Schoodic Rambles

First, sorry for the lack of recent postings, but I’ve been on the road, traveling in the Acadia region to research a new edition of Moon Acadia National Park, expected out in spring 2009. Much, much, much to report, so I’ll be breaking this into smaller posts.

We spent two nights on the Schoodic Peninsula, visiting places from Hancock through Milbridge, but let’s start with the region’s star: the Schoodic Section of Acadia National Park, the park’s only mainland section. It remains a gem, and if you’re over on Mt. Desert Island, you can connect to it via the Bar Harbor ferry and the Schoodic route of the Island Explorer bus service.

Biggest news here is SERC, the acronym for the Schoodic Education and Research Center, operated by Acadia Partners for Science and Learning in conjunction with the National Park Service. It’s on the former Navy base, and it’s a fab piece of property in its own right. The education emphasis is on creating a new way to teach science, and the program works with scientists, researchers, and teachers and also brings in local school children for hands-on programs that do more to excite kids about the possibilities of science more than any classroom lecture could. Every second Saturday year round and more frequently in summer there are lectures presented in Moore Auditorium by researchers or nationally known experts addressing environmental topics relating to the park and its surroundings.

Schoodic Point is the park’s big-ticket item: waves crashing on the slabs of pink granite on the peninsula’s tip. On a clear day it’s spectacular; on a foggy one, well, you just have to have faith that it’s there.

So what else does this section of the park have? Great scenery, nice picnic area, and three inter-connected hiking trails all ascendiing Schoodic Head. Although it’s only a 440-foot gain in elevation, the views are fabulous. Easiest route is the one-mile Alder trail from the Blueberry Hill parking area, connecting to the 0.7-mile Schoodic Trail to the summit. Toughest access and descent is the one-mile Anvil Trail. A fourth trail is the 0.6-mile East Trail; trailhead is about one mile beyond Blueberry hill.

Instead of driving around Schoodic, bike the 12.2-mile loop. Rentals are available from Seascape Kayaking, located just off Route 182 in Birch Harbor.

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