Since the last day of April promised sunny weather with temperatures in the mid-50s, we jumped into the new car and decided to head north to Acadia. We planned an ambitious outing of 3 rambles but with an early start, figured we could do this. Oh, and it also happened to be the last day of the Maine quilt stores shop hop which occurs every April. Funny, but there just happened to be 3 quilt stores on Mount Desert Island. Now, I wonder who planned this outing.
We actually arrived at the first quilt shop in Trenton 20 minutes before opening time. Rather than wait for the store to open, I told my husband that we should continue to the second shop in Southwest Harbor but threatened that we must schedule our return trip home with enough time to reach this venue before it closed at 5. After our brief stop to view fabrics (yes I did buy some fabric), we continued our journey towards the Wonderland Trail near Bass Harbor.
Southwest Harbor, Bass Harbor and the Wonderland Trail are located on the “quiet side” of Mount Desert Island. The Wonderland Trail is a short, ½ mile walk that ends at a rocky beach near the ocean. We met a few families with small children as we rambled along the trail, so I would imagine that this trail could be quite crowded during the warmer months of the year.
A brochure, published by Natural Heritage Hikes, references Alice in Wonderland in the descriptions of natural mysteries that young visitors can explore along the trail. In fact, I found a fascinating hole at the base of a tree that must have been big enough for a rather large white rabbit to enter. Further along the road was the remains of a creepy looking tree that should have been in a dark, scary forest; perhaps another scene from Alice. I also stopped to admire a more magical scene leading off into the woods.
It wasn’t long before the gravel and dirt path turned to stone as we travelled through a section of pitch pines, twisted by the wind. Ropes on either side of the trail kept explorers from trampling an area that was undergoing restoration. We continued our walk towards the water and soon reached a point where the trail followed the curve of the beach. We opted to spend a little time on the beach ledge exploring the tidal pools but finding only snail and barnacles, we returned to the path.
We ambled along the loop, never losing sight of the rocky shore. In a very short time we were back on the graveled road heading towards the parking area. An interesting walk, but after such a short walk we decided to head towards the nearby Ship Harbor Trail for further exploration.