|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – August 2009
Lose yourself in a private paradise the crowds have overlooked.
Guide's Secret The Whites
"Mt. Adams is way less crowded than Mt. Washington," says Jim Shimberg, of Rhino Guides. "King Ravine on Adams is as wild as Tuckerman, but nobody's ever there." Hike 5.5 miles from the Appalachia trailhead. fs.fed.us/r9/white
Cutler Coast, Maine
See the seashore the way the Abenaki saw it.
You can thank Acadia National Park for the privacy you'll find here. Few hikers make the two-hour drive past Acadia to reach Cutler, leaving the reserve–and nearly five miles of undeveloped coastline–blissfully isolated. You could do this 9.8-mile, moderately hilly loop as a dayhike, but three primitive, first-come, first-serve campsites at Fairy Head, midway around, make this an ideal overnight. (A trailhead register indicates if sites are occupied; pack water.)
You'll want the extra time to explore Cutler's cobbled beaches and tide pools, some of which are only accessible via short log ladders that descend from spruce-topped cliffs. Tailor your hike to maximize views: If it's foggy when you start, follow the Inland Trail past peat bogs and blueberry barrens. With luck, the fog will lift for your hike back along the Coastal Trail (if it's clear on day one, start on the Coastal Trail). Beginning in August, look for minke, finback, humpback, and right whales in the Bay of Fundy. Go in late summer for fewer bugs, more berries.
Map USGS topo Cutler (usgs.gov)
Permits None Info maine.gov/doc/parks