Update: See new story on Schoodic Woods Campground including shower facilities offered by local businesses and extensive photo display of sites.
Bar Harbor retiree Alice Long was so excited about the new Schoodic Woods Campground in Acadia, she set up a lawn chair in front of the gate at 7 a.m. on opening day, and couldn’t wait to become the first happy camper.
Campers, hikers and bicyclists can find out more information about Schoodic Woods at this new ranger station.
“After months of waiting for the campground to open, I was thrilled to arrive there and get a tent site,” said Long in an e-mail, recalling the fun atmosphere on Sept. 1, chatting with others in line behind her, and earning a little notoriety while she was at it.
When park officials finally let her and other early-bird campers into the new Schoodic Woods Ranger Station to register, “they kept telling everyone that ‘the lady in the green chair was number one’ – from then on, that’s what everyone called me,” said Long, who is also a park volunteer.
It’s not only Long who’s excited about the opening of Schoodic Woods Campground in Acadia, which will feature 94 RV and tent sites once it’s fully completed next year, and already boasts 8.3 miles of bike paths and 4.7 miles of hiking trails for campers and day trippers.
Explore Schoodic Woods by bike or on foot.
Park officials had Long sign a dollar bill, to be framed and hung in the new ranger station. US Sen. Angus S. King, Jr., camped with his RV at site B12 after he helped cut the ribbon. And so many other campers have wanted to be part of the inaugural season at Schoodic Woods, the limited number of available RV and tent sites have been filled up on a first-come, first-served basis several nights this month already.
Other reasons Schoodic Woods has been long awaited: The land that the campground and hiking and biking trails are on had been threatened by a proposal to develop a resort with hotel, golf course, sports center and luxury villas, until a change of ownership in 2011 led to a change in fortunes, so that Schoodic Woods is now part of Acadia National Park. Plus area businesses have been looking forward to a much-needed boost to the Schoodic Peninsula economy.
The campground was made possible by an anonymous buyer who purchased the property and donated 1,400 acres south of Route 186 in 2011. The donor also paid for planning and design, construction and furnishing of the beautiful Schoodic Woods Campground, 100-seat amphitheater, ranger station and visitor center, maintenance building, multipurpose paths styled after the park’s carriage roads, new hiking trails, an underground utility line along the main road and a causeway bike lane and bridge.
Here are some of the highlights of Schoodic Woods Campground in Acadia and the area, to help you plan a camping or day trip to Schoodic Peninsula. The campground was open on a first-come, first-served basis through Columbus Day in the inaugural year. Going forward, it will be open late May through Columbus Day, with reservations recommended through www.recreation.gov.
The hiking trails and bike paths are open year-round, weather and conditions permitting, according to John Kelly, park management specialist. A 100-space day-use parking lot, a seasonal Island Explorer bus stop, and two sets of restrooms, one open in season and another open year-round, help complete the picture. Continue reading