WOLFE IN THE WILD: Take In Glittering Ocean Views From Atop This Maine Fire Tower
This well-known destination in Acadia National Park makes for a perfect spring hike. It also features one of the few remaining fire towers in the area.
Hiking in Acadia National Park is a total blast, as basically every hiking trail features beautiful scenery. A bummer to some, especially Mainers, are the huge crowds that clog trails and crowd summits. So with spring finally here, it's OUR time to do some exploring throughout the park.
Beech Mountain has an excellent loop trail that features beautiful overlooks, and a fire tower to enhance those glittery ocean views. The current fire tower was erected in 1962, and was only manned during times of high fire danger. It was last manned in 1976. Hikers can climb about halfway up the tower, as the upper section is locked-off from public access. The trail is 1.2 miles, which features a few steep sections that requires some rock scrambling. The loop trail is marked as "moderate" in difficulty.
How To Get There:
These directions will take you to the trailhead parking lot. Note that if the gate is still locked for the season, you can park and walk .2 miles up the road to access the trailhead. The parking area features a restroom that's open seasonally.
- The trailhead is in the northwest corner of the lot, near the bathrooms.
- After .1 mile the trail splits. Going right is a more gradual ascent, left is steeper.
- The trail is marked with blue blazes, and well traveled.
- Regardless of which way you loop up the mountain, as elevation increases, the trail becomes rockier.
- After .4 miles the steep route, or .7 miles the other route, you'll reach the summit. The partially bald summit features views of Somes Sound, Echo Lake, Acadia Mountain, and the other eastern mountains of the Mount Desert Island.
- To descend the mountain, return to the trail fork just below the summit. An easy way to remember your route is if you took the steep way up, follow the rock steps down the trail. If you took the gradual way up, follow the .4 mile trail (labeled on the trail fork sign) down the mountain.
- There's no activity fee to use this trail system.
- A park pass is required year round.
- This hike takes about 1-2 hours to complete.
- Dogs (leashed) are welcome on the trail.
- The parking area features a bathroom, which is open seasonally.
Wolfe In The Wild Pro Tips:
- I prefer to hike this loop steep section first, then the gradual route down. I like having fresh legs to climb the steep trail, then leisurely stroll down the gradual trail.
- Watch your footing. The spring melt and rain can wash out sections of trail, leaving it covered in loose dirt and rocks. Also watch for ice if visiting in early spring.
- You can extend your hike by doing the loop via the Valley Trail. The trailhead is located at the southern end of the parking area. The trail guides you through the heavily forested valley under Beech Mountain. You ascend the mountain via the south ridge which also features amazing views.
- Whatever way you do this hike, be sure to make it a loop to see all the amazing scenery.
- This hike is usually MOBBED in the summer. Spring and fall are good times to beat the big crowds.
Keep these trail systems beautiful and carry out ALL trash and waste.