Schoodic Peninsula

Waves crash on brown rocks with blue sky and snow covered mountains in the background
Waves at Schoodic Point; a snow covered mount desert island in background


Quick Facts
Winter Harbor, Maine
quiet, mainland portion of Acadia National Park; former Navy base

Information, Information - Maps Available, Information - Ranger/Staff Member Present, Information Kiosk/Bulletin Board, Restroom

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 and 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.  

Area History

The Schoodic Peninsula has been the traditional homelands of the Wabanaki people since time immemorial. Long before Europeans arrived, the Wabanaki traveled here on foot or in seaworthy birchbark canoes. Setting up temporary camps, they hunted, fished, gathered berries, harvested clams, and traded with other Wabanaki for generations. Colonial settlement relied upon the knowledge and guidance of Wabanaki people to succeed and they remained resilient through generations of attempted genocide. 

Early European colonists and settlers established farms and utilized coastal resources to survive in the harsh and isolated environment. One of those residents was Thomas Frazier, the first documented, free African-American resident of what is now known as the Schoodic Penninsula. Since 1935, the peninsula has also been home to the United States navy, when a radio station was constructed to replace a similar facility on Mount Desert Island that stood in the way of the construction of the Park Loop Road. The navy base, most recently known as Naval Security Group Activity Winter Harbor, was located on 100 acres at Schoodic Point. When the Navy announced its intention to close the base at Schoodic, the National Park Service began planning to receive the property. The transfer took place in 2002. 

Home to Schoodic Institute

Today, the Navy base campus has been converted into the Schoodic Institute, a park partner. As a National Park Service Research Learning Center, the Schoodic Institute partners with the NPS to bring science and education to the public.

Acadia National Park

Last updated: December 12, 2022