Northeast Harbor

44° 17' 39" N , 68° 17' 25" W

Northeast Harbor

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Photo: RJ Cox

Northeast Harbor is a well-protected, attractive harbor on Mount Desert Island and provides the full range of amenities needed by visiting yachters. It is the farthest east port in Maine to do so. It also offers extensive shore-side activities, including easy access to Acadia National Park. 

Approach & Cautions

Photo: Jeremy D'Entremont

The entrance is straightforward.

It’s best to leave Bear Island (the one with lighthouse pictured) and the red bell buoy # 2 to starboard to avoid the rocks between it and the green can to the east.

The inner harbor is deep (at least 11 feet) right up to Clifton Dock and the Town Marina, with exception of one 6-foot ledge which is marked on the charts.

Bear Island with white lighthouse up on a cliff.

Click the chart to open Navionics

Not to be used for Navigation .


Docking, Anchorages, or Moorings

The harbor is fully occupied by moorings, including many rental moorings managed by the Town Marina and Clifton Dock.  The town also manages a marina that has rental slips. There is no space in the actual harbor to anchor, but just outside, to the east, there is ample room for even very large boats and good holding ground. Protection in the outer anchorage is fine for normal summer weather, but it is open to the southwest (and east), so it can be breezy and choppy in the afternoon. More details on moorings and marinas are shown at the bottom of this page.

VHF

68 for harbormaster 66 for launch service 9 for Clifton Dock

FUEL

Clifton Dock has Marine Diesel and Ethanol Free Gasoline

WATER

Clifton and Town Docks

ELECTRICITY

Town Marina

SHOWERS

Town Marina

LAUNDRY

Town Marina or just up the hill at Shirt Off Your Back Laundry (207-276-5611) for full service.

WIFI

Town Marina and Clifton Dock Northeast Harbor Library, 1 Joy Rd.

PUMP OUT

Town Marina and Clifton Dock

SERVICES

F.T. Brown (207-276-3329) operates a general store in town, with a good ship’s store component. Hinckley now operates a NE Harbor facility (formerly Morris Yachts) with limited repair services, but complete boatyard services are available at Hinckley in Southwest Harbor and John Williams Boat Co. on Somes Sound.

TRASH

Town Marina and Clifton Dock

MEDICAL

MDI Hospital in Bar Harbor has an emergency room and extensive medical services. MDI Hospital has a clinic at Kimball Rd, open limited hours (207-801-5909).

MORE BOAT AMENITIES

Getting Ashore

Photo: maryalley904 - Flickr

Both the Town Marina and Clifton Dock have dinghy docks. The latter is for Fleet members and mooring renters only, while the former is open to the general public. The village and its amenities are most easily accessed via the Town Marina’s dock.

Town docks at NE Harbor
selection of cheeses

Photo: Courtesy Sawyer's Specialties

Provisioning

  • The Pine Tree Market in town operates a full-service grocery store with an extensive wine and liquor range.
  • Sawyer’s Specialties has a shop here as well as in SW Harbor with incredible selections of wine and cheese.
  • A Farmer’s Market is held on Thursdays from 9 to 12 on the lawn by the Town Marina parking lot.

Fried haddock sandwich with lettuce and tomato.

Photo: Fried haddock sandwich at Docksider, photo by Jane Babbitt

Dine Out

  • Copita is located on Main Street just up the hill from the harbor and is a small, “high end” bistro.
  • The Nor’easter Pound & Market is located adjacent to the marina in the Kimball Terrace Inn and features seafood and lobsters. Within the restaurant is a fish market.
  • The Colonels Restaurant is located on Main Street and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Its cuisine is American. It is best known for its bakery, including fresh doughnuts.
  • Milk and Honey is located on Firehouse Lane a short walk from the marina. It is a café serving delicious sandwiches and baked goods, and it also provides catering services. Thursday nights they do fried chicken (and oysters maybe), coinciding with Open Gallery night.
  • Asticou Inn Located at the head of the harbor, Asticou is a classic shingle-style summer hotel. Its restaurant has inside and outside dining with the latter having lovely views of the harbor.
  • Seaside Deli & Sweets is at 5 Sea Street just up from the marina. Open from 9 AM to 3 PM in July and August (call 207-801-8788 for off-season hours), it serves excellent sandwiches, fresh baked goods, and try the lobster items–Michael is a lobsterman!
  • The Docksider is a classic Maine lobster and clam restaurant on your right, halfway up Sea Street from the marina. It has reopened with new ownership and still offers the classics, reasonably priced.
  • 123 Main Street is located per its name. It offers breakfast and lunch and takeout dinners.
  • There is usually at least one food truck at the Town Marina during the day, except Mondays. Great lobster rolls.

Photo: Jordan Pond by Doug Bruce

Hikes

  • The NEH Village Improvement Society has a trail brochure that features this map:

    Trail map of Northeast Harbor area.
    Trail map created by Maine Coast Heritage Trust in 2019.
  • All of Acadia National Park’s extensive hiking trails and carriage trails can easily be accessed from Northeast Harbor either by walking directly to the Schoolhouse Ledge trailheads (5 or so minutes by foot from the marina) or by utilizing the Island Explorer bus system. The latter will transport you and your bike for free throughout Mount Desert Island from its stop at the marina. For its routes and schedule, see its website.
  • The Land and Garden Preserve operates three world-class gardens, including the Azalea Garden and Thuya Garden in Northeast Harbor and the Peggy Rockefeller Garden in Seal Harbor.  The two Northeast Harbor properties can be accessed from the Asticou Dock on the east side of the harbor.  Trail maps, opening times, etc., are all available on the Preserve’s website.
  • Jordan Pond is accessible by car or Island Explorer bus. It is one of the best spots on the island to hike, with spectacular scenery in every direction. See photo above.

 

Beautifully tended lawns and gardens of the Asticou Inn.

Photo: Copyright Greg A. Hartford

Other Things To Do

  • Northeast Harbor offers considerable shopping, including high-end gift, jewelry, and gallery shops.
  • Use the Island Explorer bus to visit Bar Harbor and other island towns to catch a movie, dine out, etc.
  • Visit the Cranberry Islands or Bakers Island using the ferries/tour boat that use the NEH Town Dock. Schedules, tickets, and brochures for this and other opportunities are available at the building behind the harbormaster’s building.

MARINA DETAILS

The Northeast Harbor Town Dock can be reached at (207) 276-5737 or on VHF channel 68. It has 16 rental slips and 50 rental moorings. Services available at the marina include water, ice, pump-out, trash, restrooms, showers, laundry machines, and two tennis courts.  For further details, including pricing, see its website: www.mtdesert.org/harbormaster. Transient mooring rentals are generally available on a first-come, first-serve basis; call on ch. 68 as you approach the mooring area, and they’ll direct you to a mooring or float. The 11:00 am checkout time is the prime turnover opportunity. The village of Northeast Harbor is located a short walk up the hill from the marina.

Clifton Dock is an arm of the Northeast Harbor Fleet, the local yacht club whose main operation is located in nearby Gilpatrick’s Cove. Clifton can be contacted at (207) 276-5308 or by hailing on VHF channel 9. Clifton operates a mooring field in the outer part of the harbor. Its moorings are mainly rented on a seasonal basis to Fleet members, but as these are not always occupied, some may be available for transients. Clifton Dock is located on the western side of the harbor fairly near the entrance. Its moorings are similarly located and, as such, are slightly less well protected and less convenient for those wishing to use the amenities of the village. Clifton’s dock is in deep water (20 feet plus), and it sells gas and diesel, water, and ice. Pump-out and trash services are also available, making it a highly convenient spot to take care of these needs.

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