Acadia Towns & Villages
There are many towns and villages interwoven with Acadia National Park. Each has its own unique character and offerings for the visitor. All should be looked at as being part of a larger community. They range from quiet little fishing villages like Bass Harbor or Corea to larger and more well-known resort towns such as Bar Harbor. The best way to explore and become familiar with them is through the maps. On larger viewing screens, you can click on locations to access information and photos. The Mount Desert Island or Acadia Map covers the main portion of the park on Mount Desert Island and the surrounding villages. The Schoodic Map covers the portion of Acadia National Park that is located on the mainland and the communities surrounding it. Another way that gives a sense of discovery and serendipity is to just click on the various links. This way, you may end up learning about a place you never heard of. As with the above mentioned maps, the following information about the towns and villages is sorted into those two disctict regions.
Little About Schoodic
Schoodic Peninsula is an approximate 35-45 minute drive from Mount Desert Island but well worth the trip if you can fit it in. There are fewer crowds and there is a long shoreline on the eastern, western, and southern sides making it ideal for sunrise and sunset type photography. Take along food and beverage for a picnic as there are not very many eating options over there. The mid-point in the journey is Ellsworth, the main commericial center for Hancock County and Down East Maine. There are some larger box stores there and a wide variety of other business options so you may want to plan around that as well.
Stats & Facts
- The first settlement on Mount Desert Island (MDI) was in present day Somesville.
- There are only four townships on MDI: Bar Harbor, Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert, and Tremont.
- The current municipality of Bar Harbor was once called Eden.
- Native Americans were here as far back as 4,000 B.C.
- In 1604, the famous French Explorer Samuel de Champlain had to winter in Otter Cove after damaging the hull of his ship near Otter Cliff on MDI.
- The first non-Native American settler on the Schoodic Peninsula was Thomas Frazer, an African American who established and operated a Salt Works company in 1790. At the time, the land was part of Gouldsboro. It later was named Frazer Point in his honor.
- In about 1791, land in the Schoodic area was being sold for 10 cents per acre.
Accept the Challenge!
I would guess that the majority of visitors to Acadia National Park mainly know two places - Bar Harbor and Acadia. Far fewer know of towns or villages such as Southwest Harbor and Northeast Harbor. The percentage gets even smaller when it is about how many have heard of Sullivan, Winter Harbor, Prospect Harbor, or, especially, Corea. Yet, all of these places are significant in their own special ways for their unique histories, where they are located, and the gorgeous landscapes and seascapes that can be found in them. Having had a chance to explore them all, I have gained a unique perspective about this whole area which I refer to as the Acadia Region. I would suggest that any visitor, has much limited their experience by not stretching out more and discovering the whole region. Go ahead… Take the challenge!