Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Eliot Mountain, Cedar Swamp Mountain, ME
Trails: Harbor Brook Trail, Asticou and Jordan Pond Path, Asticou Ridge Trail, Charles Savage Trail, Old Grass Road, Asticou Hill Trail, Sargent South Ridge Trail, carriage roads, Ampitheatre Trail, The Richard Trail, David and Neva Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Thursday, December 28, 2023
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: We parked in the large gravel parking area on Rt 3. Room for probably a dozen plus cars here but we were the only ones shortly before 8am when we arrived and when we returned shortly past 2pm. I don't know if it's plowed in winter but my best guess would be that it would be.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Ice - Black, Wet Trail, Ice - Blue, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant, Leaves - Significant/Slippery, Snow/Ice - Small Patches 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Most were bridged but those that weren't were easily rock hoppable.  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Harbor Brook Trail, Asticou Ridge Trail, Charles Savage Trail, The Richard Trail, and David & Neva Trail were all marked with green circles with arrows or little hikers or things like that in them. I don't recall the frequency of the markings but I don't think they were hard to follow though sometimes lightly trodden. A few slightly obscure places on Harbor Brook Trail due to erosion or washout. I don't remember the markings on Asticou & Jordan Pond Path but presumably blue like the rest of the park; easy to follow. Sargent South Ridge and Ampitheatre Trail were blazed in blue and I'd assuem the small portion of Penobscot Mtn Trail we were on as well. The latter also had cairns along the ledges. The latter was more wild/remote so could be slightly more challenging to follow. The carriage roads, Map House Trail, Old Grass Rd, and Asticou Hill Trail were not blazed (the latter is actually a paved road). There is no sign where Old Grass Rd diverges from Map House Trail. I do not recall any blowdowns. Most of the bog bridge work was very impressive and intact.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: All trails are very dog friendly with the possible exception of Ampitheatre Trail which is a bit rougher (hiking dogs should really be fine though; no real scrambling, just steep, rocky, and wet).  
Bugs: None 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: None 
Comments: First hike of the day on our second day in Acadia. Our obnoxious redlining route: Harbor Brook Trail --> Asticou & Jordan Pond path (west) --> Asticou Ridge Trail to summit --> Charles Savage Trail (west) --> Map House Trail (south) --> Old Grass Rd (north) --> Map House Trail (north) --> OAB on Asticou Hill Trail (really a road) --> Asticou & Jordan Pond Path (east) to Asticou Ridge Trail then back to--> Sargent South Ridge Trail --> 0.7mi (one-way) OAB on carriage rds between Rt 198 and Sargent South Ridge Trail --> Sargent South Ridge Trail to Cedar Swamp Mtn --> Ampitheatre Trail (south) --> carriage road (south) --> Penobscot Mtn Trail --> Asticou & Jordan Pond Path --> Harbor Brook Trail --> The Richard Trail (east) --> David & Neva Trail (south) --> road walk.

This was a long but relatively easy hike on the south side of the island. Harbor Brook Trail was a nice flat warm-up with some impressive bog bridges. A bit of minor washout/erosion that could make it slightly difficult for beginners to follow in a few places. Asticou & Jordan Pond Path actually involved some climbing. Asticou Ridge Trail was very gentle and featured some cool woods and ledges as tends to be the case around Eliot Mtn. Charles Savage Trail was a little steeper but similar. When we reached the bottom, we turned left to do an OAB on this section of Map House Trail (spur needed for redlining). After 0.1mi, there's a fork. We took the left one which was indeed Map House Trail but it was not signed at either end so we wandered around Thuya Garden looking for the trail (not convinced we'd just done it), and wound up taking Old Grass Rd back. We then took Map House Trail to Asticou Hill Trail (actually a residential road). We did an OAB on this to the Asticou Inn (redlining spur) which was 0.3mi one-way with 100ft of elevation loss. Once back, we took Map House Trail to its end at the Map House. We were then going to take Gate House Rd down to Rt 3/198 as it's described as a spur in the guidebook but it was posted as private property so we hiked east on Asticou & Jordan Pond path to Asticou Ridge Trail, then back to Sargent South Ridge Trail which we took for less than 0.1mi to where it intersected the Around the Mountain Carriage Rd. We took this in combination with the other obvious carrage roads out to the Brown Mtn Gatehouse and back. We did this because it is arguably needed as a spur for redlining (described as a way to access Sargent South Ridge Trail). This involved relatively minor elevation/gain loss. Sargent South Ridge Trail north was very nice. Gentle grades, nice woods and ledge, and I'm sure we would've had some nice views had we not been in cloud. We did not take the short spur to the true summit of Cedar Swamp Mtn and the plane crash. Ampitheatre Trail was steep, rough, and wet in spots; a bit more like the White Mtns. We took this all the way down to its end on the carriage road, which we then took to Penobscot Mtn Trail which we followed briefly to Ascitou & Jordan Pond Path which we used to link back up with Harbor Brook Trail. Finally we took Harbor Brook Trail south to The Richard Trail which was not as flat as I would've guessed but is actually a very cool trail, then David & Neva Trail out to the road which we walked back to our car.

The road walk is about 3/4mi with some scenic walking and minimal elevation gain/loss. Note that Gaia did not have all the trails in accurate locations, namely the ones around Eliot Mtn. In particular, though Gaia would indicate that we were on Penobscot Mtn Trail briefly, trails didn't line up with Gaia here and we may have gotten directly on Ascitou & Jordan Pond Path. Harbor Brook, Ascitou Ridge, and Charles Savage Trail are also off. The Richard Trail, the eastern portion of Charles Savage Trail, and Eliot Mtn Trail are not shown on Gaia but if you drop waypoints in the correct place, it will connect the dots for you where the trail genuinely is...weird! Even more odd, on trails like Harbor Brook Trail, where Gaia just misplaces the route a bit, if you drop pins at the start and end, it will map the route not along where it shows the trail but along the actual correct route.

Trails had some very wet and muddy spots with above freezing temps overnight. While it's still probably prudent to bring the spikes, there was hardly any ice on these trails unlike our hikes the day before. Gaia had us at 14mi, 1500ft of gain, 6-6.25hrs.  
Name: Liam Cooney 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2024-01-07 
Link: https:// 
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