Acadia National Park & Bar Harbor

Somes Sound, Mount Desert Island, Maine

Sailing at the entrance to Somes Sound near Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island, Maine

Somes Sound is a large and deep body of water located in the lower mid-section of Mount Desert Island, Maine, whose cavity was formed from past glacier activity. Gigantic continental glaciers shaped the land to have a noticeable “North-South” orientation seen with so many of the ponds and lakes on MDI. For centuries, mariners have taken advantage of it’s naturally protected waters, especially during storms. Several places are measured at over 100 feet (30 m) with the deepest point being approximately 175 feet (50 m). In the past, Somes Sound was described as a “fjord” and the only one of its kind on the East Coast. In recent years, this description has been somewhat downgraded to the “fjard” because it lacks the extreme vertical topography and the oxygen deprived sediments as the Norwegian fjords. (see photos)

Villages along the shore of Somes Sound include Somesville on the northern end, Northeast Harbor on the southeastern side, and Southwest Harbor, including the area known as Manset, on the southwestern side. From here, the waters surrender to the North Atlantic at the Bear Island Lighthouse, marking the southern entrance and exit of this unique geological feature.

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