Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Visit Maine Like A Mainer! Schoodic and Blue Hill Peninsulas

Maine Street, Blue Hill, Maine by Marian Gonsalves McMahonThe Schoodic peninsula and the Blue Hill peninsula encircle the jewel of Mount Desert Island like the pincers of a lobster. Yet for that very reason, many rush to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, without stopping to see the treasures that are these two magnificent peninsulas. This installment of our Visit Maine Like A Mainer! series takes a look at these wonderful areas.

Turning off US-1 toward the Blue Hill peninsula, just south of the route to Bar Harbor, makes you feel as though you have left civilization behind. Only the occasional farm interrupts the natural scenery as you drive toward the ocean. Taking one of the side roads, you can find yourself in one of the many villages that dot the area.

The peninsula is bounded on the west by Penobscot Bay, and on the east by Blue Hill Bay. Making your way down the west side, you'll find South Orland, West Penobscot, South Penobscot, Castine, Brooksville, then on to Deer Isle, where you encounter Sunset and Stonington. On the east side, you encounter Surrey, Blue Hill and Brooklin. According to the regional information web site, Brooklin provides the setting for E.B White's books, such as Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little.

The village of Blue Hill is the largest town on the peninsula, overlooking Blue Hill Bay, with a history of shipbuilding, copper mining, and granite quarrying. Today Blue Hill offers art, great food, historic lodging, and a delightful atmosphere. Detailed offerings are available from the Blue Hill Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.

Not far north of Mount Desert Island is West Gouldsboro, the gateway to the Schoodic peninsula. Along the west side of the peninsula, facing Frenchman Bay, lie South Gouldsboro, Summer Harbor and Winter Harbor. Along the east side is Prospect Harbor, Corea, and a lot of open space. At the tip of the Schoodic peninsula is that much less visited part of Acadia National Park known as Schoodic Point. We were recommended this by @JE_Turcotte, and a great recommendation it is!

Schoodic Peninsula
To quote the regional information site, Schoodic Point "offers a solitude rarely attainable elsewhere. Always it boasts spectacular scenery and the best surf crashing into rocks to be seen anywhere on stormy days. The interplay of land and sea and sunlight has inspired generations of poets, writers, and painters."

Details of the lodging and dining opportunities on the Schoodic peninsula are available from the area's Chamber of Commerce web site.

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