Route: Acadia Traverse (ME)

Maine, US
16.3 mi
Vertical Gain
6,350 ft

Phil Maynard proposed a traverse of Acadia National Park:

[Note this is similar to, but shorter than, the Acadia Mountain Marathon route.]

I did a long run across Acadia National Park last week, and was surprised to find no information about the route having been done before. It seems like a very aesthetic route in a very popular place, so I assume something similar has been done before. Does anyone have a time on this or a similar route? Until someone speaks up, I'll claim the FKT.

I traversed the island E->W, summiting Gorham, Beehive, Champlain, Dorr, Cadillac, Pemetic, North Bubble, South Bubble, Penobscot, Sargent, Gilmore, Parkman, and Bald Peak. Total time was 4:47:46 car to car (this is a one-way route) and I was entirely un-supported. I clocked 17.4 miles and 6500'+ on my watch, although I made two wrong turns which added about 1.5 miles in total, so the route should be more like 15.8 miles and 6000'. Between the wrong turns, the heat, and the fact that I wasn't really hammering, I'm sure this time could be substantially bettered - easily sub-4, probably even lower by a superb technical runner familiar with the trails, in cool, dry conditions. The terrain was more rugged than expected, even after spending a few days running and hiking on the island earlier in the week - there's precious little runnable terrain! 

Various other lines across the island also drew my eye, especially skipping Gorham and Beehive and starting with the Precipice route up Champlain instead - but, it's closed most of the summer for falcon nesting. Adding Norumbega might be logical, but none of the other subsidiary peaks on the east side of the island seem reasonable to tag - all would result in a long out-and-back from the main line, for a relatively tiny prominence. Somehow getting across Somes Sound (Kayak or canoe would be most aesthetic, although you could run, bike, or drive around north) and bagging the peaks on the W side of the island would really be a feat!

It looks like Tom St. Germain has done the whole island, including what appears to be a ~30 minute car connection between the two halves, in 10:06:22. This full version is 28 miles and over 10,000ft of gain. I can say for sure that it's harder than the Devil's Path or Great Range Traverse, with less runnable terrain despite similar elevation and mileage stats.

As part of this he did the reverse direction of my route, and I only beat his time by a few minutes, even though he was already 5 hours deep!

Phil clarified the "rules of engagement" for this route:

"Run either E-W or W-E, and hit the following summits, with the clock starting and ending at trailheads on the main paved roads (not private land or carriage roads):  Gorham, Beehive, Champlain, Dorr, Cadillac, Pemetic, North Bubble, South Bubble, Penobscot, Sargent, Gilmore, Parkman, and Bald Peak"

GPS Track


Hey Phil. Looks like we had the same vision! Such a fun traverse. I submitted our route as well. This was our second year doing it the same week, and hoping to make a tradition out of it (however, this was a slow year. hot and hydration issues) Anyhow, just wanted to acknowledge!