Saturday, June 18, 2011

Hike – Compass Harbor Trail

Bald Porcupine Island from Compass Harbor
This post describes an easy hike on the Compass Harbor Trail, which is very near downtown Bar Harbor.  In fact, you could even walk to the trailhead from the downtown area, if you wanted.  This trail leads out to the ocean and makes a loop on the Dorr peninsula.

Directions – Take Route 3 south from downtown Bar Harbor.  In about a mile you will see signs for Compass Harbor and there will be a parking area on the left.  It can hold several cars.  There are no bathrooms here.  The Schooner Head Path also starts/ends at this parking area.  I will discuss that in a separate post.

The Compass Harbor Trail is more a walk than a hike.  There is some scrambling if you choose to make your way down to a beach, but it is still an easy hike.

The trail starts off going through some trees.  You will quickly come to a fork.  Take the trail to the left.  This leads you out to Compass Harbor where you have views of the various islands off Bar Harbor.

Large tree along Compass Harbor Trail
View from the end of Dorr Peninsula

You can explore down on the rocks and down onto a beach.  At a certain point the beach becomes private property, so make sure you do not trespass.  There was a small waterfall that made its way down over the rocky cliffs onto the beach.  There was a large tree beside it that was hanging onto the cliff at a 45 degree angle.

The small rock cliffs off the beach on Dorr Peninsula

When you are done here make your way back to wherever you left the trail for the beach and then continue to follow the loop.  This will lead you to an old foundation for an abandoned building.  There are some informal trails here.  Make sure to continue to loop clockwise back towards your starting point.

You will come to a branch trail on the left.  This leads to the Schooner Head Path.  Stay on your trail and you will soon come back out to where you parked.

Cumulative distance:             1 mile
Cumulative elevation gain:   75 feet
Cumulative duration:            30-60 minutes (including time for photos and exploring)

Acadia Hiking Guide

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