The topmost corner of the cove was once the start of a trail referred to as the Curran Path. It came into existence about 1885 and started on property owned by the Currans. It ran south along the west side of Eagle Lake, turned west to skirt Conners Nubble and entered a valley called the Southwest Pass between Sargent Mountain and The Bubbles. There it joined a woods road and continued south to the northwest end of Jordan Pond for an overall distance of 2.8 miles. From here a hiker could continue around Jordan Pond, perhaps to enjoy popovers and tea at the Jordan Pond House at its south end. For those wishing a more strenuous outing, alternative destinations were the summits of Sargent, Penobscot, Pemetic or The Bubbles. Others seeking a lengthy but easier hike could continue to Seal Harbor via the Seaside Path or Northeast Harbor via the Asticou Trail.
|1887 Map of Mount Desert Island|
showing Curran House and Lake House
Courtesy: Maine Historic Preservation Commission
Acadia National Park stopped maintaining the Curran Path in the 1950s, and it is now mostly untraceable. There are interesting stone steps, however, alongside the lake's edge due east of Carriage Road Post 9 near the path's north entrance.*3 The Curran Path first appeared on 1896 maps compiled by Waldron Bates, Edward L. Rand and Herbert Jaques. The last map to display the whole path from Nick's Cove to Jordan Pond was the 1941 Path and Road Map of the Eastern Part of Mount Desert Island, revised and published by William Jay Turner.*4 The 1942 Topographic Map - Acadia National Park and Vicinity showed the start of the path about 0.6 mile south of its original beginning. Perhaps the rise in water level, which aggravated Curran, obliterated the north section of the path. It does not appear construction of the carriage road affected this section. The 1961 Appalachian Mountain Club Map of Mount Desert Island reprised the complete path, but described it as "condition unknown or abandoned."
It is easy to imagine the Curran Path as a long and lovely woods walk joining two beautiful lakes. Maybe, some day, the Park will reopen it for our enjoyment.
Postscript: Nicholas and Mary Curran are buried in Bangor's Mount Hope Cemetery.
1 Curran House GPS location: N44° 22.614' W068° 15.246'
2 Lake House GPS location (approx.): N44° 22.590' W068° 14.787' Near the Lake House people could board the stern-wheeler Wauwinet for a cruise down Eagle Lake to catch the cog railway to the summit of Green Mountain (renamed Cadillac Mountain). The Green Mountain Railway went out of business in 1890, a year before the Lake House burned.
3 Stone steps GPS location: N44° 22.572' W068° 15.165'
4 Turner was the Northeast Harbor Village Improvement Society path committee chairman from 1921-46.