Acadia puts an extra rugged spin on the iconic Maine postcard view of the lit tower standing stoically against the shore. Throw your lighthouse expectations out the window: those in and near the park are all a bit quirky in location and/or design.
Bass Harbor Head Light
Like a dollhouse perched on a cliff, with its squat little tower, Bass Harbor Head Light is one of New England’s most photographed lighthouses. Clamber onto the nearby granite for the best shot, or book with Island Cruises for a superb view from the water. 1 mile south of Bass Harbor, off Rte. 102A
Prospect Harbor Light
One of the country’s only conical wooden lighthouses, this one’s rumored to be haunted (a sea captain figurine reportedly moves around at night). The light’s on Navy property and closed to the public but viewable from a gated entrance. (The keeper’s house is available for overnights for brave military families.) 5 miles east of Winter Harbor, off Rte. 195
Bear Island Light
A stubby, white, brick lighthouse on one of the outlying Cranberry Isles, Bear Island Light is often obscured by spruce trees and has been threatened here and there with discontinuation, but local activism has managed to keep it illuminated. Contact Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company to glimpse it on a tour of the rarely visited Bear Island.
Egg Rock Light
On a tiny, treeless island between Bar Harbor and Winter Harbor, Egg Rock Light is unusual in its construction — a square tower set atop its keeper’s house. Marking the entrance to Frenchman Bay, it’s visible from Schooner Head Overlook on MDI (and distantly from several peaks) or the loop road on the Schoodic side, although the best view is by boat.
Photo: At MDI’s southernmost tip, Bass Harbor Head Light is an iconic symbol of Acadia and still a navigational aid to ships, by Douglas Merriam.