Schoodic Peninsula, Maine

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Schoodic Peninsula

Less crowded than Mount Desert Island, the Schoodic Peninsula encompasses 2366 acres, the only portion of Acadia National Park on the mainland.

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  • 7 mile one-way Scenic Ocean Drive.
  • Hiking and Biking trails, as well as great Picnic areas.
  • The Schoodic Woods Campground has 90 first come first serve sites.
  • By car, head from Ellsworth to Rte 1 east to Hancock. Turn right onto Rte 186 to Winter Harbor and the Park entrance.  
  • Or take the ferry from late May to mid October.
  • Use the Island Explorer park bus service from Memorial Day through Columbus Day.

History

In 2002 the Winter Harbor Naval Airbase closed, returning land and donating the facilities to the Park. The brick Tutor style Head Quarters is now the Schoodic Education and Research Center (one of seventeen in the country). It is also an ideal area for large groups with ample picnic space and a complete recreational field.

Highlights

View Mount Desert Island from a unique perspective off its coast. Visit Winter Harbor, that boasts of its quite community, restaurants and shops and its famous annual lobster festival. Or explore the unique coastal habitat, dark diabase dikes between pink granite ledges, inter-tidal zones, and stunted spruce/fir forests along the coast.

There are many opportunities for biking, hiking, and picnicking. Try Frazer Point picnic area, located at the beginning of the ocean drive, which has tables, fire rings, restrooms, drinking water, and a dock. Those bicycling can take advantage of a number of new bike trails on the peninsula and the bike racks on the Island Explorer bus make it easy to get from trail to trail.

Four hiking trails include:

  • The Schoodic Head Trail (Views of Mount Desert Island)
  • Anvil Trail (Longest trail, about 2 miles)
  • East Trail (Short steep forest trail to the top of Schoodic Head)
  • Alder Trail (Easy level trail and shrub-land)

Schoodic Woods Campground

Located just 3 miles from Winter Harbor, this is the newest campground in Acadia National Park. It features 90 sites that are open from late May to mid October.

Directions

Four miles from Bar Harbor by Ferry and boat or an hour’s drive by car, visitors are rewarded with a quiet coastline for exploration. From Ellsworth, bear left at the Y to go onto Route 1, toward Schoodic. Take the Schoodic National Scenic Byway (Rte 1 starting in West Sullivan) about 15 minutes through small towns and fishing villages, to Gouldsboro and Winter Harbor. Take a right onto Route 186 and follow it to Winter Harbor to the Park entrance. The park provides a 7.2 mile ocean drive with spectacular views of rocky shores, ocean waves, lobsters boats and wildlife. A park pass gives you access to both Mount Desert Island and Schoodic Peninsula.

The Ferry Service, open daily, late May to early fall, cuts travel time and links to the free Island Explorer shuttle in Winter Harbor.

The Island Explorer Bus (the free park bus service) offers service throughout the Schoodic Peninsula, including Winter Harbor, from Memorial Day through Columbus Day.

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