Good for the wanderer who wants to get away from the crowds, the Hunters Brook Trail is a lonely stretch of trail that leads to the summit of one of Acadia's lesser-known peaks: The Triad. Starting at the roadside trailhead located along a remote section of the one-way Park Loop Road, the trail follows Hunters Brook upstream through some dense forest scenery, and then the trail ascends the east face of The Triad to a muted but sublime view from the summit. This is probably one of the least-visited stretches of trail in all of Acadia, but it still makes for a pleasant hike.
The roadside Hunters Brook Trailhead is located along the one-way Park Loop Road, roughly four miles past Otter Point. This is one of the more isolated sections of the Park Loop Road as it leaves the ocean and meanders through thick forest. Just after passing under the stone bridge of Route 3 above, look for the trailhead marker on the right side of the road. Park in the available space on the shoulder of the road.
|Rating:||Moderately strenuous day hike|
|Access:||Hunters Brook Trailhead along the Park Loop Road|
|Time Required:||2-4 hours|
|Length:||1.9 miles to the summit of East Triad (one way)|
|Elevation Change:||620 feet up to the summit of East Triad|
|Seasons:||Spring through fall|
The Hunters Brook Trail leaves the road to meet up with nearby Hunters Brook. (Although Hunters Brook flows into nearby Hunters Beach, Hunters Beach is actually quite far away by car since the Park Loop Road and Route 3 do not intersect.) The trail follows the west bank of the brook, taking hikers through some very tranquil scenery. Roughly 1.2 miles into the hike, the trail makes a sudden left-hand turn away from the brook and starts heading west up into the hills. (At the spot where the trail leaves the water, note the remains of a very old wall or bridge along the brook.)
As the trail heads up the east face of The Triad, you will pass over one carriage road, then the hiking gets relatively steep with many loose rocks to hike through. Soon enough you will reach the junction with the Triad Trail along the ridgeline of the mountain. Hike .1 miles south along the Triad Trail to hit the summit marker and take in the view from the top of East Triad. And as its name suggests, The Triad is actually three peaks, so you can hike the neighboring trails to also see the Middle Triad and West Triad. (See map below.) Return to your car via the Hunters Brook Trail.
This hike is a peacefully lonely stretch of trail that starts at a remote trailhead and leads to the summit of one of Acadia's lesser-known peaks. While it is by no means the most stunning hike in Acadia, this is still a pleasant one if you just want to get away from it all. Alternatively, a hike up Day Mountain and the Triad (starting at the Day Mountain Trailhead) also makes for a good little adventure.