The Shore Path

The famous Shore Path in Bar Harbor, Maine begins at the Town Pier next to Agamont Park, goes a short distance to the East past the Bar Harbor Inn, then wraps around a point before continuing South for about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile along the eastern shore of Mount Desert Island. Originally created around 1880, people from all over the world have walked on this path while enjoying the sights, sounds and smells ever since. You should plan on at least one early morning walk here while visiting Acadia National Park. If you arise early enough and time it just right, you will be greeted by the morning sun just as it bursts over the horizon creating a symphony of light, shadow, and gorgeous color.

GPS for the Town Pier: Latitude 44.392087; Longitude -68.204052

What is there to see?

If a space is available, a good place to park is on the public pier near the intersection of West Street and Main Street. This vantage point alone provides numerous photographic and video opportunities. Early in the morning the local fishermen prepare for their daily lobster and scallop runs. Many use the public pier as their base of operations. It can be happening on all three sides of the pier so keep your eyes and hears open if this is of interest. Directly North is Bar Island. Check out it's page to learn about the natural land bridge that forms at low tide. On either the West or the East side of the pier you will often see some fabulous yachts such as the ones shown in the images here. To see larger versions, select the images.

Beginning of Shore Path in Bar Harbor
View of Shore Path in front of Bar Harbor Inn

What a view!

The Shore Path follows the shoreline directly in front of the Bar Harbor Inn as shown in this photo. To the right is Agamont Park, one of the common gathering areas that overlooks the harbor. A long dock extends out to the left or North from the water's edge where, during the summer and fall season, the Margaret S. Todd schooner is docked unless it is already out on a scenic cruise. Just before the inn on the right is an attractive gazebo where visitors often take photos of friends and loved ones. There is a ramp back near the public pier where you may walk down to the shore if you wish. Be careful when walking on wet rocks, especially when covered with some wet green areas, or with seaweed.

Shoreside view of Activities

There are several beautiful viewing spots on the Shore Path itself, as well as just off the trail on the granite ledge areas. Right at the northeastern point of the island, the path turns to the South. From this vantage point there are several islands in view as well as various yachts, boats, kayakers, even some very large cruise ships. On occasion, there may be two or three visiting Bar Harbor at the same time. The view shown to the left is looking back at the Shore Path just after rounding the corner and heading South. You can see some kayakers in the water off to the right.

View of Shore Path with kayaks
Canopy of leaves on the Shore Path

Wild Roses & Old Fences

The Shore Path hugs the coastline on the eastern side of Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island right next to several private properties and some beautiful mansions so please respect their privacy. Along the way, you will discover some rocky shorelines, wild red roses, character rich old fences, lush vegetation, and over a hundred years of history. If you see a nice spot to sit and relax along the shore, by all means take advantage of it. This is a place of healing and fresh salty air.

Once you reach the end of the walking path, you may just turn around and go back the same way that you came, or take a path that leads directly to Main Street in Bar Harbor where you can walk back through the business district. For other acadia trails and paths visit Acadia hiking trails.

Great Photographic Location

Greg A. Hartford, photographer, author, publisherThe coast and the ocean, are at the heart of what Bar Harbor is about (that and great seafood!). The majority of images captured by visitors take place from the Public Pier, Agamont Park, and the Shore Path, all of which are in the same vicinity. On occasion, the usual West Street roadway to the pier may be blocked such as when there are many cruise ship passengers loading onto or leaving several tour buses. In this case, get onto Main Street and look to an immediate left that will take you on the back or south side of Agamont Park where you should be able to find a parking place. Parking here, or at the pier, will give you a great spot to be able to start your exploration of the Shore Path. It will also give you quick access to unfolding opportunities seen from either the pier of up on the hill in the park. Early in the morning, if you have one, I suggest using a tripod and a shutter release cable or wireless version for capturing the best images. View the Bar Harbor Street Map to give you a better mental picture of how it is laid out. You may contact us with any questions.

Acadia and Bar Harbor Resource Guide