Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island. Short description of the Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island
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Acadia's glaciated coastal and island landscape embraces towering mountains, shimmering lakes, and thick hardwood and evergreen forests. Its rich cultural history, provided by various indigenous peoples and successive waves of French and English immigrants, can be traced back 5,000 years. The Sieur de Monts Spring nature center near Bar Harbor and the Islesford Historical Museum on Little Cranberry Island explore the area's natural beauty and cultural ties. Walking trails and 45 mi of carriage roads cut through gorgeous countryside, and ranger-led programs explain the importance of the surrounding scenery. The park was proclaimed as Sieur de Monts National Monument on July 8, 1916, established as Lafayette National Park on February 26, 1919, and changed to Acadia National Park on January 19, 1929.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
Bicycling and boating (rentals in Bar Harbor, Northeast Harbor, Southwest Harbor), camping, cross-country skiing (rentals in Bar Harbor), fishing, hiking, rock climbing (permit required, see below), swimming. Facilities: Visitor center: Hulls Cove (3 mi north of Bar Harbor, off Rte. 3). Sieur de Monts Spring Nature Center (VA mi south of Bar Harbor, off Rte. 3), Islesford Historical Museum (Little Cranberry Island). Beaches, museum, guided and self-guided tours, hiking trails. Book and map sales, picnic tables with fire grills. Programs & Events: Daily ranger-guided walks, hikes, talks, demonstrations, amphitheater programs, and boat cruises (late May-mid-Oct.). Tips & Hints: Avoid touring 10-2 in summer because of crowds. Visit late May-early June for wildflowers and migrating warblers, or first half of Oct. for fall foliage and raptor migration. Basic snacks are available, and a shuttle bus runs through the park. Busiest in July and Aug., least crowded Jan. and Feb.
FOOD & LODGING
Camping: 3 campgrounds in the park: Blackwoods (Mount Desert Island; 300 sites; $20; flush toilets May-Nov., pit toilets Dec-Apr.; reservations required May-Oct.), Seawall (Mount Desert Island; 200 sites; $20; flush toilets; closed Oct.-mid-May), Isle de Haut (5 lean-tos; $25; pit toilet; closed mid-Oct.-mid-May; permit required, see below). In Bar Harbor: KOA (136 County Rd., tel. 207/288-3520; 200 sites; $30-$53; flush toilets, showers, hook-ups; closed Nov.-May). 13 Hotels: None in park. In Bar Harbor: Quality Inn (40 Kebo St., tel. 207/ 288-5403 or 800/282-5403; 77 rooms; $149-$179), Cadillac Motor Inn (336 Main St., tel. 207/288-3831; 48 rooms, 5 apts; $79-$119; closed Oct.-mid-May), Ledgelawn Inn (66 Mount Desert St., tel. 207/288-4596 or 800/274-5334; 33 rooms; $125-$275; closed mid-Oct.-Apr.). X Restaurants: In the park: Jordan Pond House Restaurant (tel. 207/ 276-3316; $9-$15; closed late Oct.-mid-May); snacks at Cadillac Mountain, Thunder Hole. In Bar Harbor: Island Chowder House (38 Cottage St., tel. 207/288-4905; $5-$15; closed Nov.-Apr.), Terrace Grill (Newport Dr., tel. 207/288-3351; $7-$21).
FEES, HOURS & REGULATIONS
Entrance fee: $10 per vehicle. Permit ($25) required to camp at Isle de Haut. Write for lean-to reservations; written forms must be received after Apr. 1. Maine fishing license ($14 for one day, $24 for three, and $37 for seven) required for freshwater fishing. Rock climbing permit (free) required for groups of 6 or more at Otter Cliff. No hunting. No pets on beaches or ladder trails, leashed pets on the rest. No trail bikes. No bikes on hiking trails. No motorized vehicles on trails; only foot traffic, strollers, and electric wheelchairs on carriage roads. Park open daily but most scenic roads close in winter. Hulls Cove Visitor Center open mid-Apr.-June and Sept.-Oct., daily 8^4:30; July-Aug., daily 8-6. Park headquarters open mid-Apr.-Oct., daily 8-4:30, Nov.-mid-Apr., weekdays 8-4:30. Visitor center moved to park headquarters Nov.-mid-Apr. Sieur de Monts Nature Center open Mar., weekends 9-5; June-Sept., daily 9-5. Islesford Historical Museum open mid-June-Sept., daily 9-3:30.
HOW TO GET THERE
3 mi north of Bar Harbor via Rte. 3. Closest airports: Trenton (12 mi), Bangor (45).
Acadia National Park (Box 177, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, tel. 207/288-3338; 800/365-2267 camping reservations; 207/ 288-3338 group camping and lean-to reservations, fax 207/288-8813, ). Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce (Box 158, Bar Harbor, ME 04609-0158, tel. 800/288-5103). Southwest Harbor-Tremont Chamber of Commerce (Box 1143, Southwest Harbor, ME 04679, tel. 800/423-9264 or 207/244-9264). Mount Desert Chamber of Commerce (Box 675, Northeast Harbor, ME 04662, tel. 207/276-5040). Acadia Information Center (Box 139, Mount Desert, ME 04660, tel. 800/358-8550 or 207/667-8550).
Acadia National Park
On Mount Desert Island, off the southeastern coast of Maine
Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, off the southeastern coast of Maine. Short description of the Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island
Established: 1916 Acreage: 39,114
Acadia National Park, located on Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine, was created to preserve the rugged beauty of the New England coastline. Its surf-splashed shores rise to the highest elevation along the Atlantic coast. Cadillac Mountain, elevation 1530 feet (466 meters) and Mount Sar-geant at 1373 feet (418 meters) are its highest points. More than 275 species of birds inhabit the park.
Abnaki Indians knew Mount Desert Island as 'the sloping land' thousands of years before the white man landed on the rugged Maine coast. In 1604 France's Samuel de Champlain made the first important contribution to the historical record of the island by naming it Mount Desert Island, after its bare and rocky mountain summits.
By the early 1800s, farming and lumbering vied with fishing and shipbuilding as major occupations, and the familiar sights of fishermen and sailors, fish racks and shipyards, revealed a way of life and a breed of people linked to the sea.
It was the outsiders —artists and journalists —who proclaimed the beauties of this area to the world in the mid-1800s. People flocked to Acadia to enjoy its scenery, undaunted by crude accommodations and simple food, and soon tourism quickly became a major industry. Affluent citizens such as the Rockefellers, Morgans, Fords, Carnegies and Vanderbilts chose to summer here.
Although the wealthy of the early twentieth century came primarily to play, they had much to do with preserving the landscape we know today. George B Dorr devoted his life and fortune to Acadia and became the park's first superintendent. John D Rockefeller Jr built 57 miles of carriage paths between 1915 and 1933 and donated more than 11,000 acres, nearly one-third of the park's area. Acadia is unique because it was neither carved out of public lands nor bought with public funds. The park was envisioned and donated through the efforts of private citizens. George Dorr offered the land to the federal government, and in 1916 President Wilson announced the creation of Sieur de Monts National Monument. Three years later it became Lafayette National Park, the first national park east of the Mississippi. In 1929, the name was changed to Acadia.
Right: The top of Cadillac Mountain—the highest point in Acadia—offers a stunning view of the rocky New England Coast.
Facing page, top: Land and sea meet at Acadia National Park, and between the sea and the forested mountains lies the tidal zone—a world brimming with life forms that a poet once mused 'belong to neither land
Previous pages: Canoers on glistening Lake Francais in La Mauricie National Park in Quebec. Canoeing is a popular activity on the park's numerous lakes.