Baker Island


One of my favorite Acadia adventures was the boat ride to and tour of Baker Island, led by a National Park ranger who was a descendant of the family who pioneered the island and occupied it for over a century.  The Gilley family moved here to be closer to good fishing when it was just William and Hannah and their three small kids.  Eventually they had 12 children (!); many remained on the island after marrying.  Great stories of their island life as well as the history of the island.  We also got a different perspective on the rest of the National Park since we were seeing it from the water instead of looking from the Park to the water.  Great lighthouse trivia too – did you know lighthouse keepers are presidential appointments?  The Gilley family predated the lighthouse but were naturally hired to be keepers when the lighthouse was built.  That changed when the Whigs took the White House and William refused to pledge allegiance to the Whig party.  To retaliate, he and his family charged the new lighthouse keeper a toll to walk up the lane to the lighthouse!  Not that he was bitter….  Now there is only one lighthouse in the United States that is manned.  All the rest are automated.  According to our Park Ranger, President Jefferson decreed that the Boston Lighthouse will always be staffed.


Baker Lighthouse
Low tide with US Coast Guard Station in background on Cranberry Island
The “Dance Floor”. People used to come to Baker Island just to see this phenomenon.
Low Tide at the Dance Floor
Forest path to the Dance Floor
Lobster floats
Otter Cliffs
Otter Cliffs
Our boat and the dinghy that took us to shore


One thought on “Baker Island

  1. Coventry Evans

    in the mid-90s my family had reunions on Mount desert island (Kings Point then COA) One of my favorite places to go was Baker island. I remember the walk to the dance floor from the lighthouse side of the island. It was magical for there we’re dozens if little fairy houses in the trees and on the edge of the trail. do you have any pictures or any knowledge of that. Thank you for your time.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s