Springtime blossoms with things to see and do in Acadia National Park

The peregrine falcons have returned to nest, the rhodora and lady’s slippers are within weeks of blooming, and Acadia National Park is getting ready to open the Park Loop Road for visitors.

acadia centennial

A book launch party on April 7 celebrates the first-ever biography of George B. Dorr, the “Father of Acadia.” Author Ronald H. Epp and publisher Friends of Acadia will be on hand at the event at the Jesup Memorial Library. (Image courtesy of Friends of Acadia)

It’s springtime in Acadia, a season of rebirth and renewal. And making this spring even more worth looking forward to: The Acadia Centennial, and special things to see and do in Acadia National Park.

For instance, on April 7, there’s a party to celebrate the publication of the first-ever biography of George B. Dorr, the “Father of Acadia,” without whom there may never have been a national park in Maine. The festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, with author Ronald H. Epp on hand, along with publisher Friends of Acadia.

On Saturday, April 16, a day after Acadia opens the Park Loop Road and Hulls Cove Visitor Center, the “Centennial Edition” of Acadia Quest launches, letting kids, teens and their grown-ups experience and learn about the park and its history in a fun, interactive way. It’s an earlier than usual start for the annual scavenger hunt, which runs until November.

Throughout the spring, events like Lego Day at the Seal Cove Auto Museum (April 9), National Junior Ranger Day (April 30 and May 14), free admission for the opening of a new exhibit at the Abbe Museum (May 1), art shows and musical celebrations, birding in the park and the gardens of MDI on International Migratory Bird Day (May 14), Acadia Birding Festival (June 2 – 5), National Trails Day and Acadia poet laureate reading (June 4), and many others fill the calendar.

rhodora

Pink rhodora goes well with the pink granite of Cadillac Mountain, and usually blooms in May.

“Spring opens our land and waters and brings adventure – this year with a special centennial spirit,” said Acadia Centennial Task Force Co-Chair Cookie Horner, in announcing the springtime events on the official Centennial calendar, in a Friends of Acadia news release.

Who says there are few things to see and do in Acadia National Park in springtime?

Places to stay and eat, things to see and do in Acadia National Park in springtime

Check out the Acadia Centennial Web site for details about events sponsored by the more than 350 Acadia Centennial Partners, not only during the spring, but throughout the year. The calendar is searchable by date and key word, and chronologically lists happenings.

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. Doing this in springtime may be the closest thing to a “mud run.”

As one of the Acadia Centennial Partners, Acadia on My Mind sponsors the free 100-mile virtual Acadia Centennial Trek that runs from springtime through the end of the year, and will be offering an optional finisher’s medal for purchase to help support the park.

Virtual “mud run” anyone?

If you’ve never been to the park in springtime, you may be surprised at the many things to see and do in Acadia National Park, not just during the Centennial year.

You may also be surprised at the many year-round restaurants, lodging establishments and other businesses in Bar Harbor and elsewhere near Acadia, as we’ve compiled in a handy series of pages, featuring links to Web sites, and TripAdvisor reviews, where available.

As we first reported in our springtime guide to Acadia last year, there are some rules to be aware of, such as not biking or walking on the carriage roads when the park has them closed for a couple of weeks at the height of mud season, and buying a park pass once it’s required, beginning in May. Check out the park’s Web site for details.

Patrick Kark, right, helps a visitor spot a nesting peregrine falcon.

During “peregrine watch” a couple of years ago, Patrick Kark, right, with hat, helps a visitor spot a nesting peregrine falcon on the cliffs of Champlain Mountain. It’s just one of the many springtime things to see and do in Acadia National Park.

Aside from Centennial events, check out other perennial spring favorites in and around Acadia: Running the MDI YMCA Acadia Half Marathon (June 5) or Crow Athletics’ The Great Run on Great Cranberry Island (June 18), visiting the Wild Gardens of Acadia, Asticou Azalea Garden, Thuya Garden or Charlotte Rhoades Park and Butterfly Garden, or engaging in any of the other things to see and do in Acadia National Park that we include in our springtime guide to Acadia.

Just as the peregrine falcons return to nest, and the rhodora and lady’s slippers ready to bloom, may springtime in Acadia be a season of rebirth and renewal for all of us, especially during this Centennial year.

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.