Category Archives: Outdoor Activities

The Foliage Is Coming! The Foliage Is Coming!

The Foliage Is Coming! The Foliage Is Coming!

Cadillac Mountain, Mount Desert IslandVisitors from all over the world come to Maine to experience the spectacular colors of autumn foliage. While many areas of the US experience changes of leaves from green to various shades of yellow, the fiery oranges and reds of New England Maple trees are a treasure mostly limited to the northeast — perhaps payback for our long and chilly winters!

Passionate leaf peepers track the advent of peak foliage to time their visit for the ultimate display of color. But any time from Labor Day through Halloween, Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island will offer glimpses of fiery orange, scarlet red and vivid yellow upon a background of green. As peak season nears, there’s more red and orange and less green.

Bar Harbor foliageHere in Bar Harbor, Yankee Magazine’s live foliage map claims we’re seeing “moderate” color, but see for yourself — it’s pretty spectacular.

Foliage map bar Harbor area


Whether the foliage is at peak color or not, October is lovely in Bar Harbor: the days are bright and clear and the crisp evenings are an invitation to enjoy a leisurely meal and a hearty Irish coffee in front of a fireplace, then snuggle in under a heavy quilt for a restful sleep.

There’s plenty to do indoors and out — once you’ve satisfied your leaf peeping quest, see our post from last fall with suggestions for autumn activities, or try one of these local events which offer a treat for your other senses:

Jazz concert October 10: The Color of Sound

Heirloom apple day October 11: A rite of autumn: all about apples

Wine tasting October 17: The flavors of Tuscany

We close for the season on October 25, so call now to reserve your room (207.288.3443). And shhh … our quiet season rates go in effect starting October 14. We hope we’ll see you before the season ends, but if you can’t make it, consider purchasing a gift certificate to use next season.


Twinkle, Twinkle … A Breathtaking Spectacle

Twinkle, Twinkle … A Breathtaking Spectacle

Acadia Night Sky FestivalDoes the beauty of the night sky take your breath away? If so, we have a spectacular event to add to your autumn calendar. The Acadia Night Sky Festival takes place this year on September 25-29, 2014.

A community celebration, the Acadia Night Sky Festival promotes the protection and enjoyment of Downeast & Acadia’s stellar night sky as a valuable natural resource through education, science and the arts. Continue reading

One If By Land … Adventure in Bar Harbor

One If By Land … Adventure in Bar Harbor

Acadia National Park

Photo credit:


While the area may be best known for the pristine beauty of its infamous national park, Bar Harbor offers a grand variety of opportunities for adventure. As promised in last month’s post about water-based activities, this month we’ll be sharing recommendations for activities that keep your feet (or your wheels) on terra firma.

Calling All Adventurers!

If you’ve never visited our national treasure, Acadia National Park, this is the time to do it. Acadia is the first eastern park in the national park system and boasts gorgeous views. Today visitors come to Acadia to hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the scenery.

Are you an experienced rock climber, or looking to try the sport? Rock climbing in Bar Harbor allows you to take in the natural beauty while you conquer the cliff. (Not to mention having some cool stories to share with co-workers back at work.)

Bicycling through lovely Bar Harbor will get you around quickly while you familiarize yourself with the nooks and crannies of town that other visitors may miss. Rentals are available.

If you’re looking to move your body, but not go overboard, hit the trailhead and try one of the easier hikes. Or if you’ve had enough exercise, hop aboard the free Island Explorer bus which travels from in-town through the park’s hiking trails, carriage roads and island beaches.

Whatever way you may reach the summit, don’t leave Bar Harbor without seeing sunrise on Cadillac Mountain. Its location makes it the first place to see sunrise in the US – and it’s pretty spectacular. It’s only 20 minutes from Inn to the peak by car. Sunrise is “rush hour” and met with applause at first peek.

“Got Cultcha?”

Small town feel notwithstanding, arts and culture abound in Bar Harbor and the surrounding area. Learn about the natural history of Bar Harbor at the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History, or experience Old Bar Harbor at the Bar Harbor Historical Society.  Don’t miss the chance to learn about Native American life in Bar Harbor at our beloved Abbe Museum.

The Acadia Repertory Theatre is very popular with summer guests and their performances are always outstanding. For a new take on a movie theatre, we love Reel Pizza; they serve food, beer and wine and when your food is ready they’ll let you know via a bingo board. Learn about Maine’s ocean life with a hands-on experience at the Mount Desert Island Oceanarium.

Just a Little Peace and Quiet?

Take a walk through our charming little town to find some treasures and absorb the fresh air and beauty. Take an easy hike around Jordan Pond; a boardwalk borders the east side of the pond and leads to the Jordan House Restaurant & Gift Shop. Settle down in one of the Adirondack chairs and enjoy a bite to eat in a lovely setting.

Most importantly remember Maples Inn is “Classic Tranquility.” Feel at home to knit, read, engage in easy conversation with other guests, or simply relax on the front porch rockers with afternoon refreshments. On cooler days, cozy up by the living room fireplace. Give us a call today to schedule your next trip to beautiful Bar Harbor. We look forward to seeing you soon.

On The Water For A Bar Harbor Adventure

On The Water For A Bar Harbor Adventure


“How was your vacation?”   ~   “Did you enjoy your time off?”   ~   “Did you do anything fun?”

Most people cite some relaxation and downtime as their key goals for vacation. But after returning to the office or the regular routine, there can be a bit of wistfulness that you didn’t make the most of your time away. Maybe between the delicious lobster dinner and the town concert on the green and the stroll through the shops, you should have made time for a little adventure?

Fortunately, Bar Harbor is a treasure trove of opportunity when it comes to adventure. Continue reading

Bar Harbor’s Festivals – from Flavors to Feathers

Bar Harbor’s Festivals – from Flavors to Feathers 

Bar Harbor’s festival season has begun! With the trees greening up and more flowers in bloom each day, the town is a feast for the eyes. Two early season celebrations offer feasts of bounty for nature lovers and foodies alike. Continue reading

Savor Bar Harbor’s Autumn Riches: 10 Ideas To Keep You Happily Occupied

Savor Bar Harbor’s Autumn Riches: 10 Ideas To Keep You Happily Occupied

Acadia in AutumnOnce the initial bustle of Labor Day wanes, we’re often left with a sense of loss; summer is past, the days are getting shorter, and we’re focused on commitments and task lists rather than carefree summer jaunts.

But autumn in Bar Harbor is a treasure, with sunny days, smaller crowds, and plenty of activities to keep you happily occupied.

Find a few of our suggestions below. Continue reading

Celebrate the Night Sky at Acadia

Celebrate the Night Sky at Acadia

Acadia Night Sky Festival

Whether you favor astronomy or prefer the glow of the city, a star-filled sky is an awe-inspiring sight. Far from city lights, the Milky Way, comets, satellites and a myriad of stars become visible. Bar Harbor is committed to preserving this precious natural resource and even passed an ordinance several years ago to avoid the light pollution which would encroach on the spectacular view of the night sky. Continue reading

Bar Harbor By Sea

Bar Harbor By Sea

Here in Bar Harbor we have breathtaking ocean views all around us, but it’s a little chilly to dive right in to the water … the average water temperature in July is only 60 degrees! We don’t let the cold water get in our way though: there are many opportunities to immerse yourself in the Bar Harbor coastal experience while staying warm and dry. Find the boating trip or nature tour that suits your interests!

Margaret Todd SchoonerCreate a lasting summer memory on a two hour harbor tour aboard the magnificent schooner, Margaret Todd. This 151’ four-master schooner sails several times daily, taking in the beautiful coastal sights and sounds of Bar Harbor. Keep a look out for a seals, porpoise, or bald eagles! Hear the wind in the sails as you help hoist them or just relax with the sun on your back. On the afternoon trip, a park ranger will teach you about the geography of the area, and on the sunset cruise enjoy local live folk, guitar, fiddle, or banjo music to accompany the incredible evening sky.

Looking for a different style of boating? Check out Islander Puffin Lighthouse and Fishing Trips. They offer several types of ocean excursions on Maine-built boats. Spend the morning fishing on Frenchman Bay while experienced deckhands give you tips and provide all bait and tackle for you. As an added bonus, they’ll even help you reel in your catch and fillet it for you to enjoy later. For a more leisurely  afternoon, take a cruise around nearby harbors and bays on a lighthouse lobster boat tour. Look out for off-shore seabirds, whales, and other marine wildlife. You can even get an up close view of puffins as the captain anchors the boat at a puffin nesting area. Don’t forget your camera!

If boating isn’t your thing, try out the latest exercise craze and learn how to paddleboard! Acadia Stand Up Paddleboarding offers small group lessons and provides all equipment for a safe and enjoyable paddleboard lesson on your choice of lake or ocean. Don’t worry about that 60 degree water if you fall in; they’ll provide a wetsuit to keep you dry and warm.  Be sure to also check out Coastal Kayaking Tours on either the east or west side of Mount Desert Island. Get individualized attention in groups of six or fewer along with experienced advice from the oldest sea kayak company in New England as you paddle most often among the ruggedly beautiful Porcupine Islands of Frenchman Bay.

View from Gorham MountainIf you prefer to experience the ocean views with your feet on dry land, there are several nature paths and tours in Acadia National Park that will whet your ocean appetite without wetting your feet. Check out the Ocean Path walking trail, a four mile round-trip path that brings you to Otter Cliff, Sand Beach, and the famous Thunder Hole. Listen to the crashing waves and smell the wild roses for a relaxing afternoon in the park. For a more challenging hike, the Gorham Mountain Hiking Trail offering incredible panoramic views of the Acadia coast from the peak. Most people don’t even know about this trail!

Summer is fleeting here in Down East Maine. Book your stay now to create lasting memories.


Coastline, Lobster and Art in the Park – Bar Harbor’s Many Riches

Coastline, Lobster and Art in the Park – Bar Harbor’s Many Riches

Art in the parkBar Harbor, Maine offers an outstanding mix of recreational activities to satisfy a variety of individual passions.

Acadia National Park & Mount Desert Island
For the outdoor enthusiast, Acadia National Park offers boundless opportunities for exploration by both land and sea. Comprised of nearly 50,000 acres of rocky coastline on Mount Desert Island and offshore islands, Acadia is the most visited national park in the country, offering spectacular scenery, wildlife, and options for recreation. The athletically inclined can hike or bike the rugged trails or join a guide for rock and mountain climbing. Water activities abound, including kayaking, sailing, and stand-up paddle boarding. Outdoor enthusiasts who prefer to experience the coast in a less physical ways can enjoy boat cruises of various types (including deep sea fishing, schooner sails, lobster boat rides) to view the variety of whales, puffins, and lighthouses that dot the rocky coastline.

Culture & History
For the culture or history buff, Bar Harbor offers a variety of museums where visitors can learn about the history of the area through exhibits, collections and programs. Those interested in a closer look at the marine life and the geology of the area may participate in guided tours of a salt marsh or learn about the area’s flora and fauna through exhibits at the nature center in Acadia National Park. A variety of nature boat cruises and bus tours are also available.

Lobster Fans & Foodies Welcome
While of course local lobster and seafood are popular menu items in this coastal area, Bar Harbor features eateries offering a wide variety of cuisines, including Latin, Asian, Cuban ad Italian food. Whether you want a high end dining experience, a Downeast lobster bake at a picnic table in the salt air, or a café offering vegan and organic choices, you’ll find it here.

A Bustling Arts Scene
Whether you have an artistic passion or simply appreciate good music, theatre and visual arts, Bar Harbor offers a variety of choices. The Bar Harbor Music Festival takes place June 30 through July 28; enjoy weekly band concerts on the village green on several evenings each week, or take in the Bar Harbor Jazz Festival. Theatre, movies and improv are also available.

Art In The Park: June 22-23, 2013
Drawing inspiration from the natural beauty of the area, more than 35 fine painters and photographers will display their works on the Bar Harbor Village Green on the weekend of June 22 and 23, 2013. This juried art show and sale in its 63rd year runs from 9 am – 5 pm on Saturday and 10 am – 5 pm on Sunday, allowing you ample time to enjoy other area attractions as well. For more information, call the Chamber at 207 288 5103.

If you haven’t reserved yet, be sure to contact us soon to reserve your room; some weeks are nearly booked. We look forward to seeing you and welcoming you to Bar Harbor.

Early Season Birdwatching in Acadia

Acadia Birding FestivalEarly Season Birdwatching in Acadia

The Acadia Birding Festival is an event for birdwatchers like no other. In fact, it’s an event like no other even for non-birdwatchers. Truly like stepping into another realm, this Mount Desert Island event celebrates sights and sounds rare in today’s hectic, plugged-in world. This year, the festival takes place May 30 through June 2, 2013.

The map at left highlights “hot spots” for seeing the immense varieties of birds in the area, to explore on your own, with a guide, by water or on foot.

Day trips

Tours of various sorts offer field trips by land and sea, including hikes, van and boat trips within the park. The array of wildlife is astounding, including falcons, puffins, warblers, razorbills, gannets and fulmars. Some of these trips are already filling up, so if you want a guided experience, register now!

Talks and workshops

If you are interested in increasing your knowledge of the aviary bounty, daily talks and workshops are available. Budding photographers or videographers may wish to consider Point and Shoot for Wildlife. Birding aficionados who appreciate the astonishing variety of sounds these birds produce may be interested in Birding by Ear. Seabird ID workshop offers everyone a chance to increase their ability to recognize various species of birds in the wild.

Rest and rejuvenate

To continue the peaceful spirit of your visit, join us at Maples Inn where we pride ourselves on classic tranquility. Relax on our front porch. Sample our delicious baked good at afternoon tea. And enjoy any of our beautifully decorated rooms, each of which include a queen size bed with a fluffy down comforter and a private shower bath. We look forward to seeing you.

p.s. The weather forecast is finally looking more like the date on the calendar — so join us for a beautiful summer weekend. Book now!