headed there in 2 weeks–do u have favorite paddlin spots----what makes them special to u----probably looking for longer day trips—will spend time in acadia for the 2 days in maine never been there before—thanks for your help—phil
Canoe or kayak?
Cobscook Bay is one of my favorites…its a little north of Lubec on Passamaquoddy Bay. There are no boat rentals near there. If you are looking for some mountains and hiking and paddling be sure to visit Donnell Pond. Its a little north and east of Acadia. You get great views of Acadia from the mountain tops.
I won’t even get into paddling Acadia since you have such little time there.
Are you bringing a boat or renting?
Acadia is little but I don’t know all of it yet. It keeps divulging more secrets and I have been exploring it fifty years now.
i will have my own boat—right now looking at eastern bay–trenton,the ovens—and porupine isl----ive got the dorcas miller book using that right now as a general guide—thanks
if the conditions are right and the fog
is not forecast or seen to be coming in with the tide a wonderful longish day trip is out to Baker Island (beware there is a ledge out there that makes lots of breaking waves) from Northeast Harbor, and coming back around Greening Island.
There are beaches…especially Little Cranberry. We have landed there making sure we are not in someones front yard.
This trip requires you have some seamanship skills. Beware sailboat races around Greening Island. We got caught up in one!
Trenton is mostly sheltered and at low tide…clam flats.
Where you paddle depends a lot on what conditions you're looking for. Much of the water around Acadia is moderately to very exposed, so it's important to be prepared for the possibilities of steep waves, clapotis, and navigational challenges like fog and tidal currents. Porcupine Islands and Cranberry Islands are great areas, but potentially challenging. Bartlett Island (west side of MDI) is more intermediate, on most days. Fair current through the narrows, but it doesn't generally create rough seas.
The Trenton area to the north side of MDI is the most protected ocean paddling around Acadia. The ramp at the airport in Trenton, Lamoine Beach, or Lamoine State park are all good put-ins. Also Hadley Point on MDI. That stretch of water is a good area for seeing eagles, seals and porpoises.
The islands off Stonington offer more camping options if you're looking for that. Also somewhat more protected waters, within the northern end of the archipelago.
Remember that the water is dangerously cold up here, even in the summer. In two weeks we'll probably be in the mid to upper 40s. I was out on Marshall Island, SW of MDI, this past weekend, and my buddy stepped in the water barefoot for about 10 seconds while washing dishes. He said the cold was instantly painful, and his foot hurt for a few minutes. Definitely drysuit season. Be conservative if solo paddling.
If you want more details drop me an email. Enjoy!
Paddling from the ramp at Manset, or the Seawall Picnic Area is a better launch for accessing the Cranberries and Baker, in my opinion. Less traffic, shorter crossings, and less current. Seawall can be a little exposed, so more difficult to launch if seas are up. Watch for exposed conditions on the south side of Great Cranberry, and for strong currents in the gut between Great and Little Cranberry.
If you decide to stop further south, around Rockland, the Mussel Ridge islands are usually safely accessible from Birch Point State Park. It's kinda like a little Stonington, still a protected archipelago but less kayak traffic. A couple of islands inside are on the MITA trail and can be used for day stops. One quarter mile channel crossing at the EASTERN (oops - had to correct that) end, but safe enough with prudence. The channel at the other end has less apt launch points, but more importantly the western crossing can be pretty nasty.
Just one note re fog - if you paddle offshore any decent distance in the summer you have an extremely high likelihood of being caught out in pea soup fog. There is almost always a fog bank sitting offshore in June and July (not as sure about August) and when the winds shift it'll come in a mile and a half in 20 minutes. You can't out-paddle it. So I'd suggest that you make sure your compass and charts are all in order, mark your headings on the way out, and have a charting GPS with spare batteries on board for backup.
But Maine is a great paddle offshore, with all the islands. I just checked and it looks like MITA's website will only give you the full online guide if you join, but the open to all stuff includes general info about paddling the coast and descriptions of ten public islands, one of which is in the Stonington Archipelago. I personally recommend that anyone who can join - they are a great organization. But it may not be worth it for you to cover one trip.
$35 (tax deductible, too). It’s worth it. Currently the MITA guide is the best paddling resource for Maine. There are so many islands available for camping and day-use, but only to members. Also many public islands are described in the guide, but without a MITA guide it’s impossible to know which islands are open to public use.