Bass Harbor, Maine, is a well known fishing village at the southwestern side of Mount Desert Island and is actually part of the Hancock County municipality of Tremont. It shares the well protected harbor with another village, also part of Tremont, called Bernard. They actually sit directly across from each other - one on the east side, the other to the west. From either side, visitors to the area should easily be able to capture some classic images of a New England fishing village, complete with lobster boats and traps, buoys, dinghies, yachts, piers, and fishermen, all from the “quietside.”
At one point, the village was called “McKinley.” The story as to how it got this name sounds very much like something that could happen on the coast of Maine. A U.S. Post Office had just been constructed in the village during the early 1900s but no one had yet decided on what to call it. Some federal officials asked the locals what they preferred to which someone snapped “Name it after the president for all we care.” So, the post office and the village became McKinley until 1961, when a petition was passed that changed the village name to Bass Harbor.
Acadia National Park encompasses a very large section of Mount Desert Island (note the green on the image of the map to the right). One of the most recognized locations in the park is Bass Harbor Head Light, a short distance east of the main village section. The lighthouse sits on the southern most point of Mount Desert Island marking the entrance to this beautiful harbor.
As one might expect, lobster fishing is an important industry for Bass Harbor and it is one of the strongest ports for this in the State of Maine. Like other parts of Mount Desert Island, several businesses do cater to the tourism trade.
Photos: Morning Fog | Harbor Fishing | Lobster Boat | Sunset
The Free Island Explorer Shuttle Bus Service makes regular (in season) stops at the Bass Harbor Ferry Terminal. (Refer to their #7 Southwest Harbor Route.) The bus also stops in Bar Harbor at the Village Green.
Regular ferry service is available to Swans Island and Frenchboro from the Terminal. For information on this, view the following schedules:
Ferry Service to Frenchboro
Ferry Service to Swans Island
Explore Bass Harbor, Maine