Bar Island lies just offshore from Bar Harbor in Acadia National Park. I’ve always wanted to explore this mysterious (at least to me) little island, and just recently we finally timed an afternoon visit so we could walk across the relatively narrow bar which becomes exposed at low tide. On this particular afternoon, low tide was scheduled for 3:30pm, so we planned a nice lunch in town and then an adventure out to the island starting at about 2pm. This is an easy hike, one that offers a completely different perspective of the town of Bar Harbor with the mountains of Acadia in the background. We couldn’t have chosen a better time to try this hike… it was a picture perfect early summer day, with sailboats, lobster boats and kayaks filling the harbor.
Walking out onto the bar is a neat experience, one that allows you to stand pretty much in the middle of the harbor in a spot that would normally be considered the ocean floor. We were able to access the island about 90 minutes or so before the scheduled low tide, so my guess is that you probably would have a similar amount of time to explore once the tide starts coming back in. It’s not a difficult hike across the bar and onto the island, though you wouldn’t want to be stranded out there by the incoming tide. I can remember not that long ago when you were allowed to drive your car right down onto the exposed bar and park there, but apparently that policy has now changed. A town ordinance sign now prohibits parking on the bar… which probably isn’t such a bad idea since every now and again parked cars were left there by unsuspecting tourists who didn’t heed the warning signs as they enjoyed their hike on the island, only to return and find their vehicle under water.