Acadia at Schoodic
Acadia National Park on the Schoodic Peninsula in Maine is the only part of the park that is located on the mainland. It has very similar geological features as Mount Desert Island but is more secluded and has less commercial development in the surrounding villages. Because of this “less traveled” aspect, there are many who are passionate about the region.
The Schoodic Peninsula section of Acadia National Park covers approximately 2,366 acres. There was a recent increase of 100 acres when a Naval facility on Big Moose Island was decommissioned and converted back to national park land. The existing buildings now serve as part of the Schoodic Education and Research Center known by the acronym of SERC.
SERC GPS: Latitude 44.336629; Longitude -68.057280
Entrance to Schoodic
The road that leads south to the park from Route 186 in Winter Harbor is called Big Moose Road. A little over a mile from Route 186 is the Park Entrance. There is no fee required as of this date to enter. Immediately on your right will be a turnoff to Frazer Point picnic area where there are restrooms if needed and a nice view of Winter Harbor. From this point on, the 5.5 mile park road is one-way except for the short section that turns off onto Schoodic Point. There will be several turnoffs along the way for you to pause and take in the spectacular views of the islands including the majestic Mount Desert Island.
Schoodic Head & Shoreline
On the left side of the park road near West Pond Cove, there is a narrow dirt and gravel road that leads to Schoodic Head, the highest point on the peninsula. Its 440 foot peak provides commanding views of Frenchman Bay and Cadillac Mountain to the west.
The Schoodic shoreline consists of exposed and weathered red granite that varies from 10 to 100 feet in width from ocean to the beginning of plants, and a forest that is largely pine-birch but also consists of white, red and black spruce, northern white cedar, cherry, alder, mountain ash, and a variety of maples. Several islands of various sizes, also part of Acadia National Park, are nearby including Little Moose Island, Schoodic Island, Pond Island, and Rolling Island.
There are a number of unique and unspoiled villages in the Downeast Schoodic Region such as Winter Harbor, Corea (both classic Maine fishing villages), Prospect Harbor, West Gouldsboro, Sorrento (a fishing and resort community), Sullivan, and others along with special spots worth visiting such as Grindstone Neck, Grindstone Point, and Cranberry Point.
The Hulls Cove Visitor Center in Bar Harbor is approximately 45 miles away from Schoodic Point via the land route yet only about 4 miles across Frenchman Bay as the crow flies. During summer months, a ferry service provides transportation from Bar Harbor to Winter Harbor. From this ferry terminal, the Island Explorer Bus Service also provides seasonal transportation to the villages of Prospect Harbor and Winter Harbor as well as to the Schoodic section of Acadia National Park. (Ferry information: 207-288-2984)
Explore the Schoodic Region
If you are using a desktop or laptop computer, be sure to use the interactive Schoodic Region Map to explore the area as this is key to easy navigation. Just click on the actual locations on the map itself to access information and photos. Try clicking on all photos. The smaller ones will open to enlarged versions. Clicking the large photos will take you to another one in a series or back to the map for easy navigation.
Acadia at Schoodic Entrance GPS: Latitude 44.375098; Longitude -68.070323
Schoodic Point GPS: Latitude 44.332812; Longitude -68.060946
There is so much here!
This is a gorgeous and unspoiled section of Acadia National Park that appears ready to spring into the new century through an expanded awareness of what is available here. The designation of a key section of the region as part of the Schoodic National Scenic Byway has helped (view the Schoodic Map to see). Some sections of Acadia National Park, especially during August, can be very crowded. If you find this happening consider making the trip to this part of Acadia National Park on the mainland. But don’t wait for the crowd to motivate you. I really enjoy doing photography here within the park and in the many surrounding villages. There is so much here!