Bernard and Mansell Mountains

Bernard and Mansell Mountains

Bernard and Mansell mountains are the most western of the mountains in the Mount Desert Range. The photograph above was taken from the Bass Harbor Marsh. Bernard Mountain is the peak to the left of center in the photograph. The deep notch to the right of center is Great Notch. The peak to the right of Great Notch is Mansell Mountain. The western base of Bernard Mountain is at Seal Cove and Seal Cove Pond in the Town of Tremont. The eastern base of Mansell Mountain is at Long Pond (Great Pond) in the Town of Southwest Harbor. Opposite Mansell Mountain on Long Pond is Beech Mountain. This website is concerned with water resources on Mount Desert Island. One should note that significant bodies of water flank most of the mountains in the Mount Desert Range. When this condition is not met, there are streams or marshes. Mount Desert Island is very wet. The following photograph is a wide shot of Bass Harbor Marsh. The mountain to the far right is Beech Mountain on Long Pond. Much of the water seen in this marsh originated in streams on Bernard and Mansell mountains.

Bass Harbor Marsh

The summit of Bernard Mountain is at 1,071 feet (326 meters) above sea level. Mansell Mountain rises to 949 feet (289 meters) above sea level. The northern part of these peaks is often called Western Mountain.

The western side of Mount Desert Island is often called the "quiet side" because fewer tourists visit this area and the trails are less accessible. However, this area is also less spoiled by overuse.  The following photograph shows the western face of Western Mountain, that is, Mansell and Bernard Mountains as seen above Seal Cove Pond from Tremont Road.

Western Mountain from Tremont Road

Many of the forests in this area are old-growth pines and cedars as shown in the next photograph taken at the northern end of Western Mountain and Seal Cove Pond. The roads through these forests in the National Park are rough and narrow. Drive them carefully.

Forest at Base of Western Mountain and Northern Tip Of Seal Cove Pond

The Great Notch trailhead is shown in the next photograph. This trailhead is on the Long Pond Fire Road west of the mountains just beyond a turn-off to a parking area loop. Watch for it carefully. It is easy to miss.

Great Notch Trailhead

Trails up these mountains begin at the boat launch area on the southern tip of Long Pond (Great Pond). From the north on State Route 102, go south to Seal Cove Road just before you enter the business district of Southwest Harbor. Turn right onto Seal Cove Road. After a half of a mile (0.8 kilometers) on Seal Cove Road  you will come to a crossroads. Turn right onto the paved road at the crossroads. Follow that paved road to the boat launch area. One can also drive to the Long Pond southern boat launch area from Echo Lake by following the Lurvey Spring Road, a gravel road between Echo Lake and the paved road to the boat launch. When you reach the paved road, turn right.

Another trailhead is on the dirt, loop road around Hodgdon Pond, called the Long Pond Fire Road, and still another is on the dirt Western Mountain Road near Seal Cove Pond off the dirt road called Seal Cove Road. These roads and trails are plainly marked on the Acadia National Park map distributed by the Park Service as well as United States Geological Survey maps that can be purchased from local vendors. However, the fire road loop around Hodgdon Pond is not easy to find. Look for Hodgdon Road going east off the Tremont Road between Seal Cove and Pretty Marsh. Turn onto Hodgdon Road. and look for the Long Pond Fire Road street sign to the right not far from the beginning of Hodgdon Road. Hodgdon Road is very short. Long Pond Fire Road is identified as being part of Acadia National Park and loops around Hodgdon Pond.

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