Passport program introduces Mainers to 48 parks and historic places

By Brian Swartz, Special to the BDN
Posted Sept. 09, 2010, at 10:01 a.m.

Have passport, will travel from Kittery to Fort Kent.

The Bureau of Parks and Lands has introduced the Maine State Parks Passport to commemorate the creation of Maine’s state park system in 1935. Published in full color, the soft-covered passport serves as “Your Guide to Maine State Parks” and provides color photos and interesting information about the 48 BPL-managed historic sites and parks.

Available free at staffed facilities, the Parks Passport dedicates a page to each historic site or park. Each page offers space to record notes and to affix a site- or park-specific stamp.

To obtain a passport stamp, visit a historic site or park, find the brown Passport Station, and unlock its pad-lock. The combination is the year that the historic site or park joined the park system; look for the date in the Parks Passport. For example, 1-9-5-0 unlocks the Passport Station padlock at Lamoine State Park, while 1-9-6-2 unlocks the Quoddy Head State Park Passport Station padlock.

Using the stamp and ink pad found inside a Passport Station, stamp the designated circle on the appropriate passport page. Then close the Passport Station and snap its padlock shut.

To encourage visitor exploration, the Bureau of Parks and Lands has placed Passport Stations at different locations at each park or site. Here are a few tips:

• At Lamoine State Park in Lamoine, check out the entrance station;

• At Moose Point State Park in Searsport, look around the parking lot;

• At Fort Knox State Historic Site in Prospect, check out the visitors’ cen-ter;

• At Reid State Park in Georgetown, search around Griffith Head;

• At Lily Bay State Park in Beaver Cove, search near the beach;

• At Roque Bluffs State Park in Washington County, look for the information kiosks near Simpson Pond.

The Parks Passport introduces Mainers to many unfamiliar places, from the Penobscot River Corridor west of Millinocket to Holbrook Island Sanctuary in Brooksville to Bible Point near Island Falls to Shackford Head State Park in Eastport. Most people have heard about the Allagash Wilderness Waterway or Fort Knox or Sebago Lake, but exactly where are Fort McClary State Historic Site, Aroostook State Park, and Vaughan Woods State Park?

Find out inside the Maine State Parks Passport — then visit these places to stamp that passport.

Passport holders earn rewards for every eight unique passport stamp acquired:

• Eight stamps earn a free sticker;

• 16 stamps earn a free patch;

• 24 stamps earn a free water bottle;

• 32 stamps earn a free day-use pass;

• 40 stamps earn two free nights of camping;

• 48 stamps earn a free vehicle season pass.

While applicable entrance fees apply at all 48 BPL-managed facilities, passport holders can avoid some fees by hitting multiple locations on Father’s Day, when the state waives park admission for Maine residents. Organize a day trip to visit as many his-toric sites and state parks as possible — and be sure to get that passport stamped!

http://bangordailynews.com/2010/09/09/uncategorized/passport-program-introduces-mainers-to-48-parks-and-historic-places/ printed on August 21, 2014