It is not often that you can be hiking on one trail but then reach a sign that says you are on another trail. This can be confusing, maybe even frightening, yet this is precisely what a hiker experiences in Acadia National Park when hiking on the Triad Trail. The name of the trail relates to the three peaks in a scenic section of the Park south of Pemetic Mountain that is known simply as The Triad.
|Van Santvoord memorial|
The trail honors John V. Van Santvoord, who, as Path Committee chairman of the Seal Harbor Village Improvement Society, laid out the route in 1912. Construction of this loop trail started in 1915. The trailhead was in a valley off the old Wildwood Farm Road west of today's Wildwood Stables and ascended the West Triad peak. It continued across the Middle and East Triad peaks. Beyond the latter it descended to its origin in the valley for a total distance of 1.4 miles.*2 A section of the subsequently built carriage road running between the Wildwood Stables and the Jordan Pond House cut the trail in two spots near its southern end. Steps, overhung and obscured by dense pines, continue down from the carriage road.
John Van Santvoord, born in New Jersey about 1844, was one of four sons of admiralty lawyer Cornelius Van Santvoord. A banker, an owner of the Hudson River Day Line boat company and a resident of New York City, he summered in Seal Harbor on Mount Desert Island and was the second chairman of its Village Improvement Society path committee (1907 -1913).
|Lake Mohonk Mountain House|
Detroit Pub. Co - Library of Congress
|Van Santvoord Trail staircase|
|The Van Santvoord Trail (red)|
1 Memorial GPS coordinates: N44° 19.198' W068° 14.220'
2 All distances are computed from the 1942 map referred to above.