After enjoying the morning exploring the gardens near Northeast Harbor, we walked through the gate at Thuya Gardens to ascend Eliot Mountain. Once through the garden portal, we left the well maintained walkways behind us and began walking along one of the rocky trails so familiar to Mt. Desert Island.
At the next intersection we faced an interesting dilemma. We knew that we wanted to get to the Eliot Mountain Trail but the signpost here pointed one way towards the parking area and another way for “The Richard Trail”, which appeared to be a relatively new post. This unknown road was not on any of our trail maps, and we knew we didn’t want to end back at the entrance, so with a leap of faith, we headed along the Richard Trail. Later, I discovered that this new trail, connecting Thuya Garden to the western carriage road on the Little Long Pond lands was constructed this past year to honor the late Richard Rockefeller.
Soon enough, we came to another marker that indicated the Richard Trail continued straight across the Eliot Trail towards the carriage road. Fortunately, the marker here indicated that we needed to turn left in order to reach the summit. Confident now of our direction, we began the short ascent towards Eliot Mountain.
As we made our ascent, I discovered an interesting stone formation in the woods to our right. Lately I’m in tune with finding images in different objects, so I was not surprised that I could make out a face in this rock outcropping. I could clearly see a nose and a mouth but I’m not sure what the flat object covering its eye could be. Must be why it looked so grumpy.
It wasn’t long before we reached the summit of Eliot Mountain. There we found a bronze plaque honoring Charles Eliot. We also located 2 summit survey markers, designating not Eliot but Savage Mountain. My husband did find some reference to various name changes that took place within Acadia over the years, so I guess at some point this peak was known as Savage Mountain.
We stayed for a while studying the markers, the monument and a single stalk of golden rod that seemed to grow out of the rock, before making our way back towards Thuya Garden. As we turned back down the trail we were surprised by a wonderful view of the harbor. This view was a gift and a reminder that sometimes we have to look all around us to find such gems. We admired the view for a bit before heading off to find lunch.