New Year’s resolutions with an Acadia National Park twist

So you didn’t hike up Cadillac Mountain to catch the first US sunrise of 2015? Don’t worry, there are plenty of other New Year’s resolutions with an Acadia National Park angle, and many more days left in the year to accomplish them.

Cadillac Mountain double rainbow

If getting fit is one of your New Year’s resolutions, consider hiking up Cadillac Mountain rather than driving up it. You may see a double rainbow, even if you didn’t catch the first US sunrise of 2015.

Whether you resolve to get fit, give back, spend quality time with family, or cross something off your bucket list, we’ve rounded up some Acadia themes to motivate you for the New Year.

Get fit

Hike Acadia’s trails or peaks – Maybe you’re not as obsessed as Darron Collins, president of the College of the Atlantic, who recently tweeted a graphic showing he’d hiked Acadia’s peaks a total of 250 times, covering 1,000 miles, as part of his 2014 New Year’s resolutions. The tweet was then shared by Chimani, the hiking app, on its Facebook page.

Acadia National Park collectible patch

If you want to mark your peakbagging, consider this patch from the Hulls Cove Visitor Center bookstore. We’ll be adding this to our daypack, to go along with patches from climbing the 150+ highest Northeast peaks, from Washington to Katahdin, Marcy to Mansfield.

Or maybe you’re not as goal-oriented in your hiking as we are, having scaled not only all of Acadia’s summits, but also the Northeast’s highest mountains, with framed certificates on display and peakbagging patches on our daypack to mark the feats.

However you want to incorporate hiking into your 2015 fitness goals, or however you want to mark the accomplishment, there’s an Acadia theme to get you going.

Want to climb mountains? The park service used to have a prominent list of 26 peaks of Acadia on its Web site; we saw it most recently at the Cadillac summit gift shop and have memorialized it on a blog page, The 26 peaks of Acadia National Park. As a College of the Atlantic fundraiser in 2012, Collins and others hiked what they called 28 peaks in 24 hours.

Want to hike easy or moderate trails? Out of the more than 120 miles of hiking trails, there are plenty that fit that bill, as we document in our book, “Best Easy Day Hikes, Acadia National Park,” see link to it on in the sidebar. The more difficult trails, including cliff climbs, are in “Hiking Acadia National Park,” link also in the sidebar.

crow athletics

If you’ve run, hiked or walked at least 1 mile a day since Jan. 1, you can sign up for Streak-100 as a member of Crow Athletics, to commit to such exercise for 100 days in a row. This is the same running club that brings you Mount Desert Island Marathon. (Image courtesy of Crow Athletics)


– Run, hike or walk at least a mile for 100 days in a row – You don’t need to be in Acadia to participate in Crow Athletic’s 2015 Streak-100. Dreamed up by Gary Allen, founder and race director of the Mount Desert Island Marathon and co-founder of Crow Athletics, the 100-day streak can help you get on the road to fitness, and in shape for running the trails, carriage roads or races of Acadia and Mount Desert Island throughout 2015. There’s no entry fee to be an official Streak-100 participant, but you do need to be a member of Crow Athletics. You can sign up even after Jan. 1, as long as you’ve run, hiked or walked at least a mile each day since then by the time you enroll. The motivation: An online mileage log to keep track of your 100 days, and the chance to win an award if you are one of the top 3 finishers, male and female, with the most miles.

Give back

Take Pride in Acadia Day

Some of the hundreds of volunteers during Take Pride in Acadia Day in 2011. (NPS Photo / D.R. Hunt)

Volunteer in Acadia – Whether by participating in the Friends of Acadia’s annual Take Pride in Acadia Day in early November, dropping in as a stewardship volunteer June through October, or signing up for any of a number of other organized efforts, you can give back to the park that gives so much to so many.

Spend quality time with family

Sign up for Acadia Quest – A fun way to learn about the park and nature while enjoying being outdoors with family, this program is put together by the park and Friends of Acadia. Each year, teams are challenged to do different things together, whether it’s hiking a trail, biking a carriage road, engaging in a water-related activity or participating in a cultural event. A range of things to do allows young children to seniors in on the fun. By submitting completed Acadia Quest cards, teams are eligible for prizes.
Participate in a citizen science project at Schoodic Institute – Whether it’s counting insects as part of BioBlitz or birds as part of SeaWatch, the family can have fun while doing citizen science together.

Cross something off your bucket list

Even after all the trips we’ve made to Acadia, there are plenty of things we’d still like to do in and around the park. Maybe 2015 is the year to do some of them.

baker island

Getting a glimpse of this unique view back to Mount Desert Island from Baker Island is on our bucket list. Is 2015 the year? (Photo courtesy NPS)

Take a trip to Baker Island – We came close a couple of times, when we had a reservation for the ranger-narrated cruise out of Bar Harbor, and when we were hiking toward the old Coast Guard Station on Little Cranberry Island, until the mosquitoes drove us back
Kayak around the Porcupine Islands – We got within a stone’s throw of Sheep Island when we were hiking around Bar Island once, but have never kayaked out to the distinctive islands
Bike the carriage roads – While we’ve hiked along the carriage roads, we’ve never biked them
Hike in winter or cross-country ski – Just tried out our Kahtoola MICROspikes(R) for the first time on our 2015 First Day Hike, but it wasn’t in Acadia, alas (see sidebar for note about links in this blog)
See a Snowy Owl – Sightings have been reported atop Sargent and Cadillac already this winter by Michael J. Good, Registered Maine Guide and owner of Down East Nature Tour. And if you’re an avid birder and have other species to cross off your list, there’s the Acadia Birding Festival, being held May 28-31 this year.
See Atlantic puffins – While not visible from Acadia, these birds with the colorful beaks can be seen on nearby islands. The Audubon Society’s Project Puffin has information about trips to see the seabirds, as does the Maine Birding Trail.
Visit during October, December, January and February – Those are the only months of the year we haven’t yet made it to Acadia, so we weren’t part of the record-breaking October visitation in 2014

What’s your New Year’s resolution with an Acadia National Park twist? Leave us a comment below. Maybe by going public with your 2015 resolutions, that’ll help make it happen.

And maybe we’ll come up with some unique Acadia on My Mind rewards as another incentive for you to reach your goals – stay tuned!

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