We really like this site a lot and this is where it all began for us with abandoned trails. Sadly as we made more and more finds and posted about them, we quickly learned we had used up just about all of our free space the site allows for free use, and paying for the space we needed was not an option, so we began another site, well...a few sites...over at blogger. So yeah, most already know this, but Abandoned Trails of Acadia National Park is us, as is Old Maps of Acadia National Park and Deaths In Acadia National Park - a site dedicated to remembering those who lost their lives in the park. We are also putting together a Youtube site - Abandoned Trails of Acadia as well. So if you found this site and haven't visited our current sites, drop by and check us out
We have placed a good number of old maps into a free ebook to make it easier for anyone researching or exploring for lost and abandoned trails to locate their locations. Most of the maps have been cleaned up to make them clearer and easier to read. I have also included many of the maps I created myself as well.
Cadillac Mountain was not always called Cadillac, it was once named Green mountain. And at one time there was a small cog train that carried passengers up to the summit of the mountain. But those who operated the train were not the only business that hoped to profit from the mountain.
Two commercial business provided transportation up to the summit of Green Mountain (renamed Cadillac Mountain). One company operated the Tollhouse Road, where buckboards could pass along to reach the summit - for a fee. The other business was The Green Mountain Railroad company, which built a railroad line from the edge of Eagle Lake to the summit of Green Mountain.
The plans for the Railroad company called for tracks to be laid from downtown Bar Harbor all the way to the summit, but those plans were later cut back because of cost. To get people to the site where they could board the cog train, they had to first get from downtown Bar Harbor to the edge of Eagle Lake, and this was done by ferrying people out to the lake on large buckboards that some named as large horse drawn barges.
Once at Eagle Lake, passengers than boarded the steamboat Wauwinet (named after an old Otter Creek indian settlement), and were carried across the lake to where the Cog train waited to haul them to the summit of Green Mountain.
The Tollhouse Road ended up going under which left the business of carrying people to the summit up to the Railroad company alone.
The business would go on to establish a second company, The Mount Desert Railway company. They had big plans to build even more railway lines, one up Champlain Mountain, another from Bar Harbor to Somesville, and another from Northeast Harb or to Greenings Island.
But they were not the only company drawing up plans for railway lines on the island, another company wanted to build railroad lines from Northeast Harbor to Hulls Cove, as well as a line from Champlain Mountain to Otter Creek. Their plans also called for the developement of a huge subdivision to be built at one end of Bubbles Pond. That company went bankrupt before they could even break ground.
The Green Mountain Railroad company also ended up going bankrupt, but not before building a rail line to the summit of Green Mountain and operating it for a time. The steamship the company used to ferry passengers across Eagle lake was sunk to the bottom of the lake where it still rests.
The railroad tracks were removed after the company went bankrupt, but the railroad spikes had been placed so deep into the granite they could not be removed and still are there today, marking the way up the mountainside for anyone who seeks them out. It was written that all of the railroad rails were also removed, but that is not true, there is one piece of iron rail still there on the mountainside.
If you are interested in following the same path the cog train took from Eagle Lake to the summit of Green Mountain, I have a couple of videos up on Youtube where I retraced the same route the train took, and it shows the railroad spikes still there along with that one remaining section of rail. Simply type in a search for The Green Mountain Railroad of Acadia National Park.
After the train stopped running, the path the train took was put to another use, a toboggan run was built along its path each fall so that when the snow came, people could race down it on their sleds, shooting off the end of it and out across the frozen surface of Eagle lake.
Anemone cave is an ancient sea cave, and once it was one of the gems of Acadia National Park. But like so many other areas of the park, it took fell to the butchers block, and was abandoned by the national park service. All signs highlighting the sea cave were taken down, or replaced with other signs that do not make any mention of the cave. Even the steel railings that helped guide visitors down the steep cliffs to the mouth of the cave were cut away and removed. And to show just how much power the park service has, anemone Cave was even removed from all maps you can purchase, even though the cave has gone nowhere - its still very much there.
All the park service has done by removing the railings that helped people down the cliffs was to make it very dangerous for those wanting to explore the inside of the sea cave today. And not a day goes by that you see people lined up making there way down to the cave.
Sadly I just came across this old news story last night, which highlights just how dangerous this site can be...
Be sure to go at low tide if you want to explore inside the sea cave at Schooner Head, and wear very good shoes because the floor of the sea cave is wet and very slippery.
The Bass Harbor Lighthouse hiking trail use to begin at the lighthouse parking lot in Acadia National Park. To locate the start of this abandoned trail, head to the far left of the parking lot, where a worn path is located by the bathrooms. In a very short distance the path turns a corner, about half way between this corner and the wooden stairway up ahead the lighthouse trail begins just inside the tree line on the left. There will be a well worn path in there, but the start of the trail may be blocked by branches placed there by ridge runners.
Nearly the entire trail follows the edge of the ocean, at times passing along steep cliffs. The only real hard section of the lighthouse trail is a small hill you have to go up, than down the other side - its a little steep but doable.
At about the half way point along the abandoned lighthouse trail, you come on top of this cliff overlooking a beach below - the beach is known by the locals as Whistler's Beach. A guy who cleared a path from his house to the Beach would whistle as he made his way through the woods to the beach. To reach the beach, follow the trail along the cliff to where it drops down by the water, here you can now access the beach.
There is a stretch a ways after the beach where nice smooth pieces of driftwood wash ashore, and the trail ends by the mouth of Ship Harbor. On most days you can look across the mouth of ship Harbor and see tourists looking back across at you, wondering how you got to the other side of the harbor.
Now when the Bass Harbor Lighthouse Trail was an official trail, it continued on down the side of ship Harbor and entered the woods where it crossed a couple brooks before coming out by the Ship Harbor parking lot, but that section of the trail is very hard to locate and only the locals know the route the rest of the trail took.
The Tower is a unique structure off the Eagle Lake road in Acadia National Park. In fact, it's probably the only stone structure of its kind within the park. On one old map, in about where the tower is located, the words WATER FILTER appears next to a tiny square, so this most likely was part of the old Bar Harbor Water company. Years ago I did follow the old road past the tower, and for a long distance it follows Duck Brook, before vanishing into the woods like a ghost. In all likelihood the old road once connected to where the present Duck Brook Bridge is today.
It is very easy to locate the old stone tower. Drive along route 233 - the Eagle Lake Road, until you come to the Duck Brook Bridge Road, turn onto the Duck Brook Bridge road and park there near the corner. Now walk down the side of route 233, headed toward Eagle Lake, you don't have to go far, just after going by the guardrails, the old road can be seen on the right entering the woods. You can also park along route 233 or at the Eagle lake boat landing and walk back toward the guardrails. The old road is very visible once you know where to look for it.
If you search out and locate the old stone tower, you may be amazed to find such a structure setting there in the middle of the woods, but what most don't know is that granite was once mined from Brewer mountain, and there are not just one old road on the mountainside, but several. let's begin with when you first step off route 233 onto the old dirt road. You don't have to walk in far, maybe 4 or 5 car lengths, and there is the first of two huge foundations to the right, just beyond the tree's. And further behind that is a second huge foundation - this could of been part of the old Bar Harbor Water company, but some say a huge mansion was located on that spot at one time.
Now back to where you first stepped off of route 233 onto the old road again, about 2 to 3 car lengths in, but this time to the left, if you look you can almost see where an old road or path passed upward through those tree's to a small clearing ahead. At that small clearing is where the second road on Brewer Mountain begins. This road can be followed almost its entire length, ending at a huge field, and at the far end of the field is the Duck Brook Carriage Road.
The third old road is much harder to find, and it is the one that leads toward the granite mining sites. Once you leave that small clearing and head through a section of woods, you come to another small clearing - this clearing has some old rusting car parts scattered about the ground. The old road clearly continues straight ahead, and it looks like another old road may of veered off to the left - but the granite mining road lies hidden behind several trees between these two points. By entering the woods only two to three feet in that area the old granite mining road appears, making its way through the woods to another opening further up ahead.
Where the mountain side opens up, you turn right and begin hiking up the side of the mountain. Just past the first opening to the left there is a second opening in the tree's as you make your way up the mountain side. The second opening is where an old road once passed and leads directly to the first mining site. Marks can be seen in some sections of the granite where they drove wedges down into the granite to break it into blocks. This technique can be seen on display at the Maine State Museum in Augusta, Maine.
Return to the clear hillside and continue to follow it upward at a slight angle to the left, and it will lead to a second mining site, not too far from the summit of Brewer Mountain.
I first found the old Bear Cave listed on an old map of Eden, back before there was an Acadia national Park. In fact, there was no road anywhere close to the current Park Loop Road, so finding it on a map was the easy part. I went searching for it a number of times, but didn't find it.
Than one day my oldest son came home with some of his friends and said he had found the old bear cave. He gave me basic directions as to its location, and the next day I was able to locate it. Hard to believe I had passed it dozens upon dozens of times and never knew it was there, within sight from the roadway.