While looking at a map of Acadia National Park I noticed a small elongated lake I had never heard of, the innocuously named Lake Wood. I don’t think any park literature mentions or directs visitors to this lake, making it a secret spot for avoiding the crowds. Hopefully this post will not reverse its status. The aforementioned map does not show the access road and parking lot serving this gem. In fact there is a well marked road named (amazingly) Lake Wood Pond Road which is on the south side of the Crooked road just about a mile west from Rt 3 in Hulls Cove.
A mention of Lake Wood to locals brings on many stories and memories. It is like it is “their” part of Acadia National Park; a fishing, sunbathing and swimming spot all their own. The skinny end which presents itself as the access trail ends is a passable beach, suitable for swimming or watching little fish and tadpoles among the water lilies. The southern exposure makes for warm picnics. According to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries, the lake is about 16 acres, has a maximum depth of 11 feet and an average depth of 7 feet. That’s 36.5 million gallons. The fish species are brook trout, white sucker, rainbow smelt, banded killifish, minnows, pumpkinseed sunfish and American eel.
Until recently, the eastern shore of the lake belonged to the Town of Bar Harbor. Here, just around the left side of the swimming beach, there are granite cliffs which offer a drop into the water popular with “skinny dippers”. Now the entire lake is surrounded by National Park property and as such, nude bathing and other former activities are discouraged, but not eliminated. The lake has a solid ranger presence and an outhouse, but there are no lifeguards or camping. The trail to the granite outcropping branches off left of the main road just before the parking lot. This same trail leads to three acre Fawn Pond, an even more remote body of water. Both bodies of water drain the mountains to the south and have an elevation of about 130 feet (Lake Wood) to 200 feet (Fawn Pond). Downhill, their water drains to Hamilton Pond and the Northeast Creek, which is a big wild cranberry area.
So folks who come to Acadia National Park and find to their distress that there are just too many people, are not giving the park a chance. Try Lake Wood for a little more isolation. I covered other remote places here. There will be more to come!