For a few hours at low tide a sand and gravel bar are exposed allowing people to walk across the bottom of the sea from Bar Harbor to Bar Island. It was incredible to see the bar exposed for the first time, what had moments ago been the sea suddenly revealed what lay beneath. 

First described in 1867, the trail was reopened by the National Park Service in the 1990s when the island was still privately owned. The park completed ownership of the island in 2003 when it purchased 12 acres from Jack Perkins and his wife, Mary Jo, who lived for 13 years in a small home they built on the island.

Perkins called Bar Island his “garden of Eden” and described his life there in his book, Finding Moosewood, Finding God. You can still see remnants of the Perkins’ home on the island. After a gradual one mile hike you will reach the high point on Bar Island affording terrific views of Bar Harbor and many trees perfect for climbing.  You can imagine the resilience required by these sea creatures exposed to the direct sun and little hands during low tide.