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REGISTRATION & PAYMENT REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page. This is a paid event with payment managed through the AOC. Please read the event description carefully for details; you will be given payment instructions after you sign up. Late payments are NOT accepted for this event, in any circumstance.

Hiking & Exploring - Acadia National Park

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Bar Harbor, Maine   Hike: Hiking & Exploring - Acadia National Park  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Thu, Sep 26 2013  2:00 pm >> Mon, Sep 30 2013 2:00 pm
Registration Opens: Mon, Apr 29 2013 7:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Mon, May 20 2013 7:00 pm
Event Duration:4 Days
Difficulty Rating:D5: Difficult (Exploratory)
Distance:32 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
John Christopher
Email Trip Leader(s)
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Member Cost:$275.00/Person (See Detailed Cost Info Below)

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:11
Minimum Group Size:6
Number Registered So Far: 11 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No

Note: This is an "EXPLORATORY" trip. This means that there are parts of this trip, or perhaps the whole trip, that is new to your Trip Leader(s). However, they are confident that this will not be an issue.
This note is here so that you can make an informed decision. When a Trip Leader isn't personally familiar with a trip, there is an increased chance of things not going as planned and you need to be prepared. The Trip Leader may have additional details in the itinerary.


Please join us for an adventure in Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor Maine, and Mount Desert Island. This ‘hotel and hike’ adventure will blend the best of day hiking and exploring with the conveniences of a quaint, locally owned motel. The event will start Thursday Sept 26th, 2pm and conclude Monday Sept 30, 2pm.

The first national park east of the Mississippi, Acadia National Park is comprised of more than 35,000 acres of pristine land on Mount Desert Island. Consisting of rocky coastline, rolling mountains, forests, ponds, marshlands, and much more, the park has amazing wildlife and stunning seaside views. Beyond the natural wonders of the park, Mount Desert Island is home to eclectic, seaside communities of Bar Harbor, Southwest Harbor, Seal Cove and Northeast Harbor.

The event will focus on D4 to D5 hiking and general exploring. We'll hike each day and explore the island in the afternoon/evening (See below for a day by day hiking itinerary). The park consists of 120 miles of hiking trails and 33 miles of motor vehicle free, carriage roads. After our day hikes, the schedule will be considered ‘free time’ to explore on your own or with others in the group. There area is chock full of outdoor activities and the difficult decision will be which to choose from. The park offers a museums, gardens, and other amenities. Mount Desert Island has many scenic coastal areas where you can take a beach stroll or explore the tide pools. The island's seaside villages offer fine restaurants, museums, shopping, and art galleries.

Beyond hiking, the highlight of the trip will be a whale watching tour. This tour will be on a speedy catamaran boat that can move quickly and safely to the whales. This area of the coast has many humpback, finback, and minke whales. Apparently finback whales are the second largest whale species. Click the link below to see a video of a trip with this company. If we’re lucky, we’ll get up close and personal with a whale.

Make sure to check out the essential details for daily itinerary, lodging, transportation, and costs (with payment process). The island is well suited to traveling affordably, without complication. The island has a free, courtesy shuttle system that will take us to trail heads and many scenic locations. Small, private motel lodging is a tradition in Maine and offers travelers an affordable alternative to the hotel chains.

NOTE: Payments are due no later than May 20th. Those who signed up but haven't paid by May 20th will forfit their spot to someone on the waitlist. Please make note of this deadline and see below for more on the payment process.

Daily Itinerary: Keep in mind, the hiking schedule is subject to change. Trail conditions and park regulations could change the exact trail we take. The general plan is to have one hike per day and alternate between three medium (5 mile) and two long (7-8 mile) hikes over the five day trip. **NOTE**: All registrants will be expected to have ample D4 AOC hiking experience (see hiking requirements info below).

Hiking trail info -
Whale Watching Info -

Sept 26 - Ocean Path, Sand Beach and Great Head Trails (5.5 miles)
Begins at Sand Beach parking lot, runs parallel to the Park Loop Road past Thunder Hole and Otter Cliffs to Otter Point. It is a relatively flat gravel path with spectacular views of perhaps the most dramatic section of the Maine coast.

Sept 27 - Cadillac South Ridge Trail (7 miles)
This is one of the longest single trails in Acadia, starting just south of the entrance to Blackwoods Campground on Route 3 and climbing gradually through a mix of spruce forest and granite ledges to the summit of Cadillac Mountain.

Sept 28 - Cadillac North Ridge & Surrounding Trails (5.5 miles)
Leads up open ledges to the summit of Cadillac Mtn & Champlain Mtn. There are almost continuous views of Bar Harbor and Frenchman's Bay.

Whale Watching - Noon - 3pm on Sept 28th

Sept 29 - Acadia Mtn, St. Sauvuer Mtn, & Flying Mtn trails (6-7 miles)
Very popular and scenic trails offers views of Atlantic Ocean, Somes Sound views and Southwest Harbor. Some steep and rugged climbing required on this hike.   

Ship Harbor Nature Trail (1.3)
Scenic nature trail on western coast with rockly ledges, ocean views and Bass Harbor Lighthouse. The view of Bass Harbor Light is stunning -

Sept 30 - Schooner Head Trail (5.4 miles)
Connects Bar Harbor to the park through deciduous forest. Schooner Head Overlook provides stunning views of coastline and Egg Rock.

Registration Details:
1) Hiking Experience: The natioanl park and many of the guidebooks describe the best hikes as strenuous with long distances and some steep climbs. Since these hikes are exploratory, rugged, and occur back to back, only intermediate and advanced hikers with ample D4 experience should register. For those who register, their AOC hiking resume will be checked by the TLs. The TLs will remove those who have signed up if their hiking experience does not fit the planed hikes. The TLs also reserve the right to consider any registrant’s other past experiences within the AOC to determine if this event is appropriate.

2) Lodging: Eden Village Motel and Cottages:
We have reservations for 4 rooms with two beds in each room.The motel has very high ratings on and other review sites. It has all the amenities that standard hotels have. Check motel website for more details and images. An important note on lodging, some people enjoy (or tolerate) sharing living arrangementsand others do not. If you're uncertain about sharing a room with someone you don't know, this trip may not be for you.

3) Local Transportation: On Mount Desert Island, a free shuttle bus system (Island Explorer - operates and will be our primary means of transportation. Most of the park features, trails, and area attractions will be accessible through this bus system.

4) Transportation to/from Mount Desert Island: The closest airport serviced by major airlines is in Bangor Maine, 50 miles form Acadia National Park/Mount Desert Island. A shuttle bus between Bangor airport and the island ( runs several times a day. Each person will be responsible arranging and paying for their own airfare and must obtain transportation to and from the island. Check with the shuttle to ensure it stops at the motel. Otherwise, transfer to the free island shuttle in Bar Harbor.  

5) Trip Payment Process: The park is a very, very popular destination. Most locally run motels do not accept reservations without an immediate 50% deposit. The Eden Village motel management is making an exception to their immediate deposit policy for this AOC trip. However, to secure hotel reservations, the required deposit must be made to the motel long before the start date of the trip. Therefore:

Payment due date is May 20th. All those registered are encouraged to make their payment well before this date. After the payment due date, those who are registered but not paid will be moved from the sign up list. Just prior to May 20th, all those on the wait list will be asked to confirm their ability to make immediate payment. After May 20th, those on the wait list who have confirmed their ability to pay will be moved to the sign up list and asked to submit payment.

6) Costs & Expenses: The payment for this AOC trip is $275. The payment you make to AOC will cover 4 night double occupancy motel fee and whale watching ticket. All other expenses (e.g. airfare, Bangor airport shuttle, food, etc.) will be paid by each individual on their own.   

Required Items to Bring:

•    Hiking boots & appropriate hiking clothes for cool, possibly cold windy weather
•    Waterproof wind breaker & jacket
•    Water bottle / camel-back, energy bars

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

•    Shorts
•    Bug spray
•    Gloves
•    Sunglasses
•    Head lamp
•    Small first-aid kit
•    Hiking poles
•    Long sleeve t-shirt
•    Wool hat
•    Sun screen
•    Camera
•    Toilet Tissue

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

See info on transportation to/from Mount Desert Island.

Important information for paid events in which payment is managed through the AOC:

     - Payment must be received by the payment due date and prior to participation in the event.

     - Some paid events require a minimum number of registered participants. If that number is not met, the event will be canceled and refunds will be issued to those who have already paid.

     - Third-party vendors often require damage deposits. Each registrant agrees to be liable for and required to reimburse the Atlanta Outdoor Club for any withheld deposits due to the actions of or damages caused by that registrant.

     - No partial payments. All registrants must pay the posted Member Cost regardless of any agreement you may have with any party involved in the event.

     - Read the event description carefully for additional information, and contact the trip leader(s) with any questions.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cost & Payment:
Member Cost:$275.00/Person
Cost Includes:

The payment you make to AOC will cover 4 night double occupancy motel fee and whale watching ticket. All other expenses (e.g. airfare, Bangor airport shuttle, food, etc.) will be paid by each individual on their own.  

Payment Cut Off:Payment must be received by the AOC on Mon, May 20 2013.
Make a Payment:Click here for the details. PLEASE PAY AFTER YOU HAVE SIGNED UP BELOW.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.

Please review our Cancellation Policy carefully! This trip requires a minimum number of participants. Therefore, there will be no refunds for cancellations after May 20th, unless someone (approved by the trip leaders) replaces you from the wait list and pays in full. If you are replaced, you will receive a full refund less a $20 administrative fee. There is no partial payment or partial attendance for this event.