The Valley Trail begins on the south end of the parking area and is an easy walk through a mixed forest. The hike continues straight past the Canada Cliff Trail junction. The next section of trail is often referred to as the "Grotto" because of the steep cliff face rising to the right and the large boulders the trail weaves around. After leaving the "Grotto," the hike is fairly level with a more open forest. At the next junction continue right on the Beech Mountain South Ridge Trail. Stone steps lead to a view south. Further up the ridge there are views of Acadia's mountains to the east. The summit of Beech Mountain, at 839 feet, offers panoramic views. Here there is an old fire tower which is closed. There are two ways to return to the parking area. The most scenic is to take the Beech Mountain Loop to the left. It provides views to the west overlooking Long Pond as it descends to the parking lot. The Beech Mountain Loop Trail also continues straight from the summit, but could be considered less scenic.
The original Beech Mountain fire lookout was in use from 1941 to the mid-1950s. It was a wooden building constructed by men from the Civilian Conservation Corps camps on Mount Desert Island. When it started to deteriorate, a new steel tower was flown in and erected at the top by 1962. This is the tower that remains today. It was manned during the day sporadically, but usually only during high fire danger times. The last time a park ranger manned the tower was in 1976.
Geocaching is prohibited within Acadia National Park; however, the park does sponsor an EarthCache Program for those seeking a virtual treasure hunt!
Visit Acadia National Park online for more information or contact:
National Park Service, Acadia National Park
Starting from ME Route 102, continue south through Somesville. Turn right at the blinking yellow light following signs to Beech Mountain. Turn left on Beech Hill Road. The road ends at the trail head parking area.
These cliffs and surrounding areas are used by Peregrine Falcons, a state-listed endangered species, for nesting and rearing young fledglings. Peregrine falcons are very sensitive to disturbance near the nest site. To protect the peregrine chicks, certain areas are closed when the peregrines are nesting, generally from March 15 to August 15. Check your hiking route to make sure that the trails you wish to use are open. Acadia closures are listed here.
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