Just south of Acadia Mountain, St. Sauveur Mountain is a larger formation that makes for a pleasant and not-too-strenuous day hike. While the actual summit of St. Sauveur Mountain doesn't offer a view as it is relatively flat and buried in trees, continuing both north and/or south on the Valley Peak Trail offers up stunning views of Somes Sound and the surrounding areas. Because there are so many interconnecting trails in the St. Sauveur pantheon, many different loop hike options are possible.
The well-marked "Acadia Mountain" trailhead and roadside parking lot are located along Route 102 across from Echo Lake. Cross the road to find the standard trailhead marker. This trailhead serves as the starting point for both the Acadia Mountain Trail and the St. Sauveur Mountain Trail. (Note: There is also a "St. Sauveur" trailhead roughly a mile south of the "Acadia Mountain" trailhead; this alternate starting point heads up the "Ledge Trail." Some maps show two spurs of the Ledge Trail, but the north Ledge Trail was closed in 2002.)
|Rating:||Moderately strenuous day hike|
|Access:||Acadia Mountain Trailhead along Route 102 by Echo Lake|
|Time Required:||2-3.5 hours|
|Length:||4 miles total for loop hike including Valley Peak|
|Elevation Change:||500-ft elevation gain to summit|
|Seasons:||Spring through fall|
From the "Acadia Mountain" trailhead, follow the St. Sauveur Mountain Trail as it heads southeast and slowly makes its way up the mountain; this is probably one of the smoothest and easiest ascents in the park. Soon enough, you will be standing at the summit marker which is located in a forested area. Don't be disappointed at the lack of a view; the views will be coming up soon enough!
To get the views, you can hike a loop down to Valley Peak. Continue south as the St. Sauveur Mountain Trail connects with the Valley Peak Trail and take the eastern spur which hugs the cliff's edge offering great views of Somes Sound. At Valley Peak, there is a terrific viewpoint looking due south with Southwest Harbor and Greening Island in the distance. The western loop of the Valley Peak Trail will take you back up to St. Sauveur Mountain. IMPORTANT: Many of the intersections may seem confusing, especially since both spurs are labeled "Valley Peak." Use the map as a reference to stay oriented.
Once back near the summit of St. Sauveur Mountain, take the Valley Peak Trail north for more terrific views looking down at Valley Cove. The trail slowly descends the forested north face of St. Sauveur Mountain and intersects with the "Man o' War Truck Road." Hike the dirt road back out to the "Acadia Mountain" parking area or if you are up for it and have an extra hour to spare, continue north up the steep and rocky Acadia Mountain Trail to summit Acadia Mountain before returning to the parking area.
As a somewhat spicier alternative to the main St. Sauveur Mountain Trail, the so-called "Ledge Trail" starts at the smaller St. Sauveur parking lot (located roughly a mile south of the main Acadia Mountain roadside parking lot). This trail starts in a dense section of forest and is more rugged than the other trails of the area, as it quickly ascends several crumbly and root-covered layers of the mountain. But despite the trail's exciting name, there aren't actually any precariously exposed sections. Soon enough you will reach the junction with the main St. Sauveur Mountain Trail. Continue up to the summit marker and then further along the Valley Peak Trail to get some great open views of Somes Sound.
In a national park filled with wonderful peak trails, this is yet another fun and enjoyable hike with great scenery. The number of intersections and optional loops and spur trails may make this one a bit confusing, so be sure to bring a little map with you so you don't head the wrong way at an intersection.