Mt Desert Island (Maine)

Suggestions for easy sea paddling around Mt Desert Island? “Easy” = sheltered; close to shore; no long open-water crossings; max 10 mi.


"easy paddle"
Tides rule, tidal currents play a role and sheltered often means mud flats at low tide. Add the factor or private land and island owhership and things get more complicated,

Mt Desert Narrows from Thompson Point east to the Ovens and back is ten miles.

The Porcupines in Bar Harbor are easily accessible and you can do the Shore Route going south for a mile or so out of town. Dont try for Ironbound Island,thats a very exposed route.

There is good kayaking in Blue Hill Bay launching from Seal Cove.

There is an out of print book called The Sea Kayakers Guide to Mt Desert Island that you can get used at

Great ideas, thank you!
Very helpful.

It appears the farthest Porcupine is 3 nautical miles offshore. How about the closest one?

Porcupines on a string
The closest one actually is attatched via a bar at low tide.

Put Porcupine Islands Bar Harbor in Google maps. You will see that the inner ones are a mile or less each way. Outfitters take beginners out on tours, but in tandem kayaks.

I completely omitted Long Pond and Eagle Lake.While these are freshwater they are scenic paddling places though the north end of Long Pond is cottaged. If you launch at the south end you have mountains rising above you on both sides.

I would also suggest Somes Sound but at the north end the clam flats are long at low tide.

Long Pond
is on my itinerary. Thanks for the info.

Echo Lake
That was a nice spot that we paddled a couple of Summers back. We also paddled on Frenchman’s Bay but as Kayakmedic stated you want to go with the tides. Don’t forget the ocean water is about 55f in the Summer.

sadly Echo Lake has too many cottages
for me. However it has a very nice sand beach with humane temperature water.