The Bar HArbor
SHore Path

History

The Shore Path is a unique, century old walk along the shores of Frenchman Bay. Just under a mile long, it is one of the most popular activities in Bar Harbor. On the water side it encompasses the harbor, town pier and beach, and spectacular views of the Porcupine Islands, Balance Rock, the Breakwater and Egg Rock Lighthouse. Shore side you’ll stroll past old inns, rambling estates, gardens and a small park. The walk ends at Wayman Lane although there are two access points in between.

For 141 years, the Bar Harbor Village Improvement Association (VIA) as part of its mission, has been the silent guardian of the Shore Path, a testament to stewardship and the generosity of private landowners, including the Bar Harbor Inn, who have shared this treasure with our community and visitors like you for over a century.

Winter Storms of 2024

This past winter, on January 10th and 13th, unprecedented coastal storms devastated significant sections of Bar Harbor’s beloved Shore Path. Wave after crashing wave washed large sections of the path out to sea while destroying 500’ of retaining walls. Today, what you’ve known as a tranquil stroll by the sea is a stark reminder of nature’s power, rendering the path inaccessible. 

The Result

We have committed $300,000 to repair the portion of the path that runs along the Inn and restoration work has already begun. The VIA has covered a similar portion of the cost for the remainder of the path. However, the VIA stands before a gap of $275,000 to meet their goal of $900,000 necessary to complete the entire path as we know it.

If you would like to support the Bar Harbor Village Improvement Associations work in restoring and maintaining the path, you can donate to their efforts at https://www.gofundme.com/f/restore-the-bar-harbor-shore-path

February 2024: Construction Update

The Bar Harbor Inn immediately hired a team of local contractors to begin restoration of the Shore Path along the Inn’s property. To begin, a temporary road was built to facilitate construction vehicles and equipment for Shore Path reconstruction. This road runs between our Ocean Front Lodge building and the waterfront. 

While this is unsightly, it is necessary for the efficient and required repairs to this historic path. We appreciate your patience during this and all phases of reconstruction.

April 2024: Construction Update

We are excited to share progress on the renovations along the Shore Path by the Main Inn, adjacent to the Terrace Grille. This section is now complete, featuring newly constructed retaining walls. However, additional walls are still underway and will be poured soon.

As of the end of April, we’ve begun the process of removing the temporary road. This will happen in stages as the project progresses and will do not anticipate it being fully removed until the end of June. The wedding lawn has been beautifully restored with fresh sod and new plantings, ensuring it remains a picturesque venue for our guests.

Additionally, we’ve embarked on a substantial new landscaping project in front of the Ocean Front Lodge. We would not have undertaken this project at this time, if not for the landscaping needs already present with this project. This initiative will introduce expansive gardens, enhancing the scenic beauty of the space for all our visitors. 

May 2024: What to Expect

As we embark on the month of May we expect to see much of the physical Shore Path seawall rebuilt and beginning to add more and more sections of fully completed and new Shore Path sections.  While this seawall is being built, we are creating the new gardens, planting shrubbery, and new plants to begin the aforementioned landscaping enhancements.  Throughout this time there will remain a need for some vehicle traffic on the temporary road in front of Ocean Front Lodge guest rooms.  We expect this to steadily decline in impact on guests as May progresses. 

Agri-Cycle

Food waste from our dining outlets, whether it be the lobster shells from the Lazy Lobster in the Reading Room or that sandwich you couldn’t quite finish are separated into dedicated bins and collected each week by Agri-Cycle, New England’s premier food-waste-collection service. These food scraps and waste are turned into renewable energy and compost using anaerobic digestors.

The Result

Over 25.6 tons of food waste and scraps converted into energy and/or compost over the last year.

Bar Harbor's Beloved Shore Path

Due to major winter storms significantly damaging the Shore Path, there is ongoing construction along the waterfront.