Bar Harbor/Acadia NP Area

I am heading up to Bar Harbor/Acadia this weekend and looking for somewhere to paddle with my wife. My wife is a novice and has been in canoes and row boats, but never a kayak. She will be paddling a WS Tsunani 145. I am a pretty good paddler with no roll, but very good with other self-rescue techniques and have paddled 15 miles in strong ocean currents several times. We have all the warm clothing and safety gear including drysuits and drytops and farmer johns.

I am looking for a area that is pretty calm and an easy paddle area for her. An area that we can go out and back in roughly 2 to 3 h that isn’t “in” the ocean. Any ideas? Jordan Pond?



Yes, Jordon Pond
It is beautiful. Clear water with exciting boulders shimmering on the bottom, dense forest on the shores, and high hills in the distance. Can’t go wrong there!

I was
out there last late summer/fall when I still had my old Loon 138 and was looking to do some kayaking in the ocean but still be protected. I was camping on my trip and ended up staying in Lamoine state park. It’s a very nice park right on the shore and it looks out onto Mount Desert Island. If you put in at the boat launch at the park you’re in the Mount Desert Narrows which is about like paddling on a lake, except for the tide changes. Lots of clams, star fish, and even a few seals while I was there. Some lobster boats work out of the area and at the end of the day you can watch then unload their catch at the boat landing.

From there you could also paddle out into Frenchmans bay and around the island as much as you want. I also launched from Marlboro beach (near Lamoine State Park) and paddled around there as well which was also nice. I was pretty much by myself in both places.

I also drove farther up the coast on a recommendation I got from someone else at the park to Pembroke and it was lovely up there. No more big towns or crowds and lots of big bays that are fairly protected. Camped at the reversing falls in Pembroke which weren’t very easy to find but well worth it (the sign on a gravel road was about 20 feet in the air nailed to a telephone pole. Drove past it twice before seeing it). Cool place full of seals, a nice hiking trail, and even a couple ship wrecks (boat wrecks would be more appropriate).

I actually spent very little time in Acadia National Park on my trip. There weren’t that many people when I was there (about a week after labor day) but there was more then I was looking for. I wanted to feel a little bit more on my own. I did paddle Jordan pond and it was very nice; I enjoyed the ocean more though.

I’ve been brushing up on my kayaking skills and now have an honest to goodness sea kayak so I can’t wait to get back to the ocean again (live in Iowa) for bigger water.



Salt water options
On the north side of the island is Hadley Point. Beach type launch and if you proceed west towards Thompson Island and the Twinnies it is an extremely protected paddle. Plan for high tide’ish to have the best water.

Another option might be Somes Sound. You can launch from the boat launch at the town picnic area on Sargent Drive. The Sound is also protected although a stiff breeze running with the Sound can build some chop.

You can also launch from the Bar in Bar Harbor (park on West St.) and paddle in some relatively protected waters. Try paddling along the shore down towards the breakwater. Would give you the water view of the Rusticator (mansions) side of Bar Harbor.

Safe journeys.

Watch out for the Tsunamis!! The ground has been shakin’ in Baaa Haaabor for the last week or so. About Mag 4 just yesterday.

Thompson Park
Thompson Park is a great place to launch from and you can paddle in the protected waters of Mt. Desert Narrows, Western and Eastern Bay. The park is the first left after you cross the bridge to Mt. Desert Island on Route 3. It’s a nice picnic area too.

This was my launch spot for my one day solo circumnavigation of Mt. Desert Island on Sept. 16th. Forty-five miles and 11 hours later, I was back at Thompson Park again with very tired arms :slight_smile:


Try this
This is on the tip of Deer Isle, which is just a few miles from Bar Harbor. My family and I went there a few years ago and I was the only one who had any experience. We all had a great time.


Thanks to All
I must say, Acadia/Mount Desert Island is a paddlers’s heaven. Beatiful palces to paddle; both fresh and salt water. We ended up paddling in Pretty Marsh, but any of the places in/around the Island would be ideal. Jordan Pond is probably too small for a decent paddle, but Somes Sound, Eagle Lakes, and Frenchman Bay look beautiful. We are already planning a trip back.


If you get a chance, go by Geddy’s
in Bar Harbor after paddling for a cold beer and some of the best bar food anywhere. Burgers and pizza are fantastic.

We Ate At Geddy’s
Decent grub and pretty reasonably priced.

We also ate a Jeanie’s, or something like that, right around the corner for breakfast. HUGE Blueberry Pancakes. I couldn’t finish them (3X 10" diameter, 3/4" thick Buttermilk ones).