Schooner Head Overlook, Acadia National Park, Maine / by Todd Henson

House on Schooner Head as viewed from Schooner Head Overlook in Acadia National Park (2 image panorama at 140mm focal length)

Schooner Head Overlook is located in Acadia National Park, on Mount Desert Island, in Maine. From the parking area there’s a nice view of the water, including Egg Rock Lighthouse on an island in the distance. A paved trail winds its way down the side of the slope and ends at a rocky overlook, giving fantastic views of the water and of Schooner Head to the left.

House on Schooner Head as viewed from Schooner Head Overlook in Acadia National Park (140mm focal length)

Schooner Head is not actually part of Acadia National Park. It’s privately owned and populated by several large, expensive houses, one of which is easily viewable from the rocky overlook. It is a beautiful house, no doubt, but is also an indication of what the rest of Mount Desert Island might have looked like if not set aside as a national park. This is such a beautiful island. It would have been a shame if it had become wholly privately owned and inaccessible to the public.

View of Egg Rock Light from parking lot of Schooner Head Overlook. This is an unprocessed image to show how hazy and rainy it was. (400mm focal length)

View of Egg Rock Light from parking lot of Schooner Head Overlook. This is a processed image, where I tried to cut through the mist. (400mm focal length)

The day we visited was overcast, foggy and misty, with brief periods of rain. The view was sometimes obscured by the hazy atmosphere, especially more distant views, such as those of Egg Rock Lighthouse. I used Adobe Lightroom to reduce the haze and reveal more detail of the area, though this can affect image quality when pushed to extremes. But it gives you an idea of some of the views.

Wider view of Egg Rock Light from parking lot, processed to reduce mist. (210mm focal length)

Wider view of Egg Rock Light from base of rocky overlook at the end of the paved trail, processed to reduce mist. (140mm focal length)

I had seen the lighthouse from the parking lot, so I fitted my camera with the 70-200mm lens and a 2x teleconverter to let me capture as much of the lighthouse as possible. Because of the misty air I chose not to change lenses when I reached the rocky outcropping. I would have liked to switch to a wider angle lens to capture a wider perspective of the scene, but didn’t want to risk the inside of my camera and lens getting wet. Thinking back on it I probably should have attempted some multi-image panoramas, but didn’t think of it at the time. The only multi-image panorama I did capture in this spot was mostly be accident. I had created two images with slightly different framing, and was able to combine them in Lightroom to show a slightly wider perspective, which I preferred to either individual frame.

One day it might be nice to return to this area, see what it looks like in different weather. The trail along the rocks continued further than I followed it, and I’d be interested in seeing what else it led to. But due to the wet weather the rocks were sometimes slick. I didn’t like the idea of slipping and falling over the edge to the water or rocks below, so I only went so far before turning around and heading back to the parking lot above.