Favorite Family Hikes: Gorham Mountain

Our friend, photographer Cathy Davis, guest posts today about her family’s recent visit to Acadia National Park:

My husband and I have always wanted to visit Acadia National Park. We’ve heard of the area’s beauty and peacefulness, but wondered if it was possible to enjoy the scenery with three children under 5. This fall, we traveled to Bar Harbor for an overnight trip to find out.

To our surprise, the whole family was able to enjoy Acadia’s serene and amazing views on our hike up Gorham Mountain.The parking lot and start to the trail is on the right after Thunder Hole on Park Loop Road. The trail is .9 miles to the summit.

This trail was so great for my five-year old because he was able to hike independently. The trail was exciting for him — there were so many rocks he had to climb. He also had to figure out which path to take, using Cairn markers throughout the trail (the markers are rock sculptures that are placed at junctions along the trail to lead the way).

My three-year old enjoyed the trail as well – she did need some help climbing up and down steeper rocks. She is the one that always says, “Are we there yet?” but that was rarely said on the journey up. Although it was a different story going down.

As for my husband? He is a tough one! He carried our one-year old (now 2), all the way up in a Kelty backpack carrier. We were surprised again when our little one didn’t complain and enjoyed the ride.
The views on this hike were spectacular! Throughout the hike, we’d get glimpses of the Atlantic Ocean. Here, we reached the “false” summit.

My oldest son was able to tell us that the trail went on because of the stone markers.

Here we are at the summit! We made it to the top after many breaks, bathroom stops in the woods, and waiting around for my three-year old to catch up! Gorham Mountain is 525 feet high, which might be small compared to nearby Cadillac Mountain, but to my kids and I, this was a great journey on a very big mountain.

I look back and realize that hiking Gorham Mountain was such a great way to spend the morning. I wasn’t distracted by my daily list of things to do. I simply enjoyed my family!

Our total journey took about 2 hours (my three-year old definitely took her time and enjoyed the scenery). If you are not sure about taking young children to Acadia, this hike is perfect. The hike reminded my daughter that she can’t do everything herself… yet. And the adventure provided my five-year old with lots of new discoveries. Just today, he said, “I want to go back to Bar Harbor, it was prutty!”

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