Trenton, Maine, will always hold a special place in my early memories of when my family would pack up the old station wagon with children and necessities to begin a yearly trip to the coast of Maine. Mount Desert Island, with Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, would be the ultimate destination, but it was always Trenton that received the first stop on that trail and gave us that first smell of salty air and taste of freshly cooked Maine Lobster. Trenton often retains that first page of the story that gets rewritten each year when we make that same journey.
Prior to the arrival of white Europeans, the area was inhabited by the Abnaki Indians. It was first “settled” in the early 1760s when it became known as Thornbury (for Thorndike Plantation). Trenton became incorporated on February 16, 1789 and was named in honor of the American Revolution “Battle of Trenton” (New Jersey) in which General George Washington and his troops fought. The town covers a total of 28.5 sq. miles (land is 18.2, water is 10.3) and the populations is 1,370 (year 2000 census). Acreage is 12,529.
Trenton, Maine lies between the main commercial center of Ellsworth and Mount Desert Island. The main thoroughfare is Route 3, along which there are many shops, eateries, and the Hancock County Bar Harbor Airport. Here, you will find some glider and plane ride options that provide some unique views of the area.
An important geographical feature is the Union River Bay and the Union River on the west side of town. This area was first settled by the British in 1763. The river became the main connection artery between Ellsworth (then called Bowdoin) and the rest of the world with large wooden ships of the day traveling on the river. The bay is known for being particularly calm compared to the coastlines to the east.
Between the mainland and Mount Desert Island is a small island called Thompson Island, part of Trenton. This is the first place you will actually be on Acadia National Park land. There is a lovely picnic area on the island on the eastern side. There are restroom facilities here as well. Many people purchase their lobsters and clams on the mainland yet bring them here to eat while enjoying the ocean view.
Photos: Sunrise | Autumn | Waterfront | Western Bay | Spectacular | Picnic Area
The Free Island Explorer Shuttle Bus Service makes regular (in season) stops at the Trenton Marketplace and Narrows Too Campground. (Refer to their #1 Campgrounds Route.) The bus also stops in Bar Harbor at the Village Green.
Trenton, Maine GPS Coordinates: Latitude 44.436944; Longitude -68.391944
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