Treasure Hunt on Shore Path

Tichnor Brothers, Publisher, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Shore Path is very well known to the locals and visitors alike. It is defined on Google Map. However, besides breathtaking sweeping ocean views, Shore Path of Bar Harbor keeps a few secrets. Here, you can touch the rock that is more than 465-million-year-old, try your strength against a glaciers, marvel at the Porcupine islands shape in the distance and peek at a Bar Harbor historical mansion, one of the few survivals of The Great Fire. In this adventure you can look for one of the secrets or discover them all. Happy hunting!

  • Look for the rock that is more than 465-million-year-old

Do you know that Bar Harbor is located on an island? The Mount Desert Island to be exact. Well, it happens that Mount Desert Island is the 3rd-largest island off the East Coast of continental United States. Geologists estimate that it was born under the sandstone and siltstone of Ancient Ocean, during the region’s volcanic activities- approximately 420 million years ago. Much of that rock was transformed by magma into granite and basalt of the now island’s mountains. However, the neighboring sandstone and siltstone that avoided contact with magma survived till today. Evidence of the survivors can be found only in two areas on the island. The first site is on Shore Path. Another site is a small section on Ocean Path in Acadia Nation Park. Both paths displays exposed layers of ancient sandstone and siltstone which are more than 465-million-year-old.

  • Offerings of the Last Glaciers: Can you spot a big one?
Poised Rock on Shore Path, 1900
Library of Congress, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Roughly 20,000 years ago, the last Ice Age’s glaciers sculpted out the majority of the distinct features of Mount Desert Island. While retreating, glaciers transported boulders (a.k.a. erratics), leaving them far off from their origin. Poised Rock on Shore Path is one of such boulders – a huge chunk of granite from far away land left on the beach by some colossal force.

Until 1932, the rock was a very popular scenic landmark of the island due to its size and awkward position, as it appeared to be balanced as though the slightest push would top it over. Many people questioned Poised Rock’s out-of-place appearance, many more photographed its wonder, and, of course, the mischievous ones tried to tip it.

Tipped over “former” Poised Rock around 1939
Tichnor Brothers, Publisher, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

And then, a disaster stroke. It seems as if the ocean decided to participate in the Competition of the Strongest as well. The wave from November storm of 1932 tipped the rock just a little. These 2 feet made all the difference, destroying the rock’s distinctiveness.

Just like in life, once famous people can be forgotten and so, today, Poised Rock is not poised anymore but just another pebble on the beach. Well, while people’s hype and recognition can be fleeting, the rock’s impressive size and out-of-the-area chemical composition is still a notable reminder of the powerful last Ice Age’s glaciers.

Sheep Burnt too Long go Bald
  • And, finally, search for a tucked away Tudor Revival historical mansion

The Breakwater cottage, now called Atlantique, was a Bar Harbor summer residence built in Tudor Revival architecture style for John and Annie Kane. John was an explorer, scientist, philanthropist, and active member of the Bar Harbor Path Committee. In 1908, Kane family helped the creation of Acadia National Park by contributing funds toward the acquisition of land on Dorr Mountain in 1808. After John died, Annie funded construction of Kane Path in Acadia National Park in her husband memory.

Well, their Breakwater cottage was designed by the local architect Fred L. Savage, who later went on to design Sieur de Mont Springhouse in Acadia National Park. Built in 1904, 12-bedroom masterpiece is the most elaborate Fred Savage’s design that has survived to date. The cottage is privately owned and does not admit visitors. However, you can see it from the Shore Path. Here is a little help on how to find the cottage.


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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.