ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, Maine — Officials with Maine’s only national park say they expect parts of the park that have been shut down for the winter to reopen next week.
The Visitor’s Center in the Bar Harbor village of Hulls Cove is set to open Tuesday, April 15, as is the Park Loop Road that provides vehicle access to Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, Jordan Pond and other locations. The visitor center will be open 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily, park officials indicated this week in a prepared statement.
The paved road to the summit of Cadillac Mountain is not expected to open until Friday, April 18, Acadia officials said, while the Sand Beach Entrance Station on Park Loop Road is due to open May 1. All passes will be available at that entrance station, but until it opens, passes will be available only at park headquarters on Route 233, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. every day.
The planned road openings are earlier than last year, when budget cuts known as sequestration prompted park officials to keep the Visitor’s Center and many paved roads closed until mid-May. Acadia officials have said that Congress’ approval in January of a $7.7 million annual budget for the national park this year would prevent a repeat of last year’s delayed openings.
Carriage roads in the park were closed Wednesday. Those roads are closed every spring for a few weeks when they become soggy and soft due to melting snow and ice. The closure prevents the roads from being damaged before drying out and firming back up, park officials have said.
All hiking trails currently are open with the exception of two where peregrine falcons are nesting, according to park officials. Those trails are the Precipice Trail, including the mountain section of the Orange & Black Path (formerly the East Face Trail) on Champlain Mountain, and the Valley Cove Trail on St. Sauveur Mountain, north of the Flying Mountain Trail. There still is snow and ice on most hiking trails, and park officials urge caution when using them.