Join virtual Acadia Centennial Trek to celebrate, help park

Have you ever daydreamed about hiking all of Acadia’s 26 peaks, or walking the Park Loop Road or carriage roads, but you’re short on time or out of shape? Or maybe you’re in training for the Mount Desert Island Marathon or Acadia Half Marathon, and imagining the race route?

acadia centennial

Be part of history by joining the first-ever 100-mile virtual Acadia Centennial Trek, and have the option of buying a finisher’s medal to help raise funds for the park.

Well, your dreams can now become a virtual reality, during Acadia’s 100th anniversary year.

Join the inaugural 100-mile virtual Acadia Centennial Trek, which starts at the top of Cadillac; goes over the 26 peaks of Acadia on MDI, along sections of the Park Loop Road, carriage roads and MDI YMCA’s routes for the Acadia and Fall Half Marathons; and ends at the finish line of the MDI Marathon.

It’s a free race hosted by us, as part of our Acadia Centennial Partner commitment, to inspire people to think about our favorite national park throughout this 100th year, whether or not they’ve ever set foot in Acadia. It’s a chance to motivate us all to become more fit, think of the broader meaning of community, and ponder what Acadia does for us, and what we can do for Acadia.

Plus there’s the option to buy a finisher’s medal with the official Centennial logo, to help raise funds for the park. You can run for bling while running for Acadia!

Acadia Centennial

Optional finisher’s medal will feature Centennial logo

Sign-up for the race begins today, Feb. 26 (one of Acadia’s “three birthdays,” marking the date that Sieur de Monts National Monument became Lafayette National Park, 1919). And once at least 50 people have signed up, the race begins. You can run, hike, walk or step-count anywhere in the world, and you have through the end of the year to complete the route and log your miles.

If you prefer to bike, or you’re a wheelchair racer, all are welcome! Since biking 100 miles goes a lot faster than walking, hiking or running, pick your own handicap, whether 10 miles biking equates to 1 mile on the virtual route, or some other ratio you think is fair.

And if you’re already as fit as Gary Allen, the founder and director of the MDI Marathon, or an ultramarathoner in training, perhaps it should also be 10 miles to 1 – or maybe 26.2 miles to 1.

As virtual race director, we get to make the rules – but you get to bend them!

acadia centennial trek

The virtual Acadia Centennial Trek begins at the top of Cadillac, goes over sections of the Park Loop Road and carriage roads, and along parts of the routes of MDI YMCA’s Acadia and Fall Half Marathons, and ends at the finish line for the MDI Marathon, at exactly 100 miles.

Follow virtual racers on Acadia Centennial Trek map

We custom-designed the route in conjunction with Racery.com, which creates real races on virtual routes, to inspire people to move.

acadia centennial trek

Obviously, Acadia on My Mind is no ultramarathoner. But we try! This is the permanent Racery bio that keeps track of miles logged, whether you’re in the Acadia Centennial Trek or some other virtual Racery.com race.

The exclusive 100-mile trek is drawn on a topo map, and each participant’s icon moves along based on miles logged. Photos (2 MB or less) can be uploaded to your bio to serve as your racing icon (ours is Bubble Rock), or by replying to a daily email to include the photo as part of your mileage log (perhaps we’ll upload photos via email of our favorite Acadia scenes as we “run” or “hike” by them on the virtual route).

You can make comments as you log your miles, or on someone else’s race activity. There’s even a message board to encourage (or gently razz?) others, as well as the chance to share your experiences, photos and accomplishments on a Facebook events page we’re launching for the Acadia Centennial Trek.

MDI Marathon lobster claw finisher's medal

We’re working with the same awards company that has designed the lobster claw finisher’s medal for MDI Marathon. (Photo courtesy of MDI Marathon)

Finishers get a free personalized digital placard emailed by Racery.com to mark their accomplishment, featuring the same rainbow-from-Cadillac photo that we used for the Acadia Centennial Trek announcement.

For the optional finisher’s medal that can be purchased to help raise funds for the park, we’re working with the same awards company that does the medals for the Boston Marathon, and also has designed them for the MDI Marathon. Stay tuned for details!

Below are instructions for signing up for the Acadia Centennial Trek. After at least 50 participants have signed up, the trek will go live the day after. Invite your friends and family and fellow Acadia supporters.

And let the virtual race begin!

Sign up for Acadia Centennial Trek now

– Go to http://racery.com/r/acadia-centennial-trek/
– Sign up by submitting your name (could be a nickname) and email using the above link
– You’ll be notified by email after at least 50 people have signed up; the race will start the day after
– Run, walk, hike or step-count anywhere, and track your miles by any means
– Reply to a daily email with your mileage for that day, or put your mileage in for earlier days – you can even upload a 4 MB or smaller photo to the reply email (if you opt out of the daily emails, you can log into your account and log the mileage for different days right on the map)
– Your place on the map is plotted instantly
– Your total mileage, runs/week, and miles/week will be tracked
– You can see activity in the trek over the last 72 hours, like another racer’s effort, make comments, or share on Facebook
– Racers can join at any time, and have until Dec. 31 to complete the course
– Optional finisher’s medal to be available for purchase at acadiaonmymind.com/acadia-centennial-partners, to help raise funds for the park

CAUTION: Don’t necessarily follow the virtual Acadia Centennial Trek route on any of your real-life exploration of Acadia. The route was drawn for the convenience of coming up with exactly 100 miles, covering all 26 peaks of Acadia on Mount Desert Island, some of the Park Loop Road, carriage roads and the routes of Acadia and Fall Half Marathons, and ending at the MDI Marathon finish line. It could be that some of the virtual route doesn’t follow any official trail, or goes up the hardest way, rather than the recommended way, up a particular mountain, or along less-than-scenic campground roads. We’d recommend getting a good topo map and hiking guide, before setting out on the trails. We’re fond of our own guides, of course (see sidebar), but you can search Amazon.com for other books or maps, or try a free app like Chimani. The sponsors of this race assume no liability for accidents happening to, or injuries sustained by, participants in the Trek. The sponsors also do not make any representations as to the conditions of the virtual routes as they apply to the actual routes at Acadia. If you are hiking, running or biking in Acadia National Park as part of the Trek, be sure to follow the rules for park passes, safety, and trail and road usage, available at nps.gov/acad.

Dolores Kong & Dan Ring

About Dolores Kong & Dan Ring

Dolores Kong and Dan Ring are co-authors of the Falcon guides Hiking Acadia National Park and Best Easy Day Hikes Acadia National Park, and also blog at acadiaonmymind.com. They’ve backpacked the 270-plus miles of the Appalachian Trail in Maine, and are members of the Northeast 111 Club, having hiked all major peaks of the Northeast. Dolores is a former staff reporter at The Boston Globe. Dan is a journalist and former Statehouse bureau chief in Boston for the old Ottaway News Service and for The Republican, the daily newspaper for Springfield, Mass. They are married and live outside Boston.