Mount Desert Island – the jewel of Maine

Stef Zisovska

Mount Desert Island or MDI is the largest island off the coast of Maine. The island has a population of around 10,000 and hosts 500,000 tourists per year who come to visit Acadia National Park.

The island is home to the summer colonies Northeast Harbor and Bar Harbor. Northeast Harbor is a small village known as the summer home of many rich and famous people, like the Rockefeller family and the actors Tim Robins and Susan Sarandon.

Mount Desert Island – Author: Mourial – CC BY 3.0

Cadilac Mountain

Tourists on Cadillac Mountain – Author: Billy Hathorn – CC BY 3.0

There are plenty of things you can visit on the island. It’s abundant in natural beauties that everyone should see. One of the biggest attractions on the island is Cadillac Mountain, within the Acadia National Park. Its elevation of 1530 feet makes it the highest mountain in Hancock County. You can hike around the summit, pick some blueberries, and enjoy the spectacular view of the ocean and Bar Harbor.

It’s important to get there very early to find a parking spot. Avoiding crowds is not going to be easy, but you can try it. Don’t be lazy! Early birds have more fun than the others.

Great Head Trail

Great Head Trail

Another hiking opportunity suitable for the whole family is the Great Head Trail. An easy to moderate 1.4 mile walk with great views of Sand Beach. You can park on the left side of Park Loop Road and follow the granite steps that lead to Sand Beach. The trail is safe for walking, though you should be careful in case of rain. Looking up from the beach you may be able to see climbers on Beehive Mountain, which reaches an elevation of 520 feet.

Carriage paths and bridges of Acadia National Park

Duck Brook Bridge – Author: JRLibby – CC BY-SA 3.0

Throughout Acadia National Park there is a web of paths that connect many areas of the park and provide the visitors with views of lakes, mountains, and bays. The bridges in the network are all built out of local granite. They were designed to fit the natural background and not to stand out from the environment. They also serve as perfect viewing platforms for the scenery.

Echo Lake

Echo Lake Beach – Author: Billy Hathorn – CC BY-SA 3.0

The Echo Lake is a gorgeous fresh water lake with a maximum depth of 66 feet. The beach of Echo Lake is the most popular freshwater swimming destination for island locals and visitors. The water in the lake is much warmer than the ocean water at Sand Beach, so it’s recommendable for families with kids.

Jordan Pond

Jordan Pond – Author: Sixlocal – CC BY-SA 3.0

The Jordan Pond is a glacier formed tarn where swimming is not allowed. The maximum depth measured is 150 feet, with visibility to 46 feet. Though you’re not permitted to swim in the pond, you can always rent a kayak or a canoe and paddle across the crystalline waters. The kayak and canoe launch spot for this is via the Jordan Pond North parking lot.

Thunder Hole

Thunder Hole

Acadia National Park’s best place to experience the power of the sea crashing into the rocky cliffs of Maine is called Thunder Hole. It’s a small inlet where the waves roll into the naturally carved rock caverns. When the rush of the waves arrives in the hole, you’ll wonder where that thunder sound is coming from on a sunny day.

Bar Harbor

The Bar Harbor waterfront. The four-masted schooner Margaret Todd is docked; a cruise ship appears in the distance – Author: Billy Hathorn – CC BY 3.0

Bar Harbor is known for its unrivaled coastal beauty, its many yachts, and its view of islands and the ocean in settings that can range from sparkling sunlight to thick fog. Bar Harbor municipality includes the villages Hulls Cove, Salisbury Cove, Town Hill, and a large part of Acadia National Park.

Visit the island where people live in harmony with each other, at a slow pace, respecting the natural beauties they’re surrounded by. Give yourself and your family a chance to see life from a different perspective. Good luck!

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