Pretty Marsh

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Photo: Michael Pancoe

Pretty Marsh is a small diverticulum just off the northern end of Bartlett’s Narrows. The circumference is defined by a ring of discrete, modest summer homes. This quiet out-of-the-way basin offers protected seclusion from all but the most raucous southwesterly blow. Those who choose to anchor here will often be rewarded with a rich abundance of diverse avian and aquatic life.

Approach & Cautions

Photo: Google Earth

The approaches to Pretty Marsh are relatively unobstructed. Safe passage in or out can be found on either side of John or Folly Island, taking care to avoid the reef immediately east of Folly.

Pretty Marsh view from Google Earth

Pretty Marsh chart

Click the chart to open Navionics.

Not to be used for Navigation.

Docking, Anchorages, or Moorings

Proceed into the basin and anchor in 15-20 feet on a secure mud bottom. In the unlikely event that Pretty Marsh is full and/or strong southerlies are predicted overnight, some protection can be found in either Somes Cove or Sawyer Cove nearby.

Getting Ashore

Photo: Steven L. Markos

As the shore around the harbor is largely private, there is not much opportunity to dinghy ashore. There is a public dock and launch ramp on the Bartlett Narrows side of West Point if the ship’s dog needs a brief shore leave. This could be a spot for a Mount Desert-based crew change, but there are no services. There is a picnic area on the eastern side, part of Acadia National Park.

picnic area at Pretty Marsh with picnic bench and covered sheltered behind

Pretty Marsh picnic area
The picnic area at Pretty Marsh is part of Acadia National Park.


What CCA Members are saying:

I can still recall the serene evening we spent anchored in Pretty Marsh years ago, the silence punctuated only by the cavorting seals chasing their dinner, all supervised by the majestic eagles soaring overhead.

man with white beard wearing safety harness with icebergs behind him

Daniel Coit

One of our favorite harbors for just chillin'. No matter how many boats have already anchored here, there's always room for one more. Great place to explore by kayak.

woman wearing sunglasses and safety harness

Jane Babbitt

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