Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Long Pond, Mount Desert Island

Rounding Northern Neck
The waters off Mount Desert Island are one of my favorite places to paddle. But, with gale warnings in effect, it seemed best to stick to inland waters. Fortunately there are several possibilities on MDI. In fact, there are two ponds named “Long Pond.” We were headed for the Long Pond in Somesville. This Long Pond is five miles long; at each end is a boat ramp. Generally when I’ve driven Route 102 (aka Pretty Marsh Rd) by Long Pond, I have no chance to look around. Beside the 102 boat ramp there is a small beach and across from the beach/ramp is National Park Canoe and Kayak Rental. So my eyes are focused on the road and distracted canoe carters as well as errant children and pets. However, on the way back from Seal Cove, riding as a passenger, I happened to glance at the pond and realized how lovely it was, a narrow strip of water with mountains for a backdrop. We hoped it would be protected from the winds, and on Sunday it mostly was. I’ve read that a south wind can create a fair amount of havoc on the pond.
Some color along the western shore
The water seemed pretty tame, much tamer than we expected. Heading out from the landing, the initial cove was crowded with a variety of cottages. Some were simple cottages from the fifties, which would be at home on any lake in Maine. Others appeared significantly more likely to be summer housing for the well-heeled.
Once we’d made it around Northern Neck, much of the western shore was a part of Acadia National Park, as was tiny Rum Island.
Rum Island is to the left
With many paths criss-crossing it, Rum Island is well loved, and yet still lovely. Especially appropriate is the picture of Rum Island on Google Earth labeled “Insert Romantic Interlude Here.” I’m afraid our humble snack wasn’t quite a “Loaf of bread, a jug of wine” but there was a thou and a semi wilderness. Ah…...
We didn’t paddle all the way to the other end, but we did go as far as Duck Rock where we spied a few Acadian hikers, before we headed back to the start.
Documenting our successful paddle to Duck Rock, Beech Mountain in the distance
Afterward we drove into Bar Harbor, which was jammed with the passengers from two huge cruise ships. We watched as the schooner Mary Todd headed away from the dock, just far enough to turn around and sail into the more sheltered waters of Frenchman’s Bay.

We looked with great longing at the Porcupine Islands and the waves battering them. Fortunately, they’ll be there next paddling season as well.

Summary: Limited parking in season, portapottie.


  1. Another beautiful spot! The weather and wind have been wacky up in Canada too. I'd love to paddle the Porcupines one day too!

  2. Very nice - we did a hike there recently- Kelley likes all that water

  3. Thanks John, I keep thinking I will run into you and Kelley somewhere...