Winter or summer, one of Maine’s great pleasures is walking along the sea in places like Bracy Cove, with the air filling with the mingled scents of pine and seawater. Bracy Cove adds to these simple pleasures the soaring of flocks of seabirds and the almost ghostly presence of the Rockefeller family. Their former estate, now known Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden, sits on the hill above the area. When you visit Bracy Cove, bring a pair of binoculars, a sturdy pair of shoes and a good book so you can fully enjoy the singular pleasures of the Maine coast.
Walk or drive from Seal Harbor, which was once a secondary settlement to the thriving town that grew up around Bracy Cove and the adjacent Little Long Pond. Hear the cawing of seagulls before the cove itself comes into view.
Meander across the pebbly beach. On a hot day, cool down by wading through the ocean waves or the stream coming out of Little Long Pond, which remains delightfully cold even in the height of summer.
Sit on a rock and watch buffleheads flit and squawk as they move around the cove in a group, ultimately perching on the cobbled seawall. Admire the elegant shapes of a great blue heron as it fishes or the occasional battle between gulls and crows over crabs scuttling across the rocks.
Walk among stunning mosses and lichens of the Little Long Pond Reserve’s Friend’s Trail, founded by the Rockefellers for their walks in the area.
Bracy Cove is located on the southern edge of Mount Desert Island, just outside Seal Harbor, a 5-minute drive or 25-minute walk from the center of town. Bar Harbor is a 17-minute drive away. Drive from Bangor, the closest major airport, in about 1 hour. Portland is about 3 hours away by car. Rail connections are available between Portland and Bangor. Acadia National Park’s free Island Explorer bus connects Bar Harbor to Seal Harbor about every 30 minutes. Parking is available nearby at the Little Long Pond Trailhead, with a few head-in spots as well as additional parking along the road.
Note that Acadia National Park has an entrance fee.