We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Tour of Mt. Desert Island”

The Natural History Center
Ranked #22 of 46 Tours in Bar Harbor
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The Natural History Center is a family-run business based in Bar Harbor, Maine, specializing in leading birding, nature, and adventure tours in the Acadia and Downeast region. Whether you are interested in learning about birds or adding to your life-list, learning to kayak or build on skills you already have, The Natural History Center has a staff of experts to help. Families with children of any age can go on tide-pool adventures. Go on a photo safari to capture birds or the hidden gems of the natural world. Take a scenic tour of Acadia National Park, learning about the history of the natural and cultural landscape. In the winter, cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing in Acadia National Park is an excellent activity (February is a particularly good month to plan winter activities). Join The Natural History Center for any of your favorite outdoor adventures. Tours are generally geared to small or private groups. All ages and abilities are welcome; they will customize the tour to fit your interests and needs. Tours are available year-round. Their personable staff are sure to add to your visit to the Acadia region of Maine.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed 7 November 2013

Rich MacDonald's 1/2 day tour is an excellent taste of what this part of Maine has to offer, even when Acadia National Park was CLOSED!!! My Mother and I had a 4 day excursion to downeast Maine at the time of the government shutdown. WITH rich we learned and saw where the salmon "jump" creak, wandered thru a garden and Vanderbilt land not part of the park all donated for us to appreciate the nature there is.
Stop by Rich's store in Bar Harbor and say Mary and Marge sent you. The store is a delight and the tour well worth the fee. It was GREAT!!!!!

2  Thank mary w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Natural_History_Ctr, Owner at The Natural History Center, responded to this reviewResponded 9 November 2013

It was a joy to take Mary and her mother, Marge, on a tour of the communities surrounding Acadia National Park. I first met Mary on a special Prairie Home Companion cruise-ship charter this past summer where The Natural History Center provided the nature programming: Mary joined us every morning on the bow at sunrise as we pointed out birds and dolphins (and even saw a volcano spitting and spouting); Marge I met in the laundry room when six-year-old Anouk and I were doing chores. So imagine my pleasure at seeing these two wonderful women on my home turf. Thank you for joining The Natural History Center on a tour!!! And I hope we might see you on next year's cruise with A Prairie Home Companion when we travel from Dover (England) to Saint Petersburg (Russia)….

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (58)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
All reviews
"his knowledge"
in 5 reviews
"private tour"
in 5 reviews
"in acadia national park"
in 7 reviews
"great birds"
in 2 reviews
"great guide"
in 3 reviews
"lots of fun"
in 2 reviews
"on mount desert island"
in 2 reviews
"macdonald"
in 10 reviews
"birders"
in 6 reviews
"warblers"
in 5 reviews
"habitat"
in 6 reviews
"field"
in 7 reviews
"interests"
in 7 reviews
"species"
in 5 reviews
"migration"
in 3 reviews
"expert"
in 5 reviews
"kayaking"
in 8 reviews
Filter

27 - 31 of 58 reviews

Reviewed 13 August 2013

You know all the things you wonder about when you're out in nature? What is that tree? What is that mountain over there? What was the bird I just heard? How did this hole get into this rock? Well, Rich can answer all of them! Our group of four (two adults, one 13-year old, and one 12-year old) arranged for Rich to take us to the tide pools at Otter Cliffs and for a challenging hike on the Penobscot Mountain trail. Having Rich as our guide was like having an encyclopedia hiking along with you, ready to tell you anything you might want to know. And you know how your kids often behave better at school or with other adults than they do with you? Having Rich as our guide brought out the best in our boys. He also did all the driving, found parking spaces (not so easy in Acadia) and made sure we didn't get lost on the trail. And he did all this while being an excellent, easy going companion for the day. We learned a lot from Rich and enjoyed his company. We highly recommend his services.

2  Thank Mary I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Natural_History_Ctr, Owner at The Natural History Center, responded to this reviewResponded 15 August 2013

Thank you for the kind review. Here at The Natural History Center, we strive to make each and every tour a unique and wonderful experience, whether birding, tide-pooling, learning about general natural history, or incorporating all of those into a family adventure. On this tour, the family first wanted to go tide-pooling, then they wanted to hike Penobscot Mountain in Acadia National Park. What a treat for me, as a guide, to have a family group such as this, who were so curious about the natural world and engaged in such riveting dialog. I hope to see them again some day.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2013

Rich took a group of us out for a 3 hour kayak tour in the Bar Harbor area. We learned so much about local history, lobster fishing, native birds and wildlife, kayaking tips, and had simply a wonderful time. The shop is a don't-miss in Bar Harbor---not your typical "tourist shop"-- and they will help you find just the right adventure for you and your fellow travelers. Highly recommend!

2  Thank Illinimac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Natural_History_Ctr, Owner at The Natural History Center, responded to this reviewResponded 9 November 2013

One of the many joys of running The Natural History Center is the diversity of people we meet. This particular kayak tour was a program we offered to Family Nature Summit, a group of over 300 people that came to Bar Harbor (Maine) for a week of diverse nature and adventure programming. This was essentially summer camp for families…and we were some of the camp councilors! Our only regret that the week ended far too soon! We hope to be able to work with this wonderful group again some day.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2013

Natalie from the Natural History Center Store took a group of 10 of us on a kayak trip around Frenchs Bay and gave us a lesson on how to navigate on the water. With the knowledge she gave me, I feel safer on the water and believe I could find my way back home should the fog come in while I am out on the water. Natalie accommodated our various skills and made everyone feel safe. She was also an excellent teacher. It was a wonderful way to spend the morning and see the beautiful town of Bar Harbor from the ocean view.

3  Thank KathleenGold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 27 July 2013

We took a custom, private tour with three adults and four children between the ages of 4 and 9 that was among the best things we've ever done in Maine. We focused on a short hike to some tide pools and a trip to the top of Cadillac Mountain. An all-adult tour could have covered more ground in the same amount of time, but this was the perfect 4-hour tour for our group.

Rich was absolutely amazing with the kids. He adapted our hike to their pace and his explanations to their interests and questions. He gave each child a job to do as we hiked (a small piece of equipment to carry and be responsible for). When we reached the tide pools, they were enthralled by the creatures that he found and identified for them; they were briefly allowed to touch and/or hold green crabs, Jonah crabs, whelks, starfish, and other sea creatures before returning them to the tide pools. I can't emphasize enough how much the kids LOVED that experience.

We are already planning a return trip, and we hope to try sea kayaking lessons for the adults next time around. We can't recommend Rich and The Natural History Center highly enough!

2  Thank LaSalleUGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed The Natural History Center also viewed

Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island
 

Been to The Natural History Center? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing