Bar Island is the island you will see directly north of the public pier at the eastern end of West Street in Bar Harbor, Maine. (note the photo above) At low tide, a natural land bridge comes into view that connects Bar Harbor, at Bridge Street, to Bar Island making it accessible by foot, bikes, and all terrain or other type of vehicle. To be safe, plan on having no more than 1.5 hours before and after low tide. Otherwise, you could get stuck on the island waiting for the next low tide to return. Make sure that you have a watch or similar device and a cell phone if possible.
The land bridge connects to Bar Island on the western side of the island. The shoreline is covered with boulders and small rocks. Walk up a slight elevation and see a minimal gate. Go beyond this and take the path that leads up a slight incline to the left. After a short distance, this path curves to the right, still climbing until it opens into a small field. Keep your eyes open as you pass through the forested section as well as the fields as there is wild life here. A deer could literally be within 30 feet and you would miss it because it would be motionless and its color would blend in so well.
Go another 150 - 200 feet and you will come to a point where the path splits. Take the one on the left that goes up an incline even further, eventually requiring you to climb a more steep section. This is when it is important to be wearing some good hiking shoes.
This journey will take you to a high point on the eastern side of the island that is a spectacular spot to view Bar Harbor, Champlain Mountain, and Cadillac Mountain from.
Even though Bar Island is very close to Bar Harbor, according to the markings on a Maine Atlas & Gazetteer map, the island appears to actually be within the boundaries of Gouldsboro, a municipality near Schoodic Peninsula. As they say in Maine "You can't get there from here!" Although it is less than five miles away as the crow flies and can be reached via a local ferry service during the summer months (arriving at the Winter Harbor terminal), it takes about 45 minutes to an hour's time to drive there by car.
Photos: Cadillac Mountain | Land Bridge | Autumn | Evening Fog | Sunrise
Check for Bar Harbor Tide Schedules.
Explore & Discover Bar Island