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Before we left Mount Desert Island for the summer, I was able to realize one of my goals – climbing the Precipice trail. Before we got to Acadia I had been reading about the Iron Rung Routs. These hiking trails go up the face of some of Acadia’s mountains using iron ladders and rungs hammered into the rock face. They are not for folks scared of heights.

One of the reasons I had not climbed this one earlier was Sue said “Hell No” when she saw pictures of the exposed route. I’m a big believer in not hiking alone in places I don’t know so I kept putting it off until one of our friends said he wanted to get one more climb in before the season was over. So on the first weekend of October we set out.

The weather was foggy when our friend Cort and I set out to the trailhead. Cort is a photographer and long time resident/visitor of the region. He hikes these trails on a weekly basis for fun and as a trail crew volunteer for the park.

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Precipice is one of the best know iron rung hikes in the park. Much like the corridor trails at Grand Canyon it is also very busy. We pulled over often to let people in a rush get by us on the rungs.

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As we continued the assent the view didn’t improve, but we had fun anyway.

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Photo Courtesy of Cortland Bassett

The fog made it a little slippery as we climbed into the cloud, but that didn’t slow down all the hikers that were on the trail that morning.

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After we got to the top we started the decent and the clouds broke for some of the best views of the hike.

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Photo Courtesy of Cortland Bassett

After you reach the bottom we began what Cort called the most dangerous part of the hike – walking along the Park Loop road back to the parking lot. We made it safely back to the car and timed things perfectly as the sky opened up and started to pour rain on the island.

Good timing and a good hike.


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