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Sunday, March 18, 2012

3/17/12 Champlain Mountain

A beautiful day - sunny and mid 40's I decided on a challenging hike. The Champlain S. Ridge Trail is pretty and interesting but has several steep rocky bits that Kelley has to work around, and some I have to bushwhack with her because they are fairly extensive. I decided we would probably not do the whole trail but only what we were comfortable with.

We parked at Sand Beach and went down to the beach first. Dogs aren't allowed in summer.

When we come here Kelley prefers this fresh water to the ocean it flows into.

The Bowl Trail start across the road from the parking lot and is not a difficult trail. We were happy to see no snow and later found only a very few tiny bits of ice in shady spots.

The Bowl was also ice free.

The Champlain S. Ridge Trail ( Bear Brook Trail on the map) starts from the Bowl and the first part is not a problem for Kelley. If you had not done this trail before you might think you were looking toward the summit.

But when you reach that spot you see that there is much more ahead.

This is an example of one of the rocky parts that stop Kelley

We did some large bushwhacks and Kelley seemed eager to continue in spite of scrambling through the brush. She was looking at me as if to ask if I knew where I was going ( she knows when we are not on the trail). We made it to the summit, had our apple, and Kelley a brief rest while I took a few pictures.

As you can see she managed to find lots of water to get into.

One of the views from the summit

Going down was easier as we didn't have to search as much for routes. The views are also great. We don't have much of the Champlain trail left and you can see the Bowl ahead.

I was surprised that on a beautiful Saturday we met no one on the trails until four people as we were almost finished with our hike. A bit of a challenge but a good hike and Kelley seemed to handle it well. It has been some time since I have seen any sign that her legs are bothering her. 3 3/4 hours


  1. Champlain is a beautiful hike – one of my top three personal favorites in Acadia, and when I worked last season at Sieur de Monts Center I recommended the Beachcroft route all the time.
    Once again me and Bird-Dog almost met you guys as this was on the list for today, but at the last minute we did Norumbega instead, as it was the last high point left on MDI for me to climb. What a splendid day and fitting finish to our explorations.

    Been an absolutely amazing year and thank you for posting so much information about the area – it’s been like having a virtual tour-guide for this neck of the woods. We migrate back north to Alaska in a few days, but it will be good to keep checking in on the continuing adventures of you and Kelley: Happy Trails and Happy Tails to ya both!

    PS: You should seriously think about doing a dog-friendly hiking guide book to the area, as you certainly have all the details and lots of great pictures... I bet it would sell fantastic, esp. in all the pet shops in the area.

  2. Hi Jamie

    Thank you for all your kind words. I'm sorry we didn't meet. Maybe you will return next winter? I will continue to follow you too and wish you and Bird-Dog the best also.

    I agree that Beachcroft is a beautiful trail but it is also hard for Kelley in spots. We like to do Norumbega from Lower Hadlock Pond area and also found the abandoned trail from the top of Norumbega down to the highway - it was called Brown Mountain then.

  3. Great views and well worth the hike..I'll be Kelley slept soundly for quite a while.

  4. Hi penbayman --Twas a beautiful day. When we got home she laid out in the sun on the drive. But she often sleeps if she isn't hiking.

  5. A wet dog is a happy dog! :-) Great photos - Kelly looks wonderful.

  6. Thanks Cindy - she certainly loves the water and does seem to be doing well with her knee problem


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