Located a little east of Ellsworth along historic Route 1, the Schoodic region is the beginning of the Downeast Acadia trail. Route 1 and Route 186 were designated the Schoodic National Scenic Byway in June, 2000. The Schoodic Byway is your chance to enjoy this region’s unique historic, scenic and recreational opportunities. Visit the Taunton Bay Gateway on Route 1 in Hancock for up-to-date information.
Whether you are seeking the excitement of kayaking through sea spray, hiking the Maine woods, paddling clear lakes, or searching out the ambiance of a small New England sea-side village, (sitting quietly atop a rocky perch watching lobster boats pulling in their catch), the Schoodic region is a treat. At night experience a brilliant star lit sky, the call of loons across the water and a hearty lobster dinner.
Traveling the 27 mile Schoodic Byway you will see tidal falls that reverse direction every six hours, historic architecture, piers piled high with lobster traps, clam diggers working knee deep in muc, and a largely undiscovered portion of Acadia National Park. Shop in country stores, galleries and antique shops; buy bread from local bakers, sample the catch-of-the=day, go fishing and catch your own, or rent a bicycle or kayak to tour Acadia and surroundings. Stay in one of the many local area campgrounds, inns or bed and breakfasts.
The earliest inhabitants were small groups of Indians who settled here several thousand years ago. Clams were a staple of their diets and could be easily dug from the mud of the tidal flats. Because clam shells can take thousands of years to deteriorate, the buried mounds of shells that are revealed by shore erosion still mark those earliest settlements.
Historians and architects will enjoy the preserved rural character of the Schoodic area. There are more than 20 lighthouses in Downeast Maine and some of the most noteworthy are found right here. Heritage visitors not only get to see historic architecture like the Stone Store on Route 1 and the West Gouldsboro Village Library on Route 186, but can even live it. Several local inns and bed and breakfasts are themselves registered historic buildings reviewed in Downeast and Yankee magazines.
Fishing, lumbering, shipbuilding, small-scale gold and silver mining, and granite quarrying played an important role in this area’s development. Fishing and boat building continue to dominate the Schoodic economy and culture to this day.