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Champlain North Ridge Trail

Difficult
 4.5 (6)

A steep and fairly open climb up Acadia’s easternmost ridge with distant views of the Atlantic.


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Map Key

1.0

Miles

1.6

KM

Point to Point

1,049' 320 m

High

196' 60 m

Low

852' 260 m

Up

0' 0 m

Down

16%

Avg Grade (9°)

38%

Max Grade (21°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildlife

Description

Originally called the Bear Brook Trail back in the late 1800s, this path was one of the area’s first trails; it even existed before Acadia became a national park. It is only 1.0 miles long, but it’s a fairly steep trail scaling roughly 900 feet from the mountain’s north parking lot to its summit.

The Champlain Ridge trails split into the north and south sections of the path at the top of the mountain. That’s where they intersect with the Beechcroft Path coming in from the northwest and the famous Precipice Trail joining up from the southeast. You can also hop onto the Orange & Black Path at only 0.4 miles into your journey, if you like. So you have a lot of options to extend your hike by the time you’ve technically reached the “end” of this trail at the summit, should you not want to merely return to the parking lot. Notably, you can hike this trail in either direction. It’s not nearly as steep and precarious as some of Champlain’s other trails, so it easily lends itself to 2-way traffic.

In essence, the hike up the Champlain North Ridge alternates between covered and exposed areas. You’ll mainly navigate you way up and around granite and pines most of the way, and in the open areas, you’ll catch some glimpses of Frenchman Bay. Be sure to follow the carefully constructed cairns to guide you through the open areas, and ignore the extra rock piles that some have thoughtlessly placed along the way—those “false” cairns sometimes confuse hikers. Then, when you finally summit, you’ll get some extensive views of the Atlantic, Schoodic Peninsula, the Porcupine Islands, and even Bar Harbor, not to mention several other classic and picturesque landmarks. Hiking this older trail offers some people a historic perspective about what the area’s early inhabitants and tourists might have felt and experienced when they were exploring Mount Desert Island long before Acadia became one of the national park system’s gems.

Flora & Fauna

Pines and granite.

Contacts

Shared By:

David Onkst

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 6 votes

#7276

Overall
  4.5 from 6 votes
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Trail Rankings

#102

in Maine

#7,276

Overall
11 Views Last Month
4,335 Since Sep 1, 2015
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Photos

A view of Frenchman Bay from Champlain Mountain. with permission from Andrew Stehlik
Jun 23, 2016 near Bar Harbor, ME
Atop Champlain Mountain with views of Porcupine Islands in distance.
Jul 29, 2017 near Bar Harbor, ME
Perfect spot for a family photo, it was a perfect day.
Jan 29, 2018 near Bar Harbor, ME
Mount Champlain Summit.
Mar 25, 2016 near Bar Harbor, ME

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Sep 23, 2022
Brian L
Oct 9, 2021
Joshua Kolbe
Jun 15, 2021
Payton Morris
Jun 4, 2021
Charly Jackson
Sep 28, 2020
Shellie Jeanes
Sep 23, 2020
patricia costantini
Aug 14, 2020
Jessica M
Oct 19, 2019
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