Climbing Management

Over the past several years Acadia National Park has been developing a climbing management plan with public input. The compliance documents and the plan itself were approved by the superintendent and the regional director on July 1, 1997.

Some actions have already been taken or are underway.

  • A limited amount of fixed protection has been installed at Otter Cliffs by the park to protect soils and vegetation from further damage. Restoration work is planned there for summer 1998.
  • A portable toilet will also be installed every year in the parking area at Otter Cliffs.
  • A self-administered registration card system began in August 1997. It was discontinued, having served its primarily educational purpose.

For a look at the plan and other associated climbing documents, please refer to the following list:

Draft Climbing Management Plan and Environmental Assessment - This was sent out for public review in April 1995.

Finding of No Significant Impact - This memorandum from the superintendent to the regional director about the Climbing Management Plan summarizes the background, history of planning and public involvement, the alternatives considered, the selected alternative, and the rationale for the decision. It is the formal statement required by the National Environmental Policy Act.

  • Attachment 1 for this memorandum is the draft plan listed above.
  • Attachment 2 is a Synthesis of Public Comments and Responses to Specific Public Comments on the DCMP.
  • Attachment 3A, Attachment 3B contain the Collateral Compliance letters from the State Historic Preservation Officer and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Attachment 4 contains a more detailed description of the Status of ANP Fixed Protection than that found in the DCMP.

Climbing Management Plan - Finalized in 1997. Describes the background of climbing and climbing management, the plan and associated actions, and staff responsibilities.

Group Climbing Information - Group reservations for Otter Cliffs began in 1997. Two groups of twelve may reserve Otter Cliffs between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. The group reservation form is available in PDF format.

Fixed Protection Zones - With climber input, Acadia climbing areas were zoned for fixed protection in February 1998. In some areas, new fixed protection is prohibited. In other areas, fixed protection proposals will be reviewed by a climbing committee, and recommendations forward to the park.

Climbing Use Data for Otter Cliffs and South Wall Champlain - We have monitored climbing at these sites through self-registration since 1994. The reliability of self-registration boxes is questionable, and registration has never been validated at either site. Nonetheless, the data are relatively consistent and useful for evaluating trends to a limited degree. Registration sites serve an educational purpose by providing climbing regulations and guidelines on-site and offer an opportunity for climbers to provide feedback to park staff.

Articles - Articles about climbing or climbing management at Acadia National Park have appeared in Climbing Magazine (February and November 1997), AMC Outdoors (April 1998), Friends of Acadia Journal (Spring 1998), and National Geographic Adventure (September-October 2000).

For more information or for copies of graphs and tables from these documents, e-mail Charlie Jacobi or call (207) 288-8727 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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