Park Loop Road opening
May 17, 2013: The entire Park Loop Road and all other paved roads in the park open today. All dirt roads in the park, including the Seal Cove Road, will open on June 3.
April 22, 2013: The Precipice, Orange and Black, Valley Cove, and Jordan Cliffs Trails are closed until further notice because of nesting peregrine falcons. All other trails in the park are open, whether accessible from the park or from state roads.
Hulls Cove Visitor Center
May 17, 2013: The visitor center will open on May 19 and will be open 9-5 every day. All park passes are available there. There is an accessible entrance at the back of the building for those who have trouble climbing stairs.
Wabanaki Life Thousands of Years Ago
What was life like thousands of years ago for Wabanaki families on Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park?
As Wabanaki people discarded unused clamshells, they piled up to form heaps, or middens. Over many years, these big garbage piles included broken or unwanted tools made from stone and bone. Normally, anything made from bone would quickly decompose in Maine’s acidic soil; however, calcium carbonate in shells neutralizes the soil, which preserves delicate bone and other organic material. The old saying, “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure,” is certainly true here—shell midden sites provide archaeologists with important information about how Wabanaki people lived their everyday lives in the past.
One site along Somes Sound provides a snapshot of Wabanaki life 1,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence shows that Wabanaki people set up temporary seasonal camps that included tent-like, birchbark homes called wigwams—meaning “home” in Algonquian-based languages. Wigwams were cone-shaped, and had a hole in the top to let out smoke from the cozy fire inside. The interior space around the fire was probably blanketed with large deer, moose, and bear pelts—perfect to cushion the dirt or sand-packed floor. Ceramic cooking pots, birchbark ladles and spoons, bone awls for poking holes in animal pelts, and other household items might have rested inside. Animal hides probably hung over the doorway to block wind and dust from blowing in. All in all, a wigwam was probably a comfortable, snug place to take respite from the summer sun or winter wind and snow.
What did Wabanaki people eat?
How did Wabanaki people make the things they needed for everyday life?
Did Wabanaki people visit in the summer, like today’s tourists?
 An Island in Time, Three Thousand Years of Cultural Exchange on Mount Desert Island, Abbe Museum Publication, David Sanger, 1984, p17
A Note on Protecting Archaeological Sites
To fully protect and preserve fragile archaeological sites, NPS policies and federal law require that sensitive information about the specific location and nature of archaeological sites on park lands be withheld from public disclosure. The NPS, however, recognizes that the American people are ultimately the stewards of these resources. Park interpretive programs aim to make the public aware of the value of these resources and the role citizens may play in stewardship.
Did You Know?
Since 1999, propane-powered Island Explorer buses have carried more than two million passengers in Acadia National Park, eliminating more than 685,000 automobile trips and preventing 6,444 tons of greenhouse gases. The fare-free buses are supported by your entrance fees. More...