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:
- 8th annual Acadia Night Sky Festival – Sept. 21 – Sept. 25, at venues throughout Mount Desert Island, Schoodic and Castine, including star party on Cadillac, night-sky photography workshops, night cruises, lectures and other events.
- America’s Best Idea: A Night with Dayton Duncan – Sept. 26, Criterion Theatre, Bar Harbor, a special screening of the PBS series, The National Parks – Americas Best Idea, by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan, and a Q&A with Duncan. Duncan also wrote the foreword for an upcoming book, Treasured Lands: A Photographic Odyssey Through America’s National Parks, by photographer QT Luong, who was featured in the PBS series as the first to take large-format photographs of all the national parks. (NOTE: See sidebar about Amazon.com iinks in this blog)
- Real-life and virtual Mount Desert Island Marathon and Half Marathon – Oct. 16 for the real-life marathon and half, Oct. 7 – Oct. 16 for the virtual editions (registration deadline Oct, 3). The virtual races come with a special Acadia Centennial Medallion and help raise funds for the park. Special pricing for registrants in the real-life races, and volunteers at the real-life races.
- Becoming Acadia: The Story of Acadia National Park – Sept. 30, Criterion Theatre, premier screening of latest collaboration between Jeffrey Dobbs and Jack Perkins, whose documentaries have been shown in the Hulls Cove Visitor Center and on PBS
Feast your eyes on Acadia fall foliage, in person or in photos
To find out when Acadia fall foliage is at peak, check area live webcams and the official state of Maine weekly foliage report. Last year, peak in the Acadia region was declared on Oct. 14 by the state, and in 2013, it was Oct. 8.
But if your visit doesn’t match up with peak foliage, or you can’t make it to Acadia before the year is over, there are plenty of other things on the Centennial calendar over the coming weeks and months to feast your eyes on, and to otherwise indulge your senses, and satisfy your intellectual curiosity. You can be part of the year-long celebration, whether you’re able to set foot in the park by Dec. 31 or not.
You can also enjoy the photos of Acadia provided here courtesy of QT Luong, and also by getting a copy of his Treasured Lands book or visting his Treasured Lands exhibit of large-format photos, which just ended this weekend at the Museum of Science in Boston and is heading to Las Vegas next.
- Art Meets Science Exhibition – Through Sept. 30, an exhibit of science-inspired art at the MDI Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor
- Designing Acadia – Through Jan. 14, 2017, an exhibit that focuses on the design and layout of Acadia National Park, at the Maine Historical Society in Portland
- Before Acadia: Adventure and Discovery Exhibit – Through Oct. 31, an exhibit on the Champlain Society, young men of Harvard who summered on Mount Desert Island in the 1880s and helped lead to an appreciation of what would become Acadia, at the Mount Desert Island Historical Society Somesville Museum Campus
- The Acadia Centennial Collection – Through Oct. 31, modern artists’ interpretation of Hudson River School artists such as Frederic Church and Thomas Cole, at the Gallery at Somes Sound in Somesville
- National Parks Adventure – Oct. 2, Maine premier of the Robert Redford-narrated film, hosted by Sierra Club and Reel Pizza Cinerama, introduced by Acadia superintendent Kevin Schneider, at Reel Pizza Cinerama in Bar Harbor
- Great Fire of 1947 Commemoration and Reception – Oct. 23, at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor
- Acadia Centennial Trek – This free 100-mile virtual race has drawn nearly 300 participants from around the world, with people running, hiking, biking and step-counting their way along a virtual route that starts at the top of Cadillac and ends at the real-life finishing line of the Mount Desert Island Marathon and Half Marathon. More than half of the participants have finished – but for all those who have registered and not yet started logging their miles, below is a handy countdown clock before the race ends on Dec. 31. The optional Acadia Centennial Trek Medal helps raise funds for the park, and is also the finisher’s medal that comes with the registration fee for participants in the virtual MDI Marathon or Half Marathon.
QT Luong’s large-format photos of Acadia in autumn