Hiking Guide Photos

Ship Harbor TrailLocated near the town of Bass Harbor on the southern tip of the "quiet side" of Mount Desert Island, Wonderland and the Ship Harbor Trail are a pair of family-friendly strolls through pleasant scenery that lead toward interesting spots along the ocean. Like the nearby Wonderland, the Ship Harbor Trail is a family-friendly stroll through some sublime forested scenery that leads to an interesting section of coastline where faults in the sheets of pink granite create numerous tide pools that are fun for children and adults alike to explore.

The Ship Harbor Trailhead is located along the looping Route 102A southeast of Bass Harbor roughly half a mile west of the Wonderland Trailhead; this is the "quiet side" of Mount Desert Island, west of Somes Sound. The small parking area is clearly marked and is usually full in mid-afternoon in the summer months, but some extra roadside parking spots are available.

The Ship Harbor Trail is extremely well groomed and is easy to follow as it heads southeast through a beautiful section of forest as it hugs Ship Harbor. The trail has two optional spurs (see map below), but the trail that hugs the harbor is arguably the most scenic. Ship Harbor Trail Since Ship Harbor is a relatively shallow inlet and as such, it is interesting to watch the tides flow in and out of the narrow channel. A short spur trail even leads down to the water in the harbor.

Soon enough, the trail reaches the ocean and it's time for random exploration of the rocky shoreline. Children and adults of all ages enjoy wandering and relaxing along the coast and examining the various tidepools. (A smartphone app like "Tide Chart" is very useful for determining low tide.) Please tread lightly when hunting for life in the tidepools; this is a popular spot and humans can have a negative impact here. When you have had your fill, return the way you came. Note: For an optional longer hike, you can continue hiking east around the bay to join up with the nearby Wonderland Trail.

Joe's Spin:

While not as dramatic as the scenery along Acadia's more famous Ocean Path coastline, the Ship Harbor Trail is a fun hike for adults and children alike. There are many great spots along the shore to have lunch or before or after your hike, you can try one of the nearby lobster pounds just outside of the park.

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Ship Harbor Trail Topo Map

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