Seal Cove on MDI
Seal Cove, located on the southwestern side of Mount Desert Island and part of the municipality of Tremont, Maine, has a public boat launch area and a nice spot for a quiet picnic that overlooks the harbor. There are often a variety of lobster boats and yachts anchored just off the shore which makes for a particularly romantic setting when there is early morning fog. Since this is on the western shore of Mount Desert Island, sunsets can often be spectacular and the cove provides some protection from the wind when it is coming from the East or South. This is one of those sweet spots off the beaten path on the island. Acadia National Park is a short distance away to the North, East, and Southeast. While visiting, please keep in mind that about 90% of the properties in this cove are privately owned and not part of the park. The only public portion is the boat launch area.
Seal Cove Parking GPS: 44.283142; -68.408225
This is one of my favorite places to do photography on the western side of the island. I never know for sure what's going to happen. Several times, the morning turned out to be a magical time, especially with the fog. At others, it is the evening when the sunsets or the twilight period after sunset shows itself in rare form. Since most island visitors are elsewhere on the island, one has the additional advantage of there not being any crowds. Locals know this spot and will visit it to access a boat, watch a sunset, or have a nice conversation with a close friend. But, chances are good that one will find some quiet privacy for relaxing, or taking time to get that one special photo capture.
Getting here will depend on what part of Mount Desert island you are coming from. If you take a look at the Mount Desert Island Map, you will find Seal Cove at the lower southwestern side of the island. If you note Route 102, you will also see that it creates a loop of sorts in this quadrant of the island. Just south of Somesville, Route 102 splits. One part goes south towards Southwest Harbor and continues on to the village of Bass Harbor in Tremont. The other part that splits off goes West, then turns in a southerly direction. These will meet and complete the loop. There is a short road that goes off fromthis Route 102 loopin a southwesterly direction called Cape Road that will take you to Seal Cove. Drive slowly as there is a sharp curve and this is close to some homes. The parking area will be on the right as you reach the cove.
Route 102 and Cape Road GPS: 44.286813; -68.400907
- Bass Harbor Memorial Library: (207) 244-3798
89 Bernard Road, Bernard, ME 04612-0066
Hours: Tues. & Thurs. 1 -7, Wed. & Sat. 9 - 1
- Tremont Town Office: (207) 244-7204 Website
20 Harbor Dr., Route 102A, Bass Harbor, ME 04612
- Fire Department (Volunteer): (207) 244-7911
(via Dispatch Center in Southwest Harbor)
Keith Higgins, Fire Chief (noted April 20, 2013)
- Seal Cove, Maine Zip Code: 04674
- Emergencies: Dial 911
- Ambulance: Southwest Harbor/Tremont Nursing (207) 244-7685
- Churches & Synagogues (Regional)
- Chamber of Commerce: (207) 244-9264
- Golf Courses (Regional)
- Seal Cove Pond is just to the North of this location next to Route 102 on the right.
- Seal Cove Pond Boat Ramp GPS: 44.292104; -68.392393
A Local Favorite
Even though Seal Cove is on the southwestern side of Mount Desert Island, I have had some good luck with capturing some nice images early in the morning here from the public boat launch, especially when there is a good fog covering. It takes a little longer for the rays of sunlight to hit here as opposed to the eastern side of MDI, but when it breaks across the trees into the harbor, it can be glorious. Needless to say, this is also an excellent location for sunsets. I was almost reluctant to let everyone know about this spot as I have benefitted from the less traveled nature of the place. This is one of those spots only locals usually know about. While visiting, be sure to respect the local property owners.