Give the gift of art or photos of Acadia for the holidays

For centuries, the scenery of Mount Desert Island has captured the imagination of artists and photographers alike, from Frederic E. Church of the Hudson River School of painters, to QT Luong, the first person to take large-format photographs of all 59 national parks.

where in acadia

Guess “Where in Acadia?” See the bottom of this blog post for the photo that’s the basis of this ReallyColor, LLC, page.

Maybe you’ve got fans of art or photos of Acadia – or perhaps even budding fine artists – on your holiday shopping list. Here are some gift ideas to celebrate the long tradition of art and photography in Acadia, and perhaps to inspire a new generation.

There’s even a gift in this round-up of holiday ideas to turn your own photos of Acadia into coloring pages or coloring books, to tap into the latest coloring-as-meditation craze, enjoyed by children and adults alike, using the technology of our new affiliated partner, ReallyColor, LLC(NOTE: Please see sidebar about affiliated partner links in this blog)

Books on art or photos of Acadia, and photographic technique

  • art of acadia

    “Art of Acadia” surveys art of the region, from the 17th century all the way through 2015. (Photo courtesy of Carl Little)

    Art of Acadia – Going beyond the traditional treatment of art history of the region both temporally and geographically, this 280-page book goes back in time to the 17th century and all the way up through 2015, adding the art of Cranberry Isles, the Porcupines and Schoodic to the usual compendium of MDI works. Published in the year of the Acadia Centennial by Down East Books, this beautifully illustrated book is by brothers David Little and Carl Little. As Acadia Centennial Partners, the Littles have given a number of talks about their book throughout the Centennial year. (NOTE: Please see sidebar about Amazon.com links in this blog)

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Special Acadia holiday gift ideas to ring out Centennial year

For the Acadia National Park fan on your shopping list, or for a year-end charitable donation, the Centennial offers a once-in-a-century set of Acadia holiday gift ideas.

Plus we’re announcing 2 new merchants to our blog’s affiliated marketing partnerships on this Cyber Monday, to make coming up with special Acadia holiday gift ideas even easier: REI, where you can buy gear for an Acadia lover, and ReallyColor, LLC, where you can turn photos of Acadia (or anything else) into coloring pages, tapping into the latest coloring-as-meditation craze. (NOTE: Please see sidebar about affiliated partner links in this blog)

acadia calendar

This Acadia Centennial calendar, by ranger naturalist Bob Thayer, can be purchased directly through his photography Web site, or at local businesses such as Sherman’s. At least 5% of gross proceeds will go to Centennial efforts and other Acadia projects. (Image courtesy of Bob Thayer)

How about official Centennial products for Acadia holiday gift ideas, such as a calendar, fleece blanket, magnet, embroidered patch or baseball cap?

These and other items are produced or sold by Acadia Centennial partners, who’ve promised to donate at least 5% of gross proceeds to support Centennial projects and other Acadia National Park efforts.

A central list of products and services is on the Acadia Centennial Partners Web site, which provides links to where you can make purchases, whether through a local business or online. Not all officially sanctioned products or services may be on that site.

As official Acadia Centennial Partners ourselves, we’re donating at least 5% of gross proceeds from the sale of autographed hiking books (including “Hiking Acadia National Park,” which this month won the National Outdoor Book Award) and Acadia Centennial Holiday Ornaments.

acadia holiday gift ideas

Acadia Centennial Holiday Ornaments are available on the online Acadia on My Mind Shop.

And as announced earlier this month, under an Acadia Centennial Trek Challenge, we’ll be donating 10% of gross proceeds from the sale of the Acadia Centennial Trek Medal made by the end of the year to benefit Acadia. And for every mile being logged by participants in the free 100-mile virtual Acadia Centennial Trek between now and the end of the year, we’ll be making an extra donation of 2 cents per mile to the cause.

Or perhaps you’d rather make a direct, potentially tax-deductible, gift to benefit Acadia in the name of family members or friends, as your way of marking the Acadia Centennial? Here are some ways to do that:

  • Gift membership to Friends of Acadia – By giving a gift membership, you would provide a year’s worth of membership benefits to a family member or friend, including a subscription to the Friends of Acadia Journal, six note cards depicting Acadia at night, and a window decal. A bargain with membership starting at $40.
  • A tribute gift to Friends of Acadia or Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park – Not limited to the holidays, such a gift can commemorate a birthday, anniversary or any other special occasion. Such a gift to the Friends of Acadia would be recognized in the Friends of Acadia Journal. Or perhaps you might want to make a gift to the Friends of Acadia’s Second Century Campaign. The Schoodic Institute, which provides environmental research and education and such citizen science programs as HawkWatch, can notify the person you’re honoring with the gift.

Need more Acadia holiday gift ideas? Continue reading

Acadia Centennial helps draw record 3.2 million park visitors

The Acadia Centennial has helped attract more than 3.2 million visitors so far to the national park this year, capped by record attendance for October.

acadia national park hiking

Views like these along Jordan Pond in October helped draw record crowds to Acadia this year.

An eye-popping 412,416 people visited during October, up 19.8 percent from last year’s monthly record of 344,362, according to statistics from the National Park Service.

Through October, visitors during the Acadia Centennial totaled 3.234 million, up 17.7 percent from last year. Depending on the weather, visitation could total 3.3 million for this year, said John T. Kelly, management assistant for Acadia.

Kelly said visitation this year reached 3 million for the first time since at least 1990, when the park changed the way it counts visitors. The previous record since 1990 was 2.845 million in 1995, according to the federal statistics.

Some good aspects of the crowds are that people came to enjoy the park and the park therefore collected more revenues from entrance fees and local businesses saw a boost, but the downsides include traffic congestion during peak periods.

crowds in acadia

Crowds in Acadia can make for an unpleasant experience as seen here on the Park Loop Road and Ocean Path. (NPS photo)

Visitation during the summer of the Acadia Centennial produced some staggering numbers.  In September, visitation was 570,434, up 19 percent from the same month last year; August, 735,945, up 10 percent; July, 696,854, up 15 percent; and June, 445,410 up 24 percent.

Visitors to the Schoodic Peninsula, the only section of the park on the mainland, reached 276,233 through October, up 31 percent from 210,549 during the same 10 months last year. More people went to Schoodic because of the new Schoodic Woods Campground and more than 8 miles of new bike paths.
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‘Hiking Acadia’ wins National Outdoor Book Award

Joining the ranks of such classic books as the “AMC White Mountain Guide” and “Walden,” the 3rd edition of “Hiking Acadia National Park” has just won the National Outdoor Book Award, considered the “outdoor world’s largest and most prestigious book award program.”

HIking Acadia National Park

The 3rd edition of our ‘Hiking Acadia National Park’ is available on Amazon.com, as well as directly from us.

In describing the guidebook to hiking Acadia, “a place that inspires and regenerates the soul,” the awards announcement states, “It’s all there in one compact package with thoughtful design, clear maps, and straightforward trail descriptions.”

The book, published by Falcon and co-authored by us, has also been submitted for consideration for the Acadia Bicentennial Time Capsule. The time capsule dedication, on Dec. 10, is an official Acadia Centennial event.

The awards program, in its 20th year, is sponsored by the non-profit National Outdoor Book Awards Foundation, Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, and Idaho State University.

hiking acadia

‘Hiking Acadia National Park’ won in the outdoor adventure guidebook category of the National Outdoor Book Awards.

The National Outdoor Book Awards recognizes books in such categories as outdoor adventure guidebooks (the category that “Hiking Acadia” won for 2016);  classic (the category that a republication of “Walden” won for 2004); and works of significance (the category that the “AMC White Mountain Guide” won for 2003).

The 2016 awards, announced Nov. 17, were judged by an independent panel of educators, academics, book reviewers, authors, editors and outdoors columnists from around the country, including the following from New England:

  • Tom Mullin, associate professor of parks and forest resources at Unity College in Unity, ME
  • Jeff Cramer, curator of collections at the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods in Lincoln, MA
  • Virginia Barlow, consulting forester and co-founder of Northern Woodlands Magazine, of Corinth, VT

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Centennial Trek Challenge: Run, walk 100 miles for Acadia

This time of year, as we think of giving, gratitude, and the end of the Centennial, we’ve come up with a new idea to celebrate and help raise extra funds for the park: The Acadia Centennial Trek Challenge.

acadia virtual runs

We were so pleased to see our Acadia Centennial Trek included in a Friends of Acadia mailing, we came up with a special Challenge, to help raise more funds for the park.

The idea came to us after we got a Friends of Acadia Annual Fund mailing this weekend. We were so pleased to see our free year-long, 100-mile, virtual Acadia Centennial Trek included in a listing of Centennial events, that we decided to come up with the Centennial Trek Challenge.

Are you up to the Challenge?

There are 2 ways to help raise extra funds for the park between now and Dec. 31:

Buy an Acadia Centennial Trek Medal; or run, hike or walk 100 miles for Acadia anywhere in the world, log your miles on a virtual map, and watch your avatar move along the route that starts on the top of Cadillac, and snakes its way over the 26 peaks of Acadia.
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Global field of 400 covers 30,000 miles in Acadia virtual runs

To celebrate the Acadia Centennial, nearly 400 people from around the world have crisscrossed virtual routes on Mount Desert Island this year, collectively logging more than 30,000 miles of running, hiking or walking, and helping to raise funds for the park.

Among the most recent finishers of the Acadia virtual runs:

acadia virtual races

Ben Greeley of Waterville lets Pamola sport his Acadia Centennial Medallion, which he earned by running the virtual MDI Marathon. (Photo courtesy of Ben Greeley)

  • 10-year-old Lukas Modrusan of Bangor, who logged real-life cross-country practice and racing miles, and counted them toward the virtual edition of the Mount Desert Island Marathon
  • Ben Greeley of Waterville, who logged his training miles for the real-life MDI Marathon on the virtual marathon route, and shared a photo of his virtual finisher’s medal being worn by his faithful companion, Pamola
  • Pam Langford, who completed the virtual MDI Half Marathon while still a North Carolina resident, and looks forward to running and hiking the real-life trails and carriage roads of Acadia, now that she is moving to Bar Harbor next week
  • Robin Emery, who came in first in her age group (70-79) in the real-life MDI Half, in 2:35:18, and used those same miles to earn her virtual MDI Half finisher’s medal
  • Melissa Kim, children’s book author and editor at Islandport Press, who completed the virtual MDI Marathon at home in southern Maine, and did a lot of speed hiking in Acadia in advance as training.

The first-ever series of Acadia virtual runs began in February with the launch of the free 100-mile Acadia Centennial Trek, followed by parts 2 and 3 of the same trek. These races end on Dec. 31, and as of Nov. 12, there are only 50 days left to complete those 100-mile treks.

You can still join in on the virtual Acadia Centennial Trek, and if you average about 2 miles a day between now and Dec. 31, you can earn the right to the finisher’s medallion, available for optional purchase, to help raise funds for Acadia. The Trek is one of Acadia on My Mind’s contributions to the year-long celebration of the park, as an official Acadia Centennial Partner.

acadia centennial trek

Nearly 300 participants have signed up for the free 100-mile virtual Acadia Centennial Trek, hosted by Racery.com. You can still sign up now, and have about 50 days to complete the route before the race ends Dec. 31.

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Acadia Centennial nears end with volunteerism, time capsule

The summer crowds are gone, the fall foliage but a memory, and the year-long, community-wide celebration of the Acadia Centennial is going out with a bang, not a whimper.

Take Pride in Acadia Day

Some of the hundreds of volunteers helping to get the carriage roads ready for winter during Take Pride in Acadia Day in 2011. (NPS Photo / D.R. Hunt)

Among the events still on the Acadia Centennial calendar to keep the celebration going between now and Dec. 31 (and beyond, especially with an Acadia Bicentennial Time Capsule to be opened a century from now):

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Car reservation system among ideas to ease Acadia traffic

The National Park Service is floating several proposals to ease Acadia traffic congestion and improve safety during peak visitation, including a reservation system for cars to drive up Cadillac or to park at Jordan Pond House.

acadia traffic

Would a vehicle registration system for driving up Cadillac help ease congestion like this? (NPS photo)

Other key preliminary ideas include eliminating parking in the right hand lane on the one-way section of the Park Loop Road to improve Acadia traffic flow and allowing cars to enter Ocean Drive past the entrance station until certain thresholds for parking and road volumes are reached.

Under the preliminary idea for freeing up parking and ensuring free traffic flow on Ocean Drive, additional vehicles would be cleared to drive past the entrance station as capacity permits, with drivers getting information in various ways and getting the option to wait or leave via Schooner Head Road or sooner at Sieur de Monts.

The proposals are just “conversation starters” by the park service, as part of an effort to release a final transportation plan for the park in the fall of 2018. The possibilities are being aired after a summer of strong attendance during the Centennial year caused closure sometimes of the Cadillac Summit Road and full lots at Jordan Pond during busy times.

Already through September, 2.82 million people visited the park, slightly more than all of last year, which set a 20-year-high, according to park statistics. Visitation at Acadia is likely to top 3 million this year, after October numbers are tallied.

The early proposals were spelled out for the first time in a 12-page newsletter of “preliminary concepts” released this month and will be aired during two public meetings this week, Nov. 2 and Nov. 3.

acadia traffic

You can comment on alternative proposals to manage Acadia traffic as spelled out in this 12-page newsletter, at public hearings on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3, or online through Nov. 30. (NPS image)

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Jordan Pond a special fall experience at Acadia National Park

One in a series of historic trail highlights celebrating the Acadia Centennial

The path around Jordan Pond is an ideal hike for any time of year but it is especially beautiful in the fall.

acadia national park hiking

Fall colors light up the shore of Jordan Pond and the Bubbles.

The fall colors around Jordan Pond are spectacular if you catch them at peak, as we did on Saturday, Oct. 15.

We especially enjoyed the classic view of the North and South Bubbles, looking north from the southern shore near the Jordan Pond House, the only restaurant in Acadia National Park.

The pond is crystal clear, maybe because it is a public water supply and no swimming is allowed. The authoritative ” Guide’s Guide to Acadia National Park” says Jordan Pond is the “clearest lake” in Maine, but that could be difficult to corroborate.

The twin mountains called the Bubbles rise from the shore of the pond. North Bubble, at 872 feet, is ranked No. 13 for highest among Acadia National Park’s 26 peaks and South Bubble, at 766 feet and home to the iconic Bubble Rock, is No. 16.

acadia national park hiking

South Bubble bears a bit of a resemblance to The Beehive from this angle on the eastern shore of Jordan Pond. Both were shaped by the same glacial forces.

Like other lakes in Acadia, Jordan Pond is glacial, formed in a valley and then walled by debris.

The  “Guide’s Guide” says the Jordan Pond area contains a beautiful collection of glacial features. The massive valley between Penobscot Mountain, on the west side, and Pemetic Mountain, on the east side, filled with water to create the pond.

“The southern shore, where the Jordan Pond House sits, is a glacial moraine formed from glacial debris deposits,” the guide says. “These deposits form a wall at the southern end of the valley and create a natural dam that holds back the waters of Jordan Pond.” Continue reading

And they’re off! Global field of racers start MDI virtual runs

The virtual starting pistol has just sounded for the first-ever virtual running of the Mount Desert Island Marathon and Half. Racer BenJammin has pulled out in front, Dbawn is not too far behind, and a field of nearly 100 racers from around the world, from Australia to New Mexico, is in pursuit.

acadia national park virtual runs

Travis Greaves will be logging his miles for the virtual MDI Half Marathon in the Gold Coast in Australia. (Photo courtesy Travis Greaves)

It’s not too late to join in on the fun, or to invite your friends, family and frenemies anywhere in the world to participate in this special event to help raise funds for Acadia National Park. The 26.2 and 13.1-mile virtual runs just began today, and you can log your miles over a 10-day period, ending on Oct. 16, the day of the real-life MDI Marathon and Half. Register here.

Get a digital bib, earn a special Acadia Centennial Medallion and watch your avatar move along on the map of the real-life race routes as you log each day’s mileage. You may also see a Google Street View® of where you finish for the day. Special pricing for registrants and volunteers in the real-life MDI Marathon and Half. The virtual races are co-sponsored by Acadia on My Mind, Crow Athletics and MDI Marathon as an official Acadia Centennial event.

Virtual runs are a growing fitness trend, with even Disney getting into the act. Acadia on My Mind is also sponsoring a virtual 100-mile Acadia Centennial Trek that ends on Dec. 31.

Participants get to cheer friends – real or virtual – or gently razz competitors via a message board on the race Web sites, powered by Racery.com, or via a special Facebook events page we’ve set up. Some have never run a real-life marathon or half, and some have never been to Acadia, while others have done both.

Travis Greaves, who hasn’t been to Acadia but has run real-life races, found out about the virtual runs in a Google search. “I will be running in the Gold Coast in Australia. I like the idea of virtual runs,” e-mailed Travis, whose virtual MDI Half Marathon screen name is Travisg.

Joining in on the fun are Eve Lindsey (SkiPrincess) of Bedford, NH, and Hope Matthews (Sourceress) of Portland, plus other racers hailing from places like Cuyahoga Falls, OH; Austin, TX; and Clovis, NM.

acadia national park virtual runs

BenJammin is out in front, with Dbawn not too far behind, at the start of the first-ever virtual running of the MDI Marathon. Not too late to register and join the nearly 100 racers in this and the virtual MDI Half Marathon, during the 10 days that the races are live, Oct. 7 – Oct. 16.

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On your marks! ‘Princesses,’ ‘witch’ join first MDI virtual runs

Racers with fun names like Incaprincess, SkiPrincess, TrailWitch and Sanity Clause – some hailing from as far away as Australia, Texas and New Mexico – are lining up at the start for the first-ever virtual runs of the Mount Desert Island Marathon and Half, to help raise funds for Acadia.

Acadia virtual runs

Incaprincess (Suzanne Wiegand) and husband Duane, pictured here on trails near their Cuyahoga Falls, OH, home, are running the virtual MDI Marathon together. (Photo courtesy of Suzanne Wiegand)

The virtual gun goes off on Oct. 7, and racers have 10 days to complete the virtual runs, with the final day coinciding with the real-life MDI Marathon and Half on Oct. 16. There’s still time to join in on the fun, with registration open until the end of the day on Oct. 3. Special pricing for registrants and volunteers in the real-life races.

Racers get a special Acadia Centennial Medallion, a digital race bib and the chance to see their avatar move on a map of the virtual 26.2 or 13.1-mile route with each day’s mileage entry, whether they run, hike or walk the miles, wherever they are in the world. They may also see a Google Street View® of where they finished for the day.

Virtual runs are a growing fitness trend, with even Disney getting into the act. Acadia on My Mind is proud to be co-sponsor with Crow Athletics and the real-life MDI Marathon of this official Acadia Centennial event.

acadia national park hiking

You too can earn the right to this Acadia Centennial Medallion, and help raise funds for Acadia.

Participants get to cheer friends – real or virtual – or gently razz competitors via a message board on the race Web site, powered by Racery.com, or via a special Facebook events page we’ve set up. Some have never run a real-life marathon or half, and some have never been to Acadia, while others have done both.

Incaprincess (Suzanne Wiegand) and her husband Duane, of Cuyahoga Falls, OH, are running the virtual MDI Marathon together, and have been to Acadia many times.

“Unfortunately, I won’t be running the actual MDI Marathon this year, but definitely planning on it next year!” said Suzanne, who said in an e-mail that her nickname came from an anthropology class field trip. “The nickname kind of stuck around and it has now translated into my trail running nickname. But you can just call me Inca.”

acadia virtual runs

Registration for the first-ever virtual running of the MDI Marathon and Half ends on Oct. 3.

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Waldron’s Warriors: Foot soldiers for Acadia hiking trails

On weekdays, Tim Henderson is a computer repairman. Come the weekend, he’s a Waldron’s Warrior, part of an army of volunteers battling vandalism of Acadia hiking trails, and teaching people about the park’s unique stone trail markers known as Bates cairns.

acadia national park hiking

As a Waldron’s Warrior, Tim Henderson helps to educate people about Bates cairns, and fixes damage to the stone trail markers by vandals. (Photo courtesy of Tim Henderson)

Officially, Ellen Dohmen chairs the Bar Harbor appeals board and serves on the advisory board of Healthy Acadia. Unofficially, she’s the doyenne of Waldron’s Warriors, having trained Henderson of Castine, Dave Hollenbeck of Mount Desert, and a cadre of other caretakers of cairns along Acadia hiking trails.

During peak season, James Linnane works at a Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce information booth. Off-peak, he climbs tough trails like Sargent East Cliffs, fixing cairns as he goes.

About 20 strong this year, the crew of volunteers is the brainchild of Charlie Jacobi, park natural resource specialist, who’s been working to stop the vandalism of Bates cairns, and random rock stacking that violates Leave No Trace® principles.

“It’s an ongoing battle,” said Jacobi, who first came up with the phrase Waldron’s Warriors in 2004, invoking the spirit of Waldron Bates, the Bar Harbor pathmaker who designed the cairns in the early 1900s, to recruit volunteers. “Warriors needed.”

cadillac south ridge trail

A vandal smashed and destroyed the lintel, or horizontal platform, of this Bates cairn, on the Cadillac South Ridge Trail. (Photo by Tim Henderson)

But at times it seems like a losing battle, especially with increased visitation this Centennial year. And it’s not just Acadia that’s facing vandalism of historic and natural resources. A few weeks ago, Death Valley National Park’s iconic Racetrack was defaced by a vehicle that drove across the playa, creating tire tracks that may take years to disappear.

The only thing is to soldier on, and that’s what Waldron’s Warriors do. Continue reading

Acadia fall foliage just one focus of rest of Centennial year

The days are shorter, the nights chillier, and Acadia fall foliage is getting ready to put on its spectacular color show. The season to visit Acadia National Park has been gradually getting longer, and this year, Centennial events promise to make the fall – and even winter – busier than ever.

With about 100 days left in the Centennial year, and Acadia fall foliage still to peak, among the major events and projects featuring the park still on the calendar:

treasured lands

QT Luong, whose large-format photographs of all of America’s national parks was featured in Ken Burns’s and Dayton Duncan’s PBS series, has a new book coming out on Oct. 1 in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial. The book includes a section on Acadia. Pre-orders placed by Oct. 1 eligible for special offers. (Image courtesy of QT Luong)

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Running in Acadia National Park a real and virtual delight

Scaling the Goat Trail and jumping off low rock ledges, Kristy Sharp discovered a new loop over the weekend for running in Acadia National Park, along Norumbega Mountain.

acadia centennial trek

Kristy Sharp flies off a low rock ledge on Norumbega Mountain, as she lives up to her virtual Acadia Centennial Trek trail name of @TrailWitch. (Photo courtesy of Kristy Sharp)

“Not one of my usual routes but it will likely go on my rotation. It was great!!” said Sharp, a certified personal trainer in Southwest Harbor, in an e-mail. She’s run the Mount Desert Island Marathon and Half Marathon the last couple of years, and is participating in virtual runs, featuring portions of the MDI race routes, to celebrate Acadia’s Centennial this year.

Running in Acadia National Park attracts both area residents like Sharp, and visitors from around the world, with the dramatic scenery, the challenging trails and the miles of well-graded carriage roads. No wonder area races draw thousands of runners a year. This year’s MDI Marathon and Half Marathon is on Oct. 16, and the MDI YMCA Bar Harbor Bank & Trust Fall Half Marathon, on Sept. 17.

New this year: Virtual running in and around Acadia National Park, to bring the experience to anyone anywhere in the world, whether they’re logging miles on a treadmill or walking in their neighborhood, whether they are lifelong fans of Acadia or have never stepped foot in Maine. Virtual races are a growing fitness trend, with even Disney getting into the act, with some offering T-shirts, finisher’s medals or a chance to raise funds for charity.

acadia national park virtual runs

The first-ever virtual running of the Mount Desert Island Marathon and Half Marathon routes is an official Acadia Centennial event. At least 5% of gross proceeds from virtual runs’ registration fees go to help support the park. Registration ends Oct. 3.

We’re co-sponsoring the first-ever MDI Marathon and Half Marathon – Acadia100 Virtual Edition with Crow Athletics and MDI Marathon, powered by Racery.com, to help raise funds for the park, as an official Acadia Centennial event.

The virtual races, which go live from Oct. 7 through Oct. 16, allow participants to log their running or walking miles over those 10 days. They watch their progress on a virtual map of the real-life 26.2-mile and 13.1-mile race routes, and see Google Street Views® where available for the day’s ending mileage. Finishers get a special Acadia Centennial Medallion. Special pricing for registrants in the real-life races. Registration ends Oct. 3.

We’re also sponsoring a free year-long virtual 100-mile Acadia Centennial Trek, which certified personal trainer Sharp has completed not just once, but three times, under her Trek name of @TrailWitch.

“Running is good for my soul, so I try to make time to run every week,” said Sharp, who’s a personal trainer at the Harbor House Fitness Center in Southwest Harbor, and continues logging her miles on the Trek even though she is beyond the virtual finish line, three times over. While she won’t be running the real-life MDI Marathon or Half this year, she’ll be volunteering at the real-life finishing line for those races, which end right in front of the Harbor House.

Scenes from a year of virtual Acadia running, training and trekking

acadia national park running burning man mount desert island marathon tree mount desert island marathon somesville bridge perpendicular trail kurt diederich's climb somesville mount desert island marathon

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Ties that bind Acadia, new Maine Woods national monument

BAR HARBOR – Pulled up to town at 1:30 a.m. Thursday, because we just had to be in Acadia on the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, to celebrate the park and the new Maine Woods national monument inspired by it.

maine woods national monument

You’re more likely to see moose in the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, than you are in Acadia. (Photo by Mark Picard all rights reserved)

As we hiked the trails of Acadia throughout the day, wishing strangers “Happy 100th” and joining up with friends, we not only commemorated the gift of Acadia, but also the latest addition to the National Park Service, the new Maine Woods national monument.

Since the spring, we’d suspected President Barack Obama might do what Woodrow Wilson did 100 years ago: Use the Antiquities Act to create a new Maine Woods national monument, just as Wilson had in creating the monument that became Acadia on July 8, 1916.

At an Acadia Centennial Trek meet-up we hosted in Bar Harbor in early June, a couple of well-connected locals told us that it was going to happen. One source even thought President Obama might come back to Acadia to make the announcement, since he and his family seemed to enjoy their vacation here in July 2010.

George B. Dorr is father of Acadia National Park

George B. Dorr, pictured along the shores of Jordan Pond in 1926, far right, fought to protect the lands that would become Acadia. A critical tool in that effort was the Theodore Roosevelt-signed Antiquities Act, saving it first as a national monument. (NPS photo)

Obama vacationed at national parks out west instead, but in a speech at Yosemite last month about his administration’s record of land protection, he said, “We are not done yet.”

In an article we wrote on his speech, we speculated that he might have been referring to the national monument in Maine.

Sure enough, on Aug. 24, the eve of the National Park Service’s Centennial, President Obama created the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. So far, the Obama administration has protected more than 265 million acres, more than any other president, from the North Woods of Maine to the San Gabriel Mountains in California, using the same 1906 Antiquities Act that Theodore Roosevelt wielded to protect Grand Canyon as a national monument first. Continue reading