Isle au Haut

Isle au Haut, Penobscot Bay, Maine. About half of the island is part of Acadia National Park, half is privately owned. You can make a day visit to the park end of the island by taking the mail boat from Stonington, Maine. Get the early boat, bacause you'll want to spend the whole day there. Bring your lunch, water, your camera, good walking shoes and don't forget rain gear. The trails along the coast are spectacular.

There are a few vacation rentals. There is an inn at Robinson Point (The Keeper's house), where the lighthouse stands. The usual modes of transport are biking and walking. You can't really take your car over there, although the reidents do have cars (never inspected, but licensed). It\s also a spl;endid place to kayak, although the tides are pretty high (ten to twelve feet).

The island has fewer than 100 year-long residents, many of them lobster fishermen. The summer population is much larger. There is a store and a school. The K-6 (I think) school is small, probably less than six students. There's a tiny post office near the town landing. No restaurants, although you can get food at a consession next to the store. None of that is near the park end of the island.

When you make a day visit, you'll get off the boat at Duck Harbor, the SW end of the island. From there you can hike several trails. Maps are available. My favorites are the Western Head Trail and the Cliff Trail. You get a splendid view from Duck Harbor Mountain. You don't need a bike there; everything is within walking distance. Matter of fact, they don't allow you to unload a bike at Duck Harbor. I think that's to keep the visitors down at that end of the island. The road around the island is about 12 miles, but don't do it; the trails are much more worth doing.

We've been there many times since about 1990. Ask me about it!

Morning fog, looking across towards York Island
sand bar
Fog bank hanging low on a quiet morning
Boom Beach
Boom Beach, always a bit of surf
Western Trail
Sunny day on the Western Head Trail
Cliff Trail
View along the Cliff Trail
Boom Beach
Visitors enjoying the rocks at Boom Beach
old car
Car fading into the earth
Still morning on the cove
lobster fishermen
Lobster fishermen at dawn
Head Harbor
Head Harbor, looking towards the Western Ear
Clouds over Mt. Dessert Island
Morning dew