Mount Desert Circumnavigation of Bartlett Island

Seal Cove, Maine

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When the fog thickens on the south side of Mount Desert, you can often find clearer skies up by Bartlett Island in Western Bay, where the water is also warmer, according to sources. Bartlett is a broad, privately owned island set well up into Blue Hill Bay. Pretty Marsh Harbor has a paved boat-launch site known as Bartlett’s Landing, which unfortunately is one of the busiest kayak-launch spots in Maine. Here several Mount Desert outfitters unload their customers in fleets of double kayaks, to follow the tide down to the take-out. You’d do well to take a page from their book: follow the tide, not just to mitigate the jumpy narrows but also to ease paddling effort throughout the circumnavigation. The island has several gorgeous pocket sand or gravel beaches. A circumnavigation will take most of the afternoon.
Sea Kayaking Along the New England Coast

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Sea Kayaking Along the New England Coast

by Tamsin Venn (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)

When the fog thickens on the south side of Mount Desert, you can often find clearer skies up by Bartlett Island in Western Bay, where the water is also warmer, according to sources. Bartlett is a broad, privately owned island set well up into Blue Hill Bay. Pretty Marsh Harbor has a paved boat-launch site known as Bartlett’s Landing, which unfortunately is one of the busiest kayak-launch spots in Maine.

Here several Mount Desert outfitters unload their customers in fleets of double kayaks, to follow the tide down to the take-out. You’d do well to take a page from their book: follow the tide, not just to mitigate the jumpy narrows but also to ease paddling effort throughout the circumnavigation. The island has several gorgeous pocket sand or gravel beaches. A circumnavigation will take most of the afternoon.

©  Tamsin Venn/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Sea Kayaking
Nearby City: Seal Cove
Distance: 11
Duration: Day Trip
Season: Best spring through fall
Local Contacts: Acadia National Park
Local Maps: NOAA #13316 (Blue Hill Bay) at 1:40,000
Driving Directions: Directions to Mount Desert: Circumnavigation of Bartlett Island

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Apr 2018