(UPDATED 5 June 2003,
but still under construction)
Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park/Mt. Desert IslandThere are quite a few places in and around Bar Harbor. Nudity is common and apparently well-accepted. Here are some of the places that we've gone and things that we've done.
Lake WoodThis is probably the area that is most popular with the locals.
(more info to be added)
Duck BrookNot too much here except some dunking holes and spotty nudism all along it.
(more info to be added)
Echo LakeEcho Lake on the "quiet" west side of Mt. Desert Island is really gorgeous but doesn't have large areas for gathering like Lake Wood does; depending on how you feel about it this may or may not be a good thing. Park at the Ikes Point boat launch area and head south down the trail. The shore right there is a well-known "clothing-optional" area, emphasis on the "optional." (We're completely comfortable in "optional" settings, but others may prefer completely nude areas.) We've been there when half of the people were dressed and the other half were nude. We've even been there (nude) when there was a (clothed) wind surfing exhibition going on. If you go too far south you'll come to a ledge (and clothed people) that has (or had) a rope swing.
Long PondThis too is on the "quiet" side of Mount Desert Island and seems to be quite nudist-friendly. This is one of the very first areas that we started to frequent once we became nudists.
Depending on how you feel about "optional" areas, Long Pond and its surrounding area has a number of opportunities. The northern half (give or take) is privately owned with houses dotting the shore; the southern half is Park land. What we discovered at Long Pond greatly encouraged us. It was in our early years when we spent a lot of time in and around Long Pond. We rented canoes at the northernmost tip of the Pond and were delightfully surprised to see nude people at some of the houses on the shore of the lake. We then discovered the concept of "canuding." We paddled down to the Park half and spent time on the shore. We did that a number of times over the years.
For the next possibility drive to the southernmost tip of Long Pond where there is a pump house and small parking area. Follow the well worn trail on the west side of the Pond about 1 1/4 miles to a low ledge. Although we've been nude there, it is a popular destination for people on that trail, so it's up to you. The one time that we (nude) shared the ledge with someone else (dressed), they didn't say anything, nor gave any indication that they were uncomfortable. We were separated from them by some bushes and trees, but they could easily see us if they looked. If you want more privacy keep going north until you come to a smaller ledge. We don't mind being "discovered"; the only thing we're concerned about is if we're offending someone or making them uncomfortable. Here at this smaller ledge hikers, and boats have come along a number of times and seen us. Again, something like this is up to you.
In addition, we have also seen people across the lake from these spots going nude (through binoculars, of course). Seeing "normal" people in the houses going nude really encouraged us. Nudity seems to be well-tolerated on Mt. Desert Island, and it made a lasting impression on our lives.
If you were to walk east from the pump house you'd come to a much smaller trail; it's more difficult since it is not well-traveled. It leads near some houses and to a couple of ledges. These ledges are popular with the local homeowners; we were nude there only once. (I remember standing there late that afternoon soaking up the last of the sun's rays on my nude body when my wife mentioned that the girls who were swimming nearby were closely watching me. This was my first time realizing that I was being oogled and had to make a decision about how I felt about my personal modesty. After really thinking about it for a minute or two I came to the honest conclusion that I was completely comfortable even though I was being watched: I shed the bondage of personal modesty. I'll always remember that.)
Like to hike nude? Hike through the mountains right next to Long Pond on the west side (the mountains to the east are very popular with the general public). I have hiked them twice and never came upon anyone. The first time I hiked there it was pouring rain. No better way to hike in the rain than being totally natural out in it! On the west shore of the lake you'll come to a trail head for the Perpendicular Trail. You should study a trail map because there are a number of trails, but if you do it right it intersects that shore trail further north and will bring you right back down the trail passing the ledges described above. I have also done Norumbega Mtn.; the two guys I passed coming down as I was going up didn't seem to even blink an eyelash at my nudity.
DIYMake your own opportunities. For example, we've been swimming in Seal Cove Pond. We've gone nude along deserted stretches of the shore, such as Hadley Point, and watched the sun go down. We've hiked to the top of one of the less-traveled hills or mountains (nubbles) and sunbathed nude.
Richmond Corners Spa and B&Bhttp://www.richmondsauna.com
A family-oriented clothing-optional pool, hot tub, saunas, and bed and breakfast. Contrary to deceitful information, this is NOT a gay sauna nor a gay meeting area. Everyone is welcome, but they must act in accordance with accepted norms of civilized society.
The saunas are all heated with wood and have homemade fireboxes and boilers; very rustic and how I really like it! The large outdoor hot tub is also heated with wood by a contraption of his own making as well. The pool is enclosed and heated, so it is open year round.
The sauna building has a couple of rooms designated as "public" plus about 6 "private" rooms. There is also a sitting area with a wood stove for socializing. Quite often he makes popcorn; ice cream and juice may also be available. We have never seen anyone wearing anything more formal than a towel; we have always sat around completely nude. Sometimes there is even a massage therapist available.
The bed & breakfast is in his renovated 1800s farmhouse. Upstairs there are 4 bedrooms and 1 shared bathroom; each bedroom has a double bed. There is one more bedroom and bathroom downstairs, and a 2 room apartment over the garage. It's no Holiday Inn but we have always been quite comfortable there. It is a simple, laid back place; you come and go as you please.
He has a simple but quite adequate breakfast available in the morning, such as "sticky buns", cereal, fruit, and strong, fresh-ground coffee. Guests are even welcome to use the kitchen to prepare anything that they've brought for other meals.
Richard is a typical New Englander: relaxed and friendly as long as people don't bring attitudes with them. He does not call himself a nudist, but we have seen him go around the house in the nude during the summer. I guess it has been a longtime tradition that the entire facility is clothing-optional. Only once have we seen someone in the pool area with a swimsuit on. We are the first actual nudists that the owner ever got to know.
We have always gone around the house nude, whether in the evening or in the morning for breakfast. Most everyone is nude there, but we have been there when it was 50/50 including kids. There is a sign on the door requesting no shoes in the house, which is fine with us since we're avid barefooters anyway.
For the B&B it's $70 for a couple and $55 for a single, and that includes everything. For just the spa it's $20 per person, and it's open 5 to 9PM in the winter and 6 to 10PM in the summer. He is closed Mondays. During the summer guests come to use the pool and the lawn for sunning; it's $5 per person for the day.
The owner really does not want any advertising over the Internet because of all the false implications about sex that has already been generated. If you're a sincere couple that would like more information about this gem of a place (that could easily be ruined by false, deceitful information), please feel free to email us.
Appleton... SOLD!The locals have been using this man-made pond for years as a stopping point after work, moms come with their children during the day, and local youngsters come with their friends on bikes. Recently, due to publicity and false information, there has been a tremendous influx of wreckless people who suddenly think that this is place for gawking or a gay meeeting place.
Based on what we have personally witnessed, and at the request of the locals, we are declining to publically share this location. This wonderful pond has recently begun to be inundated with single guys, gays, and troublemakers. This site is NOT a gay meeting area. **Please remove any mention or promotion of this area as such.**
On Saturday, 25 July 1998, gawkers showed up and made us all uncomfortable with their binoculars, single guys were constantly strolling around looking at all of us, and we can personally testify to the harrassment of the single straight gentleman who was sitting next to us by 2 gays, and of the resulting vocal exchange between them.
We are all becoming very concerned and upset by the sudden change in the peace, safety, and complexion of this site. If you would like further information, you are welcome to email us.
This 60-acre parcel has recently been sold (1999). The new owner has constructed some camping sites for his personal use along the western shore, and has added some minor restrictions to its access. The owner has also been keeping the grass nicely groomed. At this time he is willing to let his pond be used by clothed and nude users (his daughter uses it nude). However, if the rude behavior by the druken teenagers continue, and the gays continue to harrass people, THIS PLACE MAY BE CLOSED!
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