Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Champlain Mountain, ME
Trails: Precipice Trail, Champlain North Ridge Trail, Orange and Black Path, connecting path, Schooner Head Path, Murphy Lane
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, September 9, 2023
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: The parking area had overflowed by the time we’d arrived around 11am but we still found a spot in the main parking area. Roadside parking is also allowed. Similar situation when we returned at 2:15pm.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: None 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Precipice Trail is blazed in blue. Not hard to follow, just watch blazing in the talus field. I believe Champlain North Ridge Trail was also blazed in blue and marked with cairns but not certain. I don’t recall the blazing, if there was any on the other trails. The blazing I do remember was fresh. I don’t recall any blowdowns. Generally speaking, the trails in Acadia are very well taken care of.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Dogs are allowed in ANP but NOT on Precipice Trail which would absolutely not be appropriate for them.  
Bugs: None 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: None 
Comments: First hike of the day on our first day staying in Ellsworth. Glad to finally be in ANP at a time when Precipice Trail is open! It’s usually closed April to mid--August or something like that due to nesting peregrine falcons. The trail was as advertised. Not that I remember the Beehive in detail, but I thought I’d heard that this was considered by most to be easier and I’m not sure if I agree with that statement. While most of the iron rungs were well placed and not too hard to use, the first one you come to I felt like definitely required some more difficult scrambling/body contortions than anything on The Beehive. Lots of people out so expect to be kept waiting, at least in season, and especially on weekends.

As far as I recall the trails and rocks/scrambles were pretty dry. From the summit, we turned right and followed Champlain North Ridge Trail down to what the guidebook describes as a connecting trail to Orange & Black Path. We then turned right on Orange & Black Path to do an OAB on the 0.4mi section between here and Precipice Trail. Note that the connecting trail’s location on Gaia is not 100% accurate though they seem to have the start and endpoints correct. This OAB on Orange & Black Path is not necessarily quick and easy. Lots of PUDS with some steep sections. Also, many of those who ascend the mountain via Precipice Trail seem to descend it via Orange & Black Path and the lower section of Precipice Trail. FWIW, I personally wouldn’t recommend this as the rather awkward iron rungs that I felt like were the trickiest are on this lower section of Precipice Trail. I’d hate to come down those…

Once back at the jct of Orange & Black Path and the connecting trail, we descended Orange & Black Path the rest of the way down to Schooner Head Rd, crossing Park Loop Rd along the way. The section of trail between the two roads was kind of cool. Rather than head back up to Park Loop Rd and walk it back to our car as originally planned, we instead opted to take Schooner Head Trail to Murphy Ln and then head west on Murphy’s Ln back to the parking area. This was a pleasant decision and we stopped to talk with some bikers who’d hiked the Precipice yesterday and were looking at the eastern cliffs of Champlain trying to determine if they could see the trail or anyone on it. Unfortunately we were a bit too far north for that (we were looking more toward the “contouring” section of Orange & Black Path) but great views abounded nonetheless!

Gaia had us at 3.55mi, 1200ft of gain, 3hr9min.  
Name: Liam Cooney and the CCC 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2023-09-12 
Link: https:// 
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