Little Moose Island
GOOD FOR: All Ages
RATING:


Source:Outdoors with Kids Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont (AMC Books)
Address:East Schoodic Drive, Gouldsboro
Hours:No posted hours; contact park for seasonal road and trail closures
Fee: $20 per vehicle; $5 per adult without a vehicle, including bicyclists and pedestrians (children under 15 are free)
Contact:

Acadia National Park, 207-288-3338, nps.gov/acad; Island Explorer Bike Express, 207-667-5796, exploreacadia.com/bikeexpress.htm

Bathrooms: At nearby Frazer Point
Water/Snacks: Water fountain at nearby Frazer Point
Map:

USGS Schoodic Head quad; Acadia National Park Discovery Map (AMC), Schoodic Peninsula


Cross a land bridge to this 54-acre island teeming with wildlife (not with Acadia’s usual crowds) and bordered by a loop trail with stunning coastal views.

Dramatic coastal scenery is just one highlight of a hike on Little Moose Island.

Located on the southeastern tip of Schoodic Peninsula, 54-acre Little Moose Island is a part of Acadia National Park, though you won’t encounter the droves of tourists here that descend on nearby Mount Desert Island. Instead, you’ll find droves of wildlife and an adventurous island hike that kids of all ages will enjoy.

The biggest challenge (and greatest attraction) about this hike is that it can be completed only during low tide when the land bridge connecting Little Moose Island and the mainland is accessible. Be sure to consult a tidal map when planning this hike to ensure that you won’t be stranded on the island, waiting for the next low tide. Tidal knowledge is important when traveling the coast of Maine, so this hike offers a great opportunity to talk with your children about tides and what creates them. Because of the earth’s rotation and the moon’s rotation, high tide lasts approximately 6 hours and low tide lasts approximately 6 hours. Given that information and a little advance planning,
you will have plenty of time to explore Little Moose Island on foot.

The first part of your journey to Little Moose involves crossing the intertidal zone between the mainland and island. Watch your footing on the slippery rocks, which are covered with dense bundles of Irish moss and seaweed known as rockweed or bladderwrack (easily recognized by its air-filled “bladders” that keep the plant afloat). Take it slow here, pausing to see how many of the 40 species of the intertidal zone’s invertebrates you can find, including crabs and seastars.

Cross the beach on the western side of the island and make your way toward the trailhead, which begins on the island’s northwest corner, marked with a small interpretive sign describing the fragile inland vegetation and requesting that hikers stay on-trail. The trail crosses weather-battered rock that will delight budding geologists: notice the striking feature of black, basalt dikes that cut through pale pink granite. Continue on the fairly level trail, through shrubby land dotted with wild blueberries (in season), beach roses, laurel, yarrow, cow parsnip, and sea lavender. The vibrant pink and purple flowers contrast with the greens of the inland forest and blues of the ocean and sky to make for a dazzling array of color. This is coastal Maine at its finest. The trail eventually leads to the southern tip of the island where you’ll be compelled
to break for a while and take in the astounding scenery and plentiful seabirds before turning back and retracing your steps toward the trailhead.

Plan B:

The 6.0-mile Schoodic Loop Road (one-way traffic) offers views of lighthouses, seabirds, and forest-draped islands. Turnouts provide opportunites to pull over and enjoy the views. An unpaved road leads to the top of 400-foot-high Schoodic Head and its spectacular views of Frechman Bay and Mount Desert Island, including Cadillac Mountain.

Where to Eat Nearby:

When visiting the Schoodic Peninsula, be sure to check out the unique, unspoiled fishing villages in the area, such as Corea, Prospect Harbor, and Winter Harbor. During the summer months, a ferry service provides transportation from Winter Harbor to Bar Harbor. Contact 207-288-2984 for additional ferry information.



PHOTO GALLERY




TRIP COMMENTS

Get outdoor tips & trips
Yes, I want to receive expert advice on getting my family outside!




FOLLOW

TOP RATED TRIPS

Mount Battie: Camden Hills State Park »

Hike to stone tower and coastal views
Megunticook Street Extension, Camden

Penobscot Mountain »

Varied, exciting terrain in Acadia National Park
Park Loop Road, Seal Harbor

The Bubbles »

Quick uphill hike to a glacial erratic and views
Park Loop Road, Bar Harbor

Carriage Roads »

Broken-stone paths tour Acadia's landscape
Duck Brook Road, Bar Harbor

RELATED TRIPS

Carriage Roads »

Broken-stone paths tour Acadia's landscape
Duck Brook Road, Bar Harbor

The Bubbles »

Quick uphill hike to a glacial erratic and views
Park Loop Road, Bar Harbor

Mount Battie: Camden Hills State Park »

Hike to stone tower and coastal views
Megunticook Street Extension, Camden

© 2017 Appalachian Mountain Club | 5 Joy Street, Boston, MA, 02108
About | Privacy Policy | Contact Us