"High Island" is the name given by Samuel Champlain during his explorations of the Maine coast in 1604. Although shell heaps along the island's shores tell of an American Indian presence long before Champlain's arrival, it wasn't until the end of the American Revolution that farmers, fishermen, and boat builders came to the island in large numbers. In the 1880s a small summer community was established, attracted by agreeable weather and idyllic scenery.
In 1943, heirs of the founder of that community donated portions of Isle au Haut to the federal government as part of Acadia National Park. Because of their generosity, much of the island's beauty is now yours to experience and enjoy.
Half of Isle au Haut is managed by Acadia. The other half is privately owned, with summer residents and a year-round fishing community.
Isle au Haut is linked to the mainland by a year-round, passenger-only ferry from Stonington to the Isle au Haut Town Landing. From mid-June through late September, the ferry also stops at the Duck Harbor Boat Landing, near the campground. The ferry operates on a first-come, first-served basis.
Fare and Schedule Information
Isle au Haut Boat Services
There are five miles (8 km) of paved roads and seven miles (11 km) of rough, unpaved roads on the island. Mountain bikes are recommended. Bicycles are prohibited on hiking trails. The ferry charges an additional fee to transport bicycles to and from the Isle au Haut Town Landing only.
Rules and Regulations
The number of visitors allowed in the Isle au Haut section of Acadia is limited. Please follow rules and regulations and plan ahead to help protect this area of the park:
Duck Harbor Campground
Camping is permitted in designated sites only at Duck Harbor Campground and reservations are required. Five sites are available from May 15 to October 13. Visit Duck Harbor Campground for more information.
Eighteen miles (29 km) of trails offer opportunities to explore rocky shorelines, wooded uplands, marshes, bogs, and a mile-long (1.6 km) freshwater lake. Be prepared for rough trails. Bring adequate foot gear, warm clothing, and rain gear. Duck Harbor provides the best starting point for hiking. Temperatures on island average 10ºF (5ºC) cooler than the mainland.
Duck Harbor Mountain