Acadia park bustling after reopening

Posted Sept. 06, 2010, at 10:40 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:07 p.m.

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, Maine — Acadia National Park weathered heavy rain as Tropical Storm Earl blew through Friday night and Saturday morning.

Crowds flocked to the park after the rains stopped and kept rangers busy directing traffic at Cadillac Mountain on Sunday.

“Cadillac Mountain was extremely busy on Sunday,” said Ranger Richard Rechholtz on Monday. “It was so busy that at the information center, we were advising people to see the rest of the park first and see Cadillac Mountain later. We had three rangers up there just to deal with parking issues.”

Most park areas were operating normally Monday, Rechholtz said. With the surf still a little rough after the storm, Sand Beach was closed to swimming Monday, but the beach itself was open to visitors, he said.

Ocean Drive, which was closed Friday night in anticipation of the storm, reopened early Saturday morning.

“We had a few rangers out there walking the Shore Path just to make sure that people respected the water and stayed away,” Rechholtz said.

Last year, in the wake of Hurricane Bill, a large wave struck the rocks below Ocean Drive and washed three people off the rocks and into the water. One girl died and several people onshore were injured.

Thunder Hole also was closed over the weekend. Rechholtz said the upper gate was expected to be opened by noontime Monday, but the lower gate would remain closed.

Everything else in the park was open on Monday, he said.

The three campgrounds in the park, which were evacuated and closed Friday night, were reopened by midmorning Saturday and were operating normally Monday.

The rain from Earl caused some minor flooding Saturday but no damage in the park. The potential for high waves drew people back to the park once the rain stopped.

“Once the sun came out, we were very busy, especially along Ocean Drive and at Schoodic,” Rechholtz said. “Normally, on Labor Day weekend, Saturday and Sunday are busy days and on Monday people go home. This has been a normal Labor Day weekend except for Saturday morning.”

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