The trail begins with a pleasant, mostly flat, stretch along the eastern shore of Long Pond. After 0.3 miles, the trail crosses a path to a cottage on the shore and by the end of a driveway; please respect the neighbors and stay on the trail. Soon after the trail crosses a brook then begins to ascend up the mountain. The rocky steps up through deciduous forest slowly evolve into partially treed ledges, with some views of Long Pond behind. Just under a mile from the trailhead there is a junction, the way to the right leading 0.1 miles to the summit.
There is a fire tower at the summit, on which hikers may ascend the metal steps to the first balcony. There are view of Somes Sound to the east, Southwest Harbor below, and out to the Cranberry Islands and open ocean to the south.
The loop continues from the summit on the South Ridge Trail. The trail, after a short steep descent from the summit, travels through the woods and over ledges until it begins to descend more steadily, utilizing switchbacks, through the woods. After 0.8 miles the South Ridge Trail meets up with the Valley Trail. To the right, the Valley Trail leads through the woods with a gentle descent 0.7 miles back to the parking lot at the south end of the Long Pond.
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
From ME-102 in Southwest Harbor, head west on Seal Cove Road, 5.7 miles south of the stoplight in Somesville, and 0.6 miles north of the village of Southwest Harbor. Go 0.6 miles on Seal Cove Road then take a right onto Long Pond Road. Go 1.2 miles to the end of the road, where there is limited parking at the south end of Long Pond.
The trailhead for the west ridge of Beech Mountain on the right side of the parking lot by the pond.
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