Best of Maine

The Lesser-Known (but Incredible) Section of Acadia National Park

Most photos and articles about Acadia National Park focus on stunning, picturesque Mount Desert Island: Cadillac Mountain, Thunder Hole, Jordan Pond, and nearby Bar Harbor. But did you know there’s a second mainland section of Acadia that easily rivals the beauty of MDI?

Welcome to Schoodic Peninsula, located about an hour’s drive up the coast from Bar Harbor. Schoodic sits just south of the small coastal Maine village of Winter Harbor. There’s a wonderful campground, over 8 miles of bike trails, and 7 miles of hiking trails. And even better, there are countless opportunities to explore the Maine coast without the crowds you may see on MDI.

The Schoodic Loop

The Schoodic Peninsula section of Acadia National Park

The scenic Schoodic Loop starts out on the west side of the peninsula. You’ll follow the coastline with a number of chances to stop and admire the views, including Winter Harbor / Mark Island Light and the profile of Mount Desert Island across Frenchman Bay. Take some time to check out the inlets and ponds along the drive.

At the southernmost point of the peninsula is the star attraction: Schoodic Point. You’ll be able to walk the rugged, rocky shore, looking out over the ocean to the horizon as you watch waves crash into the rocks. But be sure to wear sturdy footwear and be careful as you walk! Waves can be dangerous, and the exposed granite can be very slippery.

After that, leave some time for the drive back. You may want to stop at the Rockefeller Welcome Center, Blueberry Hill, and some of the other small beaches on the east side of the peninsula.

Turn right at the intersection after you leave the park to drive through the quaint fishing village of Prospect Harbor. The harbor is regularly home to dozens of boats and an unassuming lighthouse.

Getting to Schoodic Peninsula

To reach Schoodic, drive north on Route 1 and take a right onto Route 186. Next, turn left when you reach Winter Harbor, and take a right when you see the Acadia sign just outside of town.

You’ll need an Acadia National Park pass to visit. These passes help support and maintain the beauty of the park for future visitors and generations!

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