A single lighthouse stands on Mount Desert Island: Bass Harbor Head Light. Located at the southwestern reach of Acadia National Park in Bass Harbor, the light guards the southern entrance of Blue Hill Bay and warns against Bass Harbor Bar.
Built in 1858, the lighthouse sits high atop a rugged granite shoreline, making it one of the most scenic in New England. Today, the US Coast Guard mans the station, listed on the National Historic Register. Visitors may tour the grounds at Bass Harbor Head, but not the lighthouse itself.
The lighthouse was automated in 1974 and remains an active aid to navigation. An occulting red light (four seconds on and one second off) is produced by an acrylic shroud that covers the Fresnel lens. Since automation, it has been the quarters for the Commander of the Coast Guard Group Southwest Harbor.
In 2012, Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse was featured on the back of a quarter issued as part of the U.S. Mint’s “America the Beautiful Quarters Program,” which features one site in each state plus Washington, D.C. and the five U.S. territories.