Mount Desert Island Things to Do

  • Great Head
    Great Head
    by turtlebella
  • The Bowl
    The Bowl
    by turtlebella
  • Loon on Long Pond- seen while canoeing!
    Loon on Long Pond- seen while canoeing!
    by turtlebella

Most Recent Things to Do in Mount Desert Island

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    Hiking Mt. Caddilac

    by LostViking Written Oct 8, 2008

    Named after the French explorer, not the overpriced American vehicle, Mt. Cadillac is a crown jewel of Acadia National Park.
    This is a challenging hike, but not to difficult for the average family. I'm forty-something and carried my baby girl up on my back without difficulty.
    Bring along plenty of water and you might want to pack a lunch to be enjoyed up top.
    Don't forget the insect repellent - Maine mosquitoes are notorious!
    On a clear day (never guaranteed in Maine), the views of Mt. Desert Island as well as the surrounding islands and mainland are fantastic.
    We loved the shop at the top (yup, it's touristy up here!) - try a "Bar Harbor Bar" - vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies - after a long hot hike - delicious.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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    Visit Somesville

    by turtlebella Written Jul 22, 2007

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    I highly recommend driving over to the quiet, western part of the Island to visit Somesville. Located at the inner-most tip of Somes Sound (the only fjord on the eastern coast of the US), this is a tiny but charming town. The houses and buildings are almost all white with black shutters and trim. There is an incredibly picturesque footbridge and flowers are everywhere- it's like out of a Monet painting! Guaranteed that you will want to get out of your car and take photos! An excellent bookstore, A Port in a Storm, is located in Somesville- truly a wonderful bookstore for any place on earth.

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    Canoe Long Pond

    by turtlebella Updated Jun 28, 2007

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    Canoeing on Long Pond
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    Canoeing on Long Pond is something we do every time we visit Mount Desert Island. Once you get past the part of Long Pond where people live, it becomes a most idyllic spot. At one point all of the land bordering the pond is National Park land and so it is nice and quiet.

    You can just paddle around this (very large) pond or you can paddle over to a large rock that you can swim off of. You might even see a loon during your travels around the pond!

    If you don't have your own canoe it is super easy to rent one. You can do this from National Park Canoe & Kayak Rental, who are located right at one end of Long Pond. You walk your canoe (they also rent kayaks) across the street, and presto, you are ready to go!

    Long Pond is near the lovely town of Somesville, well worth a stop to take in the pretty buildings and nice views of the sound.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Family Travel
    • Kayaking

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  • turtlebella's Profile Photo

    Sea Kayaking

    by turtlebella Written Jun 27, 2007

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    kayaks at the break

    There are several sea kayaking outfits in Bar Harbor. I like Acadia Kayak, they take you to the Western Bay, off of Mount Desert Island. It's much quieter over there- fewer boats and lots of wildlife. Every time I've gone we've seen at least one bald eagle, loons, cormorants, seals...it's great! Just being out there paddling is such a treat. Anyone can do it, even if you've never paddled before. I've always felt completely safe and happy in the tandem kayaks they use.

    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • Kayaking

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  • turtlebella's Profile Photo

    Hiking in Acadia National Park

    by turtlebella Written Jun 27, 2007

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    On Beech Cliff Trail
    2 more images

    My husband and I love to hike. We love mountain views and ocean views. And so Acadia is a perfectly perfect place in my opinion, and surely my favorite place in the U.S. There is something for everyone - from the gentlest hikes your grandma could do to trails where you have to scramble amongst boulders and pull yourself up iron ladder rungs on the side of a cliff. Some of our favorite hikes-

    1. Penobscot and Sargeant. Amazing views from these summits; in between them there is a sweet little swimming hole.

    2. The Bubbles. Pretty easy-going hikes. On South Bubble there's a giant boulder that looks like it's ready to fall down the side of the mountain...you can take goofy pictures of trying to push it over the edge.

    3. The Precipice. This is one of the hikes with iron ladder rungs and such. It's a bit more challenging as a hike but really a kick.

    4. The Beehive. This is another one that has some ladder rungs and such. Great views of the Sand Beach. And behind the Beehive you can take a short hike down to the Bowl- lovely, secluded mountain pond.

    5. Great Head. This hike goes out past Sand Beach- ocean views and not much difference in elevation. Lovely late afternoon light.

    6. Acadia Mtn. On the western part of the Island. Views of Somes Sound.

    7. Cadillac Mtn. It doesn't count if you drive up! We generally go up the North Ridge- great veiws of Bar Harbor, Frenchman's Bay etc. It's crowded up top of the summit (cos of all the people that drive up plus those that hike). But the views are incredible! Then we go down the South Ridge- long, sloping trail. You will pass the Featherbed, a mountain pond.

    8. Beech Cliff Trail. On western part of the Island. It has ladder rungs and is steep - lots of fun. Vews of Echo Lake.

    9. Flying Mtn. A low summit but still fun. Can take kids on it and they won't complain. And you still get views of Somes Sound and the Cranberry Islands! On the western part of the Island.

    10. Gorham Mtn. A fairly easy hike with spectacular ocean views. Do not miss this one!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • johncudw's Profile Photo

    Go up Cadillac Mountain and watch the sunset

    by johncudw Written Nov 30, 2006

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    Sunset in September 1998

    (or sunrise if its open at that time)
    This is a September sunset.
    The water is over on the west side of the island.
    One of the nice things one can do in the park.
    even if you don't have a long time to spend
    there.
    1530 feet above sea level

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Adventure Travel
    • Family Travel

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  • johncudw's Profile Photo

    Motor Boating in Frenchman's Bay

    by johncudw Updated Sep 25, 2006

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    The Beehive and Champlain Mtn.
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    There are motor boat rentals in Bar Harbor
    at the docks. We went way around by
    Ocean Drive and the Beehive.
    This is the view from there.
    Be careful of certain marked shoals
    and breakwater areas. They are dangerous
    with motor boats.
    Views are nicer on a sunny day,
    of the island(s)

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel
    • Sailing and Boating

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  • johncudw's Profile Photo

    Drive or hike up Cadillac Mountain (1530 feet)

    by johncudw Updated Sep 25, 2006

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    Gives a good view of the whole island.
    This photo is not from the top, but along
    the way. This is Frenchman's Bay with
    the Porcupine Islands and wall along the road
    and rocks on the mountainside, below

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Beaches
    • Family Travel

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  • johncudw's Profile Photo

    Climb Gorham Mountain

    by johncudw Updated Sep 23, 2006

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    The mountain is near Sand Beach along Ocean Drive and is pink granite, 500 feet above
    the sea. Not as difficult as Sargent Mtn or Cadillac, or Dorr, shorter.
    Here is a photo of the view across Frenchman's Bay from the summit
    Sand Beach can be seen on the left. Need to wear a good set of tough
    walking shoes or light mountain boots that are tough for scrambling over rocks.

    Related to:
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Family Travel

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  • TempNomad's Profile Photo

    Take a walk by the water

    by TempNomad Updated Aug 20, 2006

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    The Ship Harbor trail is easy, pleasant, and it has great views. We didn't run into too many people, and it's more accessible for children and older adults than many trails. It's just before the Wonderland trail on 102A.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Seniors
    • Family Travel

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    Check out the Maine book selection

    by TempNomad Written Aug 20, 2006

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    While there are novels and biographies, the Port Side bookstore has its emphasis on Maine. Lots of children's books (McCloskey et al) and Maine information books cover the walls. _The Lobster Coast_ is an interesting buy for those interested in lesser known tales of the area. Highly recommended for a stop, especially before or after Thurston's! :)

    MONDAY- SATURDAY:
    10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
    SUNDAY: Noon to 7:00 p.m.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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  • TempNomad's Profile Photo

    Go to the chapel...for renewing or making vows

    by TempNomad Written Aug 20, 2006

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    Fun, colorful buoys cover the building
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    You can get married at the Mount Desert Lighthouse Wedding Chapel in Bernard. It's tiny, and very casual, but it makes for fabulous photos! Thurston's is just down the road (two minute walk) to celebrate, and there is a little pier for photo opportunities.

    This comes from a local website:

    Lighthouse to serve as wedding chapel
    The lighthouse facsimile built by Nancy Silverman for her husband Irving in Bernard, Maine will now serve as a wedding chapel. Known as the Family Lighthouse it has become a major attraction on Mount Desert Island since it was built and has even appeared on calendars. Silverman says it would also be a great spot to renew wedding vows. Silverman says he will help plan the ceremony and officiate as Notary Public. For more information about the Lighthouse Wedding Chapel you can call Mr. Silverman at 207-244-5192.

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • TempNomad's Profile Photo

    Go climb a mountain!

    by TempNomad Written Aug 15, 2006

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    We found the hike/climb up Mount Penobscot very rewarding. Bring sunscreen, water, a snack, and good shoes for hiking. Sneakers are fine. It's NOT a good climb for children or people with limited mobility. Several areas are more of a clamber and a squeeze. The views are fantastic. Leave yourself several hours from Jordan Pond to climb. We took about two and a half from the entrance to the path, then we didn't stop until the peak. There are several wonderful areas to stop and gaze and admire the nature.

    Sometimes the paths are marked well with blue paint, other times you really have to pay attention. Enjoy!

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • TempNomad's Profile Photo

    Echo Lake Beach for Family Friendly Swimming

    by TempNomad Written Aug 14, 2006

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    This is an adorable beach with bathrooms, changing rooms, outside shower/washing stations, and lifeguards. It's small, but it's really wonderful.

    Another plus is that you can do some climbing/hiking on the trails and then cool off in the water. There's lots of parking, and it's relatively quiet. At least it was when we were there.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

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  • TempNomad's Profile Photo

    Learn about the Native American culture in Maine

    by TempNomad Written Aug 13, 2006

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    The ABBE museum focuses on Maine Indian Heritage. It has a lot of hands on activities about the culture and archeaology for kids, and it has a lot of history/time-lines displays for the adults. It's a great rainy day activity, and it's walkable from any Bar Harbor downtown location.

    Open Daily 9 - 5 in the summer, and Thursday - Saturday from November 1 - 18.

    The museum is also connected with the Sieur de Monts Spring in Acadia. Admission to themuseum included the Spring.

    $6 for adults/ $2 children.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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