The 0.8 mile trail to the summit begins in the woods, traversing boardwalks through wetter areas. After the first carriage road crossing, the trail continues through the woods, with increasing places that offer views as the trail rises. Four times the trail crosses a carriage road that wends its way back and forth up the small mountain before reaching the summit. This carriage ends in a spiral that circles the summit. The carriage road at the top, as well as some ledges on the trail, provide for views to the south, east, and west from the only 583 foot peak, that while not as grand as those from some of Acadia's taller peaks, are nonetheless breathtaking.
For a shorter hike, the summit can be the final destination, with the same 0.8 mile trail used to return back to the trailhead. For a bit longer of a hike, a 0.5 mile trail down the north side of Day Mountain leads to carriage roads, which can be used to return to the trailhead, 1.3 miles via the carriage roads to the west (left from the north end of the trail), or 1.5 miles via the carriage roads to the east (right from the north end of the trail.)
A memorial near the south end of the trail honors Samuel de Champlain, the French explorer who was the first European to encounter, and who named, Mount Desert Island.
The plaque reads:
SAMUEL D CHAMPLAIN
BORN IN FRANCE 1567
DIED AT QUEBEC 1635
A SOLDIER SAILOR EXPLORER
WHO GAVE THIS ISLAND ITS NAME
For more information, visit the Acadia National Park website, or contact:
National Park Service, Acadia National Park
Head south on ME-3 from the village of Bar Harbor. From the intersection of Mt Desert Street and ME-3 (Main Street) by the village green, it is 6.9 miles down to the parking lot on the left. The trailhead is across the road from the parking lot.
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