Thursday, May 4, 2017

EXPLORING BAR ISLAND IN ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

First off, Bar Island can only be reached by boat or by crossing the sand bar at low tide.  Explorers have two hours before the low tide mark, and two hours after the low tide mark to explore the island.
At one time only half of Bar Island belonged to Acadia National Park, but today the entire island  belongs to the park.  Despite the entire island now belonging to the Park service, there is only one official trail on the island.  That said, if you do a little looking, you will find at least half a dozen unmarked trails on the small island.
Let's begin with the official trail, it begins near one end of the sand bar, with a sign and a gate across the narrow dirt road.  This Trail runs up through the woods, coming out into a large field.  As the road cuts through the field, look toward the field to the left, by the edge of the woods is an apple tree and deer can often be spotted by the tree.  At the far end of the field you approach an official trail post and trail leading up to the summit.

As you approach the sign post, look to the right for a well worn trail leading  into the woods, that road once led to a house where a well known person lived who did the voice on many PBS documentaries.  The house is no longer there, but you will find several foundations, some old walls, and at least two very large fireplaces that are still standing.
view from Glacial Rock Trail - Bar Island, Acadia National Park

The road continues well past the first foundations, but you need to seek it out, look for worn paths. 
Now as you start down that right hand turn away from the official trail, you will quickly come to a sign, private property.  Ignore the sign, it was placed by by the gentleman who lived there once.  Now that the park owns the entire island, it is all available for you to explore.
As you make your way back on the official trail, you will pass old dirt roads and paths, explore to your delight.
Glacial Trail, Bar Island, Acadia National Park

Now lets go back to the sign and gate you came to as you came onto Bar Island.  If you follow the dirt road up the hill into the woods, it runs in a straight line until it comes to a sharp curve.  At the sharp curve, look to the left to an almost hidden worn trail.  This is what some locals refer to as the Glacial rock trail.
Glacial Rock, Bar Island, Acadia National Park

  At the start of this unmarked trail you have some nice ocean views as well as some nice views of the sand bar.  The trail than enters the woods, and runs in an almost straight line toward the back corner of Bar Island.  One is in the woods just before the cliff, the other rests along one side of the cliff.  This is also where kayaks  pass on a guided tour, and the tour guide tells of the giant glacial boulders.
There is also a beach on the far rear of Bar Island, but no trail leads to it and you have to make your way there along the rocky shoreline.
Map of Bar Island - Acadia National Park

When three cruise ships come to Bar Harbor, one usually anchors to the back side of Bar Island, and you get get a very closeup view of it from this trail.

Road to Bar Island Summit Trail - Acadia National Park





Bar Harbor view from Bar Island - Acadia National Park


Deer in Deer Field, Bar Island, Acadia National Park

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