Big Moose Island at Schoodic
At one time, Big Moose Island was likely separated from the rest of the Schoodic Peninsula at high-tide. The place where the island and the main part of the peninsula merged is called West Pond Cove. There still is a brackish type marsh that remains there. A causeway now crosses from the mainland to Big Moose Island at this location. Anyone driving here would never suspect that there was once a land seperation. A map view makes it easier to visualize.
Big Moose Island is the largest of the islands surrounding the peninsula. The fact is, many do not recognize its name. Because Schoodic Point is on its southern end with striking views of the Gulf of Maine to the South and Mount Desert Island to the West, it has become more synonymous with this name. A large parking area is located here to accommodate visitors who come to watch the waves, sunrises and sunsets that it is known for due to the spectacular open-ocean views.
For many years, a Naval Base Facility was operated from the central part of the island. In 2002, the facility was closed by the Navy and became part of Acadia National Park and operated as a research retreat now called the Schoodic Institute (9 Atterbury Circle, P.O. Box 277, Winter Harbor, Maine 04693 Tele: 207-288-1310). Big Moose Island and Schoodic Point are part of the town of Winter Harbor, Maine in Hancock County.
Schoodic Institute Entrance GPS: 44.336616, -68.056898
All Park visitors are required to pay an entrance fee, or to already have a valid entrance pass. A valid entrance pass covers all occupants in the same non-commercial vehicle. The pass may be purchased in the Welcome Center at Rockefeller Hall at Schoodic Institute Monday - Friday during normal business hours. You may also purchase entrance passes online, or at other locations on Mount Desert Island prior to your visit. See Entrance Passes.
The Land Has A Story to Tell
There is a lot more to learn about the geography of the coast of Maine here that adds a great deal of depth to our understanding. The story about Big Moose Island is just part of it. For many years I drove over the causeway believing that it was always joined in this way. It made it more interesting and added meaning to what I was seeing. Over the many years, the island was joined to the mainland but the signs still remain. Imagine how much this will change again as the oceans rise due to the melting of the glaciers in the northern and southern hemispheres. While walking along the shores of Schoodic Peninsula and elsewhere on the coast, you will often see black bands of rock against the usual granite. These are volcanic extrusions. Just imagine that during the major ice ages there were glaciers here that were 1-2 miles high that stretched four hundred miles out to sea.