Bar Island Trails, Bar Harbor

#7 of 11 in Parks in Bar Harbor
Hiking Trail · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Bar Island is a tidal island across from Bar Harbor on Mount Desert Island, Maine, United States. The uninhabited island forested mostly in pine and birch is now part of Acadia National Park. There are walking trails on the island. A sand and gravel bar exposed only a couple of hours at low tide connects Bar Island to Bridge Street in Bar Harbor. At low tide visitors often walk across, or park cars on the exposed bar. However, on the island side in front of a locked gate, only a small area fringed with dense sea rose bushes is elevated enough to provide safe parking. Visitors have been known to return from a hike to find their cars submerging and themselves stranded until the tide recedes.
The town of Bar Harbor has repeatedly attempted to obtain jurisdiction over this island connected to it by the eponymous bar, but a 1903 court decision confirmed that the distant town of Gouldsboro retains jurisdiction under its 1798 articles of incorporation.
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Bar Island Trails reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
192 reviews
  • I had read that the path would appear 1.5 hours before low tide. We got there about 2 hours before low tide, and it was neat to watch the path appear...until it didn't. With less than an hour to go....  more »
  • A short hike up to the top of the island is worth the effort. Views are partially obstructed by trees but it’s possible to move around a few feet to see the land bridge and harbor. The hike is...  more »
  • A great place from which to see the harbor. There is a short tail up to a unimpressive summit. Don't get stranded.
  • Super fun to be on. You feel like you've accomplished the impossible. Trail did not seem to go around Island fully. I'm sure you can create your own walk without trouble. Tides to watch for. Very nice to see Bar Harbor from the sea.

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