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Mount Desert Island

Mount Desert Island

The Quiet Side of Mount Desert Island lies west of the long Somes Sound. Three towns comprise this delightful part of the island; Tremont, Southwest Harbor and part of the Town of Mount Desert. At the head of the Sound sits the beautiful village of Somesville, the first settlement on the island.

Noted for its boat building and related maritime interests, Southwest Harbor occupies a strategic position at the mouth of the Sound. Tremont has several small villages. Bass Harbor and Bernard are devoted mainly to lobster fishing and the small harbor between them is often filled with fishing boats.

Much of the Quiet Side is part of Acadia National Park. Many hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging climbs, are found in the hilly part of the area. Two nature trails, Wonderland and Ship Harbor, are on the south shore and lead one to the tide pools where sea life can be found. The Seawall, a barrier of rounded cobbles thrown up by wave action, is evidence of the power of the sea and is an exciting place to visit during a storm. Two large lakes within the Park area, Long Pond and Echo Lake, are available for quiet paddling on a summer day or for sailing an iceboat in the depth of winter. Bass Harbor Head lighthouse is easily accessible and is a challenging subject for photographers.

In summer, the historic Claremont Hotel in Southwest Harbor hosts a croquet tournament in which serious players play for bragging rights. Summer is capped off in the town by Octoberfest–a happy celebration. Museums, interesting restaurants, and small shops make even a brief visit to the Quiet Side of Mount Desert Island a memorable experience.

 

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