Located less than a mile south of downtown Bar Harbor, heading towards the Sieur de Monts Entrance to the Park Loop Road, George’s B. Dorr‘s Old Farm property is protected as a small isolated section of Acadia National Park. The Compass Harbor Trail is a short and family-friendly walk. The walk takes visitors through the forest to the remains of Dorr’s old estate and ends at Dorr Point, a granite outcropping that overlooks Compass Harbor and the Porcupine Islands in the distance. The ruins of the Old Farm are located on top of the hill above, although only the foundation remains.
The small roadside parking lot to access the trail is located along Route 3 less than a mile south of downtown Bar Harbor, just north of the intersection of Route 3 and Schooner Head Road. The lot is not marked well from the road, so you have to keep an eye out for it on the left-hand side of the road.
Dorr donated the 58-acre property to the park service in 1942, two years before his death. The estate included the 30-room main house, which his parents built in 1880 as their summer home, the Storm Beach Cottage, a barn and several other outbuildings.
Following World War II, the National Park Service began questioning the value of Old Farm. A decision was reached that the expense associated with preserving and maintaining Old Farm for public use was too heavy for the park service to bear. The park service demolished all of the buildings except the cottage in the 1950s.
But now, if you have a smart phone, you can download a free app and learn about Old Farm and the man who lived there as you take a virtual tour. The map of Old Farm that you see when you download the app has numbers that correspond to the numbers on small posts around the property. When you press on a number on the map, up pops a narrated video montage of historic images that relate to that site.