The famous Shore Path in Bar Harbor, Maine begins at the town pier, goes a short distance to the East then wraps around a point before continuing South for about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile along the eastern shore of Mount Desert Island. Originally created around 1880, people have walked on this path while enjoying the sights, sounds and smells ever since. You should plan on at least one early morning walk here while visiting Acadia National Park.
If a space is available, a good place to park is on the public pier near the intersection of West Street and Main Street. This vantage point alone provides numerous photographic and video opportunities. Early in the morning the local fishermen prepare for their daily lobster and scallop runs. Many use the public pier as their base of operations. Directly North is Bar Island. Check out it's page to learn about the natural land bridge that forms at low tide. On either the West or the East side of the pier you will often see some fabulous yachts such as the ones shown in the image to the left. To see a larger version, select the image.
The Shore Path follows the shoreline directly in front of the Bar Harbor Inn. A long dock extends out to the left or North from the water's edge where, during the summer and fall season, the Margaret S. Todd schooner is docked unless it is already out on a scenic cruise. Just before the inn on the right is an attractive gazebo where visitors often take photos of friends and loved ones. There is a ramp back near the public pier where you may walk down to the shore if you wish. Be careful when walking on wet rocks, especially when covered with some wet green areas, or with seaweed.
There are several beautiful viewing spots on the Shore Path itself, as well as just off the trail on the granite ledge areas. Right at the northeastern point of the island, the path turns to the South. From this vantage point there are several islands in view as well as various yachts, boats, kayakers, even some very large cruise ships. On occasion, there may be two or three visiting Bar Harbor at the same time. The view shown to the left is looking back at the Shore Path just after rounding the corner and heading South. You can see some kayakers in the water off to the right.
The Shore Path hugs the coastline on the eastern side of Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island right next to several private properties and some beautiful mansions so please respect their privacy. Along the way, you will discover some rocky shorelines, wild red roses, character rich old fences, lush vegetation, and over a hundred years of history. If you see a nice spot to sit and relax along the shore, by all means take advantage of it. This is a place of healing and fresh salty air.
Once you reach the end of the walking path, you may just turn around and go back the same way that you came, or take a path that leads directly to Main Street in Bar Harbor where you can walk back through the business district. For other acadia trails and paths click Acadia hiking trails.
Weddings in Acadia National Park: Visit the weddings section for information about having a wedding ceremony within Acadia National Park or elsewhere on MDI or nearby villages and towns.
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