mapThe Charlotte Rhoades Park and Butterfly Garden is located in Southwest Harbor, on Mount Desert Island. It is open daily from mid-May to mid-October, from sunrise to sunset. For visitors of all ages, it is exciting to experience a coastal butterfly habitat in Downeast Maine and see how careful organic gardening practices can sustain and protect butterflies.

Directions: To reach the garden, follow Route 102 through the town of Somesville towards Southwest Harbor. From the Somesville traffic light it is approximately 5.1 miles to the park. Look for the Charlotte Rhoades Park sign on your left marking the entrance.

RV Parking – The parking lot is quite small, with little turning radius, so it is advisable to park RV's on Route 102 and walk up to the garden.

Information: The information box at the entrance to the garden has brochures and other helpful material. From mid-April to mid-October, volunteers are on site each Thursday morning (weather permitting) from 9:30 AM-11:30 AM to share information about the garden and butterfly activity (which changes daily).

Facilities: There are several picnic tables located on the grounds. There are no public restrooms or drinking water available at the park.

Accessibility: The path through the garden is approximately four feet wide. The surface is compacted crushed rock which is reasonably easy to navigate for a wheelchair user. There are some soft spots where assistance would be helpful. The grassy picnic area off of the parking lot is fairly level. There are several picnic tables available for use. The gravel parking lot has a slight grade but is manageable for wheelchair users.

Other Policies

  • Picnics are encouraged, but open fires and barbecue grills are prohibited.
  • The park closes at sunset.
  • No overnight parking is allowed.

Pets: Because children frequent the park and play on the lawn, we request that pets are left at home.

Island Explorer Bus: Enjoy a car-free vacation! From late June to mid-October, the Island Explorer Bus makes daily trips to Southwest Harbor from Bar Harbor. The Southwest Harbor bus operates every 60 minutes. A limited number of daily trips are offered in the fall. Visit the Island Explore website for routes and timetables.

BEST POCKET GARDEN Yankee Magazine has voted Charlotte Rhoades Park & Butterfly Garden "Best of New England Editors' Choice" winner in the May/June 2013 Travel Guide to New England.


Weddings can be held at the Charlotte Rhoades Park & Butterfly Garden with advance application and permission. A $200 fee is requested to cover site maintenance. For details and an application form email us at with your ceremony date and phone contact and we will call you back with availability and how to proceed.