Tag Archives: george-dorr

Jordan Stream Path one of top hikes in Acadia National Park

One in a series of historic Acadia hiking trail highlights

Jordan Stream Path is among the shortest and most overlooked hikes in Acadia National Park, but it travels to one of the park’s unusual sights – Cobblestone Bridge, which is quietly marking its own centennial this year.

acadia national park hikes

Jordan Stream Path leads to Cobblestone Bridge, which turns 100 years old this year. Hard to believe that George B. Dorr and others once found the bridge to be unattractive.

Previously badly eroded, the Jordan Stream Path looks mostly pristine, following an extensive rehabilitation overseen by Christian Barter, a park trail crew supervisor who is also the park’s poet laureate.

The stream, closely hugged by the path, seems like something out of a Robert Frost poem, with small waterfalls and rushing water, seen during one of our hikes in Acadia National Park in early July this year. The stream starts at the south end of Jordan Pond and goes all the way to Little Long Pond near Seal Harbor.

The path begins near the busy Jordan Pond House but most people appear to disregard the path and opt for the many other more prominent hikes in Acadia National Park in the same area. The path might be a good pick to get away from the crowds during the Labor Day weekend.

jordan stream path

Fine stonework on Jordan Stream Path.

Jim Linnane, a volunteer crew leader with the Friends of Acadia who hiked the path on Saturday, noted that thick spruce forests – untouched by the great fire of 1947– help keep the area private and quiet.

“Hiking the Jordan Stream trail this morning, I thought about how special it is, especially because it is so close to the mass of humanity which descends on the Jordan Pond area on a nice day like today,” Linnane wrote in an email.

“Surprisingly, after a very dry summer, the Jordan Stream still has some running water,” he wrote. “The gurgle and trickle of the stream is a welcome and wonderful interruption to the silence of the deep woods.”

The path goes for only about a half mile within park boundaries, but just outside the park, it reaches the famed Cobblestone Bridge, an appealing feature among hikes in Acadia National Park.

While Acadia’s centennial was last year, the bridge turns 100 years old this year. It’s a popular spot for horse-drawn carriages to stop, to let off visitors for a view of the bridge. Continue reading

Running pioneer has deep roots in Acadia hiking

One in a series about Acadia National Park hiking trails

Robin Emery is well known in Maine as a trailblazer and champion in women’s running, but many people may not be aware of her deep connections to Acadia National Park hiking.

acadia national park hiking

When asked to act like she owned Emery Path, Robin Emery cheerfully obliged, and kiddingly said she’s charging a small hiking fee to benefit the family.

Emery, 70, a teacher in Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School, has hiked in the park since she was a teenager, including along a namesake trail, Emery Path. Emery is so familiar with the Acadia backcountry that when asked to identify a photo of a path from virtually anywhere in the park, she can almost always correctly say where it was taken.

“I have been all over these mountains,” she said.

During a recent sunny afternoon, she paused at the sign to Emery Path, located off the Sieur de Monts Spring parking lot, before a trek from Emery to Schiff Path and to the peak of Dorr Mountain.

“If you guys want to come, it is going to be a small fee,” she joked with a couple of friends at the trailhead. “The Emery family will get the proceeds.”

She said it’s “awesome” that a trail has her name, but she did not know that it was recently returned to its historic name of Emery Path, after being known as the Dorr Mountain East Face Trail. Emery said she does not research the history of the Acadia National Park hiking trails and generally does not know their names. She just knows where they lead.

acadia national park hiking

One of Robin Emery’s favorite views, of Dorr, Cadillac and Kebo, as seen from inside her car.

The memorial path is named after John Josiah Emery, whose 1895 “cottage,” known as the Turrets, is now owned by the College of the Atlantic. But it’s unclear if there’s a long-lost family connection, according to her cousin John, the keeper of the family geneaology that dates back to 1649.

Emery moved back to Maine in 2000 to live year-round after teaching in Massachusetts for nine years and said she feels a powerful connection with the state and Mount Desert Island. On the drive to Sieur de Monts, she advises friends to “get ready” before stopping her car near the intersection of Kebo Street and the Park Loop Road and pointing to three prominent mountains framed on the horizon.

“That is my favorite view on the whole island, almost, right here. That is Dorr, Cadillac and Kebo.” Continue reading

For Women’s History Month, stories of women of Acadia

UPDATED 3/31/2017: Beatrix Farrand and other notable women of Acadia, past and present, added to blog post.

If you know a little of the history of Acadia National Park, you know who the “father of Acadia” is. But less well-known are the women who were also critical in the early days, by donating land and money or otherwise helping to shape the park.

Eliza Homans

Eliza Homans gave the first large parcel of land that would become Acadia National Park, including the Beehive and the Bowl. (NPS photo)

In celebration of Women’s History Month, observed in March, here are some of the stories of the women of Acadia, who perhaps could be called the “mothers of Acadia.”

Eliza Homans – Whether you ask Catherine Schmitt, author of the 2016 book, “Historic Acadia National Park,” or Marie C. Yarborough, Acadia’s curator and cultural resources and interpretation liaison, one of the main women of Acadia to remember and appreciate: Eliza Homans.

“Previous histories of the park made only brief mention of the first land donation, the Bowl and Beehive tract, by a ‘Mrs. Charles Homans’,” said Schmitt in an e-mail. “Her story is important in part because she was the first of many, many property owners, women and men, who donated or sold land to the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations, the predecessor of the park. Their names are memorialized in trails and monuments, but they are often absent from the perspective of popular park histories.”

And as Acadia’s Yarborough e-mailed us last month, in describing her mission to expand the cultural stories and histories of the park beyond George B. Dorr, the “father of Acadia”; the Rockefellers; the French explorers; the Civilian Conservation Corps; and the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations:

cathere schmitt

Catherine Schmitt’s “Historic Acadia National Park” includes stories of women who helped shape the park, such as Eliza Homans. (Image courtesy of Lyons Press and Catherine Schmitt; NOTE: See sidebar about Amazon.com links)

“I push to recognize that there are OTHER stories to tell at the same time, and we need to open up our narrative to tell them. Like, women in Acadia? Eliza Homans…first large gift of land to Acadia was from a woman! We never hear about the women who were working to make this place Acadia,” e-mailed Yarborough, in response to our questions for an earlier blog post, about black history in Acadia. “Oh, there are lots of stories to tell. I just need the time and space to find them.”

In May 1908, Eliza Homans gave title to the 140 acres surrounding the Beehive and the Bowl to the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations, commenting that if she didn’t donate the land for preservation, “my grandchildren may find a ‘Merry-Go-Round’ established there!”, according to Schmitt’s history and Ronald H. Epp’s 2016 biography of Dorr.

Next time you scale the Beehive, or look up at it from Sand Beach, and the next time you hike up to the mountain pond known as the Bowl, give thanks to Eliza Homans. And think of her, too, when you climb Homans Path up Dorr Mountain.

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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.

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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

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

5 lessons from Acadia for Katahdin-area monument

When National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis came to Maine this month to gauge local opposition and support for a proposed Katahdin-area national monument, he got an earful.

Millinocket Marathon & Half

Gary Allen, founder of Mount Desert Island Marathon, used this photo of Katahdin, as seen from Millinocket, on Facebook, to try to help the local economy with a Millinocket Marathon & Half in December. Outdoor recreation can bring much needed jobs and dollars. (Image courtesy of Gary Allen)

He has only to look to Acadia National Park for these 5 lessons for a Maine Woods national monument, proposed by Burt’s Bees founder Roxanne Quimby and family. They want to donate nearly 88,000 acres east of Baxter State Park, and contribute and raise a $40 million endowment.

Over the years, we’ve hiked and backpacked all through Maine, along the entire length of the Appalachian Trail in the state, and in Baxter State Park. We’ve climbed all the mountains that are 4000 feet and higher in the state, as well as the 26 coastal peaks of Acadia on Mount Desert Island. In our travels, we’ve seen how Millinocket and other paper mill towns have struggled economically. And we’ve seen the hustle and bustle of Bar Harbor and other towns that have diversified their economy to include tourism and outdoor recreation.

While the Katahdin and Acadia areas seem worlds apart, these 5 lessons apply to both. 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.

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:

Continue reading

Kurt Diederich’s Climb built in 1915 to pave way for Acadia

Another in a series of historic trail highlights leading up to the Acadia Centennial

If not for the building of Kurt Diederich’s Climb 100 years ago, there may not have been an Acadia Centennial to celebrate in 2016.

Kurt Diederich's Climb

Climb these stone steps to begin Kurt Diederich’s Climb, built 100 years ago in memory of a young man who loved these mountains of Mount Desert Island.

In the spring of 1914, George B. Dorr, the “father of Acadia,” failed in his initial attempt to get President Woodrow Wilson to create a national monument, to protect the mountains of Mount Desert Island that he and so many others loved.

The reason: Too many disconnected parcels of land, according to “Pathmakers: Cultural Landscape Report for the Historic Hiking Trail System of Mount Desert Island,” by the National Park Service’s Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation, and Acadia National Park.

That spurred a campaign by Dorr and others to connect the land, by securing donation of more acreage to fill in the gaps, and building a network of trails like Kurt Diederich’s Climb, Kane Path, Precipice Trail, Beachcroft Path and Homans Path, according to “Pathmakers.” That finally created a cohesive whole worthy of federal protection. Acadia’s beginning was secured on July 8, 1916, with President Wilson’s designation of Sieur de Monts National Monument.

kurt diederich

Kurt Diederich’s daughter Elsa, who was about 6 when her father died, is seen here along some of the many steps on Kurt Diederich’s Climb, in a photo taken circa 1920. (NPS Archives)

As Acadia’s Centennial approaches, here’s an appreciation of Kurt Diederich’s Climb, and of the driving forces that helped build and maintain it. Like with so much of Acadia’s history, the story behind Kurt Diederich’s Climb highlights the love so many people have had for Mount Desert Island over the years, and the ongoing struggle to protect the landscape.

The elaborate stone-stepped trail begins at the outlet of the Tarn, and climbs swiftly up the east face of Dorr Mountain, along hundreds of stone steps. The words “Kurt Diederich’s Climb” are carved into one of the steps at the start. A plaque with the phrase “In memory of Kurt Diederich who loved these mountains” once graced the trail, and is now held at park headquarters, according to “The Memorials of Acadia National Park,” by Donald P. Lenahan, who also writes a blog of the same name. Continue reading

New Acadia wayside exhibits mark history, seasons at park

Under sunny skies during a Labor Day weekend visit, Smriti Rao and her daughter, Nandita Karthik, 8, stopped along Acadia National Park’s Loop Road to enjoy new wayside exhibits overlooking Frenchman Bay.

Acadia wayside exhibit

Just south of Hulls Cove Visitor Center, a pullout on the Park Loop Road overlooking Frenchman Bay features this wayside exhibit, providing the history of how Mount Desert Island, Cadillac, Pemetic and Acadia got their names.

“I think they are very helpful,” Rao said on Sunday after pausing to read an exhibit titled “The French Connection,” describing the role that Samuel Champlain and others from France and elsewhere played in the history of Mount Desert Island. “It reminded me of what the French contributed.”

Her daughter, a third-grader, pointed to a section of the exhibit about the Wabanaki Indians and said it was similar to what she learned at school about Native American history.

Visitors to Acadia National Park this year, such as Smriti, Nandita and 6 others in their family up over the Labor Day weekend, may be surprised to see new roadside and other exhibits, erected in time for the park’s Centennial next year.

acadia wayside exhibit

Another wayside exhibit overlooking Frenchman Bay describes the importance of the bay throughout history and how it got its name. It identifies the Porcupine Islands, and includes photos of a birch bark canoe, a square-rigger and a cruise ship. Don’t just drive by. Stop and learn.

On Mount Desert Island, 64 new Acadia wayside exhibits were installed last fall and winter, including some that replaced exhibits dating from the 1970s and 1980s, said Lynne Dominy, chief of interpretation and education at Acadia National Park.

“Over a couple of months, suddenly everything was replaced across MDI,” she said. The exhibits can be found along the Cadillac Summit Loop and parking lot, the Jordan Pond House observation deck, the Park Loop Road and other parts of the island. 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.

rhodora

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

Partners to help celebrate Acadia National Park Centennial

From historians to artists, garden societies to museums, businesses to nonprofit agencies, more than 100 Acadia Centennial Partners have already signed on to mark Acadia National Park’s 100th anniversary in 2016, according to a new Web site launched last month.

Partners are planning events, developing Centennial-themed products for sale, or making tax-deductible donations tied to the anniversary.

Even though the planning process is early, about 1/3 of current Centennial Partners have already described their intentions on www.acadiacentennial2016.org, a project of the Acadia Centennial Task Force, made up of representatives from Acadia National Park, the non-profit Friends of Acadia, and other members of the community.

George B. Dorr and Charles W. Eliot and Acadia National Park

George B. Dorr, left, and Charles W. Eliot began the fight to preserve what became Acadia National Park through the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations. They’re pictured here along Jordan Pond. (NPS photo)

Some of the events being planned for the year-long, Maine-wide celebration so far:

  • The Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations – founded in 1901 by George B. Dorr, the “father of Acadia,” Charles W. Eliot and others, to save land that eventually became Acadia – plans to donate its last remaining land holding near the park, a parcel next to Seawall Campground. A public ceremony to mark the donation to the park, possibly combined with a reunion of trustees and descendants of trustees, is in the works.

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2014 top 5 blog posts about Acadia National Park, 2015 ideas

Since we began this blog about Acadia National Park last year, we’ve seen the top 5 posts draw thousands of Facebook likes, had visitors from more than 80 countries, and started a series of historic hiking trail highlights leading up to the Acadia Centennial.

Atlantic puffins are listed as threatened in Maine

The 2014 annual report from the Audubon Society’s Project Puffin had some good news about the seabird’s breeding success last year. (US Fish and Wildlife Service photo)

We’ve written about puffins, peregrine falcons and wild turkeys, and how pet-friendly Acadia is. We had fun carving Acadia-o-lanterns and sharing a Smokey Bear pumpkin carving pattern for Halloween. And we learned some of the stories to be told about Otter Creek and Isle au Haut, and the connection between a young Theodore Roosevelt and the trails of Mount Desert Island.

Who knew there could be so much to discover and write about Acadia National Park, even after all the times we’ve visited, miles we’ve hiked and guides we’ve written?

For 2015, we plan on adding more hike descriptions, news and features. And we may expand the blog to offer reviews or listings of products, services, restaurants and lodging that may be of interest to visitors to Acadia, Bar Harbor and surrounding communities.

Let us know if there are topics you would like us to cover, through either a comment at the bottom of this post, or in a private message in the contact form in the About us page.

Subscribe to blog to enter giveaway of autographed hiking books

Best Easy Day Hikes Acadia cover

Subscribe to blog to be eligible for free copy

To mark Acadia on My Mind’s first year, and as a thank you to subscribers to this blog, we’re giving away some autographed copies of the 2nd edition of our “Best Easy Day Hikes, Acadia National Park.” (The 3rd edition is coming out in April, but the only difference is the addition of a couple of new hikes and updated descriptions.)

If you’re already a subscriber, you’re automatically entered into the giveaway. New subscribers have until Feb. 28 to sign up (enter email address at top of sidebar). Followers of our Facebook page or followers of the blog through WordPress, bloglovin’ or any other source can also enter into the giveaway by subscribing directly to the blog by Feb. 28. Winners will be notified by email. Continue reading

Acadia National Park aided by policies of Theodore Roosevelt and FDR

Long before he was president and signed a law that later helped preserve land for Acadia National Park, Theodore Roosevelt spent some of the happiest days of his life on Mount Desert Island.

Theodore Roosevelt visited Mount Desert Island in the late 1800s

Theodore Roosevelt visited Thunder Hole and other sites before Acadia National Park was founded. (NPS photo)

After he graduated from Harvard in 1880, Roosevelt vacationed near Schooner Head on Mount Desert, partly to inspire writing of his epic “The Naval War of 1812.” Roosevelt was also drawn to the island by the landscape paintings of Mount Desert by two of his favorite artists – Frederic Church and Thomas Cole of the Hudson River School.

Roosevelt, then 22, was joined on the island that summer by two friends, Dick Saltonstall and Jack Tebbetts, and later, Alice Lee, who would become his first wife.

“He was lulled by the murmuring ocean, he picked baskets of cranberries, collected shellfish in the tidal marsh and gathered wild berries, and when Alice .. arrived, strolled ‘with my darling in the woods and on the rocky shores’,” according to “The Wilderness Warrior,” a biography of Roosevelt by Douglas Brinkley, a professor of history at Rice University in Texas who quoted from Roosevelt’s diaries.

Even though a doctor at Harvard warned Roosevelt that year that his heart was “terribly weak” and he could die young, Roosevelt rode horseback, hiked and sailed while visiting Mount Desert, Brinkley wrote. A “favorite locale” was 1,530-foot Cadillac Mountain, then called Green Mountain.

Roosevelt, and his fifth cousin, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, along with Eleanor Roosevelt – wife of FDR and niece of Theodore Roosevelt – are now being featured in “The Roosevelts: An intimate history,” a seven-part series on public television by filmmaker Ken Burns. Continue reading

Retrace George Dorr’s footsteps on the Beachcroft Path in Acadia National Park

Another in a series of historic hiking trail highlights leading up to the Acadia Centennial

Walk along the intricately laid stepping stones of Beachcroft Path, and you will find yourself walking in the footsteps of George Dorr, the “father of Acadia National Park.”

George B. Dorr is father of Acadia National Park

George B. Dorr on Beachcroft Path in Acadia National Park. National Park Service photo.

First built in the late 1800s by Dorr and the Bar Harbor Village Improvement Association, Beachcroft Path originally began at the garden-like setting of Sieur de Monts.

Construction of Maine Route 3 severed that connection, with the Beachcroft Path trailhead now across from the Tarn parking area, on the east side of Route 3.

But a garden-like series of stepping stones still brings hikers up gradually around dome-shaped Huguenot Head, as it did in the days of Dorr.

Named after the estate of the Bar Harbor summer resident who funded construction, Beachcroft Path offers views north toward Frenchman Bay, west toward Dorr Mountain, south toward the Cranberry Isles, east toward Champlain Mountain, and down to the Tarn.

Hikers today can envision how the path might have been one of Dorr’s favorites. There is an iconic photo of him in front of a distinctive large granite boulder, one foot on a smaller rock, and the stepping stones stretching behind and in front of him. Continue reading