Schoodic Peninsula – The Quiet Side of Acadia National Park | Debbi Marquette Photography

Have you ever heard of the Schoodic Peninsula?  I had not until I researched Acadia National Park for a trip.  It is a special slice of heaven and has all of the beauty of the main part of Acadia National Park without all of the crowds.  With over 4 million visits to Acadia National Park each year, according to the National Park Service, it is the 5th most visited National Park (in 2022).  But, it is one of the smallest National Parks so the crowds bring long lines, limited parking and overcrowding.  However, if you want quintessential Maine, check out the Schoodic Peninsula in Acadia National Park which is only visited by approximately 10% of the Acadia National Park visitors.  

Maine is synonymous with lobsters.  Schoodic Peninsula has unchanged villages of lobster boats and fishermen.  Authentic fishermen in their neoprene waders that look like they came off a made for Maine movie set.  

It’s the real deal and feels like a true Maine experience.  You will see quintessential coastal towns, rocky coastline, panoramic ocean views, and lighthouses.  It is one of Acadia National Park’s best-kept secrets!

As for the views, you are welcomed by the sights, sounds and smells of the Atlantic Ocean as it crashes rhythmically to shore.  Smells of salt in the air, the sounds of seagulls  Shades of blue or gray skies meet the deep blue ocean extending past islands and coves.  Enjoy the scenery because this is REAL Maine – untouched, unaltered by tourism.  

Getting to Schoodic Peninsula, Acadia National Park

There are two ways to get to Schoodic Peninsula. First, there are two ferries you can take from Bar Harbor.  A bus will meet you when you get to the peninsula.  We choose to drive over to Schoodic rather than take the ferry.  This way, we were able to see surrounding towns and villages and also were able to keep our own timetable.   

To get there, first head north on Route 1 until you reach route 186.  Then, you have made it to Schoodic Peninsula!    

Dirt Road worth taking

My husband and I have a tendency of going on adventures – meaning we will take a dirt road and side road and often get lost.  But it is the best way to see something amazing.   When you see the sign for Gray Road, turn onto it.  It turns into a dirt road.  But keep going and you run into an amazing part of the rocky coast.  We were the only people there!  

We explored this area for some time.  You can stand upon the surf pounded rocky coast and watch the power of the Atlantic Ocean.  The wind drives the sea into spectacular waves that crash on the rocks left here by an eruption of magma millions of years ago.  The rugged coastline is a photographer’s dream with sea, sky, earth, trees and flowers.  

Winter Harbor

There is something special about watching lobster boats and fishermen that draw me in.  In Winter Harbor you get both.  

Lobster traps are brought in to load onto the boats.  They are pushed down a ramp by the deckhand to be loaded onto the boat.  

Below a local fisherman used the dinghy as a paddle board to get to his moored lobster boat. 

Here is a view of Winter Harbor and the lobster boats. 

Prospect Harbor

Prospect Harbor showed us more lobster traps and lobster boats along with flowers on the coast and a rainbow!

Winter Harbor Lighthouse

You can view Winter Harbor lighthouse from Grindstone Point.  There is a closer view later down the road. The lighthouse was built in 1856 and the two-story keeper’s house was built in 1876.  Now, it is privately owned.  However, while taking pictures of the lighthouse, you see why it was so important.  The first picture shows the fog rolling in with the grey skies in the background. In less than 5 minutes, the lighthouse is surrounded by fog.

Other notable stops

There are other stops in Schoodic Peninsula, Acadia National Park definitely worth stopping at including Grindstone point where you can see Winter Harbor lighthouse across the water, Schoodic Point which is another peaceful rocky coast, and Prospect Harbor.  

You may find yourself one of the few people on Schoodic Peninsula watching the ocean and rocky cliffs.  The views of Frenchman Bay and surrounding area are breathtaking and the lobster boats are fascinating to watch.  For now, this part of Acadia National Park is unchanged and natural.  I hope you get to experience all the Schoodic Peninsula has to offer.  

My Camera

I’m often asked what camera I shoot with.  I’m a firm believer that any modern camera today can produce a good picture.   I use a Canon R5 as my main camera.  It is a mirrorless camera, and more importantly it is a great tool.  I am able to get it to translate the vision that I see into a photograph.  My key reasons for this camera are: 

  • It is 45 mp.  For some photographers, that may be too much as it produces large files.  As a landscape photographer it is my sweet spot. 
  • It’s a Canon.  I have used a lot of Canon cameras and have always found them dependable, reliable and intuitive to use.  
  • The RF lenses are truly amazing.  I have always had EF-L series lenses, but the RF lenses produce stunning images.  
  • The image stabilization is outstanding.
  • It is not too large, and not too small and works well as a travel camera for landscape photography.  

But this isn’t a blog about cameras.  If you want to know more, please contact  me. 

Debbi Marquette Photography is located in Upstate New York at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains.  Debbi is  an award winning and published  travel, landscape and bald eagle photographer specializing in artistic, authentic, and memorable landscape and wildlife photography.   She travels frequently, lives near the mountains and constantly has a camera in her hand to capture photographs so others can see the beauty of our world.

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