Heading East from Ellsworth, the busy tourist towns give away to a quieter, more authentic Downeast Maine experience. Coastal Route 1 takes you through the villages of Hancock and Sullivan along the Schoodic National Scenic ByWay to the Town of Gouldsboro. Gouldsboro, and the villages within it, represent the majority of the Schoodic Peninsula. Aside from being the home to Acadia East Campground, here are some of the wonderful things to do in Gouldsboro Maine.
Things To Do in Gouldsboro Maine
The Villages of Gouldsboro:
The municipality of Gouldsboro is home to a number of smaller “fishing villages” of the past. With a combined total of fewer than 2,000 year-round residents, these villages are all managed by the Town of Gouldsboro. These villages include Birch Harbor, Prospect Harbor, South Gouldsboro, West Gouldsboro, Summer Harbour, Wonsqueak Harbour, Bunker’s Harbour, Chicken Mill, Jones’ Pond, Westbay, and Corea.
Where to Eat?
We will continue to explore each villages’ dining options in greater depth in individual articles. For the purpose of this article, we’ll provide a high-level look at the best places to eat in Gouldsboro.
- The Pickled Wrinkle is one of the most well-known restaurants on the Schoodic Peninsula and by far one of the best places to eat in Birch Harbor Maine. Open year-round. Come here for seafood, burgers, pub grub, great craft beer, and entertainment.
- Bunker’s Wharf in Birch Harbor is all around stunning. Beautiful views of the harbor, a full bar, seafood, steak.. how can you go wrong?
- Wharf and Gallery Grill in Corea is another “can’t miss” restaurant in Gouldsboro. Open seasonally on the water, they deliver fresh lobster rolls, seafood, ice cream and desert.
Where to Boat?
There are many options for putting a boat in the water around Gouldsboro and the Schoodic Peninsula. (See our Boat Landing directory) We recommend the Jones Pond Recreation Area for freshwater boating. Here you can back a boat trailer in or hand carry a kayak for a great day of paddling or fishing. For saltwater, we recommend the all-tide boat landing at Bunker Cove. This 10 foot wide by 140 foot long paved ramp has a grade of 15 degrees.
Where to Hike?
The Frenchman Bay Conservancy oversees some of the best hiking areas in Gouldsboro.
Corea Health is a 600-acre preserve that connects Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge to the Grand Marsh. These wetlands are home to coastal waterfowl, wading birds, migrating land birds, and many different varieties of plant life.
Taft Point consists of 68 acres of woodlands coastal waterfront with sweeping views of the Acadia Mountains, Stave Island, Calf Island, Schieffelen Point and Schoodic Mountain.
Frances B. Wood Preserve is a 438-acre preserve north of the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge on the West Bay. This stunning landscape protects the watershed and its tidal estuaries and mudflats.
Where to Bike?
Schoodic National Scenic ByWay
The 29-mile Schoodic National Scenic ByWay begins at the Tauton Bay Gateway at the Hancock-Sullivan Bridge. From here cyclists can explore this winding coastal stretch of Route 1 down the Schoodic Peninsula and into Acadia National Park.
Bold Coast Scenic Bikeway
Continuing from the east side of the Schoodic Peninsula, the Bold Coast Scenic Bikeway takes cyclists Downeast to Machias, Eastport, and Calais in Washington County: Home to Maine’s Bold Coast.
The incredibly scenic, yet leisurely 9-mile Schoodic Loop Road provides beautiful views of Frenchman Bay, lighthouses, and the mountains of Acadia on Mount Desert Island.
Where to Stay?
Inns & Bed & Breakfasts in Gouldsboro, Maine
If you’re looking for a coastal bed and breakfast in Gouldsboro, Maine, there are some wonderful options including:
If you’re looking for a quiet tent campground near the Schoodic section of Acadia National Park, we invite you to stay with us at Acadia East Campground at 574 U.S. Route 1.
Where to Shop?
Anderson Marine & Hardware – One of our favorite stores in Gouldsboro is Anderson Marine & Hardware. Located on Route 1 about 2 miles before Acadia East, this place is a great pit stop for gear when you’re camping.
Maine Kiln Works – Within walking distance of Acadia East is Maine Kiln Works. Known for their porcelain and stonewear, the location itself is worth the visit.
West Bay Antiques – Art and more!
Where to Beach?
Check out our guide to beaches near Acadia National Park for a full breakdown of all the beach options.
For freshwater, we recommend the Jones Pond Recreation Area for sure! It’s clean, family and dog-friendly, and while it’s not super “beach-y” in the form of sand, it’s a great place to relax on the water.
For oceanfront, Schoodic Point and the Beach at the Blueberry Hill parking area are both wonderful spots. They are technically just outside of Gouldsboro in the Schoodic section of Acadia, but who’s keeping track?
Where to Find Lighthouses?
We’ll wrap up our article on Things to do in Gouldsboro, Maine with a list of lighthouses to visit in the area. Not all of these lighthouses are public, but they can be viewed and photographed from nearby.
Prospect Harbor Lighthouse
Located in the harbor across from the Gouldsboro Town Office, the Prospect Harbor Lighthouse can be viewed from many points around the harbor. While you can drive up to the locked gate, you can not go on the property. We recommend viewing from the west side of the harbor by the fishing boats.
Winter Harbor Lighthouse
Located on the western side of the peninsula, the Winter Harbor Lighthouse on Mark Island sits between the Schoodic Peninsula and Mount Desert Island in Frenchman Bay. The best place to view this light is on the Schoodic Loop Road inside the Schoodic section of Acadia.
When looking for things to do in Gouldsboro Maine, be sure to book your camping stay at Acadia East Campground!