Traveling in the Time of COVID – Hiking the Old Pond Rail Trail

After a tasty lunch at the Pickled Wrinkled, we felt we had a short hike left in us for the day. I surprised my husband who loves anything related to trains, announcing we would be hiking the Old Pond Rail Trail in Hancock. The surprise turned out to be partly mine as we had some difficulty finding the trail head. We drove a ways down Point Road looking for it. It didn’t help that the sign marking the parking lot is turned to parallel the road rather than facing drivers as they approach. We were about to give up when it dawned us that it was across from the Hancock Town Hall. We parked there as the tiny lot at the trail head, which could hold maybe 5 – 6 cars, was full. We saw some locals walking their dogs and a family doing a photo shoot on this beautiful fall day and knew this was going to be a good trail. Following a section of the old Maine Shoreline Railroad bed, this trail winds through cool green forests with some deciduous trees. My husband was ecstatic to see remnants of the old concrete train platform and old rail tracks disappearing into the forest. It was a piece of forgotten history. Numerous old wood railroad ties are every few feet across the trail. These rails also act to keep the trail for walkers, making it too rugged for cycling. Most of our hike we were alone. We walked as far as the old trestle bridge. This area is supposed to be good for bird watching, but we only saw a couple of seagulls. Once a family left, we were alone to enjoy the peaceful beauty of our surroundings. Since the sun was starting to set, we headed back to our car. We figured we had done almost half the 3-mile length so we definitely plan to do the rest on a future visit. We might try the other access to the trail – a second parking lot at the western entrance to the trail, on Old Route 1, via Kilkenny Cove, a property acquired by Crabtree Neck Land Trust, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and Frenchman Bay Conservancy.

Quiet shady trail with fall foliage.

We headed back to our inn in Bar Harbor and cleaned up for dinner at The Reading Room at the Bar Harbor Inn. We were lucky to be seated at a table by the window. Even though it was already dark, we could see the dock for the Margaret Todd. The gangplank was pulled up and the ship was already gone, an early ending as another casualty of the pandemic. We had hoped to take the sunset cruise, but that would have to wait for another visit.

Surprising the restaurant was packed and busier then on previous visits. My husband started out with Gazpacho topped with a scoop of lemon “gelato”. He followed with Bouillabaisse made with fresh Maine seafood while I had lamb chops. Unfortunately, the Duchesse potatoes served with the lamb were cold and absent of the cheese mentioned on the menu., The huge serving of grilled asparagus made up for it. We finished with yummy Bourbon Brown Sugar Pecan Pie and Blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert. I recommend trying their version of blueberry pie as the top crust is dusted with sugar making for a textural difference in taste.

About J. Matlock, Director of Fantasies

Jeanette's wanderlust started as an Air Force brat crisscrossing the US visiting almost every state. Writing has always been a part of her life. While earning a BA in Journalism from the University of Central Florida, Jeanette found photography was the perfect compliment to writing. She is always on the outlook for what she calls "Right Time, Right Place" photographs that capture a once-in-a- lifetime moment. Her adult travels have taken her to Scotland, England, France, Switzerland and all over the US and she continues to crave going to places to experience adventure, great food and lifestyles. She has written travel journals for the web site IGOUGO.com to share her experiences to guide and encourage other travelers. Her descriptive writing style makes one feel as if they are there sharing the experience. Her love of writing is based on this simple truth: "When I am writing, I know that I am doing the thing I was born to do." (Anne Sexton).
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