Acadia’s growth small but significant

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Acadia National Park officially annexed 1,441 acres on the Schoodic Peninsula this week. While it seems like a small gain, it is an important one. The addition is to the only part of the park that is on the mainland.

Along the windswept coast the views from rocky beaches and granite headlands are transcendent. Further inland, hiking trails wind through pine woodlands and spruce-fir forests. While its look is similar to Mount Desert Island, it has a more secluded feel.

The 1,400-acre parcel was donated to the National Park Foundation this summer and includes hiking trails and a campground. The additional recreational opportunities are expected to alleviate some of the pressure on the ecology of the mega-popular Mount Desert Island.

The acquisition harkens back to the origin story of the national park, which was established at a time when, unlike the unclaimed expanses of Western land, the East largely was spoken for. At the turn of the 20th century, disturbed by the rampant development of nearby Bar Harbor, George Dorr devoted his life to preserving the area that’s now Acadia National Park. He set about acquiring land and donating it to the federal government. In 1919, it became the first national park east of the Mississippi, and Dorr its first superintendent.

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Photo courtesy of the NPS. George B. Dorr admires the view from an overlook.