Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Summer 2007 -- Late September in the USA


Acadia National Park, Maine, USA: Isle au Haut

Boat ride, forest trail, and the New York Times

You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

This is Stonington, Maine, at the southern end of Deer Isle. We're on our way out to Isle au Haut ("Eel-Oh-Oh") for a walk in the forest there. First -- the ferry.

Stonington, Maine, on a sunny, cool 29 September 2007. Still waiting for the ferry.

Ferry docks at Stonington. The Isle au Haut (evolved French for 'High Island') is on the horizon, about 45 minutes away by speedy ferryboat.

Stonington from the ferry boat. We're off.

A small cormorant scouting party

Pulling into the pier at Isle au Haut. Much of the island is part of Acadia National Park, though considerably separated from the rest of it on Mount Desert Island to the northeast. From the pier here, we'll scoot up through the tangly forest along a kilometre of five-metre wide National Park right of way through private land into the interior of the island, where we can burst out onto the trail system throughout the rest of the park.

Following a couple of lunch breaks with excellent sandwiches from Stonington, Kristin leads the way southward along the Duck Harbor Trail. The park properties have been made available by some of the old robber baron families that owned the place and summered here in the 19th century, and some of them are still here evidently.

A few kilometres on, the Duck Harbor trail drops down out of the forest to the shore along Moores Harbor. The Isle au Haut offers a limited number of established camping grounds, chiefly at Duck Harbor, which need to be reserved in advance -- from these it must be possible to spend as many days as you like exploring the hiking trails all over the island, but for a one-day outing on the ferry the destination options are pretty limited.

Of course, there's a very early ferry -- that's not worth discussing. The next one leaves Stonington at 11 and returns at 5 p.m., so for a one day's casual hike, sure to be back before the last boat leaves, well, that pretty much means just as far as Deep Cove.

Very few people can get lost on a seashore, but Deep Cove must be near here somewhere.

The Deep Cove trail misses some of the probably wonderful sites of the island, but it's a short enough hike to be sure of making the last ferry. It's also a short enough hike not to fill the time we do have, so . . .

. . . we'll grasp the opportunity to get through a few of the best pages of The New York Times.

The shoreline of Moores Harbor

And back to the ferry dock in good time. That's Kimball Island across the strait, named after one of the original families.

Soon, the ferry will arrive again, and we'll have to leave Eel-Oh-Oh largely unexplored.

But we're ready. Tomorrow, Mount Desert Island.

Visit to North America, autumn 2007

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 15 October 2007, revised 16 October 2012.


The USA

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