Maine Drives-the Schoodic Scenic Byway

by Lill Hawkins - Date: 2007-04-18 - Word Count: 434 Share This!

Maine is famous for its seacoast, for lobsters, lighthouses and beaches. Many people drive up US RT 95 to RT 1 and through Portland, Freeport and Old Orchard Beach. While this is a great way to see the coast and visit the factory outlets in Freeport and Kittery, there's much more to Maine than you can see from the highway or busy RT 1. Off many of the exits, just a few miles from the bustling outlets and busy highways, there are many lesser known roads that will thrill sightseekers.

One of the most spectacular scenic drives in Maine is the Schoodic Scenic Byway, which starts in the town of Sullivan. If you look out over Sullivan Harbor, you'll be able to see the famous "Reversing Falls" and Mount Desert Island with its mountains in the distance. There are many scenic "turnouts" on this route and at Long Cove there's even a picnic area with restrooms. While you eat, you can look out over the cove and may even see a harbor seal, lobster boats and many different sea birds.

The Porcupine Islands, Cadillac Mountain and Frenchman Bay appear as you near The Schoodic Area Chamber of Commerce Information booth at Mile 7, where you can get information on the area during the summer months. And shortly after that, you'll turn right on RT 186, and head toward the Schoodic Point Loop Rd of Acadia National Park, one of the most scenic areas of the United States.

Before you reach it though, enjoy the views of the working waterfront in Winter Harbor, where lobster boats and fishing boats still leave daily and return with their catch. Park at the public pier and watch the action as the boats are unloaded, equipment is mended and boats are maintained.

Its bold shoreline is covered with massive granite rocks, tumbling down to the crashing waves of the Atlantic. Spray sometimes actually reaches the road and care must be taken if you decide to walk on the rocks, although the view is breathtaking and the salty air has an exhilirating tang you'll find nowhere else.

Heading North again, you'll leave the Loop Road and head back toward Gouldsboro, Birch Harbor and Prospect Harbor where the 27 mile long Byway ends. From there, you can head to Ellsworth for a meal at one of the many restaurants in the area, or stay at one of the many motels and hotels. Be sure to make a reservation well in advance during the summer months, because many people make this part of Maine their destination, and if you've driven the Schoodic Scenic Byway, you know why.

Related Tags: travel, maine, scenic drives

Lill Hawkins lives in Maine and writes about family life, home education and being a WAHM at Get the News From Hawkhill Acres: A mostly humorous look at home schooling, writing and being a WAHM, whose mantra is "I'm a willow; I can bend."

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