Freshwater Beaches

While the ocean can be chilly here in DownEast Acadia, head just a little bit inland to enjoy a day of swimming, paddling, floating, or just having some True Maine summertime fun. The beaches on our many lakes and ponds tend to be a little warmer and are not affected by the tides or waves like ocean beaches.

In Acadia National Park is Echo Lake, on the quiet side of Mount Desert Island between Somesville and Southwest Harbor off Route 102. A paved entrance road leads to the parking area above the beach. A wide swath of sand beach meets shallow clear water at the southern tip of the lake. The beach is especially suitable for children, and a lifeguard is on duty during peak summer hours.

More remote, but well worth the trip, the village of Grand Lake Stream offers visitors a public beach, boat dock and ramps, tennis and basketball courts. There are several sporting camps and lodges in the area, so plan to stay a few days and relax. A bit further to the northeast are Duck Lake and Gassahias Lake, which offer swimming and camping.

Just east of Ellsworth is Tunk Lake Region and Donnell Pond which has two long sandy beaches and many pocket ones that invite picnicking and swimming. Many other lakes and ponds are swimmable, but the shoreline may be rocky or tree-lined.

As always, if there is no lifeguard on duty, use caution and swim with care.

Additional information:

  • Echo Lake on MDI - The 237-acre Echo Lake, nestled in a scenic wooded area at the base of the Beech Mountain cliffs, has an average depth of 66 feet.
  • Southwest Harbor - The Quiet Side of Acadia.
  • Somesville - The first village to be settled by Europeans on Mount Desert Island.
  • Grand Lake Stream - St. Croix River and Grand Lakes Watershed. Over 2 1/2 thousand square miles of canoe waterways. Four major lakes, 10 smaller lakes and 65 islands for kayaking, boating, swimming and fishing.
  • Duck Lake Public Reserve Land - Located in northern Hancock County about 70 miles northeast of Bangor, the Duck Lake Unit comprises more than 27,000 acres of forested land.
  • Donnell Pond Public Reserve Land - Schoodic Mountain and Schoodic Beach are popular destinations within the Donnell Pond Public Lands Unit. Schoodic's summit is bare and flat with 360 degree views, including dramatic views over Frenchman Bay and Mount Desert Island.
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