ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, Maine — A new trail connecting a park campground in Otter Creek to hiking trails on the south slope of Gorham Mountain had its ceremonial opening Saturday morning.
The premiere of the new Quarry Trail, part of which runs along the causeway where the Park Loop Road crosses Otter Cove, coincided with National Trails Day. The trail is about a mile long, with the causeway about halfway between the campground and the Gorham Mountain trailhead, where hikers can then access a network of trails that lead to Gorham and Champlain mountains, the Beehive, Huguenot Head and Great Head.
About 40 people attended the ribbon cutting ceremony, held under sunny skies just east of the causeway.
“We’re really grateful for the turnout,” David MacDonald, president of Friends of Acadia, said at the ceremony. “What could be better than dedicating a trail in Acadia National Park on National Trails Day?”
FOA helped fund the trail project.
It is the latest of several trails that have been constructed over the past decade that connect residential villages on Mount Desert Island to the park’s hiking trails, allowing many park visitors to access the park without needing to drive vehicles into the park from their homes or other places of nearby lodging.
Last year, MacDonald noted, Friends of Acadia helped open a new community trail in Trenton outside the park. In 2012, it opened Duck Brook Trail, which connects Route 3 near College of the Atlantic with Paradise Hill Road and Duck Brook Road in the park.
Stephanie Clement, conservation director for FOA, said Saturday that officials with the nonprofit group hope to construct at some point a side trail off the Quarry Trail that will connect it directly to the village of Otter Creek, which is part of the town of Mount Desert.
Construction of Quarry Trail was funded in part through FOA’s Acadia Trails Forever endowment. About 200 volunteers, including some from the Acadia Youth Conservation Corps and many members of Friends of Acadia, spent about 1,000 man-hours — an average of five hours per person — helping National Park Service crews build the trail.