Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Sieur de Monts

Tuesday June 27, 2017                                                                                            Most Recent Posts
Acadia National Park                                                                                           The Highs and Lows
Bar Harbor, Maine                                                                                   Jordan Pond and Someone has a Birthday


Nature will bear the closest inspection.
She invites us to lay our eye level with her
smallest leaf , and take an insect view of its plain.
~Henry David Thoreau~


David’s latest hospital stay has dealt a severe blow to his desires to “climb the mountains and get their good tidings” as John Muir advised.  So I’m looking for some place he could go to do at least some walking and get some exercise.  Some place with “flat” options.  Sieur de Monts fits the bill.  As you can see from the map, it has many possibilities.  Not all of them flat. 

Sieur de Monts spring is symbolically the birthplace of Acadia National Park.  It was George B Dorr’s desire to protect the spring and its surrounding land that was instramental in all he did. 

We start out on the Jesup Path going North.  Jessup is one of the historic trails in the park having been dedicated in memory of Morris and Maria Jesup in 1918.  We see a marker for the trail when we take it south from Sieur de Monts later in the day.



IMG_4852In 2000, Friends of Acadia and Acadia National Park established Acadia Trails Forever to restore and maintain the park’s historic 130-mile hiking trail system and Acadia became the first national park in the country to have an endowed trail system.. The Acadia Trails Forever campaign raised $9 million in private donations and $4 million from national park fees. Today, Acadia Trails Forever serves as a model for other national parks and their partners. 

The Jesup Path on this end is  a beautiful boardwalk through a boggy, white birch forest. The boardwalk ends as the trail crosses the Hemlock Road again. The Jesup Path continues through the Great Meadow ending at the Park Loop Road.


Judging from her yellow throat and white eye ring, I’d say this warbler is a female Common Yellow Throat.




It took quite a while for us to finally spot her through the leaves..



Seems funny to be walking in a wetland forest in Maine.




We cross Hemlock road which is now a trail at Sieur de Monts.  We’ll be back to walk it after doing the section of trail through what is known as the Great Meadow.


No more boardwalk.




The trail ends at the park loop road where we arrive at exactly the right moment for David to see these antique cars.  Adds a happy note to his day.  The pictures are his.




Coming back along the path we see what I think is Dorr Mountain off to our right.



The older trails like this one, seem often to be marked by an inscribed stone and frequently have steps.  I wonder if ladies with long dresses were able to hike up with the steps.



This one is Stratheden Path.  Hard to read after all these years.



We don’t do Stratheden but rather take the old Hemlock Road back to Sieur de Monts.


The plan is to hike the Jesup Path in the other direction to take Kane Path along the Tarn.  But first we stop at The Wild Gardens of Acadia which were founded in 1961 to showcase Native Trees, Plants, Shrubs, Wildflowers and Ferns in habitats similar to those in which they naturally flourish in Acadia National Park.  The abundant ground dogwood known as Bunchberry is the symbol of the gardens.  We see it everywhere.




Here’s the map of the garden’ paths and habitats.  It is easy to spend hours depending on how closely you look.  I’m particularly interested in gaining some knowledge of the seemingly never ending variety of ferns in Acadia.  



Inside the gates, everything is carefully  labeled and at first I’m loving the various ferns but it isn’t long until there are so many, it is overwhelming. I can’t even remember their names.  I do note that the New York Fern and Royal Ferns are ones I have seen often – I think.  SO many ferns here and in the park.








I took many many pictures (about 100).  There are just so many wonderful things here that I cannot do it justice so I’ll simply show two of my favorite wildflowers.  The jack-in-the pulpit I have shown in the wild but the ones in this garden are HUGE.  I’ve never seen jacks this big.  Later I find out why.


My other favorite today which I don’t often see in the wild and certainly never on a plant this size is the showy lady’s slipper.  It’s almost a bush here.  Amazing!





Aren’t they just stunning!!   Nature is so amazingly beautiful and creative.  As our favorite sign here in the area says
“Recreation not Wreck-Creation”.   We must all leave no trace and do our part to make sure Nature is not paved over in our zeal for profits and “the good life”.





The gardens have benches and a bog, a stream and a bridge. 
This is only one of  the lovely little spots to spend time among this beauty.



I could have easily done an entire post on the Wild Gardens but I’ll finish with this.  David and I think this is one of the secrets to The Wild Gardens of Acadia’s fantastic plants.   Not only do the gardens provide the exact soil for habitat and protection from predators including our feet but the compost in these bins was amazing and we know from experience that compost will grow wonderful plants and BIG ones.





Just across from the Gardens is the Nature Center which has a wealth of information in a small space including several interesting and informative displays covering a range of subjects such as air quality, the role that fires play in the park and  the variety of wildlife recently seen.  Rangers are there to answer any questions and a small book shop is also available.   After talking with the people behind this desk I realize that I need to get a copy of the book they constantly use for reference called  The Plants of Acadia.  Unfortunately they have sold out of it so I’m now on a quest.



Just outside the building is a memorial to George Dorr who is of course considered the Father of Acadia National Park and who was the original owner of the Sieur de Monts property.  The inscription reads:

In Memory of
George Bucknam Dorr

Gentleman, Scholar
Lover of Nature
Father of this National Park
Steadfast in his zeal
to make the beauties
of this island
available to all.


At this point it is time for lunch so we walk out to the Spring House area and sit by the stream.  For perspective, the Spring House is on the right in this picture, David just left of center sitting by the stream and the Wabanaki Wikuwam on the far left.




Perfect spot for lunch!




As he eats, David looks over and see that someone has sown their “wild oats” right next to the stream.  Seems a pretty safe place to do it.



Before we head up the Jessup Path toward Kane Path (I’m beginning to wonder if “Path” is an indication of an early trail), we check out the spring house that George Dorr had built in 1909 to protect what he called The Sweet Waters of Acadia.


The Wikuwam is a handmade traditional house originally built by Penobscot artist Barry Dana and his family in August 2011.  Like all homes it requires yearly maintenance.  In 2015 it was rebuilt by Passamaquoddy artist David Moses Bridges.   I can’t imagine peeling the bark to make this or “sewing” it on the poles.









In honor of John of Oh the Places They Go, this young Wabanaki maiden poses in the doorway to give an indication of size.



Beyond the Wikiwam is the oriinal Abbe museum which opened in 1928 to house the collection of local Native American Artifacts owned by the museum’s founder Dr. Robert Abbe (1851-1928), an eminent New York physician known for his pioneering use of radiation therapy. A  summer resident of Bar Harbor, during the 1920s Dr. Abbe assembled a collection of early Native American artifacts found in the Frenchman Bay area.   This little trail side museum is well worth a visit as is the much larger one in downtown Bar Harbor but if we stop in the museum now, we’ll never finish our hike.


Finally, we’re off on Jesup Path heading south.




This end of Jesup  is a lovely path through the woods where we find many lovely works of Nature’s art.





Not sure if these are a Hemlock Varnish Shelf Mushroom but that’s what they look like to me.   Again, amazing!





David inspects a huge woodpecker excavation.  Pretty sure only a pileated woodpecker could do something this big.  We’ve seen them many times in Acadia.


As we approach the end of Jesup Path, we can see the Tarn ahead as well as the trail marker for the Kane Path which begins along the west side of the Tarn.




Just at the end, or beinning of the path depending on which direction you are headed, is the historical marker dedicating the path
“In Memory of
Morris K and Maria De Witt Jesup
Lover of this island





The Kane Path along the Tarn starts out easily enough.




Looking West Across the Tarn are Huguenot Head and  Champlain Mountain – a future hike.




The path turns tricky with big rocks and scrambling.  We hadn’t expected to need our hiking poles but come to wish we had them.





It’s been a fun day and mostly flat with easy stops for David’s first venture out after the hospital but the Kane Path becomes a bit too much and he picks a big rock to sit on while I go on and investigate what’s at the end of the Tarn. 




At the end, I find this map showing all the trails accessible from here.  You may have to click on the map to be able to read the trail names.

There is a parking lot near the road for those who wish to access these trails without coming from Sieur de Monts. From here you can  climb up the Ladder Trail to the top of Dorr Mountain or continue on the  Kane Path up to the trailhead of the South Dorr Mountain climb, a slightly more gradual way to the mountain top than the ladder trail.   Notice the Ladder Trail has steps before you get to the ladders.







At this point I turn around and take the rocky path back through the woods to where David is waiting and we rock hop our way back to the north end of the Tarn.  Still wishing we had those hiking poles.





This is not the view from the Kane Path along the Tarn, this is the Kane Path.  Tricky footing!



It’s up and over one rock at a time.



We cross over the north end of the Tarn and take the Wild Gardens Path  back to Sieur de Monts



It runs along  on the other side of Canon Brook. from the Jesup Path and if you skip the Kane Trail makes a nice short walk to and from Sieur de Monts.





Back at the bridge of a tiny tributary of Canon Brook David snaps this picture of me as proof that I actually was on this hike.


One last look at the symbol of Sieur de Monts, the heart of Acadia, and the carved stone with George Dorr’s sentiments.




What fun it would have been to receive this postcard from around 1920.


  1. I can't remember the last time I saw a Jack-in-the-Pulpit, and I loved the photos. I never go out on any trail without my hiking poles. They just have always given me stability and balance, and especially when hiking with a pack (which I won't ever be doing again).

  2. Nice to see David feeling better and back out on the trails. It is so green and pretty there!

  3. Really beautiful flowers, plants, ferns, leaves. Such lush greenery, a treasure to look at from our life here the dry summers of the west. Glad David is doing better.

  4. That was a lovely trail and so different than most you do. I'm glad David was able to enjoy it with you. Sorry to hear he's been under the weather again.

  5. Sieur de Monts is such a special place and all the trails there are wonderful. As we said just yesterday we have never hike a trail in Acadia we didn't like;o)) Beautiful photos!!!

  6. An amazing landscape. Beautiful to explore. Dorr was a great and a good man.

  7. I know David was happy to catch those beautiful antique cars - that last one is really old! Love the tree hugger pic :-) The gardens are stunning, I agree a whole day wouldn't be too much time to spend there! There are lots of ferns here in the PNW as well, we're always seeing "just a bit different" ones along the way (love them all). A beautiful maiden in that little house :-))) Such a beautiful area, loving your posts.

  8. Is the answer to why you'd "never seen jack-in-the -pulpits so big" in your blog and I just missed it? Ever tasted the root of one? I did - sorry to say. The hole in the tree that David was looking at looked just like 5 or 6 holes that a pileated woodpecker made in a couple of our cherry trees in Maryland. It was awesome to watch him. I'd hate for one of those to start working on me with their beaks. Wish I had filmed him. Looking forward to being near Maine in about 10 days. Love thhe antique cars. Saw a few myself over the 4th in Hermann, Missouri (56 and 57 Thunderbirds)

  9. So cool to see the antique cars. We had a bunch of them in Montana a few summers ago. Glad to see David is feeling good enough to hike again!

  10. I'm glad David is able to go for walks with you...I never knew about the wild garden...very cool...

  11. That wickum will probably outlast many RV's on the road today. It was built with real craftsmanship. Not sure I'd have the patience either to peel all that bark in such large pieces to make it.

    I'm with David, I love those old cars. One day I'll save enough $$$ to have one as a toad (on a trailer behind the MH, of course).

  12. Beautiful! The ferns and flowers are all looking lovely. I'm sure the compost helped!! Definitely a neat walk with tributes to neat people devoted to place. I like the picture of you on the bridge. Ah, Acadia...seems like just the place to be. Very, very hot in Maryland now. True summer.

  13. Beautiful post, as always, and gorgeous pictures. Nice to see David enjoying his walks, too. I'm tossing around the idea of traveling to Maine without the trailer--I should never have let it go. Do you see, in your travels affordable lodging (motels) in New England. I'm trying to fill my wander lust somehow and I can't seem to figure it out. I'm nervous to try to travel without a trailer. I believe i'm still looking for Rich. :(

  14. Good to see David's smile back on the trail. What a lovely hike with so much learning going on as you wander. Love the Lady's Slipper! They are huge!! I was so hoping for some pretty mushrooms/fungi here in WA, but we haven't seen any real pretty ones like you found. What a lovely photo on the bridge:) I've decided that I really look forward to enjoying my surroundings without having to stop and catch my breath every so many yards. Flat is really enjoyable. Wonderful day! Hope you can find your book!

  15. These days you need a picture to prove everything))

  16. All I can think is "What a place." Happy to see David up and at 'em. Thanks for sharing.

  17. So glad to see David feeling better and out enjoying the trails. I love ferns, too, and I would love to wander the Wild Gardens of Acadia. That lady's slipper is enormous and gorgeous! I've seen them in the wild, but nothing of that size. I think you're right, it must be the rich compost. That wikiwam is just your size. :-))

  18. I sure wish more parks could follow suit with trail, and other, improvements. I haven't seen jackinthepulpit or ladyslippers since childhood, and never that large. Love that sign, “Recreation not Wreck-Creation”. Glad David is getting back on the trails and these look marvelous. Thanks to Mr Dorr. Some day I'll make it to Acadia.

  19. What a beautiful place! The little fat yellow warbler is cute. Love the ferns and especially the lady slippers- they are gorgeous! The color and shape are so cool. Happy yellow daisies. I thought that the wikiwam (like wigwam?) was made of fabric, not bark. What a lot of work it was to place all those stone steps. My favorite view was the one after "no more boardwalk." Great that this place is preserved in all of its' beauty. Let's hope Trump doesn't take more steps to undermine parks.

  20. Loved every bit of this day - what a wonderland! Thanks for organizing such a lovely post on our day!

  21. The lady slipper indeed is so pretty. Happy to see David up and about and hope that whatever it was ailing him is now out of his body.

  22. Such a great walk you had!The nature is amazing!

  23. Beautiful Lady Slipper picture. Now I know where I'll be turning when looking at things to do when we get to ME in a few years, you have found some great places to visit.


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