Acadia ME, Hike #1: Beech Mountain Fire Tower
"The fire tower is on the National Registry of Historic Fire Towers and is usually not open to the public. The original Beech Mountain fire lookout was in use from 1941 to the mid-1950's. It was a wooden building constructed by men from the Civilian Conservation Corps camps on Mount Desert Island. When it started to deteriorate, a new steel tower was flown in and erected at the top by 1962. It was manned during the day sporadically, but usually only during high fire danger times. The last time a park ranger manned the tower was in 1976." - Nation Park Service U.S Department of the Interior.
This was our first hike in Acadia. I had tried to read about Acadia and what Acadia was but I don't think I truly understood what Acadia was until after the two weeks were over. Acadia National Park is located on Desert Island. It is a collection of mountains, lakes and coastal areas scattered throughout the island. The National Park Service along with volunteer groups like Friends of Acadia groom and created hikes and trails throughout the area. Nearly 120 miles of trails exist in Acadia not to mention the Carriage Roads, which are great for biking or riding horses. So long story short we had to start somewhere and this was it.
I had downloaded a couple of apps on the iPhone specific to Acadia, over the two weeks I found the REI co op National Parks Guide the most helpful. It was able to locate us using gps with very little to no connectivity. It rates the hikes by level of difficulty and points out gems, places worth seeing. REI rated the Fire Tower Beech hike as an easy hike with some of the best views.