Tag Archives: Isle au Haut

‘Baker Island’ — Acadia National Park’s Smallest Outpost.

by Anura Guruge


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On Wednesday, June 27, 2018, we did the 5-hour (viz., 8am — 1pm) ‘Baker Island Tour‘ offered by the ‘Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co.‘ Though a tad expensive it was definitely rewarding and well worth the money. It is one hour out and one hour back with roughly 2.5 hours on the Island — with another 30 minutes (or so) devoted to getting on/off the island using a 12-person ‘tender’ (i.e., a skiff). An official Park Ranger, in our case the veteran Dusty Warner, led the Tour: narrated the trip (both ways) and took us on a guided tour of the main part of the island. It was good. We picked a picture perfect day.

Over 80% of the Island, which is now only sporadically occupied (and that by just one family) is part of the Park. So, you can visit in your own boat, if you have one — and while we were there we saw four folks come over in their own launch. That was cool.

Now that I have visited ‘Baker’ I have covered all 5 sections of Acadia National Park. This was our 11th trip since my very first sojourn September 2013. On our first two trips, like so many others, we just stayed on ‘Mount Desert Island’. But, then in September 2014 we stayed in Schoodic and since then typically spend at least 1/2 day each trip in Schoodic. In September 2015 we visited ‘Isle au Haut‘. So, now we have done the full house.

Baker Island is very different from Isle au Haut. For a start, Baker, is much, much smaller. Plus, unlike au Haut, it doesn’t have a bustling Summer community at one end of the island. Baker, is very FLAT and quite small. So, it is easy to hike, whereas au Haut has some challenging ‘scrambles’. Whereas au Haut is classically Acadian with the sheer cliffs and dense forest, Baker is very open with just a small forest in the middle.

Baker, originally inhabited by the Gilley family has an intriguing history. It was quite a bustling trading port, mainly for cod, towards the end of the 19th century. I have already ordered two books about the island so that I can get a better understanding of what took place.

I highly recommend visiting Baker Island. Gorgeous views and an idyllic, pastoral setting. Extremely relaxing.


Related posts:
Check Category ‘Acadia’.


by Anura Guruge

Winter Comes To “Acadia National Park”, Maine — Road Closures Kick In For 2015.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> Somesville.
>> Isle au Haut
>> Bass Harbor Light
>> Thunder Hole …

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Officially, per the National Park Service, it is now winter at the ‘Acadia National Park’ though they ruefully note “As of Tuesday, December 1st: We have yet to receive any snow in the majority of the park. There is some ice on the tops of mountains and trails”. To be fair to them this is probably atypical. Per tradition road closings, in particular the iconic ‘Park Loop Road’, kick in on December 1 (irrespective of actual road conditions) and stay in effect until April 14.

And that is the case now, and I received an ‘alert’ as such from my ‘Acadia’ APP on my Android Pad.

Two sections of the ‘Park Loop Road’ are however open. A short section, known as ‘Ocean Drive’ between Sand Beach Entrance Station and Otter Cliff Road and Jordan Pond with access from the ‘Stanley Brook Entrance‘ at Seal Harbor. The ‘Ocean Drive’ section will give you access to ‘Thunder Hole‘.

All the carriage roads are OPEN and Route 3 that cuts across the Park and then then traverses the western perimeter of the eastern section of the ‘Mount Desert’ part is open.

We have never been to Acadia in Winter. The latest we have been is September and the earliest, June. I would like to go and I know the kids will jump at it. They are Acadia addicts. I don’t think we can do it this month or in early January. Just too much going on. But I might try to get up there, for a quick weekend break, in late January or February. Of course I will share with you. I know that most of the Bar Harbor hotels, including our now preferred ‘Wonder View Inn‘, is closed for the Winter. But I am sure there are a few open and then there is always Ellsworth — Maine’s fastest growing city.



“Acadia National Park”, Maine — Somesville.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> Isle au Haut
>> Bass Harbor Light
>> Thunder Hole …
>> “Wonder View Inn”

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Refer to ‘Acadia’ master index page at TOP ↑ ↑


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Somesville‘, a year-round residential village, is not within Acadia National Park per se (as is also the case with Bar Harbor and the other two ‘Harbors‘). But its is adjacent and you will have to really go the very long way if you don’t go through it trying to get to the western section of ‘the Park’ (on Mount Desert Island).

Somesville, as reflected in the name, is on the shores of the majestic ‘Somes Sound‘, the large fjord that neatly cleaves the Island in half — this also the ONLY fjord on the East Coast. Though small in comparison to ‘Northeast Harbor‘, ‘Southwest Harbor‘ or even ‘Bernard’ you really can’t miss Somesville. It hits you, VISUALLY, with impact of a 2×4 smacking you between your eyes!

It starts with an arched white wooden bridge across a small lily pond — very reminiscent of a Monet. And then you run into the blankets of vivid color, either side of the road, from cleverly planted and expertly tended beds of annuals. It is like ‘Christmas Light Wars’ done with aplomb with flowers. It is breathtaking. Very friendly place too. The residents, quite rightly, are very proud of their village and, of course, realize that they are very lucky to be able to live their — in this wonderland.

These pictures really don’t do adequate justice to this delightful place. YOU have to go see it yourself — ideally in August or early September when the blooms are in their full glory.



NH’s “Old Man of the Mountain” Has Reappeared At ‘Thunder Hole’, Acadia National Park.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> Isle au Haut
>> Bass Harbor Light
>> Acadia nude beaches
>> “Wonder View Inn”

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What it looked like when it was in New Hampshire.
From Wikipedia. Click image to access Wikipedia entry.

oldmannh


I took the above three pictures on Sunday, September 6, 2015, at ‘Thunder Hole’, Acadia National Park. It is part of a rock formation to the right of ‘Thunder Hole’ (looking towards the Bay). No, you can’t see it, as such, from the steps or the walkway. Well, we don’t, when we are at Acadia, just stick to the well-trodden paths. We do like to clamor among the rocks and cliffs — and, in case you are wondering, you are permitted to do so, at will, albeit at your own risk. Teischan, of late, really has become addicted to rock clamoring and rock climbing. Most of the time I am trying to keep up with her. So it is she who finds these interesting places on the rocks.

You can’t deny that there is a definite resemblance. I recognized it at once. So I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy.



“Acadia National Park”, Maine — Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse.

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by Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> Acadia nude beaches
>> “Wonder View Inn”
>> “Acadia View” bed & breakfast
>>  
Cromwell Harbor Motel

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This quintessential New England lighthouse, still operational, is in Acadia National Park — though at the extreme southernmost tip of ‘Mount Desert Island‘, about 45 minutes away (if you can force yourself to drive there without stopping to savor the views) from the Bar Harbor/’Park Loop‘ area which is what most people still think of as ‘the Park’. This ‘Light’ is definitely worth going to since it will also force you to drive through absolutely picture postcard picturesque ‘Somesville‘ and ‘this-is-Maine-at-its-best’ Southwest Harbor. This was (at least) our second trip to this ‘Light’. We typically spend at least 40 minutes there. So please add it to your list.



“Acadia National Park”, Maine — Isle au Haut.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> Acadia nude beaches
>> “Wonder View Inn”
>> “Acadia View” bed & breakfast
>>  
Cromwell Harbor Motel

++
Refer to ‘Acadia’ master index page at TOP ↑ ↑


Click to ENLARGE.

Copyright will be enforced.








The scenically gratifying and emotionally cleansing ‘Acadia National Park‘ (in Maine), rather than being one big park, is made up of three geographically dispersed sections. Most people think of ‘the Park’ as being the small area bounded by the famous 27-mile ‘Park Loop Drive’ on Mount Desert Island — with Cadillac Mountain in the middle and bustling Bar Harbor to the side. Well, even on ‘Mount Desert’ there is more Park than what is accessible from ‘the Loop’. And then there are the two outlying sections — Schoodic Peninsula to the east and Isle au Haut to the southwest. We did Schoodic Peninsula last September and revisited it again this June.

Isle au Haut is the most remote section of the Park and you can only get there by boat. There is a ‘Mail Boat Ferry’ from Stonington — but it is relatively expensive, i.e., $129 for the 4 of us. Isle au Haut is rugged and solitary. You can go for hours without seeing anyone else — other than lobster boats, if you are lucky, in the distance. If you like solitude, this is the place to go.

To be fair Isle au Haut is very much an option for the diehard or for those, like us, who want to be sure that they have covered everything the Park has to offer. In terms of scenic beauty what you experience on the Isle is pretty much the same as what you can see in Schoodic — and Schoodic is so much easier to get to.

But we are glad we did Isle. It was quite the adventure. 4 hours of solid hiking much of it over some strenuous terrain. We also like to go out on the water when we are at Acadia. So the trip to au Haut also took care of that, though the 75 minute trip is not as much fun as a nature cruise on Frenchman Bay. But, this is definitely something memorable. Not sure we will do it again anytime soon. The kids liked it. They will remember it. It was the Saturday of what proved to be a picture perfect Labor Day weekend. Not a cloud in the sky. Temps. in the high 70s. ‘The Loop’ as we found out on Sunday would have been packed. That was one of the reasons I chose Saturday as the day we took the ferry. At most 16 people got off at the Park dock on Isle au Haut. Once we started hiking we rarely ran into anybody else. You really have the place to yourself.

In case you are wondering it takes about 90 minutes to get to Stonington from Bar Harbor. So there is at least 3 hours of driving and 2.5 hours on the ferry. So factor that all in.