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Penobscot Bay and Islands

Lighthouses of Maine’s
Acadia National Park Region

Bass Harbor lighthouse over cliffs

Isle Au Haut, Mount Desert Island, Cranberry Islands, Trenton, Bar Harbor, Winter Harbor, Prospect Harbor

Mount Desert Island became an international tourist attraction in the nineteenth century as a main component of the Acadia National Park system. To accommodate the influx of international and American tourists from the sea, as well as many leaving on tours from the harbor, and for the local mariners, a series of lighthouses were build on and around Mount Desert Island. There are many islands including the cranberry islands in this area, and lighthouses were built atop some of these to guide mariners through the Blue Hill and Frenchman Bays, and Somes Sound.

 

 

Maine’s Acadia Region
and Mount Desert Island Lighthouses
You Can Drive or Hike To

Click any lighthouse image or link below to find out information about each lighthouse including links for places to visit, historic snapshots, boat tours, and more photos.


 

 

 

Maine’s Mount Desert Island,
and Acadia Region Lighthouses
Best Viewed by Boat

Click any lighthouse image or ink below to find out information about each lighthouse including links for places to visit, historic snapshots, directions, boat tours, and photos.

 

Places to Visit:
Mount Desert Island and Acadia Naional Park

About half of Isle au Haut is federal parkland under Acadia National Park, the other half is privately owned, supporting summer residents and a year-round fishing community.

Isle au Haut, which is actually part of Acadia, is accessible by the Isle au Haut Ferry from Stonington. rocky shore of Acadia Park

The Isle au Haut lighthouse grounds are open to the public. Visitors can also stay overnight at the Keeper's House Inn in a totally "green" environment.

Taking Route 3 off Route 1, and following down Route 102 on the western side of the island, you’ll find this the more quiet area of Mount Desert Island.

famous Somes Sound bridge in Acadia Park One of the most famous iconic bridges is the curved footbridge, named the Somes Sound Bridge.

Many tourists refer to it as the “Acadia Bridge” which greets you as you drive into these quaint fishing communities.

Located in Acadia National Park, Bass Harbor Lighthouse is situated on top of a rocky cliff on the southwestern area of Mt. Desert Island. Bass harbor Lighthouse on the rocks

It is recognizably one of the most photographed in Maine. This area is a true vacationer's paradise! At the lighthouse you can picnic on the rocks and watch the boats and the surf, and catch some spectacular sunsets here as well. To get a good view of the lighthouse you can carefully climb around the rocks during low tide that jut out below the lighthouse.

Access to Swan's Island to Burnt Coat Harbor Lighthouse is by boat only from Bass Harbor. You can take the Swan’s Island Ferry (it can take cars) to get to Swan’s Island and drive, or take a long hike to the lighthouse.

early morning fog nearBurnt Coat Harbor light The grounds are open to the public, and during the summer months tours available inside the lighthouse.

Visitors can also stay overnight in the keeper's house apartment.

Swan’s Island is a small quiet island of about 370 residents, who live there year round, where you'll feel as if time has not changed in decades here.
Swans Island bouys

Everyone waves a friendly hello here. To stay overnight, reservations are limited at either Jeanie’s B&B or the Harbor Watch Motel. There is also a quarry filled with fresh deep water to jump in on a hot day, and you'll also find a general store and a small beach nearby.


Swans Island bake shop There are only two places to eat on Swan's Island, the Island Bake Shop (photo shown), for lunch and breakfast with great homemade meals, and the Boat House Restaurant, also excellent food.

There is also a quarry filled with fresh deep water (Quarry Pond) to jump in on a hot day like Tom Sawyer would. You'll also find a general store and Fine Sand Beach on the island.

Bar Harbor is a major resort town of Mount Desert Island in the Acadia National Park system. Bar Harbor in late afternoon

This is the tourist epicenter with plenty of specialty shops, activities and events, and restaurants.

There are plenty of boat tours available that will take you out around the neighboring islands, some which have lighthouses, with most making you feel stuck in time. Mail boats and ferries are an inexpensive way to reach these islands.

Whale watching and fishing tours are also available out of Bar Harbor. tail of humpback whale

Between 1913 and 1940, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., financed and directed the construction of fifty-seven miles of carriage roads throughout Mount Desert Island for the use of hikers, bicyclists, horse riders, and horse-drawn carriages on the island. 

If you need to get away from the crowds and cars, hike or bike along these magnificent carriage roads through the woods with beautiful stone archway bridges.
carriage road bridge

Take the coastal routes all along the entire island and enjoy Acadia National Park with its scenic beauty. There are miles of hiking and biking trails. Most visitors to Acadia will drive, bike or hike up to the top of Cadillac Mountain and enjoy one of the first places in America to view the sunrise.

Jordan Pond In Acadia National Park, you can hike along Jordan Pond.

You can also get great views from Champlain Mountain Overlook, or the Precipice, explore Thunder Hole, Otter Bluffs and many more sights.

The Precipice Trail is the most challenging and well-known hiking trail in Acadia National Park with an exposed and almost vertical 1,000-foot climb.

beach wth mountains in background in Acadia National Park There are beaches with huge rocky hills to be climbed rising behind the sea for visitors.

Head over Route 186 towards Winter Harbor and enjoy the views of Schoodic Peninsula, Schoodic Head, and Schoodic Point.

Here you’ll find an incredible display of ocean surf smashing against a 400-foot headland of rocks.
relaxing at Schoodic Point

Prospect Harbor lighthouse grounds and lighthouse itself are not open to the public as it is a military installation, but visitors can take great photos across the harbor, or outside the gate as long as you respect the property of its residents.

Prospect Harbor in Maine The town of Prospect Harbor is a quaint fishing village where you can enjoy some nice walks.

 

Boat Tours: Maine’s Mount Desert Island,
and Acadia Region
Lighthouses

Cruises mentioned below may offer many types of adventures. While some may offer specific lighthouse cruises in the Acadia region, some will pass by certain lighthouses around Acadia and outside the Bar Harbor area during narrated wildlife and historic tours, while ferrying passengers, on various whale watching expeditions, fishing tours, and other types of excursions. Weather is also a major factor in New England, especially on sailing excursions.

Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company
Lighthouse and Park Tour to Baker Island allows you to walk to the lighthouse. There is also the Lighthouse tour to view five lighthouses.
1 West Street
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609
Phone: (207) 288-2386 or 1-888-WHALES-4

Lighthouses: Baker Island Light, Bear Island Light, Great Duck Island Light, Egg Rock Light, Winter Harbor Light

 

The Swan’s Island Ferry
Operated by the Maine State Maine Ferry Service
(207) 624-7777
(800) 491-4883
(207) 244-3254

Lighthouses: Bass Harbor Light, Burnt Coat Harbor Light

 

Island Cruises
Harbor cruise that passes by Bass Harbor Lighthouse.
Little Island Way
Bass Harbor, Maine
Phone: (207) 244-5785

Lighthouse: Bass Harbor Light

 

Acadian Boat Tours
Acadian Boat Tours, out of Bar Harbor, uses four boats and offers various nature, puffin, and fishing cruises, along with 3 special lighthouse tours each week, and National Park trips. Visitors can view vintage homes of Bar Harbor, Northeast Harbor, and Seal Harbor, and the quaint village of Southwest Harbor.
119 Eden St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
Email: seadawg47@gmail.com
Phone (207) 801-2300

Lighthouses: Egg Rock Light, Bear Island Light, Baker Island Light, Petit Manan Light, Winter Harbor Light, Mark Island (Deer Island Thorofare) Light

 

Downeast Windjammer and Cruise Lines
Ferry from Bar Harbor to Schoodic Pennninsula in Winter Harbor, also access to Little Cranberry Island and Southwest Harbor. Various Windjammer cruises on the Joshua, the Bailey Louise Todd, and the giant four masted schooner, the Margaret Todd.

1 Newport Drive
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609
Phone: (207) 288-4585 (Bar Harbor) or (207) 546-2927 (Cherryfield)
Email: 4master@downeastwindjammer.com

Lighthouses: Egg Rock Light, Bear Island Light, Baker Island Light, Bass Harbor Light, depending on winds and type of cruise.

 

Schooner Mary Day
Windjammer sailing that included 4 and 6-day lighthouse cruises.
P.O. Box 798, Camden, Maine 04843
Phone: (800) 992-2218
captains@schoonermaryday.com

Lighthouses: Curtis Island, Indian Island, Rockland Breakwater, Owls Head, Browns Head, Goose Rocks, Heron Neck, Saddleback Ledge, Deer Isle Thorofare (Mark Island), Robinson Pt (Isle Au Haut), Bear Island, Baker Island, Egg Rock, Bass Harbor Head, Blue Hill, Pumpkin Island, Dice Head, Eagle Island, Fort Point, Grindle Point

 

 

Scenic Flights

Scenic Flights of Acadia
Has special lighthouse cruises for visitors to have a unique aerial view of 6 beacons in the Acadia region, along with the landscape of Mount Desert Island of Acadia.

200 Main Street (ticket office)
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609
Phone: (207) 667-6527

1044 Bar Harbor Road | Route 3
Trenton, Maine 04605
Email: info@mainecoastalflight.com

Lighthouses: Winter Harbor, Egg Rock Light, Baker Island Light, Bear Island Light, Bass Harbor Head Light, and Blue Hill Bay Light.

 

book of the rise and demise of the largest sailing ships

To order a signed paperback copy:

Available in bookstores in paperback, hardcover, and as an eBook for all devices.

my ebook on apple books

New Book!

The Rise and Demise of the Largest Sailing Ships:
Stories of the Six and Seven-Masted
Coal Schooners of New England

In the early 1900s, New England shipbuilders constructed the world’s largest sailing ships amid social and political reforms. These giants of sail were the ten original six-masted coal schooners and one colossal seven-masted vessel, built to carry massive quantities of coal and building supplies, and measured longer than a football field!

This book, balanced with plenty of color and vintage images, showcases the historical accounts that followed these mighty ships. These true stories include competitions, accidents, battling destructive storms, acts of heroism, and their final voyages.

Click for larger video here.

 

 

My 300-page book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Northern New England: New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, provides additional human interest stories from each of the 76 lighthouses, along with many more coastal attractions and tours near each beacon, and contact info to plan your special trips. There are plenty of additional attractions in the Acadia region to explore. You'll find over 360 images inside as well.

Look inside!

book northern New England lighthouses and local coastal attractions

 

 

 

 

New England Lighthouses: Famous Shipwrecks, Rescues & Other Tales

This image-rich book contains over 50 stories of famous shipwrecks and rescues around New England lighthouses, and also tales of hauntings.

There are more details and imagery provided in the story of the miracle baby rescue by Mount Desert Rock Lighthouse, and about the origins and stories of the "Flying Santas", and about the lighthouse keeper's daughter who adopted her rescue dog Seaboy at Great Duck Island Light.

You'll find this book and my lighthouse tourism books from the publisher Schiffer Books, or in many fine bookstores like Barnes and Noble.

 

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