Having completed our meander along the Shore Path in Bar Harbor, we continued on in search of the Meadow Loop. We walked past the sports field on Park Street, then made a left turn on Spring Street. Spring Street had a significant uphill grade to it, but we eventually reached the end of this road. We stood across the street from the cemetery for a while, looking for the mysterious Meadow Loop before deciding to make a left and walk along the road. Finally, a small sign pointed off into the woods along the side of the cemetery.
This section of the Meadow Loop was a dirt path in a narrow strip of woods between the cemetery and the road. Well, at least the woods were pretty. It did have its ups and downs though. We stopped briefly, while I took a shot of a maple leaf that stood out from the decaying leaves around it.
The cemetery was soon replaced by a golf course, so I was glad that we had that strip of woods protecting us from stray golf balls. Here, the trail turned right across a beautiful wooden bridge and onto the road. We had to walk along the road for a short time before we found a sign pointing us across the street and back into the woods. Now we travelled along a lovely, grassy trail within the woods. I am not sure if it was during this first road crossing or the next, but at some point we were officially in Acadia National Park.
Eventually, we crossed the road a second time, crossed another wonderful bridge and skirted the end of the golf course before coming out on the Park Loop Road. Our intention was to take the Meadow Loop and continue on to either Jessup’s Path or the Hemlock Road making a loop back to the Meadow Loop. We crossed the street and continued on Hemlock Road. This was not a road at all but a path looking across a meadow and the mountains beyond. At first, I thought we were on Jessup’s Path but when I looked across the meadow and saw people walking along the opposite side of this field, I realized we were on the Hemlock Road instead.
We continued our journey on this quiet trail until it finally intersected with the Jessup’s Path. Here we had to decide whether to walk back up the opposite side of the field towards Bar Harbor, or turn onto the boardwalk section of Jessup’s Path towards Sieur de Monts and the Wild Gardens of Acadia. We opted to press on towards the Wild Gardens even though we knew that there would be no wildflowers in bloom this time of year.
This section of the Jessup’s Path was a raised boardwalk that led us through a boggy, white birch and hemlock forest. There were some pullouts and interpretive signs along the way, but the boardwalk was a little narrow for maneuvering around oncoming traffic. Of course, this was where we met the greatest number of people during our walk.
Once we reached the end of the boardwalk, we explored the area around the gardens before returning back towards town. The town was much more crowded than when we had arrived (or maybe after putting in over 6 miles for the day I was just cranky) so I was ready to get back to the car and head home.