One of the most enjoyable things we get to do here at LifeStyle Aviation is actually use these wonderful airplanes we are always talking about and providing for sale and enjoy the aviation lifestyle. We search out special fly-in destinations and adventures to alert our readers so they can take full advantage of the lifestyle changing potential of their aircraft. Today we are here to tell you that if you have not flown to Maine then you need to add that to your list of things to do!
Over Labor Day this year I needed to pick up a Diamond DA40 XLS I had bought that was based in New Hampshire. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to combine a little business with pleasure so my wife and I packed up and headed North. The aircraft was ready to go and in outstanding shape (Aircraft for sale: see photos & details). We took off from the old Pease Airforce Base KPSM in Portsmouth NH which used to be a Strategic Air Command base so the runway is only 11,321ft!
Upon departure we stayed at 1000ft all the way up the coast to KBHB – Bar Harbor Maine. This is simple a “must do flight”. The coast is so scenic and dramatic with its lighthouses, rocky shore, mountains, quaint villages, boats and lots of lobster pots. My wife was simply pointing and saying wow the whole way. You’ll pass Kennebunkport, Portland, Rockland and numerous villages which all look so quaint and classic Maine from the air with their boat packed harbors and lobster pot buoys dotting every inch of water. The extreme visibility the Diamond DA40 XLS offers makes a trip like this a truly magical experience.
When you arrive at KBHB it is a must to circle Acadia National Park and see the splendor of the pink granite peaks of Cadillac Mountain on Mount Desert Island. If we still used film this would be the preverbal “Film Gobbler!” Take time to study the island from the air as you’ll be exploring it by foot, bike, car or bus during your visit. Passing to the north you’ll fly in over Frenchman’s Bay with Bar Harbor on your left and the airport just a bit further to the west. Be on the alert for traffic including biplane sight seeing craft, gliders and of course other private and some commuter aircraft coming in to KBHB.
As fly-in destinations go you’ll find few better than Bar Harbor. The amazing scenery is complimented by a great airport and easy access to transportation. There are two car rental agencies in the little terminal and the FREE buses run on a regular schedule to take you on to the island. The free busses are there to encourage you to skip the car and enjoy the island by bus and bikes. The propane powered buses all have bike racks to make the process work wonderfully. Several shops in Bar Harbor offer “comfort mountain bikes” that are truly comfortable with soft seats and suspensions. Not having a car was a blessing for us and made moving around easy. If you are in a hurry grab a cab as the airport bus does up to 45 minutes due to the stops along the way. The cab is less than $40 and is over in about 15 minutes.
There are beautiful carriage trails throughout the park that are fantastic for touring the park. You can take the bus out to a starting point and ride till you’ve had enough and catch the bus back. They are all graded so none of the hills are extreme and there are lots of easy and flat loops. What could be better?
You’ll have your choice of Bed & Breakfast Inn’s and various motel & hotel options to suit many different styles. The village of Bar Harbor has lots of fun shops, great food and plenty of exploring to do by foot or bike. After two days all we could say was, “we have got to plan to come back!”. Next time we’ll take advantage of whale watching tours, kayaking and some more hiking.
If you are looking for an active adventure for the whole family or a romantic get away for you and your partner you could do no better than a flight to Bar Harbor Maine. I’ve included some photos here and a link to our entire suite of photos. Feel free to leave comments or questions.