Help. I don't leave until Oct. 11th, but I'm afraid that the government shutdown will still be going on then. It lasted for 21 days in 1995. I'm trying to figure out a back-up plan just in case.
My base hotel is in Bar Harbor. Assuming the park remains closed, can anyone provide any accessible sunrise/sunset alternatives along the coast that might work (e.g. quaint fishing villages, dramatic coves, intimate inland ponds, etc.)?
Any advice would be appreciated. The timing couldn't be worse--right at the peak of leaf-peeping season.
Bar Harbor itself is very good and there usually is a sailing ship called the Mary Todd(??) docked there. You have Northwest Harbor, Southwest Harbor, Bass Head Light and Bass Harbor Marsh(on rt. 102),Long Pond has a short trail along it and provides nice shots. Eagle Lake(on rt.233??)is also very good and this is the road you would take to Southwest Harbor and there are many photographic opportunities along this road as well. Many of the roads through the park are public and people actually live in the park so many roads should be open you just might not have access to park parking areas, but I even doubt that they would be closed(only speculating here). Give your hotel or the Chamber of Commerce in Bar Harbor a call and voice your concerns about park access. I have been there five times and seem to find something else to shoot every time I go there. If all else fails take the coast road north or south and you will find something to satisfy your fancy.
Somewhere near there is a place called Peggy's Cove. It has the only lighthouse with a postoffice in it. The village is a wonderful place to shoot. My only problem with shooting there was that the fog rolled in ....whiteout was the result.
There are however other lighthouses, Owl's Head Light near Rockland, Pemaquid Point Light down the Pemaquid Peninsula from Damariscotta, and previously mentioned Bass Harbor Head Light on Mount Desert Island. Depending on where you fly into, farther down the coast there are Cape Neddick (aka Nubble) light in York and Portland Head Light in South Portland.
I'm in the same boat you are in as I am hoping to be there that week as well. Dave Middleton has a book 'The Photographer's Guide to the Maine Coast' that provides advice for locations along the entire coast. Some points mentioned include:
Schoodic Peninsula Schoodic Head Camden and Rockport have lots of potential. Haven't been to Boothbay in a long while but that's worth some time. And, I personally have been wanting to go to the Harpswell area.
If you have access to a bicycle, the carriage roads are good and you can just carry it around any "gate". I doubt that anyone will care. Most parking lots are not closeable, but the roads are. Since people live in the park, I expect locals can tell you how to access without using the main gates. I agree with all the others have said, especially about Seal Harbor, the lighthouses, and Schooner Head road is wonderfully scenic. So is Somesville. Try Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse (a keeper lives there - & there are 2 different paths. Try them both, but the "left" one is more scenic of the coast). There is a tourist boat (Southwest Harbor) that cruises to Little Cranberry Island. Walk Isleford (little village there with museum and church). Goes by Bear Island Light house (only way to get there)There are some osprey nests along the way. Boat also goes up Somes Sound aways. Only fiord on the East Coast. Supposedly the Postal Service is still funded. There is a postal boat you can catch to several islands from Southwest Harbor, hop off, get back on later (make CERTAIN of the schedule or you will have an adventure).
Try Asticou Azalea Garden near Northeast Harbor.
South of Mount Desert Island is the village of Castine, on the opposite side of the Bay from Camden. Pre-revolutionary Forts Pentagoet & George there and the trees are usually pretty colorful. Good walking town. Try Witherie Woods which has easy trails. Dyce Head Lighthouse. The South Woods. Couple of decent restaurants & B&B's. Maine Maritime Academy is there, and also scenic.
You can access Eggemoggin Reach from the bridge on Rt.15. Walk. Explore Little Deer and Deer and Bear Islands. Try Lobster Burnt Cove and Stonington. Pumpkin Island Lighthouse is fine (Little Deer Island).
If the parks remain open, my advice, and that of the posters before me, remains good.
Add to it a pre-dawn visit to the top of Cadillac mountain (less haze from NYC then to ruin photography, and see Jordan Pond, Thunder Hole and Otter Cliffs. Check out Argosy Gallery in Bar Harbor to get ideas from the places the artists paint.
Funny you said 'seafood'...I have been to Maine many times but never really 'see it' on the photographer's point of view but on the lobster point of view. With the many suggestions here, it will be nice to fly there earlier and go around. Love their lobsters!
Check out Pemaquid lighthouse, south of Boothbay harbor. Gorgeous shots can be taken from the rocks looking up to the lighthouse. The drive leading to Pemaquid has some very interesting alcoves, and a little cemetery. Beautiful places. Hopefully low tide at sunset. I'm unable to post an image, but it's on my website. Www.renzophoto.com
I am from New England also. Took a 4 day trip down the main roads of Rt 1 from Belfast to boothbay, and then roads off them. Got some amazing shots and a lot of fishing villages. all these roads lead to and around the fingers of the Maine Coast. Also check out Wisscasset, Rockport, Camden to name a few. Good Luck