Tag Archives: friends-of-acadia

For Acadia Centennial, here’s a picture a day for 100 days

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a picture of Acadia a day for 100 days is worth 100,000 words – or maybe 1 million, since we are talking about Acadia National Park.

Centennial logo for Acadia National Park

The official Acadia Centennial logo

Happy 100th Birthday Acadia! We celebrate all the hard work and dedication that led to its founding 100 years ago as Sieur de Monts National Monument on July 8. We appreciate all the efforts today and into the future of those who help to preserve this special place, especially during this Acadia Centennial year.

At the Friends of Acadia annual meeting today at the Bar Harbor Club, big news is expected to be announced to mark the Acadia Centennial. It’s part of the year-long celebration that has included more than 400 Acadia Centennial Partners coming together, including Acadia on My Mind, to plan hundreds of events and help raise funds for the park.

While we won’t be there for that official Centennial celebration, we’ll be commemorating the occasion in our own small way. We’ll hike a trail in Acadia, and get our Passport to the Parks(R) stamped with an Acadia Centennial stamp by our favorite Acadia ranger.

acadia centennial

We’ll be getting this stamp in our Passport(R) to Your National Parks from our favorite Acadia Ranger on the actual day of Acadia’s 100th. (Image courtesy Eastern National)

We’ll be  working on our Acadia Centennial Partnership projects, like the free year-long virtual 100-mile Acadia Centennial Trek, to celebrate the park and help raise funds for it with an optional finisher’s medal.

Years into the future, we will remember what we were doing on July 8, 2016, the day of the Acadia Centennial. If you don’t happen to be visiting Acadia today or at any other time this year, may this one-a-day-photo-of-Acadia project be our way of sharing this special place with you. We’re not professional photographers, but thankfully Acadia’s beauty makes the picture.

Once we’ve got at least 10 photos up, we’ll start putting them into a slideshow, to make it easier to see the complete album. Bookmark this post to check back on the Acadia Centennial photo album.

We’ll also be posting each new photo on our Facebook page. And feel free to share your own favorite photos of Acadia on our Facebook page as well. Many of these photos have been featured in our Hiking Acadia National Park guide published by Falcon.

Happy 100th Birthday, Acadia!

Acadia slideshow – 100 photos, 1 a day – click on last dot to see latest

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Meaning of the Trek, in the year of the Acadia Centennial

Roger and Julie Grindle of Hancock joined a virtual 100-mile Acadia Centennial Trek at the perfect time, with Roger having just retired, and the both of them wanting to walk more to stay fit. They just completed their 100th mile on Ocean Path last week and have the finisher’s medal to prove it.

acadia centennial

Julie and Roger Grindle of Hancock at the finish line of their 100-mile Acadia Centennial Trek. (Photo courtesy of Julie Grindle)

Bob and Helena Herrmann of Bowie, Md., are into their 2nd and 3rd rounds of the Acadia Centennial Trek, logging their miles in their home state. When they see their map icon move along the virtual route, from the top of Cadillac and along the hiking trails and roads of Acadia, it makes them long for the next trip to their favorite park.

Cookie Horner, co-chair of the Acadia Centennial Task Force, and her husband, William, plan a personal real-life Acadia trek of 100 miles, up and over the 26 peaks of Mount Desert Island, and along the park’s carriage roads, to deepen their appreciation of the park even more, although they may not necessarily plot their mileage on the virtual map as the Grindles and Herrmanns have.


Some of the attendees at the first-ever Acadia Centennial Trek meet-up at Side Street Cafe in Bar Harbor.

These and other stories, shared on the occasion of the first-ever Acadia Centennial Trek meet-up last week at Side Street Café in Bar Harbor, show the many meanings of the Trek, no matter who’s doing it, where they’re doing it, and how they’re doing it.

The free year-long Trek, sponsored by this blog as an official Acadia Centennial event, and hosted by Racery.com, offers an optional Acadia Centennial finisher’s medal for purchase. Made by Ashworth Awards, the same company that has made the finisher’s medal for the Boston Marathon and the MDI Marathon, the medal helps raise funds for the park.

Nearly 250 people have signed up for the virtual Trek so far, from marathoners in Scotland to runners in last weekend’s Acadia Half Marathon and this weekend’s Ellsworth Public Library’s My Way 5k, from walkers in Maine and Maryland to park rangers and Friends of Acadia volunteers. Even Racery.com CEO Henry Copeland (Trek name @hc) and Bar Harbor naturalist Rich MacDonald (Trek name @MDIbirdnerd) have joined in on the fun. 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.


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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Cookie Horner: A circle of caring, from Acadia to MDI youth

One in a series of Acadia Centennial features

Throughout her life, Nina “Cookie” Horner has been about caring – first, as a young girl, for Acadia National Park; then, as a nurse at the local hospital and high school, for a generation of youngsters born and raised on Mount Desert Island, until her retirement.

cookie horner

The love for Acadia National Park is an all-season family affair for Cookie Horner, center, and granddaughters Ellie McGee, 16, left, and Helena Munson, 18, right. They’re seen here cross-country skiing in January on the Upper Hadlock Loop of the carriage roads. (Photo courtesy of Cookie Horner)

Now, as co-chair of the Acadia Centennial Task Force, she’s come full circle, helping to celebrate the past of the place she’s cared for so much, and inspire new generations with the same passion.

The task force, which Horner co-chairs with Jack Russell, has already approved more than 300 Acadia Centennial Partners, from big organizations like L.L. Bean and Maine Public Broadcasting Network, to individual artists and local businesses, to partake in and support the year-long celebration of the park’s 100th.

And nearly 100 events have been posted on the Centennial calendar, big events like the Somes Sound Windjammer Parade on Aug. 2 and the 10-day Acadia Winter Festival that starts Feb. 26, to intimate ones like the One Park – One Read, a series of reading sessions for children and adults at local libraries this winter.

“There’s been an incredible outpouring of support for Acadia,” says Horner. The Centennial also presents opportunities for local residents to show “community pride in this beautiful place,” and for visitors to “discover something new.” Continue reading

Year of celebrating joyously with Acadia Centennial events

Acadia National Park’s 100th year has barely dawned, and already, more than 70 Acadia Centennial events are filling up the official calendar, featuring something for every month, and involving some of the more than 250 Centennial partners.

Centennial logo for Acadia National Park

The official Acadia Centennial logo

This week, a couple of Acadia Senior College courses begin: On Tuesday, Jan. 12, an 8-week series on the history of Acadia National Park, by Acadia Centennial Task Force co-chair Jack Russell; and on Wednesday, Jan. 13, a 6-week session on the geology of Mount Desert Island, by geologist Duane Braun.

Rounding out the Acadia Centennial events this month: A Jan. 23 Ellsworth Public Library presentation on Schoodic Point, by author Allen Workman; a Jan. 25 bean supper and Centennial kick-off event by the Mount Desert Island Historical Society; and a 1-week winter-in-Acadia photography retreat beginning Jan. 31, by photographer Colleen Miniuk-Sperry.

Among the other Acadia Centennial event highlights throughout the year, with some sure to fit into your plans and appeal to your interests:

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2016 Acadia Centennial makes for special holiday gift ideas

For the Acadia National Park fan on your list, or for a year-end charitable donation, the 2016 Acadia Centennial offers a once-in-a-century set of holiday gift ideas.

Acadia Centennial

This Acadia Centennial calendar, by ranger naturalist Bob Thayer, can be purchased directly through his photography Web site, at local businesses such as Sherman’s, or online at eParks(R). At least 5% of gross proceeds will go to Centennial efforts and other Acadia projects. (Image courtesy of Bob Thayer)

How about an official Acadia Centennial calendar, fleece blanket, magnet, embroidered patch or baseball cap? A 0.75L Camelbak bottle to commemorate the 100th anniversary? A handcrafted glazed stoneware mug? A stemless wine glass? A massage for the outdoor enthusiast on your list?

These and other items are produced or sold by official Acadia Centennial partners, who’ve promised to donate at least 5% of gross proceeds to support Centennial projects and other Acadia National Park efforts. A central list of products and services is on the Acadia Centennial Partners Web site, which provides links to where you can make purchases, whether through a local business or online. Not all officially sanctioned products or services may be on that site yet.

Or perhaps you’d rather make a potentially tax-deductible gift to benefit Acadia in the name of family members or friends, as your way of marking the Acadia Centennial? Here are some ways to do that:

Centennial logo for Acadia National Park

The official Acadia Centennial logo

  • Gift membership to Friends of Acadia – On Giving Tuesday, Dec. 1, the nonprofit world’s counterpoint to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the Friends of Acadia hopes to add 100 new members. By giving a gift membership, you would not only help the nonprofit reach its 100-new-member goal, you’d also provide a year’s worth of membership benefits to a family member or friend, including a subscription to the Friends of Acadia Journal, six note cards depicting Acadia at night, and a window decal. A bargain with membership starting at $40.
  • A tribute gift to Friends of Acadia or Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park – Not limited to the holidays, such a gift can commemorate a birthday, anniversary or any other special occasion. Such a gift to the Friends of Acadia would be recognized in the Friends of Acadia Journal. The Schoodic Institute, which provides environmental research and education and such citizen science programs as HawkWatch, can notify the person you’re honoring with the gift.

Want more Centennial gift-giving options? 2016 is also the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, opening up other holiday gift ideas. Continue reading

Spring blossoms, rhodora inspires, in Acadia National Park

For Jill Weber, consulting botanist for Acadia National Park, the flowers of spring bring a feast for the senses, and a desire to share the experience.

“One of the first plants that say spring is beaked hazelnut,” said Weber, with flowers that are “exquisite, magenta, threadlike structures that must be seen to be believed. Soon after we get mayflowers.”

rhodora in Acadia National Park

Rhodora along the Dorr North Ridge Trail.

Then there’s the rhodora, the occasional mountain sandwort, carpets of bluets, violets both white and blue, starflowers and pink Lady’s-slipper, to name just some. It’s late May, early June and the mountaintops and lowlands of Acadia National Park are brimming with spring flowers.

Of all the spring blossoms of Acadia, perhaps none are as adored as the rhodora.

“Its bloom time demands a hike up Dorr Mountain for a view of Great Meadow,” said Weber by e-mail, when asked by Acadia on My Mind to name the flowers that most mean spring for her. “The rhodora in the middle of the peatland forms a mosaic of colors with the unfurling leaves of each tree species providing a unique signature. It is a Monet painting come to life!”

Not only have scientists like Weber been inspired by the purple and pink rhodora, so have writers, photographers, Rusticators of the late 1800s and early 1900s, and even the first park superintendent, George B. Dorr, and his staff.


Local photographer Vincent Lawrence captures the mass of rhodora pink along Great Meadow, with the spring green of Huguenot Head and Champlain as backdrop. He even has a blog post all about rhodora on his photography workshop Web site, entitled “Meet Rhodora”. (Photo courtesy of Acadia Images)

Perhaps it’s the profusion of color, the delicate flowers that last only a week or two, or that they grow in such different habitats as the peatland of Great Meadow and the seemingly barren summits of Dorr, Cadillac and Sargent Mountains, that make rhodora such a standout.

The flower can be found in bloom in the Wild Gardens of Acadia at the Sieur de Monts Spring area of the park, as well as along the Cadillac Summit Loop, Dorr North Ridge Trail and elsewhere, as we found this past week during hikes throughout the park. Continue reading

New edition of Best Easy Day Hikes, Acadia National Park

UPDATE 4/3/15: Just learned of a way you can get a copy of “Best Easy Day Hikes, Acadia National Park” for free – by joining the American Hiking Society​ at the family level. FalconGuides, publisher of the guide, is one of AHS’s partners in its Families on Foot initiative, to encourage families, particularly those with kids, to hike.

Officially published today, April 1, and Amazon.com is already selling our new third edition fast! Only 15 copies of “Best Easy Day Hikes, Acadia National Park” in stock as of this morning, and more will be on the way.

(See sidebar for note about Amazon.com links in this blog. The book is also available for purchase online at www.barnesandnoble.com and elsewhere. And it should also be available in Bar Harbor at Sherman’s Bookstore and at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center when it opens up for the season.)

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New Year’s resolutions with an Acadia National Park twist

So you didn’t hike up Cadillac Mountain to catch the first US sunrise of 2015? Don’t worry, there are plenty of other New Year’s resolutions with an Acadia National Park angle, and many more days left in the year to accomplish them.

Cadillac Mountain double rainbow

If getting fit is one of your New Year’s resolutions, consider hiking up Cadillac Mountain rather than driving up it. You may see a double rainbow, even if you didn’t catch the first US sunrise of 2015.

Whether you resolve to get fit, give back, spend quality time with family, or cross something off your bucket list, we’ve rounded up some Acadia themes to motivate you for the New Year.

Get fit

Hike Acadia’s trails or peaks – Maybe you’re not as obsessed as Darron Collins, president of the College of the Atlantic, who recently tweeted a graphic showing he’d hiked Acadia’s peaks a total of 250 times, covering 1,000 miles, as part of his 2014 New Year’s resolutions. The tweet was then shared by Chimani, the hiking app, on its Facebook page.

Acadia National Park collectible patch

If you want to mark your peakbagging, consider this patch from the Hulls Cove Visitor Center bookstore. We’ll be adding this to our daypack, to go along with patches from climbing the 150+ highest Northeast peaks, from Washington to Katahdin, Marcy to Mansfield.

Or maybe you’re not as goal-oriented in your hiking as we are, having scaled not only all of Acadia’s summits, but also the Northeast’s highest mountains, with framed certificates on display and peakbagging patches on our daypack to mark the feats.

However you want to incorporate hiking into your 2015 fitness goals, or however you want to mark the accomplishment, there’s an Acadia theme to get you going.

Want to climb mountains? The park service used to have a prominent list of 26 peaks of Acadia on its Web site; we saw it most recently at the Cadillac summit gift shop and have memorialized it on a blog page, The 26 peaks of Acadia National Park. As a College of the Atlantic fundraiser in 2012, Collins and others hiked what they called 28 peaks in 24 hours.

Want to hike easy or moderate trails? Out of the more than 120 miles of hiking trails, there are plenty that fit that bill, as we document in our book, “Best Easy Day Hikes, Acadia National Park,” see link to it on Amazon.com in the sidebar. The more difficult trails, including cliff climbs, are in “Hiking Acadia National Park,” link also in the sidebar. Continue reading

The gift of Acadia National Park for the holidays

For the fan of Acadia National Park on your holiday shopping list: How about a membership to Friends of Acadia; a purchase from eParks®, The Official Online Store of America’s National Parks®; an annual park pass; or any number of other Acadia- or national-park-themed gifts?

Acadia National Park annual pass

Acadia National Park annual pass is $20, half off this year’s price, if purchased in December. The pass, good for 12 months from date of purchase, is proposed to go to $50 in 2015. (NPS photo)

There’s no need to fight the crowds at a shopping mall with any of these ideas for the holidays, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. Plus you get the convenience of our doing some of the legwork for you with our research and links, and the satisfaction of knowing that some of your purchases may help support the park, certain non-profits and area businesses.

Here are gift ideas broken down by category:

Support the park directly or indirectly
Annual Acadia National Park pass – If you buy the pass in December, the cost is $20, or half off this year’s price. The discounted annual pass is available at the park headquarters and winter visitor center on Eagle Lake Road, open daily in December from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The discounted pass is also available Friday Dec. 5 at the Village Green park information center, during the Bar Harbor Midnight Madness Sale, from 8 p.m. until midnight. The fee for the annual pass is proposed to go up to $50 in 2015, while the 7-day pass is proposed to increase from $20 to $25. A public meeting to discuss these and other proposed fee increases, the first since 2004, was held Nov. 12. The park is taking public comments on the proposed fee increases via e-mail or US mail through Dec. 8. The increased revenue would allow the park to enhance services for the upcoming Acadia Centennial in 2016, according to the park service.

Acadia magnet

Part of the America’s National Park Series, this comes as either a pin or a magnet in this design, at eParks(R). See holiday sale details in sidebar. (Photo courtesy of eParks(R))

Shop at eParks® – The online store for Eastern National, a nonprofit founded by park rangers to help support national parks, is offering special holiday discounts of 25% to 35%, plus free shipping on orders of $25 and up. Eastern National runs the bookstore at the seasonal Hulls Cove Visitor Center at Acadia, and also offers a virtual Acadia shop at eParks®. See sale details and links to eParks® in the sidebar and throughout this blog post. eParks® is an affiliated partner of Acadia on My Mind. A certain percentage of some purchases made via click-throughs from this Web site helps cover costs of this blog, but prices are no more than if you went directly to eParks®, and possibly less with special affiliated partner codes. Since 1947, Eastern National has donated more than $107 million to national parks and other federal sites, from Maine to South Dakota.

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Taking pride in being volunteers of Acadia National Park

Neither rain nor temperatures in the 40s could keep hundreds of volunteers from fanning across Acadia National Park’s carriage roads Saturday, to rake leaves and clear drainage ditches, and help protect against winter’s erosion.

Take Pride in Acadia Day

Some of the hundreds of volunteers during a sunnier Take Pride in Acadia Day in 2011. (NPS Photo / D.R. Hunt)

A rite of fall for 23 years, the Friends of Acadia’s Take Pride in Acadia Day is considered one of the most important volunteer efforts in the Maine national park, held the first Saturday every November. By preventing the damage of freeze-thaw cycles, the effort helps maintain the park’s iconic carriage roads for the enjoyment of bikers, walkers, joggers and riders on horse-drawn carriages.

The reward for the volunteers: Pride in a job well done; a traditional “CCC meal” of chili, cornbread and cider (plus a fourth “C” of cake), in a nod to the Civilian Conservation Corps that helped build the carriage roads during the Great Depression; and perhaps a fifth “C” of camaraderie.

America the Beautiful Volunteer Pass

After 250 hours of cumulative volunteer time in Acadia, you can get an America the Beautiful Volunteer Pass that gives you free admission to the park and other federal recreation land for 12 months.

If you missed this year’s Take Pride in Acadia Day, there are plenty of other chances to volunteer in Acadia National Park, and help care for a park that brings joy to more than 2 million visitors a year.

Among some of the rewards of these other volunteer opportunities, beyond the satisfaction of giving back: A free 12-month “America the Beautiful Volunteer Pass” to the park and other federal recreation lands, if you donate a cumulative 250 hours of time; the right to be a “VIP” (Volunteers in Parks) and wear a special patch, if you’ve applied for one of the formal volunteer programs; or a free 2- to 4-week stay in housing on the Schoodic Education and Research Center campus, if you are accepted as an Artist-in-Residence and offer public programs in your particular art form. Continue reading

Acadia National Park to hold hearing on Otter Creek trails

UPDATE Sept. 16: Since the original public hearing notice, Acadia National Park expanded the agenda to include update on the boat launch in the inner cove, and use and access to the outer cove fish house, as shared by Otter Creek Hall’s Facebook page.

Here’s the original story:

As part of a grand design to connect villages to Acadia National Park via footpath, two old Otter Creek trails slated for upgrading could be a boon for residents, campers and hikers, and may also address some of the long-standing tension between community and park.

Acadia officials will air the proposal to improve the trails at a hearing on Sept. 16, 6 p.m. at Otter Creek Hall, 82 Otter Creek Drive. Also likely to be discussed: The state of Otter Creek-park relations, which at times have been strained.

Otter Cove

Otter Creek residents hope to get improved trail access to Otter Cove.

The historic trails, long used by residents, would be rehabilitated and better marked, and would allow residents and visitors to walk from the village of Otter Creek, to newly opened park trails that connect to Gorham Mountain, Otter Cove and Blackwoods Campground.

The network of trails would create many long day-hiking opportunities, limited only by one’s imagination, map, or guidebook.

And it may also help ease some of the old conflicts between the park and the Otter Creek community, which was cut off from the waterfront after John D. Rockefeller Jr. bought land along Otter Cove in the 1930s, as part of his vision for the park. Continue reading

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell shares agenda, personal notes at Acadia National Park

It didn’t receive a lot of attention, but U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell revealed some nuggets about her agenda for National Parks — and her personal life – during a sweeping speech at Acadia National Park.

US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell

US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. Department of the Interior photo.

In her remarks at the Schoodic Education and Research Center on Aug. 15, Jewell touched on a wide range of topics, including the challenges of stingy federal spending on parks, the need to start preparing a new generation of potential rangers and other National Park personnel, the scary effects of global warming on federal lands and the important role of the parks as science classrooms for youths.

Jewell, 58, the former CEO of REI, a national outdoor retail company, started on a personal note.

She said that her visit to Acadia National Park on Friday brought back memories of the first time she traveled to the Maine park 37 years ago. Continue reading