A Brief History of Schooner HeadArt in Acadia with Emily Bracale By: Richard Sassaman Of the three rocky promontories that dominate the eastern shoreline of Mount Desert Island — Schooner Head, Great Head, and Otter Cliffs — this is the one still in private hands. It is reached by the Schooner Head Road, which splits off Route 3 just south…
For anyone who loves the outdoors, Mount Desert Island offers unparalleled opportunities: explore the park’s vast network of hiking trails, from leisurely strolls along the ocean to more demanding ladder trails; kayak around the island’s many coves and inlets, feeling the rise and fall of the tides and coming face-to-face with some of the area’s distinctive marine wildlife; bicycle on over 60 miles of non-motorized carriage roads, while discovering the island’s rich history; welcome the day atop Cadillac Mountain; take a sunset cruise on Frenchman Bay; or sample some of Maine’s quintessential culinary delights.
Whatever your vacation plans, from active to unhurried, Mount Desert Island is at the center of scenic Maine. Let Visit Acadia be your virtual guidebook through the rich offerings of Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, and Acadia National Park. Whether you’re looking for a hiking trail, an engaging museum or a relaxing spa treatment, Visit Acadia will point the way to the best of Mount Desert Island, Maine. We hope to welcome you soon!
Bar Harbor is the most popular destination for visitors to Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park. As the largest town center on the island, Bar Harbor has eclectic shops, restaurants, art galleries, hotels, and B&Bs, as well as many community facilities. Nearby are numerous beaches, lakes, ponds, and mountains, as well as the hiking, biking, and carriage trails of Acadia National Park.
Mount Desert encompasses six villages across a large portion of Mount Desert Island – from Pretty Marsh on the western side through Somesville to Northeast and Seal Harbors and Otter Creek to the east. With a variety of wonderful harbors and waterways, historic architecture, lovely shops, and Acadia National Park bordering every village, Mount Desert has something for everyone.
The youngest of Mount Desert Island’s four towns, Southwest Harbor split off from Tremont in 1905. It gets its name from its location at the southwest entrance of Somes Sound. The town seal features three words: Vacationing, Industry, and Fishing. Southwest Harbor ranks as one of the top commercial harbors in Maine, and the area is known for its fine boatbuilding and design – as well as beautiful lodging, shopping and dining options for those seeking a more restful and quiet visit to the island.
Located on the southwestern side of Mount Desert Island, the municipality of Tremont includes the villages of West Tremont, Seal Cove, Bass Harbor, Bernard, and Gotts Island. The primary industry for the area is fishing, with lobster being the prevailing one. Locals lovingly refer to this part of Mount Desert Island as the “Backside” or the “Quietside” of the island.
The Outer Islands
Several islands are accessible from the main harbors on Mount Desert Island and offer spectacular panoramic views of the mountains of Acadia National Park. The outer island include Outer Long Island, Great Cranberry Island, Little Cranberry Island, Greening Island, Sutton Island and Swans Island. Ferry service is offered to several of the islands from Northeast Harbor, Southwest Harbor and Bass Harbor.
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Although not traditionally known as a major winter destination, I think Acadia is one heck of a place to visit when the white stuff flies. This is the time of the year when many locals come together in our attempt to be patient as we await the first cross-country ski or snowshoe of the season.
Acadia National Park is full of more natural wonders than can be counted. Sand Beach . . . Thunder Hole . . .Otter Cliffs . . .Cadillac Mountain . . .Popovers. . .Wait. . .say what? Yes – that’s right. Irresistibly yummy and totally magical. Popovers in Acadia National Park are legendary. In the summer, on Mount Desert Island, popovers almost outnumber visitors.
One of the most beautiful places to explore with your dog on a Fall day is Little Long Pond. Off-leash play doesn’t get any better than this!
What could possibly be more pleasant than a stroll along a secluded shore front path – granite outcroppings and the waters of Frenchman Bay on one side, and many of Bar Harbor’s beautiful old homes on the other? Bar Harbor’s Shore Path offers just such an experience.