Sitting off in the shadow of Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island is the lessor known, but just as awe inspiring Schoodic Peninsula. Located approximately 45 miles from Bar Harbor and 30 miles from the “Gateway to Down East” city of Ellsworth, take US Coastal Route 1 and you will find the entrance to Schoodic off Route 186 “Big Moose Road” in Winter Harbor. Here you can enjoy breathtaking views and less crowds.
This mainland portion of Acadia National Park covers approximately 2,366 acres and composed of a 6 mile one way loop road with scenic turn outs where you can views boats, light houses, nearby villages, seabirds and islands. Bring along lunch and you can stop at the Frazer Point picnic area and enjoy views of Winter Harbor and utilize restroom facilities. If you’re into hiking, there are a number of easy to moderate trails ranging in length from 1/2 mile to 3.2 miles. There is also 8.3 miles of bike paths throughout the peninsula but do remember that bicyclists must also follow the one way traffic flow.
One of the biggest highlights of the peninsula is located at its southern tip, Schoodic Point. Visitors will see pounding surf as waves crash onto the rocky coast, views of Cadillac Mountain and diabse dikes (large veins of dark basalt that have forced their way through granite along the shoreline). Please use caution when visiting on Schoodic Point and keep a close eye on young children as the rocks get wet from the tides and spray and can get very slippery. Don’t forget to stop at the interpretive panels to gain further information about the area.
The peninsula is open seasonally June through Columbus day and does require a park pass. If you don’t want to make the drive off MDI yourself, the Island Explorer buses do provide free transportation in and around the peninsula. The Explorer buses are also equipped to carry bicycles too!