Northeast Harbor was only 12 nautical miles away from Mackerel Cove, but mooring balls are in demand and there is a limited supply. Seven Kadey Krogens had been there for weeks but two were leaving that morning. We heard this from the Kadey Krogen “grapevine.” We left early! Early bird catches the mooring ball, right?
“Krogen Finder” is a nifty app created by a tech savvy Krogen owner. If you drop your pin in your location, the app can be used (only by other Kadey Krogen owners) to see if there are any other KKs nearby.
This year is different for Mount Desert Island. There is an Island Shuttle that has routes all over the island making it easy to get around, especially if you are a boater. Sadly, because of Covid-19, they reduced the number of routes and the number of passengers permitted. The routes are limited so that they can run the shuttles more frequently, reducing the wait time for people. Unlike in the past, there are no shuttles that stop by Northeast Harbor. This significantly impacted our ability to see much that was away from the harbor.
The town of Northeast Harbor is small and pretty quiet. We used our walking time to visit the shops, especially the ones with local Maine crafts.
Asticou Terrace and Thuya Gardens are part of the Mount Desert Land & Garden Preserve. A dinghy landing dock is provided on the other side of the harbor so this sounded like something we could do without needing a car or the missing shuttles. We didn’t know what to expect and were totally amazed by this little adventure. This hike was my favorite part of Northeast Harbor.
A little background — Joseph H. Curtis, was a landscape architect from Boston who summered on Mt. Desert Island, ME for 48 years. He built his summer home, Thuya Lodge, high above Northeast Harbor, in a forest of native white cedars (Thuja occidentalis). Thuja prompted the name Thuya Lodge. Curtis established a trail from Asticou Terraces Landing to the lodge that allowed access to his lodge from the harbor, with terraces and shelters along the way. I was curious about the word asticou, having never heard it before. In the early 1600s, the chief of the Wabanki tribe was Chief Asticou.
The terraces are a hiking trail sculpted into the steep hillside. Some sections are natural “steps” while others were engineered by Curtis.
Climbing up the terraced hillside was so enjoyable, each step of elevation bringing a new vision. We did not expect to find even more beauty at Thuya Gardens.
I can’t describe this place with words so I will only use some of the photos. We sat and enjoyed this experience before heading back down the terraced hillside.
A visit to Northeast Harbor by boat is worth the time, especially for Asticou Terrace and Thuya Gardens.