The rocky coast of Maine offers adventurous explorers a variety of geology, wildlife, and paddling opportunities. Stretching from Kittery in the south to the Downeast port of Lubec, Maine’s coast offers over 3,000 miles of jagged shoreline to enjoy and explore. One of the state’s most exciting destinations is Acadia National Park located on the magnificent Mt. Desert Island. Mt. Desert Island is home to Cadillac Mountain, the tallest peak on the eastern seaboard, which offers visitors the first view of sunrise in America, well worth a visit to the top. There is so much to see here and exploring by kayak provides an on water perspective that many visitors just don’t get a chance to see.
Aug. 26* - Sept. 2*, 2018 (* travel days; no kayaking)
$2195 per person double occupancy; $2595 for singles
Price includes 7 nights Bed & Breakfast accommodations, meals beginning with welcome dinner on arrival night and finishing with breakfast on final morning; kayaks and related gear; and guidance and leadership with H2Outfitters' Registered Maine Guides.
• Spectacular pink granite outcrops standing sentinel to hidden pocket beaches... islands in time just waiting for exploration
•Sit back on a white sand beach at the end of a day as we prepare the fixings for an authentic Downeast lobster feed, a memory you’ll be able to take home and share with others
• Penobscot Bay is home to the extensive granite quarries that provided the foundations as well as building materials for many of the East Coast’s largest cities. We’ll visit Maine’s last remaining active granite quarry on Crotch Island where you’ll see these monolithic blocks at various stages of development.
• Paddle past Maine’s legendary lighthouses, beacons that guided mariners for generations along the jagged coast.
• Meet the locals, many of whom are consummate artisans producing hand-crafted goods unique to the region
• Take a break from paddling and hike the carriage roads and trails of Acadia National Park, a step back in time
Home to one of New England’s largest fishing fleets, and surrounded by an abundance of islands, Stonington will be the start of our Downeast sea kayaking experience. Once you have checked in to our cozy waterfront inn , take some time to stretch your legs and take in the charm of Stonington village before we gather for our welcome dinner at one of the local seafood establishments. Spruce-clad islands can be seen on the horizon awaiting our visit the following day. (D)
We’ll begin the day with an orientation to our craft, expedition-style sea kayaks. Like the Eskimos you’ll wear your boat, comfortably fitted in the cockpit, ready to learn or review the control and maneuvering strokes, which will guide us out to sea as we paddle towards our island destinations. Keep an eye out for eagles overhead and playful seals sneaking a peek at our group as we glide along the water’s surface. Looking back towards the mainland, we’ll get our first glimpse of the mountains of Acadia providing you with a firsthand look where the “mountains meet the sea”. We’ll share a leisurely island-bound lunch, take the opportunity for some significant photo ops, we’ll meander through the island chain as we head back for a hot shower, relaxation, and another fine meal. (B, L, D)
After a hearty breakfast and a pre paddle stretch, we’ll ready ourselves for our next journey on the water. Our destination, Crotch island, an active granite quarry with a history that stretches back to the turn of the century. Efficiently operated by a crew of four who keep the tradition alive, the Crotch island quarry was responsible for not only the foundations of the 20th centuries great building program but many of the Skyscrapers and buildings that exist today. The indigenous rose-colored granite is reputed to be the highest quality building stone of its type. But what sets it apart is its unique color and shading amplified by water’s reflection and the sun. As we circumnavigate the island, we’ll see relics of the past, blocks that were not cut to perfection, the old steam-powered crane, and the remains of the island’s railway providing the requisite rusted backdrop of times past. As we move on we’ll stop on nearby Green Island and enjoy a delightful swim in the emerald waters of its now defunct quarry. A great way to rinse off the salt in a relaxing warm pool. On our way back, we’ll pass the ubiquitous Maine lobster fleet, boats coming in with their catch of the day. Before dinner take the time to further explore the galleries and small shops that line the street before we meet up for dinner. (B, L, D)
Today we’ll gear up for a visit to Isle au Haut, one of the highlights of our trip. Located five miles off the coast from Stonington, Isle au Haut is a remote outpost of Acadia National Park. There is a small year-round community that inhabits half of the island, the rest dedicated to the National Park for enjoyment of visitors. Once we make landfall there will be opportunities to explore the park’s many trails on foot before and after our picnic lunch. Once we have satisfied our wanderlust we’ll get back in the boats for the trip back to the mainland. *
* The option exists to take the mailboat out to Isle au Haut and back again if anyone is tired from the previous day’s paddle.
(B, L, D)
Explore the shoreline by land as we depart Stonington and head to our next base on Southwest Harbor. On the way, we’ll visit the quaint village of Blue Hill, which has a rich sea-faring history providing an attraction for writers, artists, and lovers of maritime life. We’ll partake of an enjoyable lunch in one of the local cafes and browse the streets looking for those special treasures before we get back in our transport and head to Southwest Harbor on the “quietside” of Mt. Desert Island. (B, L, D)
Southwest Harbor overlooking the entrance to Somes Sound, is our starting point for our kayak journey today. Formed during the ice age as glaciers carved out the rugged terrain of the island, this deep channel with its fjord-like depths provides breath-taking paddling opportunities which we will take advantage of throughout the day. (B, L, D)
One cannot visit Mt. Desert Island without a trip up Cadillac mountain, the tallest peak on the East Coast, for an amazing sunrise followed by a hearty breakfast in the social hub of the island, Bar Harbor. Once we’re charged up for the day, we’ll head off on one of the many trails nearby hiking up to the heights on relatively easy trails where we’ll be greeted with a spectacular panorama of the sea and islands surrounding Mt. Desert. We may even be able to pinpoint some of the areas we have explored from this vantage point. As we head back down to sea level we’ll finish the day with tea and popovers on Jordan Pond at the famous Jordan Pond House. Our evening will be spent in town after we freshen up at our Inn in Southwest Harbor (B, L, D)
Today we’ll visit the less developed western shore of Mt Desert island, protected from ocean swell, this quiet area is ideal for spotting osprey, playing hide and seek with seals, and even paddling with the porpoise as we meander along the shoreline and around small islands, all the while enjoying what the environment has to offer. On our way back to the Inn we’ll make a stop at Bass Harbor light, one of the country’s most photographed lighthouses, which stands at the southern most point of Mt. Desert Island. After a parting dinner, those of us who are stargazers can take the opportunity to head to the Seawall section of the island to put terrestrial wonderings aside and look at the night sky. (B, L, D)
Wake to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, and join the group for our final breakfast together before departing for home. (B)