AT LOW TIDE ON THE SAND BAR TO BAR ISLAND – If not for their shared passion for Acadia National Park hiking trails, these very different people might never have met: A teacher, a ranger, a park volunteer, a personal trainer and a blogger.
Here they were, hiking together as a group for the first time, on the sand bar to Bar Island, after an early breakfast at Jordan’s Restaurant in Bar Harbor.
Among nearly 300 people from around the world who’ve signed up for a free year-long 100-mile virtual Acadia Centennial Trek – where participants can log their hiking, biking or running miles wherever they are, and see their progress online on a map of Acadia – these 5 Acadia fans celebrated the park’s 100th anniversary in a special way on this low-tide hike last month.
To mark the occasion, the Acadia on My Mind blog, sponsor of the Trek as an official Acadia Centennial Partner, announced the creation of a new Acadia National Park Hiking group on Facebook, just as the 5 hikers neared the shore of Bar Island.
“What a good idea,” said James Linnane, volunteer crew leader for the Friends of Acadia, adding that he’s sometimes looking for someone to hike with on the spur of the moment, and that such a Facebook group could come in handy. Shelley Dawson (the teacher), Maureen Fournier (the ranger), and Kristy Sharp (the certified personal trainer) agreed.
Modeled on a couple of popular Facebook hiking groups for people hiking the 4000 footers of New Hampshire, with more than 9,000 members each, the Acadia National Park Hiking group is open to all. People can share trail conditions, hike suggestions, photos, videos and other information, whether they are veteran Acadia fans, or new to the park.
It can also be a central place for participants in the virtual 100-mile Acadia Centennial Trek to post their accomplishments, a photo of their optional finisher’s medal to help raise funds for the park, or to create an Acadia Centennial Trek meet-up for those who might want to hike some real Acadia trails together.
Acadia National Park Hiking group on Facebook a Centennial project
The Acadia National Park Hiking group on Facebook is one of Acadia on My Mind’s projects as an Acadia Centennial Partner. The official start date of the group is with this blog post’s publication (with a listing to follow shortly on the Acadia Centennial events calendar). The unofficial “end” date is the end of the year, although if there is continued interest, the group can keep going.
We’re including some of our classic blog posts about Acadia National Park hiking in the intro section to the Facebook group page, and will be adding some of the 100 photos of Acadia National Park that we’ve been putting up, one a day, to get the group conversation going. We may even develop a special page on this blog to link all the hiking posts we’ve written.
Some of these posts and photos that we’ve been sharing throughout the Centennial year have already sparked some new hiking ideas and created new hiking buddies. For example, a photo we put up of Cedar Swamp Mountain as part of our 100 photos of Acadia post introduced Dawson (and her pups) to an Acadia mountain she’d never hiked before.
Won’t you join us in making the Acadia National Park Hiking group on Facebook a place to turn to for the latest on Acadia trails, and to find community among other Acadia aficionados?
While we are hosting the Facebook group as an Acadia Centennial Partner, we are not affiliated with Acadia National Park or the Friends of Acadia.
Whether you are hiking, running or biking in Acadia National Park, whether as part of the virtual Acadia Centennial Trek or not, be sure to follow the rules for park passes, safety, and trail and road usage, available at nps.gov/acad.
Among the park rules to be aware of: NO MORE THAN 20 PEOPLE IN A GROUP ON THE TRAILS, else a special use permit must be applied for; and dogs must be on a leash.
And use common sense when engaging in social media, such as not arranging to meet strangers alone on little-traveled trails in the dark of night, or giving personally identifying information out on a public Facebook group.
Stay safe, and happy trails!