Place

Bass Harbor Head Light Station

A hand holds a phone poised to snap a photo of a lighthouse bathed in sunset on a rocky coastline.
A hand holds a phone poised to snap a photo of a lighthouse bathed in sunset on a rocky coastline.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Lai. Used with permission.

Quick Facts

Beach/Water Access, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Information, Parking - Auto, Restroom, Scenic View/Photo Spot, Toilet - Vault/Composting, Trailhead, Trash/Litter Receptacles, Wheelchair Accessible

The Bass Harbor Head Light Station is located in Tremont, Maine, marking the entrance to Bass Harbor and Blue Hill Bay on the southwest corner of Mount Desert Island. Of the nearly 80 lighthouses in Maine, few are accessible by vehicle. Acadia manages three lighthouses within the park, and Bass Harbor Head Light Station is the only one readily accessible to visitors by vehicle. A quarter-mile entrance road leads to a parking lot with 27 spaces, and a short hiking trail and stairway to a shoreline viewpoint.

With an estimated 180,000 annual visitors, Bass Harbor Head Light Station is the most visited place on the west side and the fifth most popular destination in the park, behind only Cadillac Mountain, Jordan Pond, Sand Beach, and Thunder Hole. The light station has become iconic and appeared on the America the Beautiful quarter in 2012, and the NPS centennial postage stamp representing the park in 2016.

On July 8, 2020, the National Park Service formally accepted transfer of the Bass Harbor Head Light Station on Mount Desert Island from the U.S. Coast Guard. The station was constructed in 1858 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. The acquisition included six buildings and a 32-foot light tower on 2 acres. The U.S. Coast Guard retains the right to operate and maintain the automated aid to navigation.