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Acadia's Long Pond

Publisher Partner DownEast Magazine

We periodically publish content from DownEast Magazine, The Magazine of Maine. Dedicated to evoking and illuminating the spirit and culture of Maine at its best.

Size: 897 acres
Maximum depth: 113 feet
Water visibility: 33 feet

As America’s second-smallest national park (at a mere 48,000 acres), Acadia can seem a bit too cozy at times, which is precisely when you should venture to Long Pond. The island’s largest lake is accessible by dirt road at its south end (you can actually pop over from comparatively busy Echo Lake without getting back on the highway), or else off Route 102 between Pretty Marsh and Somesville. Here you’ll find the wilder side of Acadia, whether you choose to paddle the full four-mile-long length of the pond, take a picnic lunch to Rum Island, or else watch the wood ducks feeding in the many coves and inlets. Anglers will particularly enjoy the bass and landlocked salmon stocked by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, as a quirk of seventeenth-century law dictated that Acadia’s great ponds be managed by the state. But don’t worry about high-powered fishing boats destroying the tranquility of Long Pond, two-thirds of which lies within the park boundaries; motors are limited to no more than ten horsepower on Long Pond, just as they are on the other large lakes of Acadia. A few camps are tucked into the shore, especially at the northern end of the pond, but these cabins hardly detract from the overall natural beauty of the area.

“It’s absolutely awesome out there,” remarks Brian Hamor, who has been renting a fleet of forty boats from his National Park Canoe & Kayak Rental in Mount Desert for many years. “Both Mansell and Beech Mountain come right down into the pond, so it’s almost like paddling down Somes Sound, like canoeing down a fjord.” This pond, too, serves as a municipal water supply, and therefore the residents of Southwest Harbor appreciate visitors keeping pollution and impact to an absolute minimum. Swimming is prohibited, unless of course you are a mink, ferret, or one of the other semi-aquatic creatures that call Long Pond home.

Excerpted from the article by Joshua F. Moore in the June 2008 issue of DownEast Magazine.

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