Introducing “A view from Bubble Rock,” a periodic collection of news briefs about Acadia National Park and related topics. If you have news you’d like included as part of the series, leave a comment below, or contact us through the About us page.
“Hiking Acadia National Park” received top honors in the Independent Publisher Book Awards travel guide category, joining winners from 43 US states, 6 Canadian provinces and 11 overseas nations, in the 22nd year of the “IPPY Awards.”
“Two words can describe this year’s IPPY medal-winning books – compassion and action,” said Jim Barnes, director of the awards, in making the announcement this week. “In both the compelling storytelling of the fiction and the solution-based information of the non-fiction, independent publishing is all about passion for people and their causes, and dedication to sharing their stories with a world of readers.”
Our book, published by FalconGuides, also won the National Outdoor Book Award in the outdoor adventure guidebook category. A digital copy of “Hiking Acadia National Park,” 3rd edition, was included in the Acadia Bicentennial Time Capsule, and we’ve donated copies to the Southwest Harbor Historical Society and public libraries in Somesville, Southwest Harbor, Ellsworth, Blue Hill and Bangor, as part of our Acadia Centennial Partner commitment. (PLEASE NOTE: See sidebar about Amazon.com links)
We’re honored to be in the company of such other IPPY Award winners as QT Luong, whose large-format photographs of national parks were featured in the Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan documentary, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” and whose book, “Treasured Lands: A Photographic Odyssey Through America’s National Parks,” won the IPPY gold medal in the coffee table book category in 2017. (PLEASE NOTE: See sidebar about Amazon.com links)
“Hiking Acadia National Park” is available for sale at Sherman’s bookstore in Bar Harbor; at Acadia National Park’s Hulls Cove Visitor Center, Village Green Information Center and Sieur de Monts Nature Center; and on Amazon.com. You can also buy autographed copies directly from our online shop, with a percentage of proceeds to benefit Friends of Acadia.
Acadia sign shop volunteers honored for outstanding service
Volunteers who make hand-crafted wooden signs at Acadia National Park are being honored with a key award for their service.
The 20-member Acadia National Park Service Sign Shop Volunteers are the Northeast Region’s recipients of the George and Helen Hartzog Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service in the group category for 2017, said a press release from the park.
Acadia’s wooden carved signs have been hand crafted by a team of volunteers for the past 20 years.
Acadia Superintendent Kevin Schneider said in a statement that the park is “very honored and grateful” to the volunteers and that they are best known for their “exceptional” signs on the carriage roads.
For the most part, hiking trail signs are done in-house by trail crew, according to Christie Anastasia, spokeswoman for the park. In addition to carriage road signs, the sign shop volunteers have also made signs for fees and natural resources.
Mud season, snow and peregrine falcons close roads, trails in Acadia
In a rite of spring in Acadia National Park, mud season has closed carriage roads to all users, still-lingering snow is keeping Beech Mountain and Echo Lake roads off-limits to vehicles, and the return of nesting peregrine falcons has shut Jordan Cliffs, Valley Cove, Precipice, and a portion of the Orange and Black Path.
Check the park Web site for the latest updates, and when the roads and trails may be re-opening.
Normally, trails closed during peregrine falcon nesting season re-open by mid-August. Rangers and volunteers set up spotting scopes at the base of the Precipice Trail to allow visitors the chance to catch a glimpse of falcon chicks. Check the park calendar for hours.
The carriage roads in the park are closed to all users until the roads dry out and become firm enough to prevent damage to their gravel surface, the park said in a press release. Rain and melting snow have softened the carriage roads and left them susceptible to damage. Walking, bicycling, and riding horses on the carriage roads under the current conditions can cause ruts and potholes that will channel water and exacerbate erosion.
“We’re asking all visitors to help us protect the historic carriage road system and prevent costly repairs by cooperating with this temporary closure,” Superintendent Kevin Schneider said in a statement.
The first mud-time shutdown of carriage roads occurred on March 2 with the anticipation of spring weather. Then, fairly soon afterwards, the park received more snow. In response to requests from the public, rangers reopened the carriage roads for skiing and other winter recreational activities for another couple of weeks.
Fee hikes for Acadia, but not as high as proposed last year
Seeking to raise money for park improvements, the National Park Service is hiking the entrance fee to Acadia National Park by 20 percent per vehicle, down dramatically from an earlier proposal.
Starting June 1, a one-week pass to Acadia will cost $30, up from the $25 fee in place since 2015, but much less than a proposal last year by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to nearly triple fees to $70 per vehicle during the busiest months. Critics said Interior’s plan would have discouraged visitors and hurt economies in communities near parks.
“The public spoke, and the administration listened,” said Theresa Pierno, president of the National Parks Conservation Association, in a statement.
More modest fee increases will take place this year at Acadia and 16 other of the most popular national parks.
The annual pass to Acadia will rise by 10 percent from $50 to $55. The weekly pass per motorcycle will increase by 25 percent to $25 and the per person per bicycle pass will jump by 25 percent to $15, the park said in a press release.
The fee increases will raise money for infrastructure and maintenance needs.
Of the $11.6 billion of backlogged maintenance in national parks across the country, Acadia weighs in with more than $59.8 million including millions on hiking trails alone, according to fiscal 2017 figures, the latest available.
Additional revenues from entrance fees at Acadia will help finance a rehabilitation of the Hulls Cove Visitors Center, for example, the Acadia press release said.
“Park entrance fees directly support the services you receive when you visit Acadia,” Acadia Deputy Superintendent Michael Madell said in a statement.
Survey: Hiking Acadia, other national parks the top visitor activity
A new survey found that hiking is the activity that people love most at America’s national parks, followed by seeing wildlife and photography.
The National Park Foundation, the official charitable partner of the National Park Service, said that 81 percent of respondents to an email survey checked hiking as their favorite park activity, followed by seeing wildlife, with 79 percent; photography, 72 percent; relaxing, 66 percent; and camping, 52 percent.
Participants could select more than one activity, meaning percentages could add up to more than 100. The survey offered 17 activities as possible choices.
According to the survey, out of 417 sites in the national park system, Yellowstone National Park was the favorite national park, with 27 percent; Yosemite, 18 percent; Grand Canyon, 17 percent; Glacier, 13 percent and Zion, 11 percent.
What is your favorite park activity?