Bar Island

Bar Island

Bar Island is in Frenchman Bay to the north of the Village of Bar Harbor. It is technically not a part of the Town of Bar Harbor but a part of the Town of Gouldsboro on the mainland. However, the entire island is a part of Acadia National Park along with some of the Porcupine Islands that are also near Bar Harbor. A gravel and sand bar between Bridge Street in Bar Harbor and the western tip of Bar Island (to the left in the photographs) is uncovered during low tide. This bar is the source of the name Bar Harbor. Visitors can walk or drive to Bar Island when this bar is uncovered. The short road on Bar Island is normally blocked forcing visitors to park at the end of the bar. It is best to walk the bar. Once on Bar Island, the visitor can relax on the shore, picnic in a field or explore the forest. Bar Island has a hill to the right in the photograph above from which hikers can get an excellent view of Bar Harbor. The next photograph shows Bar Island as seen from Cadillac Mountain using a zoom telephoto lens at 122mm (equivalent to a 183mm lens on a 35mm film camera). The green area in the foreground is Kebo Golf Course. The bar is uncovered and four automobiles are parked on the bar near the island.

Bar Island as seen from Cadillac Mountain

The photograph of Bar Island below was taken from Agamont Park in Bar Harbor in 2010. The Bar Harbor Town Pier is to the right in this photograph. Bar Harbor has a working waterfront, that is, the town facilities are used by commercial fishermen as well as cruise ships and pleasure boats. 

Bar Island from Agamont Park

The photograph below shows Bar Island as seen from the Main Seacoast Mission on West Street in Bar Harbor. The high tide is covering the bar. Some tourists had lingered too long on Bar Island and are making their way back to Bar Harbor. The tide comes in quickly and can cover parts of the bar with significant amounts of water. The tourists in the photograph made it back to Bar Harbor safely but were thoroughly wet from their ordeal. If you visit Bar Island, ensure you have and understand the latest tide schedule. The National Park Service usually posts tide information on a bulletin board at the end of the bar on Bar Island. Check with national park rangers or the Bar Harbor Harbormaster at the town pier concerning the time you should leave Bar Island to ensure your trip to Bar Island will not be extended. The times of high tide vary as do the heights of the tide. Secure the advice of people who understand these factors before you venture to Bar Island. Your outing can be ruined if you are trapped on Bar Island until the next low tide.

People on the Bar

The following photograph shows the sand and gravel bar at low tide as it appears from the hill on Bar Island. The Maine Seacoast Mission is the building in the center of the photograph.

The Bar from Bar Island

The following photograph shows the bar at low tide as it appears from Bridge Street in Bar Harbor.

The Bar

The next photograph is a view of Bar Harbor from the hill on Bar Island  using a zoom telephoto lens at 18mm focal length (equivalent to a 27 mm focal length on a 35mm film camera). Cadillac Mountain at 1,530 feet (466 meters) is to the  right. The mountain at center is Dorr Mountain at 1,270 feet (387 meters). The mountain to the left is Champlain Mountain at 1,058 feet (323 meters). These are some of the higher mountains in the Mount Desert Range. The birds shown in the photograph are Herring Gulls in flight.

Bar Harbor

The Bar Harbor town pier and Agamont Park are seen in the following photograph. The blue building right of center is the public safety building. The Harbor Master has his office in this building. This photograph was taken in 2013 from the summit of the hill on Bar Island  using a zoom telephoto lens at 165mm focal length (equivalent to a 245 mm focal length on a 35mm film camera).

Town Pier and Agamont Park from Bar Island

A part of the College of the Atlantic campus is seen in the following photograph taken from the trail on Bar Island  using a zoom telephoto lens at 200 mm focal length (equivalent to a 300 mm focal length on a 35mm film camera).

College of the Atlantic

Cruise ships visit Bar Harbor frequently. The following photograph was taken from the bar  using a zoom telephoto lens at 160 mm focal length (equivalent to a 240 mm focal length on a 35mm film camera). The large ship in the picture is the Norwegian Gem. The smaller ship astride the cruise ship is the Friendship V, a scenic cruise ship. The other craft are lobster boats, fishing boats or pleasure craft at moorings.

Norwegian Gem

Bar Island is best accessed via the bar at low tide. The bar begins in Bar Harbor at the end of Bridge Street. Bridge Street runs from Cottage Street, across West Street to the bar. Both Cottage and West Streets run from Main Street to Eden Street or State Route 3. West Street runs along the northern shore of the Village of Bar Harbor. Most people visiting Bar Island will park in a municipal parking lot near the Town Hall or on West Street and walk to Bar Island. Driving over the bar to Bar Island is not recommended. The road on Bar Island is not maintained for vehicles and is generally inaccessible. Parking an unattended vehicle on the bar is forbidden.

Boaters can visit Bar Island. Ensure your anchorage is appropriate and be careful navigating the waters near the bar and rocks around Bar Island.

 

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