All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Heading for Isle au Haut? Think Twice

Not many Maine towns have a website that both extols its virtues and warns people away.

IsleauHaut.net tells visitors of the wonders of that island ("it is the most beautiful place in the world"), while at the same time advising them to travel elsewhere ("People wishing to experience the beauty and tranquility of a Maine island firsthand will do well to consider Vinalhaven, Monhegan or one of the many other islands in the Gulf of Maine as their destination").

Isle au Haut lies beyond Deer Isle and Stonington, and is publicly accessible only by mailboat from the latter town. The southerly part of the main island belongs to Acadia National Park, and it is there that day visitors are advised to go "rather than the town and privately owned areas of the island."

It is hard not sympathize with the islanders, the majority of whom do not rely on tourism for their bread and butter. No one should be discouraged from visiting this scenic outpost next season, but the website's advice should be taken to heart. Plan your trip well and early, especially if you want to reserve one of the few camping slots in the National Park, or one of the few rooms at The Inn at Isle au Haut or The Keeper's House.

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