The Acadia “Downeast” Location
The cottage is convenient to everything, including less than 10 minutes to downtown Ellsworth, 2 minutes to Route 1 eateries, 20 minutes to the entrance of the main part of Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, and 25 minutes to Bar Harbor. Sand Beach, Cadillac Mountain, Thunder Hole – all not-to-be-missed beauties in the park. According to the park’s website, https://www.nps.gov/acad/traffic.htm, visitors are up 60% over a decade with 3.5 million a year! With car parking filling up early, the best option is to park and take the free Explorer bus to tour Acadia, or perhaps take the bus one day and drive in another? We will have a map marked for you that misses the Route 3 traffic congestion out of Ellsworth into the park, taking a beautiful back road down through Lamoine that connected with Route 3 right before the bridge to the island, passing Trenton Lobster Pound before crossing that is a great spot without on-island prices.
Our cottage on the quiet side of the traffic and crowds of Mount Desert Island (and the well-known part of Acadia) was deliberately acquired because it was almost as close to the other, much less well-known (many fewer tourists) but equally magnificent part of Acadia National Park, Schoodic Peninsula! Schoodic is an easy 30 minutes north of the cottage, and many do not realize it is also part of ANP but just not on the crowded Mount Desert Island! True, no mountain like Cadillac on Schoodic, but the crashing surf and granite rocks and ledges are even more impressive and enjoyable with many fewer people. Hikes, cliff walks, seafood restaurants, lobster shacks, and the Schoodic Institute on ecology (in a rock mansion made by Rockefeller) are all enjoyable, and only 20 minutes further north from the cottage away from the crowds. Flat rocks and smoothed walkway entrances make it easy for most any person to walk close and sit on a rock so close to the crashing surf you can feel the mist. Totally unspoiled villages include Winter Harbor, Birch Harbor, and our personal favorite, the striking fishing village of Corea. Serenity at it’s finest!
The location of the cottage allows the easiest access for day trips (without Island traffic) to the “Bold Coast” of far Downeast Maine, with villages and a coast that look like New England a century ago. Campobello Island and the West Quoddy Lighthouse are only 2 hours drive away, with delicious family, seafood-oriented restaurants up the “Maine Scenic Byway” of Route 1 north of Ellsworth to Machias, and beyond! Don’t forget even US citizens now need their passports to cross into Canada onto Roosevelt’s Campobello Island.
When you’re watching the action and tide movement on the cove, or paddling on it, it’s hard to imagine your only 10 minutes drive to historic, beautiful downtown Ellsworth with many restaurants, groceries, and hospital. Close by and plentiful in the summer are craftspeople and antiquing spots, and cycling, horseback riding, deep sea fishing, freshwater fishing, and golfing. Besides excellent (if too chilly for some!) swimming less than a mile away Lamoine Beach there is also much warmer freshwater swimming at Blunt’s Pond, also a little over a mile away. Scenic drives and sights abound up and down the Maine point, including a hour or two north along Route 1, often hugging the shore, to Eastport, Quoddy Head Lighthouse, or Roosevelt’s Campobello Island. Day trips to Blue Hill, Camden, or Belfast are also excellent ways to explore the area and see real fishing harbors and villages. Although you can see our preference for Schoodic, the scenic drive and sights of Bar Harbor are only about 15 miles away (20 minutes with little traffic) about 5 miles past the Island entrance. Even when crowded, to be fair, there are the famous carriage trails and many other hikes and places that you can get some of that “Acadia magic” with fewer people around. For kids but enjoyable for all is the Oceanarium just on MDI before you get to Bar Harbor with a great touch tank to explore ocean creatures up close and personal, as well as learn everything you wanted to know about lobsters. The Abbe Museum of indigenous and Native American history of the only Smithsonian-affiliated museum in Maine. There is also a close by Acadia Fun Park with water slides, go-carts, mini golf, and a rope course, as well Kisma Preserve, a small zoo with unusual animals.