Bar Harbor from the Water

Do you know that Bar Harbor is located on an island? The Mount Desert Island to be exact. Before a toll bridge was built to connect the island to the mainland in 1837, all transportation occurred by water.

Fitz Henry Lane, 1856
Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

By the 1860s, visitors could take a direct steamboat from Boston to Mount Desert Island. When a railway was built to reach Hancock in 1884, visitors still preferred to take a ferry to Bar Harbor rather than ride a carriage. Up until the early 1900s, most visitors preferred to come to Mount Desert Island by boat.

Steamer Norumbega at Bar Harbor, Frenchman Bay, 1906.
Source: Southwest Harbor Public Library Digital Archive.

Today we have cheaper and faster means of transportation than using boats to get to places. Surprisingly it is not the case if you choose to visit the Schoodic Peninsula side of Acadia National Park from Bar Harbor. The car journey around the coastline is more that 40 miles long and takes more than an hour to complete. On the contrary, a $15 boat ride from Bar Harbor over to the Winter Harbor takes only 45 minutes. While on the boat, you can feast your eyes on islands (including Porcupine Islands) and mountains, search for lighthouses and wildlife. The Island Explorer ‘free’ shuttle at Winter Harbor will take you into Acadia National Park. And if your remember to bring a picnic lunch, you can have an offbeat budget adventure.

The Bar Harbor Ferry runs from May 27 to October 10, 2022. Call 207-288-4585 or visit Bar Harbor Ferry website to reserve your tickets.

Disclaimer: This guide contains links to other websites. Unless otherwise indicated, such links are not endorsements or referrals of any products, services, or information contained in such websites- no information in any such website has been endorsed or approved hereby.

View of Bar Harbor from the Water, 1909.
Source: Southwest Harbor Public Library Digital Archive.

Do you want to have more interesting and meaningful quests while visiting Acadia National Park? Then, check out my book available on Amazon as paperback and Kindle editions.

Copyright © 2022 by E.Gra. Unless otherwise noted, all rights reserved. Unless otherwise indicated, no part of this work may be reproduced, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the author’s prior written consent.