Winter Festival to summer camping on Schoodic Peninsula


UPDATED 5/16/15: Schoodic Woods campground opening moved to Sept. 1

(See Acadia on My Mind’s new page for Schoodic Peninsula year-round lodging, restaurants, shopping)

Schoodic Peninsula has long been the quieter side of Acadia National Park, across Frenchman Bay and a world away from the summer hubbub of Bar Harbor.

Schoodic institute winter festival at acadia national park

Snow welcomes visitors to first-ever Winter Festival this week, hosted by the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park. (Schoodic Institute photo)

But increasingly, the only section of the park on the mainland is becoming a four-season draw for educators, students, citizen scientists, researchers, birders, families with young children, artists and others.

Among the reasons for the growth of activity:

New Schoodic Woods campground opening Aug. 1

And things promise to get even busier, as a result of the following:

sunset seen from schoodic peninsula in Acadia National Park

The sun sets over Acadia National Park, as seen from Schoodic Peninsula. That’s the hulk of Cadillac to the right. (NPS photo)

Once all the plans are in place, hopefully Schoodic Peninsula will still have that sense of being far removed from the hustle and bustle of Bar Harbor or, as the Schoodic Chamber of Commerce describes it, “Uncrowded. Unspoiled. Savor the Unexpected.”

And hopefully, the local economy will get a boost from the additional activity.

Schoodic Peninsula the quieter side of Acadia National Park

Several years ago, during the July weekend that President Barack Obama and his family visited Acadia, we stayed in Winter Harbor to avoid the crowds, doing the reverse commute on the Schoodic-to-Bar-Harbor ferry, and taking the Island Explorer to the hiking trails at Sieur de Monts.

schoodic peninsula in acadia national park

The “other” Acadia National Park loop road is along the dramatic coast of Schoodic Peninsula (NPS photo)

It’s a route that few others have travelled, and a quieter side of Acadia that the crowds don’t know about.

From our room at the MainStay, we had a view of the harbor and lobster boats at work, and were just steps away from the ferry to Bar Harbor and the Island Explorer. Down the street was fresh seafood at Chase’s Restaurant. And a short ride away was the Schoodic section of the park.

That same Schoodic small-town feel is what Arthur Frommer – yes, that Frommer, of Frommer’s travel guides – appreciated when he and his wife rented the Captain Bickford House for 9 days in Winter Harbor last summer, according to the Schoodic Chamber’s Web site.

Summer, winter, spring or fall, Schoodic is a special place. May it always be far from the madding crowd, even as more visitors discover it with this week’s Winter Carnival, the new Schoodic Woods campground opening Aug. 1, and other year-round happenings.

New blog page to feature year-round Schoodic businesses

In appreciation of Schoodic, and as a public service to visitors and local businesses, we here at Acadia on My Mind are working on the next addition to our page, Acadia National Park Year-Round Lodging, Restaurants, to feature businesses in the Schoodic area.

So stay tuned!

3 thoughts on “Winter Festival to summer camping on Schoodic Peninsula

  1. Charlotte Boyd

    Unfortunately, the Schoodic area is being turned into MDI and is not the quiet area it used to be.

    1. Acadia on my mind Post author

      Thanks for your comment, Charlotte. The Schoodic Woods campground probably will draw more people with this being the first full year of operation. But the alternative, of a full-scale resort development that was proposed earlier, may have had even more of an impact. Enjoy the quiet when possible, particularly during the off-season. And perhaps after the Centennial is over, things may calm down some more.

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