Acadia National Park Isle au Haut

Acadia National Park "High Island" is the English translation for Isle au Haut, the name given by the great French navigator Samuel Chaplain during his explorations of the Maine coast in 1604. Although shell heaps along the island's shores tell of an American Indian presence long before Chaplain's arrival, it wasn't until the end of the American Revolution that farmers, fishermen, and boat builders came to the island in large numbers. In the 1880s a small summer community, attracted by agreeable weather and idyllic scenery, was established. In 1943, heirs of the founder of that community donated portions of Isle au Haut to the federal government as part of Acadia National Park. Because of their generosity, much of the island's beauty and solitude is now yours to experience and enjoy. Although about one-half of Isle au Haut is federal park land, the other half is privately owned, with summer residents and a year-round fishing community. Please respect private property rights.

Hiking

Eighteen miles of trails offer opportunities to explore rocky shoreline, wooded uplands, marshes, bogs, and a mile-long freshwater lake. Be prepared for rough and sometimes wet trails. Bring adequate footgear, warm clothing, and raingear. Duck Harbor provides the best starting point for hiking. During the summer, a park ranger may board the ferry at the town landing to answer questions about Isle au Haut. Upon arrival to Duck Harbor, you may elect to hike with the ranger or explore on your own.

Biking

Bicycles are prohibited on hiking trails. There are only five miles of paved roads and seven miles of rough, unpaved roads. The ferry charges an additional fee to transport bicycles and will only drop them off and pick them up at the town landing.

Services

A small store and post office with limited hours are located near the town landing. There are no private campgrounds. Camping

Five sites are available at Duck Harbor from mid-May to mid-October by advance reservation. You must have a reservation to camp. Camping is permitted in designated sites only. Party size is limited to six persons per site.

Facilities include:

  • Five lean-to shelters, three-sided with roof and floor. Dimensions are 8' tall, 8' deep, and 12.5' wide.Use of tents is limited to what can fit inside the shelters.
  • Fire ring
  • Picnic table
  • Composting toilet
  • Hand pump for water located 1600' from shelters.
  • Checkout: 11 a.m.
  • Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. Generator use is prohibited. Please be aware of the regulations listed below. Following these regulations will help protect park resources and make your stay more enjoyable.

Camping Reservations

Reservation Request Form

  1. Obtain a Reservation Request Form by phoning the park at 207-288-3338 (voice/TTY). Reservation requests must be postmarked April 1 or later. Requests before April 1 will be returned without action. Telephone requests are not accepted.

  2. Choosing dates: - Check with Isle au Haut Ferry Company for schedule (see ferry information). The ferry does not operate on postal holidays.
  • "Departure date" is the day you vacate the campsite.
  • Campers are limited to one stay per calendar year.
  • You are more likely to receive a reservation if you apply for alternate dates and/or indicate you will accept fewer days than the number requested.
  1. One Reservation Request form reserves one site. Six people permitted per site. Larger groups need additional request forms. Only one request form and fee accepted per envelope. Special Use Permit

A Special Use Permit fee must accompany each Reservation Request Form regardless of how many nights you wish to camp. There is no additional camping fee. - Postal money order, certified check, or personal check payable to the National Park Service is accepted. Do not send Canadian currency.

If your reservation request is accommodated, your fee becomes non-refundable, and you will receive a reservation confirmation. If the park is unable to honor your request, your fee will be returned. When you travel to Isle au Haut, bring your Special Use Permit.

Isle au Haut is linked to the mainland by a ferry from Stonington. No auto ferry exists. The ferry runs year-round to the town landing. Mid-June through early September (except Sundays), it also goes to Duck Harbor, which is located in the heart of the park. The mailboat operates on a first come, first-served basis. The number of visitors allowed in the Isle au Haut section of Acadia is limited, and day trippers may, on rare occasion, be denied access to the park.

Regulations

  • Accidents must be reported to park rangers if property damage or personal injury are involved.
  • Hunting and trapping are prohibited.
  • Firearms must be unloaded and cased or otherwise packed in such a way as to prevent use.
  • Fishing is permitted in accordance with State of Maine law. A state license is required for freshwater fishing.
  • The operation of any audio device that unreasonably annoys other park visitors is prohibited. Radios must be completely off between quiet hours, 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
  • The possession or use of fireworks or firecrackers is prohibited.
  • It is illegal to be in the park when under the influence of alcohol and/or a controlled substance. The possession of alcoholic beverages by a minor (less than 21 years old) is prohibited.
  • The possession, destruction, removal, or disturbance of park property or natural resources is prohibited.
  • Campfires are allowed only in designated campground areas. Never leave fires unattended. During periods of high fire danger, campfires in the campground and smoking on trails may be prohibited.
  • Pets must be leashed at all times while in the park and are prohibited in the campground.
  • For your safety and the safety of those camping around you, store all human foods and cooking equipment in the aluminum food locker provided on the outside of the lean-to-shelter whenever you are not present. This precaution will limit the opportunity for wild animals to be attracted to your lean-to-shelter and camping site. Remember to place all garbage, including empty cans and bottles, inside the aluminum food locker. Never store food or any container with human foods in your tent or lean-to-shelter or under tarps.
  • You must carry out all trash. There is no trash disposal on Isle au Haut.
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