to the fee station, take that road to the left.  Drive through four way intersection and follow directions to cave above.



Most of the Phantom Trails found within Acadia National Park are actually abandoned trails, or trails the Park Service has closed and no long maintains.  Sometimes these trails are also called Ghost trails because some of them have begun to fade over time.  In recent years more and more hikers, in search of a greater adventure, have begun to seek out and hike these abandoned trails and more and more sites have appeared online showing how to locate these once popular trails.  Many of these abandoned trails once lead to historic sites, such as Anemone Cave, the Bear's Den, the Great Cave and the Hanging Steps.  These sites were once the gems of Acadia national Park but today lie abandoned.


Yes, there are a number of publications that state a number of people have died, most through drowning, at the Cave.  The only newspaper article I could find on such a case says that in 1993 two College of the Atlantic students roped down to the cave and were exploring the inside of it when a heavy wind picked up, causing huge waves to come crashing into the cave.  The waves got larger and larger and one of the students managed to escape outside the cave and climb one of the ropes back up to the top of the cliff.  Due to high winds and waves, rescue teams could not go down to the cave until the following day, where they found the second person floating face down in the cave.


If your a local you already know Compass Harbor has two beaches and is one of the best get aways on a hot summer day, but if your from away you may of never heard of compass Harbor, and for good reason.  The National Park Service doesn't want people to find it.  For this reason it has a very tiny unmarked parking lot with tree's blocking the view of the parking lot itself.  Even the trail leading into the woods is unmarked.  It is very sad since this location holds such historic value for the park as well as for the Island itself.  Old Farm was located here, the site of George B. Dorr's estate, he being the Father of acadia national Park.  Along the trail that does a large loop, you will arrive at what remains of his estate along with a very long set of steps that run through the woods to the ocean.  

To find Compass Harbor, drive along Main Street in Bar Harbor and head toward Otter Creek along route 3.  As you drive long main Street you will pass the YMCA and town ball fields, just before the roadway begins to go uphill look for a tiny unmarked parking lot on the left - that is  the start of the Compass Harbor Trail loop.


The Park Service says its a safe climb, and  perhaps it is for experienced climbers, but one thing you have to know is that over the years a number of people have slipped off the narrow ledges and fallen to their deaths.    There is a large bright warning sign you must pass shortly into the climb, but I have watched as people, some with young children, pass by the sign without giving it a second look.  The sign warns that some have died on that trail and that by going further you too could risk serious injury or even death.  There are sections where you move along ledges no more than a foot and a half wide, with your back up against a wall of granite and other sections that require you to climb up and down iron rungs and ladders - Sadly, I met a guy who was going to hike the Precipice the next day - I warned him of the dangers and wished him luck.  The next evening he fell off one of those ledges and died.  At the very best the Precipice is an unforgiving climb where if you make a mistake, you could very easily end up paying for it with your life. 
The Precipice can be reached by boarding the free Island Explorer buses at the Bar Harbor village Green.  You want to board the Sand Beach bus and let the driver know in advance you wish to get off at the Precipice.


The Great Cave is located on the side of the Precipice Trail and has an opening of about 100 feet high and several feet wide.  The cave goes back into the mountain side about a hundred feet.  The Great Cave loop was built by the same man who designed and built the Precipice trail -Rudolph Brunnow,  The Great Cave trail was built to attract more hikers to the Precipice - and it worked, maybe too well.  Many years later the National Park Service abandoned the Great Cave, removing its sign post, and having it taken off maps.  There are a number of online sites with maps and instructions to the cave,  as well as photos of the cave itself.


Once the Precipice Trail was built, for many years after it was referred to as The Little Precipice.  It may be smaller than the Precipice, but it is as unforgiving and as dangerous.  And like the Precipice, it is a climb and not a hike.  To reach the Beehive, drive along the one way section of the Park Loop road to Sand Beach, or board the free Island Explorer buses at the Bar Harbor Village green - you want the Sand Beach bus.  Get off at Sand Beach.  Now walk to the Park Loop road at the start of the sand beach parking lot, you will be able to see the trail marker to the right across the roadway.  The Beehive Trail is off of the Bowl Trail, not too far in from the road.


Nt in acadia National Park, but several of the campgrounds close to the park do have programs in place where you can stay at a site for free for the season - in exchange for you working at the campground so many hours a week.  A number of young people take advantage of this program to spend the entire summer and early fall here on the island.  They work so many hours for the campground and than work at a part time job for spending money.  Slots are very limited and you would have to contact the different camp grounds to see if they have such a plan.


It is the island directly across from the Bar Harbor town pier.  It is very popular because at low tide you can walk from the bottom of Bridge Street across a sand bar to the island itself.  It is important to know the tides for that day, because you have a four hour window in which to road and explore the island, after four hours the sand bar vanished like magic and the water is too deep to cross.  So if low tide is at 6pm, you  would have two hours before 6pm and two hours afer 6 pm to safely explore the island.
If you get caught on the island you have a few choices available to you.  Use your cell phone to call the park service, the harbor master, or the police and let them know your stuck on Bar Island - they will sent a boat out to get you.  Or you could wait  for 7 or 8 hours until the tide goes back out again and cross then.  The other choice is to simply yell to someone on the other side that your stuck and need someone to come over and get you.  All three methods work.

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