Bear Island Lighthouse in Acadia National Park

Bear Island and the Bear Island Lighthouse are located at the southern entrance to Somes Sound which runs north to south through the lower part of Mount Desert Island, Maine, home to the majority of Acadia National Park. (See Park History) Bear Island and the Bear Island Lighthouse are located in the community of Cranberry Isles. The island is approximately 1,200 feet from the MDI shoreline to the North. Sutton Island is directly South.

Some History

The original light station was established in 1839. The current 31 foot high lighthouse (100 foot high focal plane) was constructed of brick in 1889. Service was discontinued in 1982 but it was relighted in 1989 as an automatic and private aid to navigation. The lighthouse is on Acadia National Park land but is privately leased and closed to the public. Bear Island Lighthouse is best viewed by boat. Seasonal boat rentals are available in places like the village of Manset, part of Southwest Harbor to the Southwest of Bear Island. To get to Manset, follow Route 102 South on Mount Desert island then take a left (East) on the Seawall Road - 102A.

Bear Island Lighthouse GPS: Latitude 44.283369; Longitude -68.269655

Bear Island Location Map

GPS Coordinates

  • Southwest Harbor Town Center:
    Main St. and Clark Point Rd.: GPS 44.279767, -68.325914
  • US Coast Guard Office:
    184 Clark Point Rd., (207) 244-4200: GPS 44.275381, -68.312349
  • National Park Headquarters:
    Rt. 233 Eagle Lake (207) 288-3338 : GPS 44.409286, -68.247501

General Information

Entrance to Somes Sound

Greg A. Hartford, photographer, author, publisherBear Island is very close to the shore of Mount Desert Island directly south of Northeast Harbor. However, most people are familiar with the views of it seen from the shores of the village of Manset in Southwest Harbor. It sits at the entrance to Somes Sound where for many years it guided mariners into the protected harbor of the Somes Sound and Southwest Harbor, Maine. There is another lighthouse nearby on MDI in Bass Harbor, also on Acadia National Park land.