Found near Stonington, Maine along the coast is the beautiful Isle au Haut, or also known as "High Island." Samuel Champlain named the island "High Island" in 1604 while exploring the coast of Maine. Heaps of shells along the shores of the island tell of a Native American presence before the arrival of Champlain. Large numbers of fishermen and farmers didn't come to the Isle au Haut until the end of the American Revolution.
The island's idyllic scenery and agreeable weather led to a small community during the summer being established in the 1880's. The community founder's heirs donated to the federal government part of Isle au Haut in 1943 to be used to increase the size of Acadia National Park. A large amount of the beauty of the island, half of the island, is now available for visitors to explore and enjoy thanks to their generosity. The remaining half of the island is privately owned, including a fishing community that is present year-round and summer residents.
Among the many activities possible on the island is bicycling. Seven miles of unpaved, rough road can be found on Isle au Haut, as well as five miles of paved roads. It's recommended that visitors use mountain bikes for the roads, and bicycles are not allowed on the hiking trails.
Isle au Haut also has many hiking opportunities. Visitors to Acadia National Park can explore wooded uplands, a freshwater lake that stretches a mile long, bogs, marshes, and rocky shorelines along the island's eighteen miles of trails. Hikers should be sure to bring adequate gear for rough trails. The best place to start hiking is at Duck Harbor.
A year-round, passenger-only ferry connects the mainland to Isle au Haut from the Isle au Haut Town Landing to Stonington. The ferry has an additional stop near the campground at Duck Harbor Boat Landing from the middle of June to late September. Availability on the ferry is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
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