Creative Commons, Ryan Scott

Considered the ‘quiet’ part of the island, Southwest Harbor is located just west of the southern entrance to Somes Sound. The year-round population is only 1,700 but of course it balloons in summer. This area offers some of the most pleasant road running on Mount Desert Island. Our recommendations:

Southwest Harbor and Manset. Put together a nice, quiet run incorporating these two pretty towns. It’s fun to run around the quaint side streets of Southwest Harbor, with its shops, galleries, and eateries. Make sure to include Clark Point Rd. Then, take Rt. 102/102A to Manset, and enjoy the great views of Bear Island Lighthouse, Sutton Island, the Cranberry Islands, and the open ocean, running along Shore Rd. Altogether this would be 4-5 miles.

Seawall Road. The running highlight in this area is Seawall Rd./Route 102A. Nice homes and intermittent ocean views, in the 6.5 miles between Manset and the Bass Harbor Lighthouse. The road features a decent shoulder in parts. The area around Seawall Campground in Acadia National Park is especially pretty. A nice side run is the 0.6 mile Wonderland Trail, a fairly flat, gravel trail that leads down to the water. Rt. 102A in Bass Harbor is more interior.

Essentials
  • SW Harbor-Manset is a ~4-5 mile tour; Manset to Bass Harbor Lighthouse is 6.5. miles one-way
  • 235 feet, Manset to Bass Harbor Lighthouse
  • Depends on route chosen