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Monday, October 7, 2013

10/6/13 McFarland and the Breakneck

The first is a modern map and the second from "Pathmakers" a book about the history of the trails at Acadia which shows some of the old abandoned trails.

The forecast for today ( last night) was a 40% chance of rain but we awoke to sunny skies. Several times we have tried to find the old trail up McFarland. There is the start of a trail near the Breakneck Ponds which we have tried to follow but never got far before it disappeared. We have also tried to find the trail from the top ( we know two other ways up) , also without success. Today we would look for the trail from above and if we didn't find it would simply bushwhack down to the ponds and see what we would find.

There is a gated service road near park headquarters that leads to an air quality monitoring station. A very short distance from Rte. 233 off this road is a trail up McFarland. It is mostly meadow and fairly easy to follow as people have placed cairns along the way.

Without a lot of effort you reach a ridge that is mostly open ( I neglected to get a picture today so this is from an earlier hike)

and offers some nice views

There is no marker but I believe this is the summit

and a view to the east

We looked around but as expected did not find our trail and began our bushwhack down. Several times we thought perhaps we had found a trace of trail  but were pretty much just finding  the best way through the brush. As we neared the bottom we came upon the trail we had several times attempted from the ponds and took that the rest of the way down. We decided we must have been, at least, in the right general area.

Kelley was happy to see the ponds

and I got some water lily pictures

We crossed between the ponds- me on the beaver dam and Kelley through the water- and followed the Breakneck Road

to the stream that crosses it

From there we turned around and followed the Breakneck back to Rte. 233 and walked that the short distance to our car. An interesting hike on a beautiful day. Whetted my appetite to get back to searching for abandoned trails.  2  1/2 hours


  1. Another awesome post..I've been out of the internet loop lately as my old laptop died and I finally got a replacement. What a pain..Anyways..nice to be reading your posts again..

    1. Thanks penbayman- glad you are back with us.

  2. We were out at our hunting property this weekend and we were amazed at how quickly a trail we blazed 3 years ago has almost disappeared already with overgrowth. The forest reclaims it's own very quickly, doesn't it?

    1. Yes it does Kim- makes it a challenge finding the old trails- but some other people are interested in them and leave cairns


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