Scenic USA - Maine

Schoodic Scenic Byway

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Schoodic Scenic Byway - Schoodic Peninsula, Maine

Photos by Herschel Tucker

   Maine's Schoodic Peninsula, part of Acadia National Park, is located just to the east of the more famous section of the park, Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island. Described as a secluded part of the mainland, a six mile loop road follows the coastline around the peninsula, leading out to Schoodic Point at the southern tip. Here in Maine's Down East Region, the park road offers plenty of pullouts and overlooks where visitors may take in the signature shoreline. Here, the coast is covered in pink granite, broken with ribbons of dark basalt. Spruce and jack pine look for any opportunity to gain a foothold along the rocky peninsula. Lobster boats, lighthouses, seabirds, fishing villages and a pounding surf are some of the delightful sights along the Schoodic Scenic Byway. Schoodic Peninsula Byway Sign An unpaved spur leads out to the highpoint at Schoodic Head. From this raised elevation, panoramic views include Frenchman Bay, Mount Desert Island and Cadillac Mountain.
   Much of the peninsula was once owned by Wall Street financier, John G. Moore. The Moore family donated the land to be used as a public park in the 1920s. By 1929, the National Park Service acquired the property and added it to the existing park, changing the park name to Acadia.
   It wasn't always an easy drive to Schoodic Peninsula. The Taunton River, with its swift tidal currents, kept the towns of Sullivan and Hancock divided for centuries. Farm produce, granite, tourists and even the doctor had to cross the quarter mile inlet by ferry. John Sargent completed the first wooden toll bridge in 1812, but it quickly gave way to ship worms and winter ice. The first permanent bridge was built in 1916. The singing bridge was completed in time welcome the auto age and allowed tourists to enjoy the newly donated addition to Acadia. Here, tides rise and fall 12 feet twice a day, exposing aquatic residents to wading birds, raccoons, red foxes and seals. Since 2004, eagles have made a dramatic comeback and provide byway visitors with a show of fishing talents at Tidal Falls.

     Byway Map

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