A few popular spots to swim, sunbathe or simply take in the fresh Maine coast sea air are Sand Beach, Echo Lake and Long Pond and all are within a 5 to 15 minute drive.
Echo Lake, (top photo) located on Route 102, provides excellent lifeguards swimming at Echo Lake Beach, a sandy, park-maintained strand nestled in a cove at the lake's southern tip. Although the summer temperatures may reach the upper 80’s, the water rarely climbs above 55 degrees. Echo Lake will warm up a bit more so than the ocean at Sand Beach, nevertheless, there will still be swimmers!
Sand Beach, (middle photo) along the Park Loop Road is a long stretch of the island's only oceanfront sandy beach. So much of the island's coast is comprised of granite and rocks, smooth or rough.
Long Pond, (bottom photo) The northern end of Long Pond is accessible for swimming and canoeing at Pond's End on Route 102 West. Canoe rentals are available at Pond's End through a privately owned firm. The southern end of Long Pond is accessible from the Seal Cove Road in Southwest Harbor, although swimming and canoeing are not allowed at this end of the pond.
There are a number of lesser known spots not known for their beaches but more for their less traveled paths that lead to various areas along the coast to simply enjoy the water and views of the surrounding islands; once you are here we'll point them out! Hint: there are photos taken from one or two of these locations on the "About the Area" page of our website!
There are also some great hiking trails that wind their way around each of these bodies of water, some provide great views from high above, some wind around and end up level with the water. Long Pond has a trail that runs almost literally along the edge of the water (wear waterproof shoes, it's that close!).