Acadia National Park: Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse at the tip of the west side of Acadia National Park. If you keep going south past Southwest Harbor, you’ll see a turn for 102A. Take that until you see the pull off for the lighthouse. You’ll know you’re there because most likely there will be a huge line of cars waiting to see it (classic Acadia!).

The line tends to move quickly, though, and there’s no extra charge to visit the lighthouse. There’s a relatively large parking lot and most people seem to go to the lighthouse, look out on the water, get back in their car and leave.

The entrance to the lighthouse itself is at the beginning of the parking lot. It was built in the mid-1800s, and it remains in use today. A member of the coast guard lives in the lighthouse, which makes the inside off limits, but you can walk the grounds of it until you’ve had your fill of its ocean views. Bass Harbor has the only lighthouse accessible by car in Acadia National Park, so don’t miss it!

There’s good reason to stick around after that, though! First, there are bathrooms that are not too dirty at the far end. This is always a hiker’s dream. Second, and what a lot of people don’t realize, there are trails by the bathrooms! They take you directly to the rocky beach with a great view of the ocean and the lighthouse.

You can sit over the rock ledge to enjoy an ocean-view lunch or just take a break. This is likely a nice place to take in the sunrise, as well.

Or you can get right into the rocks and rock hop around the shore. This is one of the best parts of Acadia National Park, whether on trails like Gorham Mountain or beaches near Thunder Hole or Pretty Marsh. Get on the rocks and have some fun!!

After you’ve had some fun in Acadia, don’t forget to check out Bar Harbor!

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