WILLIAM & DEBORAH HILLYARD

Travel -

Maine

- Mount Desert Island

Introduction

There is a map of Acadia National Park here that links to a wealth of information about the area.  We have split the pictures into a series of pages; make your selection by clicking the appropriate content item in the slide out menu to the left. 
the walk along the shore path that we document in this section. 
Cadillac Mountain and its superb views. 
The Seal Cove automobile museum, which is also documented here. 
Open all the year, the Abbe Museum is dedicated to the culture of Maine's Native American population. 
The Bar Harbor Historical Society has a museum with exhibits highlighting the Gilded Age in Bar Harbor; it is well worth a visit. 
The Bar Harbor Whale Museum used to features exhibits relating to the whales around Bar Harbor.  Profits went to support research by Allied Whale, who are based at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor.  Sadly, this has closed down following re-development; yet another hotel.  Some of the exhibits are on show at the George B. Dorr Museum; see below. 
The Tiffany Windows in St. Saviour's Church at 41 Mt Desert St. 
George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History is located in the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor and covers the wide range of natural habitats on the island. 
Anemone Cave situated below the Schooner Head Overlook.  In Bar Harbor, take Main Street south.  Schooner Head Road is a left turn just before the Jackson Laboratories. 
Thunder Hole
Native Americans had occupied Mount Desert Island for a long time; it was an excellent source of shellfish among other foodstuffs.  The first European to visit appears to have been Samuel de Champlain in 1604.  Israel Higgins and John Thomas first settled what would become Bar Harbor starting in 1763, though it was called Eden at first.  Fishing, farming, lumber and shipbuilding were the main industries, and it was only later that it became a tourist destination.  This probably started when the Hudson River School of artists, Frederic Church, Thomas Cole etc., discovered the island.  By the middle of the 19th century, the first hotel had been built, the Agamont House.  Alpheus Hardy was the first to build a summer mansion, Birch Point in 1868.  He also built a more modest cottage, Ullikana, in 1885 which survives today as a bed and breakfast inn.  Tourism rocketed through the late 19 th century and the rich and famous built huge mansions that would rival many in Newport, RI.  In 1918, Eden was renamed Bar Harbor.  Unfortunately, in 1947 a huge wildfire destroyed most of the mansions, a number of hotels, and devastated the homes of normal working people.  The fire burned for nearly a month. 

We first visited Bar Harbor in Maine in 2004.  One of the purposes of the trip was to go out on a whale watch; something that neither of us had done before.  We went in early September, which was not the best time as it was crowded, and hotels were fully booked.  We ended up at the Balance Rock Inn, which was expensive but turned out to be an excellent choice.  We returned every year up until 2010, but went out of season, usually in late May or early June and sometimes in October.  Following a change in their management, and a resulting change in how the hotel operated, we elected to change to a bed-&-breakfast inn; the Seacroft Inn, which is wonderful, and superb value.  Generally, we have been very lucky with the weather.  We have taken several whale watching trips with the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company, and they were exhilarating experiences.  Unfortunately, going out of season means that the boat does not always go out either due to lack of demand or because the Atlantic is too rough, so we have missed out in some years.  On our 2010 trip, w
e went out on the whale watch but, alas, failed to spot any whales, though the gorgeous weather made the trip very enjoyable.  At least we received credits for a free trip which we used in 2011, and did get to see a Humpback whale. 


There is a lot to do in and around Bar Harbor including:
Visit: