For Mother’s Day: Gifts of Acadia and the great outdoors

If you’re a woman who loves being active in the great outdoors, you probably have your mother to thank, according to a new national study of women and the outdoors, with a timely message for Mother’s Day.

mother's day gifts of acadia

On the heels of a new national study of women and the outdoors that it commissioned, REI has launched a public initiative called “Force of Nature,” to push for gender equity in the outdoors. (Image courtesy of REI)

Women who were “highly encouraged” by their mothers to play outside as young girls are more likely to remain active today, compared with those who were less encouraged, 86% vs. 78%. And they are more likely to consider being outdoors a “very high priority,” 26% vs. 11%, according to the nationally representative study of more than 2,000 women ages 18-35, commissioned by outdoor retailer rei. It’s easy enough to encourage your children to spend time outside, it can be as simple as looking after your backyard and making it inviting for them. Try planting lots of flowers and trees, and fill the space with fun play equipment. You might need to visit and book in a few lawncare treatments with them afterwards as kids have a tendency to be a little destructive.

Yet at the same time, the study found 6 in 10 women say men’s interest in an outdoor adventure is taken more seriously than women’s, and 63% couldn’t name an outdoor female role model, even as 85% of them say the outdoors is good for overall health, happiness and well-being, and 70% find being outdoors is liberating.

In honor of mothers and other women – whether grandmothers, daughters, spouses, aunts, sisters, cousins or friends – who’ve helped inspire a love for the great outdoors, here are some Mother’s Day gifts of Acadia and the outdoors, to thank them, and invite them to play outside with you.

Mother’s Day gifts of Acadia and other park passes

Lifetime Senior Pass Acadia National Park

US citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over can get a lifetime Senior Pass for $10. (NPS photo)

  • Senior Pass – If any women in your lives are 62 or older before Oct. 1, go with them to the nearest participating federal lands site that sells the lifetime Senior Pass for $10, before it’s slated to go up to $80. You can also buy the pass online for a processing fee, by uploading a copy of necessary proof of age and ID, but there’s a delay in delivery with the rush of people trying to buy before the price increase. The pass is good not only for Acadia and other National Parks, but also for all federal recreation lands, like national monuments, historic sites, wildlife refuges and national forests. The bearer of the Senior Pass can bring in a carload of passengers for free, or up to 3 other adults (children under 16 are free) at sites that charge per-person admission.
  • Online weekly and annual Acadia pass – If the women in your lives are younger than 62, you can buy an annual or weekly pass to Acadia (or other National Parks) online as a gift instead.
  • Every Kid in a Park Pass – If there’s a woman in your life who’s a mother of a fourth grader, you can help that fourth grader get a free Every Kid in a Park Pass online as a gift to Mom. Then the whole family can get in free to Acadia and all other federal recreational lands and waters this summer. Started under President Obama, this initiative aims to get kids (and their Moms) outdoors.

Mother’s Day gifts of Acadia and outdoors can also mean books, mementoes or gear

Books about Acadia and other National Parks

gifts of acadia

A hiking guide and nature journal for kids, “Ten Days in Acadia” is written from a fictional 12-year-old girl’s perspective, and features maps and illustrations. (Image courtesy of Islandport Press)

  • “Ten Days in Acadia: A Kids’ Hiking Guide to Mount Desert Island” – This new book is written from a fictional 12-year-old girl’s point of view as both a trail guide and nature journal, to encourage kids and their families to explore the park together. Hope Rowan, who creates and teaches children about maps, wrote the book, and Jada Fitch illustrated it. On May 15 the book is launching at Southwest Harbor Public Library. Available for pre-order from publisher Islandport Press and (NOTE: Please see sidebar about links in this blog)
  • “Treasured Lands: A Photographic Odyssey Through America’s National Parks” – Noted photographer QT Luong, featured in Ken Burns’s and Dayton Duncan’s PBS series on national parks, just won the Gold Independent Publisher Book Award (“IPPY”) for best coffee-table book, among other awards. You can buy autographed copies directly from the author, and elsewhere, or at discount at The book includes a chapter on Acadia, featuring not only some of his spectacular photos of the park, but also some tips on visiting, and notes about how and where he took the photos included in the book. (NOTE: Please see sidebar about links in this blog)
  • “Acadia National Park: A Centennial Celebration” – Published in partnership with the Friends of Acadia, this book of photos by Tom Blagden Jr. and essays by a variety of contributors helps support the work of the non-profit. In addition to being available through our affiliated partner,, the book can be purchased at the Friends of Acadia’s office in Bar Harbor and elsewhere. (NOTE: Please see sidebar about links in this blog)

    gifts of acadia

    Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award.

  • “Hiking Acadia National Park” – Winner of the 2016 National Outdoor Book Award in the outdoor adventure guide category, our book features 76 hikes, from the easiest to the most difficult, along with color photos, detailed maps and list of top hikes for kids, dogs, water views and other categories. It can be purchased at discount on, or you can buy an autographed copy directly from us at our online shop. Our slimmer volume, “Best Easy Day Hikes, Acadia National Park,” is also available on, or through our online shop. (NOTE: Please see sidebar about links in this blog)

Mother’s Day gifts of Acadia Centennial and other mementoes

  • Acadia Centennial gifts – Although the park’s Centennial was celebrated in 2016, it’s officially still Acadia’s 100th year until July 7 of this year. Some of the licensed Centennial gifts offered by Acadia Centennial Partners, including us, are still available. You can find out more at the Centennial Web site listing of products. And you can shop our Centennial products here, with at least 5% of gross proceeds still going to benefit the Friends of Acadia.
  • Acadia and other National Park-themed gifts from eParks(R) – Free shipping for Mother’s Day on orders of $35 or more through May 8. eParks(R), another affiliated partner of ours, is the online store for Eastern National, the non-profit founded by rangers to help raise funds for National Parks, and offers everything from the official Passport(R) to Your National Parks products to Acadia souvenirs. (NOTE: Please see sidebar for 15%-off coupon code and information about eParks links in this blog)

    where in acadia

    We turned an Acadia vacation photo with Mom into a fun family coloring page, using the technology of ReallyColor.

  • Acadia vacation photos turned into coloring pages or books – One of our favorite hikes in Acadia with Mom: The low-tide walk to Bar Island. We turned a photo of us hiking across the gravel bar into a fun family coloring page, through another affiliated partner of ours, ReallyColor LLC, and hope to do a full-fledged book of Acadia photos turned into coloring pages soon. (NOTE: Please see sidebar about ReallyColor links in this blog)

Outdoor gear, trips for Mother’s Day

gifts of acadia

As part of its “Force of Nature” campaign for gender equity in the outdoors, REI is offering or supporting more than 1,000 events for women interested in the outdoors.

  • Gifts from REI – As a result of the new national study’s more sober findings about women and the outdoors, REI has launched a public effort called “Force of Nature,” to push for gender equity in the outdoors. The retailer is offering or supporting more than 1,000 events nationwide for women interested in the outdoors; making $1 million in grants to groups focusing on women and girls in the outdoors; featuring outdoor gear designed and made by women, for women; and working with Outside Magazine on the first-ever issue to focus only on women in the outdoors. Among the REI gift ideas for Mom and other women in your life: 3-day “Outessa” retreats designed for women, such as a late September fall foliage trip to Waterville Valley, NH; gift card; or women-designed outdoor gear. (NOTE: Please see sidebar about REI links in this blog)


    A new $29 Chimani Perks membership provides up to $200 in discounts at each of 59 National Parks (Image courtesy of Chimani)

  • Chimani mobile app and perks in Acadia and other National Parks – The free trip-planning app for Acadia and the 58 other National Parks now offers a $29 annual Chimani Perks membership, that provides up to $200 in discounts per park. For example, if you’re visiting Acadia, the new Perks program offers discounts at more than 20 area businesses, from bed and breakfasts to campgrounds, restaurants to outdoor activities. The app features GPS-enabled maps and information about hiking, camping, ranger events, museums, birding, boat launches, tides and a host of other categories. The membership and discounts could be a great Mother’s Day gift.

Whatever you do for Mother’s Day gifts of Acadia, perhaps the greatest gift of all: Spend time with your Mom outdoors, whether it’s a stroll around the neighborhood, a tour of a local garden, or a trip to Acadia.

And whether or not you’re a Mom yourself, reach out to the girls and young women in your lives, and invite them on a hike along Acadia’s trails, or a bike ride on the carriage roads.

Being active in the great outdoors is good for self-confidence, health and well-being, and the girls and young women in your lives will surely thank you one day.