Welcome to the Schoodic Peninsula, one of the more remote areas of Acadia National Park. Added to the park in 1929, the Schoodic area features outstanding scenic beauty, and protects important natural and cultural resources. Visitors are invited to enjoy invigorating hikes through spruce forests, breathtaking views of rocky beaches, and a wide variety of plant and animal life that can be found here.
Ten signs have been placed at scenic locations throughout the park's Schoodic area. Together, the signs weave a story of how the sea has influenced human lives and culture through time, and describe the geologic forces that created the landscape. The signs also provide orientation points for visitors. Most signs are 36 by 24 inches or slightly larger, about the size of a typical office bulletin board. Some are displayed as upright panels on seven-foot-tall frames. Others angle over the tops of large granite stones
Narrated Description of Setting for Waysides at Frazer Point
At scenic Frazer Point, tall upright frames display two signs side-by-side, welcoming visitors to the Schoodic Peninsula. The signs stand next to a path overlooking a grassy picnic area along the shore. The path leads to a small structure with a sloped roof, which houses restroom facilities.
On one outside wall, a bulletin case contains a tide chart and a calendar of parkwide events, highlighting those scheduled for the Schoodic Education and Research Center's campus and the local area.
One sign entitled "Exploring Schoodic" contains a map and general orientation information. The other signed called "Summit to Sea" features the area's natural splendors enjoyed by visitors and residents over time.
A small box attached to the frame contains free maps of the Schoodic Peninsula and Acadia National Park.
A short distance away, atop a granite stone, is a third sign entitled, "Footsteps Before You." The angled sign highlights the history of the various people who have lived here.
Narrated Description of "Exploring Schoodic" Wayside
Located on a gentle slope on Frazer Point, next to a path leading to the restroom facility, is an upright sign entitled, "Exploring Schoodic."
The sign's title appears over an aerial view of a peninsula with a rugged coastline. The land-mass is partially surrounded by deep blue water.
An arrow points to the park entrance on Frazer Point on the west coast. "You Are Here." A one-way road 6 miles long loops around the tip of the peninsula, traveling along the rocky shore and past tranquil forests. Text notes that the distance around the entire Schoodic Peninsula, through Birch Harbor and Winter Harbor, is 11 miles.
Symbols show locations of parking lots, restrooms, picnic grounds, hiking trails, and spots where drinking water can be found in the summer months. More information is available at the Schoodic Education and Research Center.
Text reads: "As the only part of Acadia National Park on the mainland, Schoodic gets fewer visitors than Mount Desert Island, allowing you to enjoy this place away from the crowds." An inset shows a map of the park with the Schoodic Peninsula's Winter Harbor a short ferry-ride from Mount Desert Island's Bar Harbor.
Text appears with four small photographs arranged in pairs over the image of a frothy wave breaking over rocks:
A bicyclist rides along a paved road. "Share the road. Watch for cars, buses, bikes, and wildlife. Carry plenty of water and obey the rules of the road. Bicyclists must follow one-way traffic and be prepared to ride the full 11-mile loop."
A woman and a child of about ten hold a dog on a leash as they stand on dry rocks at a safe distance from the ocean. "Play it safe. The shoreline can be deadly. Rocks and algae are slippery, the water is cold, and the waves can be strong and sudden. Dramatic tide changes can leave you stranded."
A few students help a researcher conduct a population survey of tidepool creatures. "Get involved. The Schoodic Education and Research Center connects the public to current park research through education, lectures, and citizen science programs."
A gray-and-white gull perches atop a rock. "Keep it natural. Don't feed gulls or other park wildlife. Human food and garbage is not healthy for animals and can turn them into aggressive pests."
At Frazer Point, the second sign displayed in the two upright frames is entitled "Summit to Sea."
Installed in an are rich in natural beauty, the sign's panel captures the essence of the Schoodic Peninsula in a variety of images -- its rocky landscape, the ocean and its inhabitants, and the making of baskets from porcupine quills.
The sign's title appears over a photograph of a tree-covered slope leading down to the ocean. A visitor sits atop a boulder, gazing out at the spectacular view. A note: "On Schoodic Head, the highest point on the peninsula, shady woodlands give way to sweeping coastal vistas."
A quote from Donald Soctomah, Passamaquoddy, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer: "Walk in respect on this land so in the next thousand years your descendants will enjoy the beauties around you."
Text reads: "Schoodic - The name may have come from the Micmac word 'eskwodek' meaning 'the end' - a fitting title for this remote part of Acadia. Known as the 'Wabanaki,' the Micmac, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, and the Penobscot are Maine's four federally recognized Native American tribes. Wabanaki people traveled and camped here for thousands of years and still have strong ties to this land.
In the 1890s when the National park idea was in its infancy, John Moore, a wealthy businessman and Maine native, envisioned a summer recreation area on Schoodic Point. Donated by his family, this land became part of Acadia National Park in 1929. From summit to sea, past to present, the human story at Schoodic is interwoven with the area's natural splendors."
A trio of photographs features a bristly porcupine, a round basket decorated with quills set in a geometric pattern, and an artist at work on a basket. "Throughout time, Wabanaki people have created and used objects such as porcupine quill baskets and birch bark canoes. These crafts reflect the beauty of a land that continues to inspire artists today."
A photo of a tidepool teeming with life appears next to the image of a sea star. Five thick rays stretch out from the core of the pebbly pink animal. The colorful photo shows a cluster of blue mussels next to a few periwinkle snails with whorled shells, tufts of algae, crusty white barnacles, and a clump of rockweed fronds. "Tide pools - only accessible at low tide - are one of the many habitats that nurture Schoodic's rich variety of life. The difference between high and low tide here can reach 10 to 12 feet."
In another image, patches of rockweed and algae form a slick coating over beach-side rocks. On the sides of a tall rocky stack, barnacles and plant life mark tidal zones in uneven horizontal stripes.
Narrated Description of "Footsteps Before You" Wayside
A sign entitled "Footsteps Before You" stands nestled among some low bushes next to a gravel path leading from Frazer Point's restroom. Anchored on a granite block, the angled sign overlooks an expansive grassy area offering picnic tables for visitors.
A trail leads through a nearby thicket populated by spruce trees, alder and bayberry shrubs, and a few apple trees remaining from an old settlement.
The tide transform the view every six hours, from tranquil waters to mudflats where weathered plyons from Harmon's Lobster Pound can be spotted.
A narrow wooden ramp leads out to a floating dock where some visitors sit and small boats are welcome to tie off.
The sign's title appears over a background color suggestive of brown clay pottery.
Delicate curving Native American designs trim the bottom edge of the sign, echoing both the natural features, and cultural importance of the landscape.
Introductory text reads: At first glance this picnic area gives few hints of the diverse people who left their marks on this landscape. Oral tradition, historical papers and archeological artifacts help us imagine the sights and sounds of Frazer Point over time.
A quote: "Material remnants of our past are fragile and scarce. They are not left only to us today, but to the people following in our footsteps." Bonnie Newsom, Penobscot, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer and archeologist.
Archival photographs and images of artifacts are presented in three groups. One group is dedicated to the Wabanaki people. A shard of ceramic pottery with its textured pattern and a broken bone flute appear with a photo of Mary Neptune Moore, Passamaquoddy basket maker. She sits on a wooden chair as she works. A bundle of sweet grass with long thin blades lies on her lap.
Text reads: Stone tools and bits of pottery tell a story of Wabanaki people camping, hunting, and gathering on Frazer Point for thousands of years. Connections to this land are reflected in many aspects of their culture today.
Another group features Thomas Frazer, a free black man, who was the first non-Native American resident of record at Frazer Point. Images of a coin from 1802 and a tarnished pewter spoon appear with the first U.S. Census document from Hancock County, dated 1790. A mangnified section shows the name Thomas Frazer. He raised livestock and operated a salt works. Frazier lived here with his wife and seven children. Few artifacts remain to tell the story of this intriguing family.
The third group celebrates the area's fishing communities. In a black and white photograph, dense foliage grows on small islands along the coast. A half dozen houses dot a hill, where an arrow notes, "You Are Here." This photograph offers a rare glimspe of a small fishing village that stood here on Frazer Point in the mid-1800s.
At Harmon's Pound, a long wall stands in the water, sectioning off a cove. Three people stand on a pier, dropping lobsters into holding crates below tide level. The pound was know for selling lobsters in the mid 1930s.
Narrated Description of "Not A Typical Military Barracks" Wayside
A sign entitled "Not A Typical Military Barracks" faces the front entrance of the sprawling three-story Rockefeller Building. Designed by New York architect Grosvenor Atterbury.
The building's distinctive style features deeply-pitched slate roofs with exterior walls made of red brick and local stones fashioned in neat layers. Mounted at an angle atop a pink granite boulder.
The sign is presented in a brown frame that emulates the distressed wood of the building's doors and trim.
Text and photographs appear over a green background, a color that echoes the structure's aged copper drain pipes, and the patches of moss and lichens on the roof.
Faint concentric circles suggesting radio waves pattern the green background.
Introductory text reads: As part of a deal brokered by John D. Rockefeller Jr., the National Park Service built this structure in 1935 to house Navy personnel and top secret radio operations. In exchange, the Navy moved its base from Mount Desert Island to make way for the expansion of Acadia's Ocean Drive.
In a large archival photograph, dozens of uniformed sailors stand in rows in a courtyard next to a brick barracks. A caption: Inspection behind Rockefeller Hall, 1967.
Text reads: This building was designed by the same architect as the carriage road gate houses on Mount Desert Island. Originally known as the Apartment Building, Rockefeller Hall added to the park-like setting of the Navy base at Schoodic Point.
More text accompanies two archival photographs: A Mux Room located in a basement contains several rows of bulky consoles outfitted with keyboards. Here, radio signals were multiplexed or combined for easier transmission over a single channel. As technology advanced, the need for large radio bases diminished. Naval Security Group activity at Winter Harbor ceased its mission in July 2002. Tranferring 36 buildings and land back to Acadia National Park.
In the other photo, a tall chainlink fence stretches across a narrow road that leads past a tall radio tower. A guardhouse sits next to the gate. This 1947 Naval security checkpoint became the Schoodic Education and Research Center entrance after the Navy ceased its mission.
Installed on the edge of the road passing through Schoodic Point, the sign entitled "Icy Depths" overlooks an expansive view of the rocky beach and watery landscape.
On a clear day, the light blue of the sky meets the dusky blue of the Gulf of Maine in a horizontal line that stretches for miles. Mountains stand in the distance.
The sign's title appears over a relief map of the coastal waters stretching from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia. Shades of blue show depth ranging from light aqua in the shallows, to deep indigo along the continental slope's underwater cliffs.
An arrow points to a tiny peninsula along vast stretch of uneven coastline. "You Are Here."
Introductory text reads: Beneath the ocean’s surface lies a rugged seafloor, much like the mountainous terrain around you. Over the last two million years, a series of glaciers scoured and shaped this land. The last of these icy bulldozers left a mound of rocky debris (called glacial moraine) 360 miles out to sea.
The map shows Browns Bank and Georges Bank with the text: This moraine marks where the last glacier stopped 25,000 years ago. Its highest points are only 13 feet (4m) below the ocean’s surface.
Sweeping arrows indicate how the submerged moraine deflects warm currents from the south and circulates colder currents from the north. As a result, the Gulf of Maine contains remarkably cool oxygen-rich water, the perfect recipe for a productive marine habitat.
Text accompanies smaller photographs and images: Three Eider ducks, one brown female and two black-and-white males swim together in the waves. The ducks dive for mussels relying on insulating downy feathers for survival in waters hovering around 50° F (10° C).
Sparkling water splashes off the sleek triangular dorsal fin of a gray harbor porpoise as it surfaces to catch a breath of air. These small toothed whales eat about 10% of their body weight in fish per day.
A lobster's claws extend like giant hands from its long, segmented body. Stick-like antennae swivel back from its small head, arching toward its spidery legs. Lobster, scallops, crabs and many species of fish harvested in the Gulf of Maine are an important part of Maine’s economy.
A circular magnification presents the variety of tiny plant and animal life in a drop of sea water. Plankton thrive in the water of the Gulf of Maine, fueling the entire food chain.
Narrated Description of "Fiery Foundation" Wayside
Near the road that passes through Schoodic Point, the angled sign entitled "Fiery Foundation" stands archored to a granite base on one side of a spruce tree.
The image rendered on the sign's panel reflects the actual view of the rocky landscape as seen from about 60 paces to the right of the sign.
The sign's title appears over the image of shoreline layered with different types of rock.
Introductory text reads: The colors and textures of the rocks around you tell a story of heat, pressure and time that formed this landscape. These rocks started as massive pools of molten magma deep below the earth’s surface. As this liquid rock cooled into granite, it cracked, allowing newer magma with a different mix of minerals to intrude along the fractures. As upper layers of bedrock eroded, pink granite striped with dark diabase dikes was exposed.
More text identifies different types of rock. Cracked pinkish rock forms rough uneven layers. Schoodic Point granite has smaller mineral crystals and more fractures than the Cadillac Mountain granite that makes up much of nearby Mount Desert Island.
A dark patch resembles an irregular hole in the granite surface. Diabase dikes are “softer” than granite and erode more quickly leaving nooks and crannies where water and soil collect.
A rough, gray-white boulder of Lucerne granite nestles in a crack that slices through the bedrock's flat pink layers. Glacial erratics were transported many miles by ice and often look different than the surrounding bedrock.
An inset illustrates a cross section of the rocky terrain. Thick dark diabase dikes branch upward like tree limbs through pink Schoodic Point granite.