Trails I've Hiked: Acadia National Park's South Ridge of Cadillac Mountain

Any visit to Acadia National Park should involve a walk in the woods. Whether you're just looking for a short lake-side stroll or a more demanding trek up the Precipice Trail, there are options for most visitors. Perhaps my favorite hike in the park is the 7.4-mile-long roundtrip up the South Ridge of Cadillac Mountain.

The Way We Used To Describe And Enjoy National Parks

The written word is a marvelous thing, so much more so when it's used to describe a place. In the early part of the 21st century, those employed by the Government Printing Office had a stylish way to describe national parks. Perhaps not as eloquent as some of today's finer writers, but stylish just the same.

Updated: Effort In Maine To Restrict Guns From National Park Units Falls Short of Goal

A concerted effort in Maine to draw the line on national park visitors arming themselves has fallen short of the original goal. But the measure Gov. John Baldacci signed this week will at least outlaw open carry in Acadia National Park.

Nesting Time In Acadia National Park Means Some Trail Closures

With peregrine falcons once again staking out their nesting territories in Acadia National Park, it's time for park officials to enforce some temporary trail closures to give the raptors some peace.

Cost Savings Mean the National Park Service Can Fund More Projects In the Parks

Favorable contracts on some of the major construction projects the National Park Service has funded with American Recovery and Reinvestment dollars means the agency will be able to afford more projects this year.

Return of the Peregrine Prompts Viewing Opportunities and Seasonal Closures in Several Parks

Peregrine. NPS photo.
Peregrine falcons have long fascinated humans with their beauty, speed and dramatic dives, but the birds had all but disappeared from much of North America only a few years ago. They're making a dramatic comeback, and seasonal closures of key nesting areas in several parks are both helping in that recovery and offering opportunities to see the birds.

National Park Quiz 78: Harbors

Don’t harbor any illusions; this month’s quiz is no walk in the park. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: "During the 1950s, some scientists suggested that 'instant harbors' could be created with well-placed atomic bombs."

Frogs Are A Sure Sign of Spring, But That Doesn't Mean You Won't Hear Them Now

If you want to know whether Spring is on the way, don’t look to groundhogs for the answer. Instead, listen for the frogs. Certain species of frogs, such as the wood frog, begin singing even when there is still snow on the ground.

The Dark Side of National Park Visits

When you're planning a visit to a national park, don't overlook the dark side. No, we aren't suggesting you join forces with Darth Vader, but many parks offer a great opportunity to enjoy a view that's unfortunately becoming increasingly rare—the night sky. An upcoming nationwide event and several other opportunities can help you protect and enjoy the beauty of the night.

Acadia National Park Accepting Applications for Raptor Interpretation Internship

Crowd watching peregine falcons.
Acadia National Park is one of the premier locations in the country for viewing raptors, including peregrine falcons and hawks. The park is looking for an intern to help monitor raptor activity and provide interpretation for the thousands of visitors who come to Acadia to see the birds

The Bridges of Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island

One of the glories of Acadia National Park are the carriage paths that wend their way through the forests of Mount Desert Island. And one of the wonders of those paths are the bridges that you pass under, and cross over, while exploring the paths on foot, carriage, or bike.

Summering At Acadia National Park: The Logistics

The calendar says January, but if you're planning to head to Acadia National Park this coming summer it's not too early to begin laying the groundwork for that trip.
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21 National Park System Units Nominated For "Marine Protected Area" Status

Twenty-one units of the National Park System, including five national seashores and four national lakeshores, have been nominated for status as "Marine Protected Areas."
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National Park Mystery Plant 5 Revealed: It’s the Red Baneberry

Did you identify the red baneberry as the mystery plant in yesterday’s quiz? Here are some more interesting facts about this widely-distributed plant and its toxic effects.

Reader Participation Survey: Help Us Name the Top 100 National Park Locations to See Before You Die

Earlier this week we touched on the national parks mentioned in the book, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. Somehow, Mammoth Cave National Park didn't make the cut, and if you've been there, you know it should have. Help us compile a list of the top 100 national park locations to see before you die. We'll start the list.

"1,000 Places to See Before You Die" Lists Quite a Few National Parks

When "1,000 Places to See Before You Die" was published in 2003, it quickly rose up the New York Times bestseller list. If you've managed to visit a good number of national parks since 2003, more than likely you've made some pretty good inroads on Patricia Schultz' checklist.

Federal Agency Abandons Plans to Install a Communications Tower Atop Cadillac Mountain

A Homeland Security agency's proposal to install an 80-foot communications tower on the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park was withdrawn after meeting heavy resistance.

Some Out of the Ordinary National Park Trips To Consider

For most, a national park vacation entails booking a room in a lodge or reserving a spot in a campground, arriving at the park and checking in, and then spending a number of days hiking, paddling, or traveling the park to view various sites, whether they focus on waterfalls, geysers, deep forests, museums, or cultural focal points. Here are some alternatives to that approach, some pricey, some not so.

Rediscovering the Lowly Lichen across the National Park System

Lungwort, copyright Kirby Adams
Lichens, which sprout throughout the National Park System, are the Rodney Dangerfield of the natural world. They just don’t get any respect. Lichenologists likewise don’t garner much recognition for their lifetimes spent poking around the crusty grey stuff on tree trunks. Among others, one intrepid man in California is taking steps to remedy both of those deficiencies.

Winter Camping at Acadia National Park

While most view Acadia National Park as the perfect summer destination, folks have been known to head there in the winter months. With that in mind, the park keeps the Blackwoods Campground open on a limited basis for the hardy who want to experience a different season in Acadia.

National Park Quiz 73: Birds

You don’t need to be a hard-core birdwatcher to enjoy this quiz. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: “The title of Havilah Babcock’s book ‘Jaybirds Go to Hell on Friday’ was inspired by a Negro folk tale.”

Acadia National Park Turning Back the Calendar For Historic Trail Names

What's in a name? History, frankly. And that's why crews at Acadia National Park are returning to the past in renaming many trails that crisscross the park.

A Miss is Much Better than a Mile for Hikers Rescued in Two Separate Falls

Rescues during carryout at Buffalo River.
Hikers in two widely separated NPS areas were injured in falls during the past week. The incidents led to challenging rescues, but they could have been a lot worse. In both cases, the men escaped what would likely have been a catastrophic plunge by the narrowest of margins.

Historic Fire Tower at Acadia National Park To Open To Public For One Day

Fire towers usually are off-limits to the general public, particularly historic ones. But if the weather allows, the Beech Mountain Fire Tower at Acadia National Park will be open Saturday, October 17, for you to climb to the top for a view of the jewel of the Atlantic in all its fall splendor.

Where Can You Find the Best Fall Foliage In the National Park System? Here Are Ten Contenders

Where do you go to digitally capture fall colors in the National Park System? The National Park Foundation released a list of the Top 10 parks for fall color the other day, and there are some old stalwarts, and some upstarts as well!

Acadia National Park Reopens East Face Trail After Three Years of Repairs

It took three years, but crews at Acadia National Park finally have completed repairs to earthquake damage on the East Face Trail.

National Park Quiz 70: Bad

This quiz will find out how much you know about bad people, bad happenings, bad decisions, and other bad stuff in the national parks. Answers are at the end. Peeking may produce bad results.

The "Guide's Guide to Acadia National Park" is the Insider's Handbook for the Area

Acadia NP scene.
Have you ever marveled at the impressive amount of information about a park that's dispensed by tour guides and similar people in the travel industry? Acquiring all that knowledge is a big job, but Acadia National Park has made it easier by compiling a wealth of information on a single website. You're welcome to use it, too.

Reader Participation Day: Are You An East Coast, West Coast, or Gulf Coast National Seashore Person?

Quick, pick an ocean setting for next summer's national park vacation. Are you heading to the Northeast, the Northwest, or looking South or somewhere else for your destination?

Traveler's Checklist: Acadia National Park

Summer's crowds, heat, and bugs have passed, making Acadia National Park a particularly attractive fall destination. The park's hardwood forests are beginning to show their true colors, while the hiking trails are carrying fewer feet, the Carriage Roads fewer cyclists. And those mouth-watering, jam-carrying popovers are still be served at the Jordan Pond House.