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“Fabulous birding and nature guide!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Natural History Center

The Natural History Center
6 Firefly Lane, Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, ME 04609
207/801-2617
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Owner description: This is a small business in Bar Harbor, Maine. From its retail store base, they are offering nature-based tours, whether birding, tide-pooling, field ecology, or general natural history. They also lead adventure tours such as hiking, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, and sea kayaking for very small groups. For those wishing to delve deeper into the world of birds, there are even opportunities to engage in citizen science reserch projects.
South Berwick, Maine
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Fabulous birding and nature guide!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

Fellow Birders and Nature Lovers!

On a recent trip to Mt Desert Island and Acadia National Park, I was lucky enough to find Rich MacDonald, birder and naturalist extraordinaire. Rich leads group and private birding tours of the area, (as well as kayaking and other outdoor adventure trips), and I treated myself to a few fabulous hours with him, learning about bird behavior, habitat, and island history. We drove to several of his favorite birding sites, identifying a range of shore birds, waterfowl and those tricky little birds (oh, all those sparrows!), and when I mentioned I'd never seen a golden-crowned kinglet, he made sure we found one to add to my life list!

He, with his wife Natalie, are also the owners of the Natural History Center - a wonderful store in the heart of Bar Harbor - which carries a wide variety of things related to birding and the great outdoors. If you get to MDI and need a guide - he's the one. I can hardly wait to get up there again to see Rich and another bald eagle.

Check it out at http://thenaturalhistorycenter.com

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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 review, November 20, 2013
Thank you for the kind words, Hershey. You were equally fun to spend time with. I like to think of my tours less as a monologue and more as a dialog, where we are both sharing our knowledge and thoughts. Afterwards, returning with you to see your magnificent horses at Wild Iris Farm was a highlight among highlights that day. I look forward to seeing you again!
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48 reviews from our community

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English first
Ann Arbor, Michigan
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Tour of Mt. Desert Island”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 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!!!!!

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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 review, November 9, 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)….
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Maryland
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Walking encyclopedia”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 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.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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 review, August 15, 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.
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Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great tour--great guides!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 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!

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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 review, November 9, 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.
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Aliso Viejo, California
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Fun While Kayaking and Learning Water Navigation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 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.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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