Acadia National Park is a favorite destination for me, a place I have visited yearly all my life. Yet, after all this time, there are still areas I haven’t enjoyed in the park. I make a game of finding a new spot to explore each time I go to Acadia. Hunters Beach is a hidden surprise I stumbled across last year. Yesterday I went there again.
The trail head is near Seal Harbor on Cooksey Drive just off Route 3. Finding it the first time can be a trial. The spot is not marked and has a tiny parking lot tucked in the woods beside the road. The trail is about 0.2 miles long, a short hike that is fun and easy for families. The trail passes through a woods predominated by tall spruce. Yesterday Clintonia lilies bloomed along the path.
The woods is thick and cool, floored with moss, spruce cones, ferns and conifer needles. Yesterday hermit thrushes trilled from the canopy. Thick roots twist across the pathway like snakes. The gurgling of the brook is a constant companion.
Before there is a chance to get tired from the walk, the way opens onto a tumbled stone beach. The surf surges up over the rocks then pulls back dragging small stones to rattle against one another. Hunters Brook disappears into the piled stones of a low natural seawall only to emerge on the other side in a rush to meet the ocean. Wild roses and beach peas edge the shore. Hunters Beach Trail is a walk I will take time and again. A little gem at Acadia.