My impression of the Beech Cliff Trail


Regular visitors to my blog already know how much I like this type of photograph, though it has been quite a while since I last posted one. Moving the camera in a vertical direction while the shutter is open for about half a second creates a blend of the shapes, colors, and light within the frame that I kinda dig. I saw this little scene near the Beech Cliffs Trail parking lot, and couldn’t resist applying this technique to see what I could come up with. The fall foliage colors were in full swing, and I liked the way the side light was hitting the tree trunks. Not everyone’s cup of tea… but I like it, and that’s what counts around here!

Beech Cliffs in Acadia


Ever since visiting this scene in the summer when everything was lush and green, I have been thinking about returning to see how the fall foliage might look. On this particular occasion I wasn’t able to get here until mid-morning, and by that time the sun was already fairly high in the sky, with any chance of soft, warm light long gone. I still think that being here just as the sun rises might be pretty spectacular, with the rocks and foliage bathed in early light and the killer ocean views offering a nice backdrop.

The Beech Cliffs are over on the quieter side of Acadia, and you can climb up to this point from a trail that starts down below at Echo Lake. However… I’m not one for heights, and since my time was somewhat limited today, I decided to take the easy route and drive there. Passing through the picturesque village of Somesville while driving toward Southwest Harbor on Rt. 102, you will see a sign to make a right onto Pretty Marsh Road, and about a quarter of a mile further you will then make a quick left onto Beech Hill Road.

In early summer there is a gorgeous field of Lupine right on the side of the road before you reach a parking lot that holds maybe a dozen cars… well worth a stop. The Beech Cliff trail from the parking lot to the view in these photographs is only about a third of a mile, winding through beautiful, deep forest terrain before suddenly bursting out onto the high cliffs. On this day the views were remarkable, though I can’t help wondering what first light might bring… maybe worth another trip.

Beech Mountain, Acadia


Our rainy camping weekend saw us exploring a couple of new trails – at least new for us – when we left our centrally located Mount Desert Campground and headed south through Somesville before making a right turn toward the Beech Hill Road. High above Echo Lake, Beech Mountain provides spectacular views toward the ocean and islands, and also back north across Echo Lake and Somes Sound.

Leaving the Beech Hill parking lot, we started out on the very gentle Valley Trail before joining the Canada Cliff Trail as we made our way through a nice variety of terrain. We climbed over large and small boulders, balanced along narrow wooden bogwalks, and maneuvered exposed tree roots as we meandered around the southern side of the mountain. The views were spectacular, and since we were on the quiet side of the island, we pretty much had the place all to ourselves.

Dodging raindrops all the way, the forest was lush and green. The whole hike took – with some stops to enjoy the view – about an hour, and seven year-old Jack had no trouble with the route we took. The combination of Valley Trail, Canada Cliff Trail, and Beech Cliff Trail made for a pretty cool afternoon, and as I soaked in the view below, I couldn’t help wondering how spectacular it might be at first light when the fall foliage is changing color.

The so-so weather didn’t do anything to dampen our spirits, especially since we knew that next up was some well-earned Rosalies Pizza and delicious ice cream from Ben and Bill’s in Bar Harbor. As always… neither disappointed 🙂