Have you ever heard of the Schoodic Peninsula? This special slice of heaven has all of the beauty of the main area of Acadia National Park minus the crowds.
The Schoodic Peninsula is part of Acadia however, it is only visited by around 0.4% of Acadia visitors. This lack of crowds means an unspoiled adventure awaits you!
(This article contains affiliate links. When you purchase using these links, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps to keep the content on this site free which is a win win for both of us! See the Disclaimer.)
Why Should You Visit The Schoodic Peninsula Of Acadia National Park?
Schoodic Maine feels worlds away from the main Acadia park experience. It feels much more like a true Maine experience.
There aren’t tons of shops or restaurants here. There are only a few tiny places to stay.
This place really is all about the outdoor splendor of all Acadia has to offer.
The lack of accommodations and the distance from the main part of the park to the Schoodic, help to keep the crowds low.
Also, I have found just not many people know about it. Acadia at Schoodic really is a hidden national park gem waiting for you to explore.
Our family loves Acadia, and the Schoodic is always a must-do for us. We spent two summers RVing in this area and found the perfect formula for us to enjoy it all.
We like to begin the season in Mount Desert Island and then move over to Schoodic Acadia in July when the crowds become a little unbearable.
Both summers, the Acadia National Park Schoodic Peninsula ended up being the highlight of our trip.
Adventure Tip: The peak season for visitation in Acadia is July and August. Acadia reservations are also required to visit Cadillac Mountain by vehicle from May 24th through October 22nd 2023.
Those months are a great time to head over to the quieter Schoodic Penninsula.
Check out this guide for other Secret Spots To Avoid Crowds In Acadia National Park.
Get your National Park
How Do You Get To The Schoodic Peninsula?
The main part of Acadia National Park is located on Mount Desert Island outside of Bar Harbor, ME.
This is also the location of the park’s visitor center. The free park shuttle connects the visitor center, Bar Harbor, and the park.
The entrance to the Schoodic Peninsula is located near Winter Harbor, ME, and can be reached by driving about 1 hour from Bar Harbor, ME.
The Schoodic Maine Peninsula also has its own free park shuttle just for the peninsula area.
Take The Bar Harbor Ferry To Winter Harbor Maine
There is also a ferry that goes from Bar Harbor, ME to Winter Harbor, ME across the Schoodic Bay for a Schoodic Peninsula day trip.
The Downeast Windjammer Ferry is a scenic 45-minute boat ride and a fun way to arrive on the Schoodic Peninsula.
The Schoodic national park shuttle picks up right at the ferry terminal in Winter Harbor and takes you throughout the peninsula.
Adventure Tip: The ferry stops running really early. Grab your tickets to head out early and come back on the last boat so you can enjoy as much time as possible on the peninsula.
Where To Stay On The Acadia Schoodic Peninsula?
There aren’t many options for accommodations on the peninsula so it’s important to reserve early. The majority are rental houses and bed & breakfasts.
Looking for RV camping? Check out Timberland Acres RV Park in nearby Trenton, ME.
We have stayed in the national park Schoodic Woods Campground both summers and I can’t recommend it enough.
It is very difficult to get a spot in the popular Schoodic Woods campground. Grab our FREE GUIDE with all of our reservation secrets.
Get your National Park Camping Reservation Secrets FREE GUIDE HERE!
Schoodic Woods Campground
Schoodic Woods Campground is by far the best place to stay on the Schoodic Peninsula.
Not only is the campground conveniently located on the shuttle route and bike path, but they also have nightly ranger-led programs for both kids and adults.
Schoodic Woods is also the only campground inside Acadia National Park that is big rig friendly.
The sites are large and privately wooded. We love the fact that we can just walk over and hop on the shuttle.
Schoodic Woods Campground is open May 24 through October 8, 2023. Reservations are available 2 months in advance on a rolling window at Recreation.gov.
Adventure Tip: Schoodic Woods does not have sewer hook-ups but does have a dump station. Some sites are electric only and others have electricity and water.
The bathrooms also don’t have showers, which is super unusual. This campground is still completely worth it!
Schoodic Woods only allows you to stay for 14 nights per season.
We have another trick to getting campsites at the sold-out Schoodic Woods Campground. Arvie finds campsite cancellations and books them for us.
Arvie has been a game-changer to grab tough-to-book national park campsites.
Get your Arvie FREE TRIAL HERE + 10% off to check it out for yourself!
How Do You Get Around The Schoodic Peninsula?
Take The Acadia Island Explorer Shuttle
The best way to tour and get around the peninsula is to take the free Island Explorer Shuttle. It connects the ferry, the town of Winter Harbor, Schoodic Woods Campground, scenic points in the park, and Birch Harbor.
Unlike the busier Mount Desert Island part of Acadia, you can request the driver to drop you off or pick you up at any point on the loop.
Adventure Tip: The shuttle stops running really early. Check the schedule and begin your adventuring day early. Note that the Schoodic Peninsula shuttle is separate from the Bar Harbor shuttle and doesn’t connect to the main park.
Funny Side Story: During our last trip, a lady on the shuttle was confused because the shuttle driver informed her that she was on the last run and if she got off, there wasn’t another way to get back to the campground.
She insisted that she could just take a rideshare service despite the driver telling her there were no rideshare services in the area. She asked me and the driver, the only two on the bus, a few different times if we were joking.
This area is super rural. There aren’t many businesses here and what is here closes really early.
This is what we have found in all of Maine outside of the busy tourist areas. It is part of the Maine fishing village charm, but also something to plan for. It feels like going back in time and we love it!
Drive The Schoodic Peninsula Maine
Driving to the Schoodic Peninsula allows you to stay longer than the shuttle runs. For example, you can drive over to a viewpoint and watch the sunset.
The downfall of driving your own vehicle is the lack of parking. There is a small lot at the campground, at Frazer Point picnic area, and a larger lot at Schoodic Point.
Don’t miss exploring the Schoodic Head and shoreline at Schoodic Point.
The lots fill up fast and some of the scenic points along the peninsula only have parking for a couple of cars.
Adventure Tip: If you wish to drive, you can find a parking spot on the shuttle route and then take the shuttle from there. This may be much easier than trying to find a spot at each viewpoint you wish to explore.
RVs are not allowed on the Schoodic Loop Road past Schoodic Woods Campground.
Bike The Schoodic Loop Road & Schoodic Point Maine
Another great option is to bike the 6 mile Schoodic Loop Road. This allows you to explore the area on your own schedule without parking concerns at viewpoints.
Don’t have bikes but want to bike the peninsula? No problem, there are bike rentals in Winter Harbor.
Arriving via the ferry? The Downeast Windjammer Ferry from Bar Harbor to Winter Harbor also allows you to bring your bike. There is a charge per bike on the ferry and they don’t allow electric bikes.
Adventure Tip: The Island Explorer shuttle has a bike rack and will pick you up anywhere along the loop if you wave it down. So there is no need to worry if someone in your group can’t make it the entire 6-mile loop.
The Schoodic Loop Road is the most scenic place to bike on the peninsula however, there are also other bike trails that cross through the center of the peninsula and the campground.
Amazing Schoodic Peninsula Things To Do
Wondering what to do on Shcoodic Peninsula during your visit? Let’s dive into the best things to do in Schoodic Peninsula.
1) Hiking Schoodic Peninsula Trails
This is one of the best hikes Schoodic Peninsula. This trail begins at the Schoodic Loop Road near the Blueberry Hill parking area.
It is steep in some sections and involves some light scrambling over boulders and tree roots. We had to give Sissy a hand a few times but she loved those sections the most.
The top of the trail pays off big with an amazing ocean and mountain view. This is one of the best things to do Schoodic Peninsula.
Adventure Tip: I highly recommend hiking shoes in Acadia to navigate slick rocks.
2) Have A Picnic At Frazer Point
Frazer Point picnic area is a cool place to hang out. There are large flat rocks to chill on in one area and little pebble rocks full of sea snails to explore at low tide in another area.
Sailboats are often seen in groups in the bay here. There is also a wooden pier that we have seen jellyfish hang out by.
Adventure Tip: If you aren’t camping on the peninsula, they have campfire rings at Frazer Point. Many places on the way to Winter Harbor sell firewood roadside.
Funny Side Story: Maine has many roadside stands where you put cash in a box and help yourself. On one trip to Maine, we found a pie stand and put cash in a box to select a gorgeous blueberry pie off the roadside table.
I mentioned the pie stand to the lady working at the campground who happened to know the pie lady. She shared with me that one time a bear came by and ate every pie off the table!
Maine has bears however, there are no bears on the Schoodic Peninsula.
3) Go Tide Pooling Or Watch Waves Crash At Schoodic Point Acadia National Park
Schoodic Point is one of my favorite places to hang out on the Schoodic Peninsula.
There are more people here than most spots because of the parking lot however, the area is really large and if you walk around a bit, you can find tons of room to explore on your own.
At low tide, one of the best Schoodic Point things to do is go tide pooling. The big rocks hold large pools full of all kinds of interesting creatures to explore.
At high tide, Schoodic Point is the best place to chill and watch as the thundering waves shoot into the air after crashing into the rocks. This is nature’s daily rock show.
An Acadia National Park Schoodic Point sunset is one your will never forget!
Adventure Tip: As beautiful as the thundering waves are against the rocks, getting too close can be deadly.
People have been killed by being swept off the rocks during crashing waves. This is not a Schoodic beach to swim in.
Stay with me until the end and I will share my close call story on the rocks at Scoodic Point. Here are the directions to Schoodic Point.
Schoodic Point Directions: Take Schoodic Loop Rd and turn right on Arey Cove Rd. This road ends at the parking area of Schoodic Point.
4) Catch A Ranger Program At The Schoodic Institute Or Schoodic Campground
There are two great places on the peninsula to learn more about this special place. The Schoodic Institue has a little museum and offers free unique kids Junior Ranger Programs during the day.
The Schoodic Woods Campground offers nightly education programs for both kids and adults. There is a parking area and you don’t need to stay at the campground to attend.
Adventure Tip: Kids can pick up a free Junior Ranger booklet at the campground check-in building or at the nightly ranger programs. Once they complete the activities, they can take a pledge and receive a Junior Ranger badge.
5) Go Blueberry Picking
If you park or get off the shuttle near Blueberry Hill and walk a little east, you will find quite a few blueberry bushes.
Blueberry season starts in mid-July. You are allowed to take up to 2 quarts from the national park.
Adventure Tip: Blueberry Hill is also a great place to watch lobster boats in action.
6) Explore Little Moose Island
Little Moose Island can only be reached at low tide which can make for an exciting little adventure. It is located on the Schoodic Loop Road before reaching Blueberry Hill.
Request to be dropped off here on the shuttle. There is no parking available in this area.
Adventure Tip: Although you can walk out to Little Moose Island at low tide, plan on your feet getting wet on this adventure.
7) Try Unusual Maine Delicacies At The Pickled Wrinkle – Schoodic Peninsula Restaurants
Remember when I mentioned that you could find tons of unusual little sea snails at low tide among the small rocks at Frazer Point? Those little snails are a traditional Maine delicacy called pickled wrinkles and you can try them yourself over at The Pickled Wrinkle.
They also have sea dulce which is another traditional Maine food. By the look on Sissy’s face, you can see that the sea dulce is a bit of an acquired taste. We do like their pickled wrinkles and the rest of the food there is always delicious.
The Pickled Wrinkle is located at the end of the Schoodic Loop Road in Birch Harbor. The shuttle stops in front of the restaurant for lunch.
There is also a really tasty ice cream place in the parking lot called Me And Ben’s Dairy Cream. We often grab ice cream here as we exit the park for the day.
8) Check Out A Couple of Nearby Harbors – Winter Harbor Maine
There is just something about watching lobster boats and lighthouses in Maine that I just can’t get enough of!
Take a short drive over to Prospect Harbor, one of the nearby villages, and you can enjoy both.
Prospect Harbor has a few fun photo opportunities. We love to take a picture with the enormous Stinson Man lobsterman statue that overlooks the harbor.
You can also view lobster boats and the Prospect Harbor Lighthouse in the distance.
There is no public access to this lighthouse. Across the street is a fun little mini lighthouse model of the Prospect Harbor Light that Sissy just adores.
There are also a few things to do in Winter Harbor Maine. We enjoyed the little shops, especially the hardware variety store.
A little farther down the road is Corea Harbor where you can eat lunch or grab ice cream on the deck at Corea Lunch On The Wharf while watching the lobster boats come in.
Secret Spots To Explore Acadia Schoodic Peninsula
We love to wander around and find hidden spots to have all to ourselves. There are a few amazing areas we have found on the Schoodic Peninsula.
9) Ravens Nest
The Ravens Nest is a spot where local photographers like to shoot the sunset. It is a beautiful location and we have always had this spot all to ourselves.
Ravens Nest Maine is located on the Schoodic Loop Road a little past Frazer Point.
There are a few parking spaces on the shoulder of the road or you can request the shuttle driver drop you off here.
A narrow path with tree roots leads you out to a steep cliff viewpoint.
Adventure Tip: Be extra cautious of your footing with tree roots and loose rocks in this area and avoid the edge. A park ranger told us that there have been some accidents here.
10) The Rocky Shoreline At The End Of The Sundew Trail
The Sundew Trail Acadia is a quick flat 0.7-mile trail that begins at the Schoodic Institute and ends at a scenic rocky shoreline that we usually have had all to ourselves.
You can park at the Schoodic Institute or take the Island Explorer shuttle. The trail begins near the parking lot at the top of the hill.
Adventure Tip: This is an amazing place to watch the sunset without the crowds that tend to gather at Schoodic Point. This alone makes this one of the best Schoodic Peninsula hikes.
11) Round Rocky Beaches
There are some really amazing rocky beaches toward the end of the Schoodic Loop Road. These beaches have the most perfect round, smooth, bubble-looking rocks that are really neat to explore.
My favorite round rocky beach is found by a two-car parking area perpendicular to the road toward the end of the Schoodic Loop Road. These two parking spaces sit up on a cliff.
This spot is located a little past Blueberry Hill and the Anvil Trail on the ocean side of the road. It’s tough to spot and not on the map but worth it if you can find it.
If you park and walk a little to the left, you will see a steep path down to the beach. The most perfect round pebbles rattle in the tide there. It is so beautiful. Hard to find but beautiful.
There are also some cool rocky beaches near Buck Cove that have larger perfectly round rocks to explore.
Adventure Tip: Ask the shuttle driver to drop you off anywhere along the route that you find interesting. Some of our best days were ones in which we had no plan and just hopped off in random places!
Staying Safe On Your Schoodic Peninsula Visit
I love everything about exploring out on the rocks of the Schoodic Peninsula. There is a risk of slipping on wet rocks or being swept off the rocks by crashing waves. Here are a few tips to stay safe:
Never Get Too Close To The Tide Line
The water can come up quickly and farther than you think.
Always Know The Tide Schedule
Take a photo of it in case your internet isn’t great. This will tell you if the tide is going up or down.
Wet Moss-Covered Rocks Are As Slippery As Ice
Try to avoid stepping on areas with moss and wear shoes with good traction like hiking shoes.
Even in my hiking shoes, I have fallen before on the wet moss-covered rocks. So the best advice is to just avoid the moss.
Adventure Horror Story: I got caught in a scary situation once at Schoodic Point. I knew the tide schedule and the tide was going down and nearing low tide. I had on my good hiking shoes and I avoided all the moss.
I walked out on a wet rock that was still pretty far from the tide line to take a wave photo. Another lady stepped out there as well.
The next thing I knew this huge wave came up and crashed over us. The sheer force of it almost knocked me down. The lady and I both composed ourselves and got out of there drenched and horrified.
We were lucky and I got an important reminder that the ocean is in charge. Know the tide schedule, but don’t trust it to get too close.
FAQs Schoodic Peninsula Acadia National Park
Is the Schoodic Peninsula worth visiting?
Absolutely! It is just as beautiful as the main part of Acadia but without all of the crowds.
How long does it take to drive around Schoodic Peninsula?
The Schoodic Loop Road is 6 miles. If you want to stop and get out for photos and to walk around, you may want to allow 1-2 hours.
Do you need a park pass for Schoodic Peninsula?
Yes, the Schoodic Peninsula is part of Acadia National Park. You can stop at the Schoodic Visitor Center to get a park pass or use the pass purchased in the main part of Acadia National Park.
How long is the Schoodic Loop?
The Schoodic Loop Road is 6 miles long. It is a very scenic loop to drive or bike.
Are there moose on the Schoodic Peninsula?
No, there are no moose on the Schoodic Peninsula of Acadia National Park.
Can you swim at Schoodic Point?
No, it is not safe to swim at Schoodic Point due to the large waves and rocky coastline. There is swimming allowed at Jones Pond on the Schoodic Peninsula.
How do you get to Schoodic Peninsula?
The Schoodic Peninsula is located off of Hwy 1 and begins near Winter Harbor, Maine. It takes about an hour from Mount Desert Island, the main part of Acadia National Park.
From the main area of Acadia National Park, take Hwy 3 off of Mt Desert Island toward Ellsworth, Maine. In Ellsworth, turn right to head east on Hwy 1. Turn right to head south on Hwy 186 toward Winter Harbor. Turn right to head south onto Schoodic Loop Road.
Can you drive up Schoodic Head?
Yes, there is a small parking area at the top. You can also hike or bike to the top.
Is Schoodic Peninsula open in winter?
Yes, the Schoodic Loop Road and the Frazier Point Picnic Areas are open year-round.
Can you drive to Schoodic Point?
Yes, you can drive to Schoodic Point by taking the Schoodic Loop Road and turning right onto Arey Cove/Schoodic Point Road. It also has the largest parking area on the Schoodic Peninsula.
Is Schoodic Point Worth Visiting?
Yes, Schoodic Point is worth visiting to view the beautiful rock formations, power of waves crashing, and the beautiful park sunsets. It’s also a great place to explore tide pools during low tide.
Is Schoodic Peninsula Worth Visiting?
Yes, Schoodic Peninsula is worth visiting to enjoy the stunning beauty of Acadia National Park without all of the crowds found in the main part of the park. The Peninsula is a hidden gem full of scenery and things to do.
Where To See Moose In Acadia?
There are unfortunately no moose to see in Acadia National Park. There are other areas of Maine and even Maine moose tours that you can take to try to view these majestic animals.
Are There Bears In Acadia National Park?
No, there are no bears in Acadia National Park. Other areas of Maine does have bears but none are found within or near the national park boundaries.
Are You Excited To Check Out The Schoodic Peninsula?
The Schoodic Peninsula section of Acadia is a hidden paradise. This scenic area is every bit as spectacular as the rest of Acadia without all of the crowds. It’s worth the drive to experience this natural paradise. So what are you waiting for?
Check out this guide for other Secret Spots To Avoid Crowds In Acadia National Park.
Looking for activities to do in Acadia? Check out: 3 Unique Things To Do In Acadia National Park.
Have you visited the Schoodic Peninsula? Planning a trip soon? Please leave me a comment! I would love to hear about your experiences.
Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. If you enjoyed this post, be sure to PIN it and SHARE it on social media.
Enjoy your adventure detour!
Scott and Van of The Adventure Detour are travel writers focusing on RV travel, family outdoor travel, national parks travel, and hiking. They have been full-time RV living and traveling across the US since 2015. In 8 years of full-time RVing, they have visited 38 national parks so far with the ultimate goal to see them all. They work as digital nomads while roadschooling their daughter nicknamed Sissy. On the way to all 50 states, they have visited and hiked through 42 states so far. The travel bucket list is forever growing!