One of the highlights of this year’s visit to Mount Desert Island and surrounds was a first-ever visit to Schoodic Peninsula, a part of Acadia National Park since 1929. I would feel bad that I never visited in my thirty or so trips to MDI but well, it turns out only 10% of the 2.5 million annual visitors to Acadia (!!!!) make it over there. Schoodic, bless its heart, is remote–an hour by car or ferry (in season) from Bar Harbor. While its 2000 acres is not large within the Acadia system (something like 5% of the overall park), this is where I would build my illegal shack in the woods and live off the land. And lobsters. And beer. Unfortunately the park rangers are on to me and my ideas.
My friend Jen and I made a morning of it. On our way, we stopped at Tidal Falls, sometimes known as Sullivan Falls a tiny little park (they might have had a picnic table but not sure) that sits along the entrance to Taunton Bay. The tides go in and out at an incredible clip. Since I am not a big fan of rip currents (do you really know anyone who is?), I found it just a little bit on the safe side of scary. Scary beautiful.
The drive to Schoodic along the long curvy roadway is exceptional and unexceptional. Small houses and farms intermittently give way to views of Frenchman Bay. Ooh, I almost forgot to show the map. Here it is. I’m actually a little bit skeptical of this map as it shows Sullivan without the Falls, but well, trust me, they exist. Credit to acadiamagic.com.
We stopped at some scenic views of the bay. It is really super hard to take a bad shot of Acadia so I will proudly say: nice shot, right? Oh all right, there’s a chunk of sign in the lower right corner but editing it would take out some of my sky. Oh, the skies. And the lupine. See that purple stuff? It’s really really good. So good I paid too much for seeds that will never ever grow in Massachusetts. Mainers love tourist me.
And then we were on Schoodic Peninsula. We stopped at the first overlook of the Bay and watched the lobster boats picking up the traps. Schoodic does not have an extensive network of trails. You can bike the one-way 6 mile park loop road and add on some dirt trails. You can climb to the viewpoint at the top of Schoodic Head or any of the several other short hikes in the area. See the National Park Service brochure for info.
We also wandered out on a natural dike filled with those wonderful rocks of Acadia. No, I didn’t take any with me: take photos, leave no trace.
Tiny flowers bloomed through the greys. Yes, irises.
On the far side (eastern) of Schoodic Head, we again parked the car and just sat on the huge rocks and ruminated. So much beauty, so little touched. The waves and tides on this side of Schoodic Head are spectacular–there are all kinds of warnings about rogue waves and surf but it is hard to resist. Well, not for me. Remember, big wave issues are mine.
All this nature had started a mad hunger and thirst. Fortunately Jen has known me for thirty years and knew the signs of hangry. We stopped for a lobster roll, ah the lobsters, at a simple place called Chase’s Restaurant in tiny Winter Harbor before heading home.