Tag Archives: schoodic-peninsula

Acadia’s Island Explorer carries record 503,000 passengers

Acadia National Park and supporters appear to be succeeding in their campaign to persuade visitors to leave behind their cars when they enter the park.

Island Explorer bus in Acadia National Park

While the Island Explorer bus is fare-free, be sure to get an Acadia National Park visitor pass to help support that and other park services. (NPS photo)

According to new federal statistics, the Island Explorer, the park’s fare-free shuttle system, carried a record 503,224 passengers in 2014. It was the first time the system cracked 500,000 passengers for its estimated 3.5-month season of operation.

“The bus ridership was way up this year,” said Stuart West, chief ranger for Acadia National Park, in an e-mail. He referred questions about Island Explorer numbers to Paul Murphy, general manager for Downeast Transportation, Inc., which runs the Acadia bus shuttle.

The numbers for the bus system came as the Maine national park is on pace to attract about 2.7 million visitors this calendar year, the most in nearly 20 years, the federal statistics said.

The bus passenger statistics, made available on Tuesday on a National Park Service web site, show that passengers on the shuttle system increased by about 15 percent from 438,737 in 2012.

Island Explorer operates from late June through Columbus Day. The propane-powered buses have run since 1999, or 16 years, carrying 141,000 riders the first year. Continue reading

Photographer QT Luong puts focus on Acadia National Park

The grandeur of America’s national parks so inspired QT Luong, he quit a career in computer science, and embarked on a decades-long project to photograph all 59 parks, from Acadia National Park to Zion.

QT Luong and Acadia National Park fall foliage

One of QT Luong’s most popular Acadia National Park images is of what he calls “some of the most beautiful fall foliage on the East Coast.” (Photo by QT Luong/terragalleria.com all rights reserved)

Like Ansel Adams before him, Luong has lugged his heavy large-format camera to some of the wildest and most scenic spots in the country, at times carrying a 70-pound backpack, scaling cliffs or kayaking through frigid waters.

And long before Ken Burns featured him in “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” in 2009, as the first person to have photographed all the parks in large format, Luong has been sharing his finely detailed photographs on his Web site.

With photography, Luong tells us, he aims to “convey my feelings of wonder and passion, to inspire people to go and seek the experiences that I had.”

QT Luong at work

QT Luong with his large-format camera. (Photo by Buddy Squires, courtesy of QT Luong/terragalleria.com all rights reserved)

In Acadia, he finds wonder not in the immensity of the scenery, as in Yosemite, his sentimental favorite. Rather, Luong writes us in an e-mail, “I always find the compactness of the park remarkable, that you can find such a variety of landscapes in such a small area.”

Among his favorite landscapes from the variety that is Acadia: The pink granite along Ocean Drive; the fall colors on top of Cadillac; the rugged coastline of Isle au Haut; and sunset skies over Jordan Pond, as seen from the top of North Bubble.

The park’s beauty lends itself well to large-format photographs because they “have such fine resolution that the prints show details that are usually lost to the human eye,” says Luong. “Acadia’s landscapes have a tremendous amount of texture, down to the single leaf, which are best revealed by this approach.” 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

Sally Jewell to boost youth program at Acadia National Park

A youth program at Acadia National Park will receive a boost during a visit by Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis.

Jewell and Jarvis will speak during an event at 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 15 at the Schoodic Education and Research Center.

Blueberry Hill on the Schoodic Peninsula in Acadia National Park

Blueberry Hill offers fine ocean views from the Schoodic Peninsula in Acadia National Park.

It will be the first visit to Acadia National Park by Jewell in her official capacity as Interior secretary, a spokeswoman said.

Jewell and Jarvis will promote a program between the park service and the Schoodic Institute involving youth and science research, according to a release by Acadia National Park. Continue reading

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to speak at Acadia National Park

UPDATE: Emily Beyer, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of the Interior, confirmed that Sally Jewell will be making her first visit to Acadia National Park as secretary. In an e-mail, Beyer said to stay tuned for further details on the secretary’s upcoming visit to the park.

Here is original story:

US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis and David Rockefeller, Jr. are all scheduled to speak on Aug. 15 during a special event at the Schoodic Education and Research Center at Acadia National Park.

This is apparently the first time that Jewell will be visiting Acadia as Secretary of the Interior. She previously visited the park in October 2012 in her former role as a member of the board of trustees for the National Parks Conservation Association. A message has been left with the Department of the Interior’s press office to find out more about Jewell’s visit.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell celebrating National Park Week

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell celebrated National Park Week in 2013 with a student studying nature. Department of the Interior photo.

According to a special message from the president of the Schoodic Institute, officials at the event will be celebrating Acadia’s recent No. 1 ratings in a couple of separate polls by two giant media outlets.

“It is a testimonial to the success of superintendent Sheridan Steele, the National Park Service, and everyone who contributes to making the Acadia region such a great place to visit,” said Schoodic Institute President Mark Berry in the institute’s August newsletter. Continue reading

Artist in Residence offers lesson in Acadia National Park

Update on Wednesday, July 23:

Robert Dorlac has posted some watercolor paintings of Acadia National Park that he completed while in residence at the park.

Over the next year or two, Dorlac will add studio-made monotypes and oil paintings.

Here is original story:

With watercolors in hand, Acadia National Park Artist in Residence Robert Dorlac walks the dramatic coast looking for the right light.

Artist Robert Dorlac at Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park Artist in Residence Robert Dorlac with some of his watercolors in progress.

“I’m trying to make as honest a response to the place as I’ve experienced,” said Dorlac, 60, professor of art at Southwest Minnesota State University, in Marshall, Minn., during an interview along the shore of Schoodic Peninsula, the base for the residency program and the only section of Acadia on the mainland.

Dorlac’s two-week stay at Acadia continues a long tradition of artists responding to nature and sharing their experiences with the public. Landscape painters Thomas Cole and Frederic Church helped make Mount Desert Island famous in the mid 19th century, while writer John Muir and photographer Ansel Adams were important in revealing the beauty of the American West.

On Thursday, July 17, at 1 p.m., on Schoodic Peninsula, Dorlac is leading a two-hour sketching workshop with charcoal and colored pencil. The workshop is open and free to the public. Continue reading