Sunrise at Deep Cove on Isle au Haut, part of Acadia National Park’s nearly 50,000-acre swath of prime Maine coast.Photo Credit : Jerry Monkman/Ecophotography
Looking for hidden beauty in Acadia National Park? Jerry Monkman has spent more days photographing Acadia than nearly anywhere else on earth. Here are five of his favorite lesser-known spots for beautiful views with fewer crowds.
Avoid the sunrise crowds at Cadillac Mountain and hit up Dorr Point instead for beautiful views of Frenchman Bay and the Porcupine Islands accompanied by a soundtrack of the tide washing against cobblestones, the cries of gulls, and the clamor of outgoing fishing boats.
Getting to Isle au Haut requires a six-mile boat ride from Stonington, and hopping aboard means you’ll already have a head start in avoiding the crowds. About a 30-minute walk from the NPS campground in Duck Harbor, the low tide view at Deep Cove includes stunning granite ledges against the blue Atlantic. The cove also has spectacular sunrises and, at night, great views of the Milky Way.
The Jordan Stream Trail on Mount Desert Island is a woodland path that starts just steps away from the throngs at Jordan Pond but quickly ducks into dark, quiet forests. The evergreens juxtaposed with old hardwoods makes the trail especially lovely in autumn when fall color provides a beautiful backdrop to Jordan Stream and its small cascades.
Its location nearly an hour from Mount Desert Island keeps many away, but the Schoodic Peninsula, with its small villages and picturesque working harbors, offers a true taste of the “real” Down East Maine. The shoreline along the Park Loop Road, east of the Alder Trail, offers several cobblestone coves that are just right for picnics and listening to the waves against the stones. Bring binoculars to spot seals and seabirds.
Despite sitting just off the busy Park Loop Road, Little Hunters Beach feels secluded thanks to its small, nondescript parking area. Wooden steps lead through evergreens next to a cascading stream, and down to the small cobblestone beach, where rocky headlands reach out to the ocean while tall spruces create a theaterlike ambience.
A longer version of this list originally appeared in the May/June 2021 Yankee feature “Acadia Confidential.”