Tag Archives: acadia-centennial-trek

Following in the footsteps of George Dorr, “father of Acadia”

From the top of Cadillac to the garden-like paths around Sieur de Monts, from the stacks at Jesup Memorial Library to the labs of 2 major research institutions on Mount Desert Island, the presence of George Dorr can be felt.

george dorr

Ronald H. Epp’s biography of George Dorr is published by the Friends of Acadia.

Not only was Dorr the “father of Acadia,” he had a hand in creating Bar Harbor’s public library, the Wild Gardens of Acadia and surrounding paths, MDI Biological and Jackson laboratories, and Abbe Museum. George Dorr even played a role in renaming some of the 26 peaks of Acadia, among them Green and Robinson to the now-iconic Cadillac and Acadia mountains.

These, and other fascinating aspects of the life and impact of Dorr, can be found in historian Ronald H. Epp’s new Dorr biography, “Creating Acadia National Park,” published by the Friends of Acadia on the occasion of the park’s Centennial.

The more than 2 million visitors a year who come from across the country and around the world to admire the beauty of Acadia National Park have George Dorr, in large part, to thank. Yet Dorr’s story and the role he played in shaping Acadia, conservation, Mount Desert Island and beyond, have been largely untold – until now.

“Dorr was not a major historical figure,” writes Epp in his introduction to the first-ever biography of Dorr. “Nor was he recognized as an administrator jockeying for ever-more important positions of responsibility. Unlike John Muir, his published writings did not transform national policy.”

George B. Dorr is father of Acadia National Park

George Dorr’s spirit lives on in this historic photo, which was once on display at the Sieur de Monts area of  Acadia National Park.

Yet, Epp writes, “this grand old man of the National Park Service on Mount Desert Island brought about a federal investment in the conservation of nearly half the landmass of the island. The resultant loss of property tax revenue was offset by the ever-growing number of visitors that clearly contributed to village prosperity. At the county level, Dorr extended the scope of Acadia National Park beyond Mount Desert Island, to other shorelines and islands within Hancock County.”

The legacy of the Boston Brahmin and lifelong bachelor, who used his energy, connections and family wealth to create Acadia, lives on not only along the trails he helped build, from Beachcroft Path to Kurt Diederich’s Climb, or atop the coastal peaks and ridgelines he helped preserve.

Dorr’s gift to the generations can also be felt in the region’s cultural and scientific institutions, and even offers a perspective on the current debate over the attempt by Burt’s Bees founder Roxanne Quimby and family, to donate private land for a national monument or park in Maine’s North Woods. Continue reading

acadia national park hiking

Acadia Triple Crown: Run, walk for park, a cause – and bling!

Call it the Acadia Triple Crown: Join the free year-long virtual Acadia Centennial Trek to celebrate the park, do a real-life race to raise funds or give back to community in other ways, and reward yourself with a special medal.

Acadia Centennial Trek medal

Show your support of Acadia with this officially licensed Acadia Centennial Trek Medal, available exclusively on Acadia on My Mind Shop.

Or maybe create your own family or friends Summer Olympics with an event or activity that everyone, from toddler to grandparent, can participate in, give to a cause, and make everyone a winner with an Acadia Centennial medal of their own.

The officially licensed medal, featuring the Acadia Centennial logo set in a bright silver wreath, is assembled and mostly made in the USA by Ashworth Awards, the same company that has made the medals for the Boston Marathon and the Mount Desert Island Marathon and Half Marathon. (The ribbon comes from overseas.)

We designed the medal as part of our sponsorship of the virtual 100-mile Acadia Centennial Trek, hosted on Racery.com, to celebrate the trails of Acadia, and help raise funds for the park. At least 5% of gross proceeds from the sale of the medal go to support the park. The medal just became available on the Acadia on My Mind Shop, and has been submitted to the official Acadia Centennial Web site’s merchandise section.

acadia virtual race

Hailing from all over the world, Acadia Centennial Trekkers are all over the 100-mile virtual map, starting at Cadillac and ending in Southwest Harbor at the finish line of the real-life Mount Desert Island Marathon. You have until Dec. 31 to join and finish the free race.

As an Acadia Centennial Partner, we wanted to broaden the meaning of community and deepen the appreciation of Acadia throughout the year. So instead of limiting the Acadia Centennial Trek Medal only to participants in the Trek, we came up with the idea of the Acadia Triple Crown and teaming up with other Centennial Partners and local groups. (In reality, you can purchase the medal simply to express your appreciation and support of the park without doing anything else – but it’s more fun to earn the medal as part of a real-life fitness challenge or community effort!)

Among the Acadia Centennial Partners and local groups we’re formally or informally teaming up with, and the possible ways you can earn an Acadia Triple Crown: Continue reading

Springtime blossoms with things to see and do in Acadia

The peregrine falcons have returned to nest, the rhodora and lady’s slippers are within weeks of blooming, and Acadia National Park is getting ready to open the Park Loop Road for visitors.

acadia centennial

A book launch party on April 7 celebrates the first-ever biography of George B. Dorr, the “Father of Acadia.” Author Ronald H. Epp and publisher Friends of Acadia will be on hand at the event at the Jesup Memorial Library. (Image courtesy of Friends of Acadia)

It’s springtime in Acadia, a season of rebirth and renewal. And making this spring even more worth looking forward to: The Acadia Centennial, and special things to see and do in Acadia National Park.

For instance, this Thursday, April 7, there’s a party to celebrate the publication of the first-ever biography of George B. Dorr, the “Father of Acadia,” without whom there may never have been a national park in Maine. The festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, with author Ronald H. Epp on hand, along with publisher Friends of Acadia.

On Saturday, April 16, a day after Acadia opens the Park Loop Road and Hulls Cove Visitor Center, the “Centennial Edition” of Acadia Quest launches, letting kids, teens and their grown-ups experience and learn about the park and its history in a fun, interactive way. It’s an earlier than usual start for the annual scavenger hunt, which runs until November.

Throughout the spring, events like Lego Day at the Seal Cove Auto Museum (April 9), National Junior Ranger Day (April 30 and May 14), free admission for the opening of a new exhibit at the Abbe Museum (May 1), art shows and musical celebrations, birding in the park and the gardens of MDI on International Migratory Bird Day (May 14), Acadia Birding Festival (June 2 – 5), National Trails Day and Acadia poet laureate reading (June 4), and many others fill the calendar.

rhodora

Pink rhodora goes well with the pink granite of Cadillac Mountain, and usually blooms in May.

“Spring opens our land and waters and brings adventure – this year with a special centennial spirit,” said Acadia Centennial Task Force Co-Chair Cookie Horner, in announcing the springtime events on the official Centennial calendar, in a Friends of Acadia news release.

Who says there are few things to see and do in Acadia National Park in springtime? Continue reading

Trail magic casts spell on Acadia National Park hiking trails

There’s trail magic in Acadia National Park, and it shows up in the most wonderful ways.

acadia virtual race

Maureen Fournier, left, celebrates reaching the 100th mile of the virtual Acadia Centennial Trek, by hiking for the first time with Kristy Sharp. They virtually met while logging their miles for the race, and might have never met in real life if not for the Trek to celebrate the park’s 100th anniversary. (Photo courtesy Maureen Fournier)

Just last week, 2 hikers who might never have crossed paths except for the virtual 100-mile Acadia Centennial Trek – an official event to mark the park’s 100th anniversary – climbed together for the first time on the Acadia National Park hiking trails.

“We’ve never met before,” said Maureen Fournier, seasonal park ranger, of Kristy Sharp. “But now we’ve become hiking buddies,” e-mailed Fournier. “We have a lot in common too, besides hiking…and share our love for Acadia.”

Fournier, who goes by the Trek name @MG, and Sharp, who goes by the Trek name @TrailWitch, had a couple of close encounters while hiking Gorham Mountain separately as part of the virtual race, but only discovered they’d missed each other at the end of the day, while logging their miles for the Trek. On Wednesday, they met and scaled Acadia Mountain together, celebrating Fournier’s completion of the 100-mile route in 24 days.

“Maureen has a great knowledge of the park, a true passion for being outdoors and was great fun to hike with!” said Sharp, who retired to Mount Desert Island with her husband in 2011, after a career in criminal justice in Ohio. “I am truly thankful for meeting her through the Centennial Trek,” e-mailed Sharp, who is now a certified personal trainer and teaches fitness classes at the Harbor House Fitness Center in Southwest Harbor.

acadia centennial

Be part of history by joining the first-ever 100-mile virtual Acadia Centennial Trek, sponsored by Acadia on My Mind and hosted by Racery.com. You will have the option of buying a finisher’s medal to help raise funds for the park. You have until Dec. 31 to complete the free virtual race.

You won’t find a definition of trail magic in the dictionary. But for those who’ve done Acadia hiking trails, the Appalachian Trail or any other walking path, you know trail magic when you experience it.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy calls trail magic “an unexpected act of kindness” that’s part of the AT experience for long-distance hikers. But the term has been used by many to refer to any unexpectedly wonderful thing happening on the trails, for day hikers or thru-hikers.

What trail magic have you experienced on Acadia hiking trails, or during the virtual Acadia Centennial Trek? Let us know in a comment below, or on the About us page.

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Acadia virtual race draws global field of runners, hikers

Sidelined by pneumonia for a few weeks, Jennifer VanDongen of Bar Harbor was behind in training for her 4th Boston Marathon. Then came the first-ever 100-mile virtual Acadia Centennial Trek, launched last month to celebrate the park’s 100th anniversary.

acadia virtual race

Jennifer VanDongen of Bar Harbor set a course record in finishing the virtual 100-mile Acadia Centennial Trek in 8 days. She ran or hiked most of the miles in Acadia, some of them with her daughters, but here she’s seen completing 13.1 of the miles at the Lamoine Half Marathon on March 5. (Photo by Bob Carroll, courtesy of Jennifer VanDongen)

“This Trek was a great motivator!” said VanDongen, outdoor track coach for Mount Desert Island High School. “I completed my daily run, then would go back out and log some miles hiking, sometimes with my daughters.” VanDongen, whose Trek name is @jennvan, crossed the Acadia virtual race finish line first, in just 8 days, logging most of her 100 miles running and hiking in Acadia, and watching her position on an online map of the Trek get updated instantly with each day’s entries.

Across the country, on the other side of the Atlantic, and from one end of Maine to the other, 153 participants have signed up so far for the free year-long Acadia virtual race. They’re logging miles by hiking, step-counting, running, biking, cross-country skiing, walking their dog, doing yoga or other workouts, whether they’re on Mount Desert Island, in Fairfield or Mars Hill, Maine, or in far-flung locations in California, Oregon, Hawaii, the United Kingdom or Denmark.

Sponsored by Acadia on My Mind as part of its Acadia Centennial Partner commitment, and hosted on Racery.com, the race helps celebrate the park’s 100th throughout the year. The virtual 100-mile route begins on Cadillac, goes over the park’s 26 peaks on MDI and along sections of the Park Loop Road, carriage roads, MDI YMCA’s Acadia and Fall Half Marathons, and ends at the real-life finish line of the MDI Marathon and Half Marathon.

There’s an optional finisher’s medal featuring the Acadia Centennial logo that will be available for purchase, to help raise funds for the park. And there’s an online guide to the virtual miles, with links to Google Maps photos and other resources that can let participants visualize where they are in the park as they pass each milestone in the Acadia virtual race.

acadia virtual race

A teacher at Lawrence Junior High in Fairfield, Maine, Marc Maheu can’t wait to hike the trails of Acadia this summer, so he signed up for the Acadia Centennial Trek to keep the park on his mind while he step-counted, rode an exercise bike and did other workouts during the off-season. He’s seen hiking the Jordan Cliffs Trail here last year. (Photo courtesy of Marc Maheu)

Some Trek participants have joined as a way to achieve their fitness goals, whether it’s training for marathons or starting a walking program. Others are inviting family, friends and co-workers as a new way to interact. Yet others are doing it to keep Acadia on their mind, wherever they may be, and whether they’ve ever set foot in the park or not.

“I make several trips to Acadia every summer to hike and bike some of the best trails I’ve ever had the pleasure to enjoy,” said Marc Maheu, a teacher at Lawrence Junior High in Fairfield, Maine, who finished the virtual 100-mile Acadia route in 2nd place, just 1 day behind @jennvan. “Since I’m almost 2 hours away, and school is still in session, I did all my miles virtually,” said Maheu, who logged his miles step-counting, biking and doing other workouts. Maheu, whose Trek name is @MNM, even invited a co-worker to join the Trek with him, and has continued to log his miles virtually on a personal “My Trek” on Racery.com, and is already up to 191 miles. Continue reading

Off to the races! Strong start to 100-mile Acadia virtual race

virtual races

First day of the inaugural 100-mile Acadia Centennial Trek is in the record books. Join in any time; you have until the end of the year to finish the virtual race.

The first-ever Acadia Centennial Trek, a free virtual 100-mile race to help celebrate Acadia’s 100th anniversary, jumped into action on the Leap Day of Feb. 29, with dozens of participants strong out of the gate.

Beginning at sunrise, at the virtual top of Cadillac, @Mac (as represented by HM on the map) did an 11.4 mile run, ending just shy of Gorham Mountain. Never participated in a virtual race?

acadia centennial

Be part of history by joining the first-ever 100-mile virtual Acadia Centennial Trek, and have the option of buying a finisher’s medal to help raise funds for the park.

Not to be outdone, more than 30 other of the approximately 80 participants logged their miles, stretching out the icons down Cadillac Mountain Road, along the 1-way Park Loop Road, past Sand Beach and Precipice, all over the virtual map.

Participants all over the world have all year to join the race, log their 100 virtual miles in Acadia National Park, covering all 26 peaks of Acadia on Mount Desert Island, sections of the real routes of the MDI YMCA’s Acadia and Fall Half Marathons, and ending at the finishing line for the real MDI Marathon.

There’s the option to purchase a finisher’s medal, featuring the Acadia Centennial logo (details to come), to help raise funds for the park, part of our Acadia Centennial Partner commitment. Continue reading

Ready, set, go! First ever of Acadia virtual races about to start

UPDATE 5/20/2016: Optional finisher’s medal to help raise funds for Acadia now available for purchase.

UPDATE 2/29/2016: New Acadia Centennial Trek page to serve as online guide to virtual 100-mile route, including mileage marker links to Google Maps views, other resources

On your marks! The starting pistol is about to go off for the first-ever Acadia Centennial Trek, a free virtual race that begins at the top of Cadillac and takes you 100 miles over mountains, on carriage roads, and along parts of the Mount Desert Island Marathon and Acadia Half Marathon.

acadia centennial trek

The virtual 100-mile Acadia Centennial Trek begins at the top of Cadillac; goes over sections of the Park Loop Road, carriage roads, and MDI YMCA’s Acadia and Fall Half Marathons; and ends at the finish line for the MDI Marathon. Each racer’s icon moves along the map with miles logged.

Whether you run, hike, walk or step-count your miles, and no matter where in the world you are, your position on the map of Acadia and MDI will move along as you log your distance. Only about a dozen more participants need to register for what might just be the first of many Acadia virtual races, before this year-long event goes live.

The Acadia Centennial Trek, part of our Acadia Centennial Partner commitment, is a special way to celebrate Acadia’s 100th anniversary, share about the park and local races and places, get more fit and encourage others. And it’s a way to keep Acadia on your mind, whether you live nearby or halfway across the world, whether you’re a perennial visitor or have yet to set foot in the park. There will also be the chance to purchase a finisher’s medal to help support the park.

ultramarathon

Christa Brey, the first to sign up for the Acadia Centennial Trek, is all smiles while running the 24-hour Croatan Ultramarathon in North Carolina in November 2015. (Photo courtesy Christa Brey)

The first person to sign up is Christa Brey of Lamoine, who works in the marketing department of Jackson Laboratory. She’s already invited a couple of friends to join her in the virtual race. Her map icon will be “CB,” and her runner’s handle, @Christa.

“I will be running and hiking. I run (a lot) in Acadia,” Brey says in an e-mail of how she’ll log her miles. A member of Crow Athletics, which sponsors the MDI Marathon, and a veteran of races real and virtual, Brey says virtual races are a “fun way to be involved from afar.”

It’s already starting to feel like a virtual Acadia running and hiking community. Thanks for being the first to join, @Christa! Continue reading

Join virtual Acadia Centennial Trek to celebrate, help park

UPDATE 5/20/2016: Acadia Centennial Trek Medal now available for purchase, to help raise funds for the park

UPDATE 2/29/2016: New Acadia Centennial Trek page to serve as online guide to virtual 100-mile route, including mileage marker links to Google Maps views, other resources

Have you ever daydreamed about hiking all of Acadia’s 26 peaks, or walking the Park Loop Road or carriage roads, but you’re short on time or out of shape? Or maybe you’re in training for the Mount Desert Island Marathon or Acadia Half Marathon, and imagining the race route?

acadia centennial

Be part of history by joining the first-ever 100-mile virtual Acadia Centennial Trek, and have the option of buying a finisher’s medal to help raise funds for the park.

Well, your dreams can now become a virtual reality, during Acadia’s 100th anniversary year.

Join the inaugural 100-mile virtual Acadia Centennial Trek, which starts at the top of Cadillac; goes over the 26 peaks of Acadia on MDI, along sections of the Park Loop Road, carriage roads and MDI YMCA’s routes for the Acadia and Fall Half Marathons; and ends at the finish line of the MDI Marathon.

It’s a free race hosted by us, as part of our Acadia Centennial Partner commitment, to inspire people to think about our favorite national park throughout this 100th year, whether or not they’ve ever set foot in Acadia. It’s a chance to motivate us all to become more fit, think of the broader meaning of community, and ponder what Acadia does for us, and what we can do for Acadia.

Plus there’s the option to buy a finisher’s medal with the official Centennial logo, to help raise funds for the park. You can run for bling while running for Acadia!

Acadia Centennial

Optional finisher’s medal will feature Centennial logo

Sign-up for the race begins today, Feb. 26 (one of Acadia’s “three birthdays,” marking the date that Sieur de Monts National Monument became Lafayette National Park, 1919). And once at least 50 people have signed up, the race begins. You can run, hike, walk or step-count anywhere in the world, and you have through the end of the year to complete the route and log your miles.

If you prefer to bike, or you’re a wheelchair racer, all are welcome! Since biking 100 miles goes a lot faster than walking, hiking or running, pick your own handicap, whether 10 miles biking equates to 1 mile on the virtual route, or some other ratio you think is fair.

And if you’re already as fit as Gary Allen, the founder and director of the MDI Marathon, or an ultramarathoner in training, perhaps it should also be 10 miles to 1 – or maybe 26.2 miles to 1.

As virtual race director, we get to make the rules – but you get to bend them!

acadia centennial trek

The virtual Acadia Centennial Trek begins at the top of Cadillac, goes over sections of the Park Loop Road and carriage roads, and along parts of the routes of MDI YMCA’s Acadia and Fall Half Marathons, and ends at the finish line for the MDI Marathon, at exactly 100 miles.

Continue reading