Acadia
National Park Maine

Schoodic Peninsula

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Waves crashing over a rocky coastline at sunset
Sunset at Schoodic Peninsula

NPS Photo/Kent Miller

 

Visit Schoodic Peninsula

Schoodic Peninsula, the only part of Acadia National Park found on the mainland, boasts granite headlands that bear erosional scars of storm waves and flood tides. Although similar in scenic splendor to portions of Mount Desert Island, the Schoodic Coast is a more secluded area. It is about an hour drive from the Hulls Cove Visitor Center on Mount Desert Island.

After passing through the town of Winter Harbor and entering the park, you will find the Frazer Point Picnic Area, with tables, fire rings, comfort stations, and drinking water along with seacoast views of islands, coves and rocky beaches. Leaving the picnic area, the park road is one-way and parallels the western shore of the peninsula leading to Schoodic Point. There are automobile turnouts for viewing along the way. From these turnouts you can see Mount Desert Island and enjoy views of lobster boats, wheeling gulls, and forest-draped islands.

About two and one half miles from the picnic area, an unmarked trail ascends to the top (440 feet) of Schoodic Head. This is a narrow gravel road, so please exercise caution when meeting traffic. Although you can drive up the one mile road, you may choose to walk. on a clear day, from the summit, vistas of the ocean, forests, and mountains claim your attention. Returning to the main road, keep right at the intersection past the entrance to the Schoodic Institute. This is a two-way section of road. Along this windswept coast, huge granite ledges turn Atlantic Ocean waves into lofty geysers and dark-colored basaltic dikes intrude between slabs of pink granite.

After leaving Schoodic point, bear right and follow the road - one-way again - until you reach Blueberry Hill Parking Area, about one mile beyond Schoodic point. If you look towards the ocean, Schoodic Island emerges. To your right is Little Moose Island, behind you and across the road is a steep slope called The Anvil. You can reach the summit of this 180 foot promontory via the trail which starts across the road from the parking lot. About two miles from Blueberry Hill parking Area, the park ends at Wonsqueak Harbor. Two miles beyond the park is the villa of Birch Harbor and the intersection of Route 186.

 

Getting Around

The 6 mile (10 km), one-way loop road around Schoodic Peninsula offers views of lighthouses, seabirds, and forested islands. Use vehicle turnouts to stop and enjoy the scenery. Stopping on the road and parking outside of designated pull-offs are prohibited.

Arey Cove Road leads to Schoodic Point, a windswept, rocky point providing spectacular views of Mount Desert Island.

RVs are permitted only on the section of Schoodic Loop Road that accesses Schoodic Woods Campground. Unless otherwise posted, the speed limit is 35 mph.

During the summer season, the fare-free Island Explorer buses provide free transportation in and around the peninsula. The bus drivers stop when waved down by visitors and buses are equipped with bicycle racks.

 
Campsite in a forest with multiple tents
Group camping at Schoodic Woods Campground

Photo by Will Newton, Friends of Acadia, NPS

Explore This Area

Bicycling

Enjoy riding the Schoodic Loop Road and the 8.3 miles (13.4 km) of bike paths. Bicyclists must obey the one-way traffic flow on the road and are encouraged to use fare-free Island Explorer buses and bike paths. Steep and winding bike paths provide spectacular views.

Bicycle Safety Tips

  • Riding single-file is recommended as bike paths are narrow and are often hilly with blind curves.
  • Yield to walkers and notify others in advance of passing.
  • Please be alert to emergency response and maintenance vehicles may be traveling on the bike paths.
  • Keep an eye on children in your group.
  • Keep speeds down.
  • Intersection numbers are posted at each junction.
  • Keep track of where you are and where you're going.

Camping

Tent, hike-in, group, and RV sites (with hookups) are available at the Schoodic Woods Campground. For more information visit our Camping page.

Hiking

Schoodic Peninsula has many hiking opportunities. See trail descriptions below for distances and trailheads.

Alder Trail
0.6 miles (1 km)
Traveling amongst premier birding habitat, this trail leads from Blueberry Hill parking area to the start of Schoodic Head Trail.

Anvil Trail
1.1 miles (1.8 km)
Rocky and steep sections mark this trail up the southeastern side of Schoodic Head.

Buck Cove Mountain Trail
3.2 miles (5.1 km)
Beginning near the group sites in Schoodic Woods, this trail passes through forests and highbush blueberries to summit Buck Cove Mountain and continue up the north face of Schoodic Head.

East Trail
0.5 miles (0.8 km)
Ascending the east face of Schoodic Head, this trail has steep sections that will require some scrambling.

Lower Harbor Trail
1.5 miles (2.4 km)
Following the coastline this trail wanders through pine forests, offering the possibility of viewing sea birds.

Schoodic Head Trail
0.6 miles (1 km)
This rocky trail summits Schoodic Head from the end of Alder Trail.

Sundew Trail
0.7 miles (1.1 km)
This nature trail travels through dense forests near the coastline on the Schoodic Education and Research Center campus.

 

Ranger Programs

Park ranger programs at Schoodic are offered seasonally. Check the calendar below for scheduled programs. For programs offered by our partner, the Schoodic Institute, check their events calendar.

 

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Last updated: August 12, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME 04609

Phone:

(207) 288-3338

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