Kayaking Acadia National Parl

Kayaking on Mount Desert Island

No matter your experience level, Mount Desert Island has some of the best kayaking options for anyone that wants to get out on the water. Of the different activities shown here, kayaking is probably the least tried. For some folks, it just doesn’t fit into their itinerary. But for many, they simply haven’t done it before and don’t know where to begin. Honestly, virtually any able-bodied person can do it and once you try it, it will be hard not to be hooked. Now there are a few ways to go about this type of adventure so we’ve made an effort to explain them here. We’ll show you the different options that await you on your next trip and how to safely enjoy paddling around the beautiful waters of Mount Desert Island.

Guided Sea Kayak Tours

If you want to paddle a kayak along the coast of Mount Desert Island, a guided tour is the only way we recommend. With the assistance of a professional guide, anyone can enjoy kayaking in the ocean. The guides will keep you safe and allow you to enjoy the natural beauty of coastal Maine with complete peace of mind. Below are some local companies that have been providing guided sea kayak tours for many years. They’re all a little unique in what they offer so look through them and see which one peaks your interest.

Most of these trips are done in small groups, approximately 12 people. If there is a particular trip you want to take, reserve it in advance. Because of the limited space available, these trips tend to book up fast.

Coastal Kayak Tours Bar Harbor Maine


Coastal Kayak Tours is located in the heart of Downtown Bar Harbor, just one block from the Island Explorer station at the Village Green. For over 30 years Coastal Kayak has been providing guided sea kayak tours around Mount Desert Island. They offer tours in different durations and at different launch points. Simply put, they have something for everyone.

For more information, check them out at www.acadiafun.com

National Park Sea Kayak Tours


National Park Sea Kayak Tours specializes in unique “west-side” sea kayak tours. They take you from their shop in Downtown Bar Harbor to the more remote, western side of Mount Desert Island. Over on the western side, the coast is far less developed and there are not as many boats to contend with. This quiet section of Mount Desert Island offers an authentic environment to take in the beautiful coastline and spot some native wildlife. For a truly unique “off the beaten path” kind of experience, try out National Park Sea Kayak Tours.

For more information, check them out at www.acadiakayak.com

Kayak Rentals at Long Pond

Sometimes you just want to do your own thing. And if that’s the case, we’ve got you covered. The largest lake on Mount Desert Island is Long Pond. At nearly four miles long, it is the go-to place for locals who enjoy fun on the water. Boating, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding and swimming can all be done at this natural treasure. If you’re visiting and want to partake in some of the fun, check out National Park Canoe & Kayak below…

national park canoe kayak rental


Located at the northern tip of Long Pond, National Park Canoe & Kayak rents everything you need to paddle on your own adventure. Choose from single or tandem kayaks, canoes or stand-up paddle boards. Their office is just across the street from the northern landing of Long Pond. You can simply drive to their location, rent your gear and carry it into the lake. No need to transport anything by car. The calm protected waters of Long Pond provide the perfect place to get out and paddle around the areas largest lake. You can easily spend hours or even a whole day at Long Pond so pack some supplies and take your time to enjoy it.

For rental rates and information check out www.nationalparkconoerental.com

Lake Hopping

If you’re a kayaking enthusiast or want to adventure on new waters, Mount Desert Island offers several lakes for you to enjoy. There are places where you can launch sea kayaks into the ocean but we don’t recommend sea kayaking without a guide. If you bring your own kayaks on your next trip there are several launch spots where you can drop your kayaks into some of the areas most pristine lakes. Along with Long Pond, Echo Lake, Eagle Lake and Jordan Pond offer serene waters to paddle along. Check out the map below where we’ve highlighted the different launch points for each of these lakes. If you’re interested in kayaking these spots but don’t have your own kayak, check out Acadia Outfitters below.

Acadia Outfitters Bar Harbor


Conveniently located in Downtown Bar Harbor, Acadia Outfitters offers kayak rentals for those who prefer to do their own thing. They will help you load the kayak onto your vehicle with their own foam blocks and tie downs. From there, the adventure is all yours!


For more information, check them out at www.acadiaoutfitters.com

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Kayak Tips

Guided Sea Kayak Trips tend to book up fast, especially “west-side” trips, so reserve in advance.

For your own safety, do not attempt sea kayaking unless you’re on a guided tour with a professional tour guide.

Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never kayaked before. It’s not hard as long as you do it in a safe environment.