10 Ways to Enjoy Acadia National Park, Including Sailing a Friendship Sloop

Sail a Friendship Sloop, Acadia National ParkIf you truly want to feel like a local on Mount Desert Island, take a day sail on a Friendship Sloop from Northeast or Southwest Harbor. Sail Acadia offers the opportunity to take a 3-hour guided sail on three Friendship Sloops, vessels that were used during the late 1800s to fish for lobsters along the Frenchman Bay shoreline. We sailed on the Helen Brooks, past the estates lining the Northeast Harbor shores. Soon we were gliding at a good 5-knot clip towards Great Cranberry Island and the many lobstermen picking up their traps. With a 6-foot keel, these sailboats can weather the strong gusts and fog often found along the Maine coast. Edged with spruce wood, the Helen Brooks is also a stylish ride. Near the beach at Manset, we spotted two porpoises gracefully arching their backs in and out of the choppy water. Then we sailed past Southwest Harbor into Somes Sound, Acadia Mountain to the left and Norumbega Mountain to the right, standing tall as gatekeepers to this long inlet. The mix of mountains, offshore islands, and granite-lined shoreline could easily entice the most jaded sailor to buy his own sloop and sail these legendary cruising grounds on a daily basis. Far too quickly, we were back on the docks of Northeast Harbor.

This entry is excerpted from my latest book, New England in a Nutshell. The book/ebook is slated to published on July 2nd and you can pre-order now at Amazon or at the independent bookstore, Northshire, located in Manchester Center, Vermont and Saratoga, New York. The ebook includes all hyperlinks to listings. The paperback includes front and back cover illustrations from Manhattan-based artist, Sarah Schechter, and a small sampling of photos from Lisa Leavitt, who accompanied me on many of my assignments, resulting in published work for the Boston Globe.