Beech Mountain is located on the west side of Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park. With a summit of only 839 feet, it's not one of the higher peaks, but it has a commanding view, so much so that a fire tower was erected there in the 1960's. Janice and Emma and I chose this hike today because it was short and we only had a few hours until dark. We drove to the end of Beech Hill Road and parked at the pile of snow just outside the park boundary. With crampons on all six feet, we walked on the snow-covered road up to the parking area and then started hiking on the shorter 0.4 mile section of the Beech Mountain Loop Trail. Icy and steep in places, the trail offered magnificent views to the southeast, all the way to Bear Island with its lighthouse just visible from where we stood. Up top we enjoyed views all around and were able to see our house with binoculars. Emma and I climbed up to the first landing of the fire tower, but the upper level is locked shut. We started our descent on the western section of the loop trail. It's 0.6 miles long and thus not so steep as the ascent, but entire sections were literally rivers of ice as you can see in the lower right photo below. The biggest and best surprise on the trip down was the view of Long Pond that you see in the large photo below – just incredible. Once called Great Pond, it serves as the water supply for our town of Southwest Harbor. Good thing it only freezes on the top! Oh, one last thing, since this is a photography blog after all. I shot the images below with my iPhone.
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