Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

Maine’s Schoodic National Scenic Byway

By Maxye and Lou Henry



As you travel the 27-mile Schoodic Byway you will see tidal falls that reverse direction every six hours, historical architecture, piers piled high with lobster traps, clammers working knee-deep in tidal mud flats, and a very scenic portion of Acadia National Park.

There are many places to fish by boat or from the shore. You can rent a bicycle or kayak to tour Acadia National Park and its surroundings and stay in one of many local area campgrounds. Bicycle and kayak guides are available. Hunting is a popular late-autumn sport.

The preserved rural character of the Schoodic area will delight historians and architects. There are more than 20 lighthouses in downeast Maine and some of the most noteworthy can be found right here. Heritage visitors not only get to see historic architecture such as the Stone Store on Route 1 and the West Gouldsboro Village Library on Route 186, but can even live it. Several local inns and bed and breakfasts are registered restored historic buildings.

There are no shopping malls or retail franchises here. Businesses are locally owned and offer a wide range of locally produced arts, crafts, food and gift items. You can browse country stores, art galleries and antique shops along the way, buy bread from local bakers, and sample the catch-of-the-day. In July and August you are likely to see artists at work at the Schoodic Arts for All Festival and other events. Designated as a national scenic byway in June 2000, the Schoodic Scenic Byway rambles along 27 miles of beautiful scenery and breathtaking views of the ocean, Cadillac Mountain and Frenchman Bay.

Traveling on US Route 1 North from Ellsworth, a sign at the Sullivan town line marks the beginning of the Schoodic Scenic Byway. Set your vehicle trip meter to “0” and find the following points of interest.

Mile 1.3: Panoramic view of Sullivan Harbor with reversing falls in the distance. Just before the bridge crossing Taunton Bay, visit the Schoodic Byway Gateway on your left. Also, take a side trip to the reversing falls on Hancock Point. Point of interest: Historic Stone House.

Off the byway, Route 185 winds southward, down the Sorrento Peninsula to stunning views of Flanders Bay and Frenchman Bay, with historic cottages scattered along the shoreline. Golfers will especially enjoy the nine-hole course located on the shore. Route 183 northward will take you to the Tunk Lake, Donnell Pond and Flanders Pond area for public and shared-use hiking trails to Schoodic Mountain.

Mile 1.5: Scenic turnout with views of Sullivan Harbor and Mount Desert Island mountains.

Mile 2.8: Picnic area with bathroom facilities and stunning views of Long Cove.

Mile 4.0: Simpson’s Cemetery.

Mile 5.1: Old John Dority Grange #381, built in 1870.

Mile 7.1: Schoodic Area Chamber of Commerce information kiosk with spectacular views of Frenchman Bay, Porcupine Islands and Cadillac Mountain.

Mile 8.2: Junction of Route 186; turn right to continue on the Schoodic Scenic Byway.

Mile 8.8: West Gouldsboro village center.

Mile 11.0: First view of the Atlantic Ocean.

Mile 12.2: Junction of Summer Harbor Road with more breathtaking views of Frenchman Bay and Cadillac Mountain.

Mile 14.8: Village of Winter Harbor with stunning views of the working waterfront. Points of interest: Historic Channing Chapel, Mark Island Lighthouse.

Mile 15.3: Moore Road leading to the Schoodic portion of Acadia National Park.

Mile 22.7: Park exit; turn right into the town of Gouldsboro. Point of interest: Historic West Gouldsboro Library.

Mile 24.6: Birch Harbor Village.

Mile 27.2: Prospect Harbor and byway terminus. Point of interest: Prospect Harbor Lighthouse. While in Prospect Harbor, turn right onto route 195 and visit the quaint fishing village of Corea. Watch the local lobstermen unload their catch. Corea is also home to traditional fishing-boat building.

Annual events in the area include: Trade Day and Benefit Auction, third Saturday in May. Tour the area while shopping at the peninsula-wide yard sales. The day ends with a benefit auction at Hammond Hall.

Franklin Family Fun Day, fourth Saturday in July. A day of old-fashioned fun, with a watermelon eating contest, bake-offs, sack races, a craft fair and games for everyone. For a small fee you can enjoy some down-home cooking at the famous chicken barbecue.

Sullivan Daze, first Saturday in August. Sullivan's all-day festival is put on by the volunteer firefighters of Sullivan and Sorrento to celebrate community pride and to help raise money for the Volunteer Fire Department.

Winter Harbor Lobster Festival, second Saturday in August. Start off the day with a blueberry-pancake breakfast, then watch the ever-popular lobster boat races with 13 classes rated by size and power, shop at the craft fair with 80 exhibitors, eat a Maine lobster dinner and stay for the evening parade.

For More Information:

The Schoodic Area Chamber of Commerce
(800) 231-3008 (outside Maine) or
(207) 963-7658
acadia-schoodic.org or schoodicbyway.org