Celeste and Tim Barr of Milford, N.H., were among the first visitors to set up camp at the new Schoodic Woods Campground after it opened Sept. 1. PHOTO BY JACQUELINE WEAVER

Acadia National Park annexes Schoodic Woods

WINTER HARBOR — Acadia National Park’s authority to annex 1,441 acres on the Schoodic Peninsula, including the new Schoodic Woods Campground, went into effect Tuesday.

It is the first time the boundary of the park has been revised since 1986, when federal legislation established what was envisioned at the time as the park’s permanent boundaries.

In its posting of Acadia’s boundary revision in the Federal Register on Tuesday, the National Park Service said the annexation of the campground and surrounding property “will contribute to and is necessary for the proper preservation, protection and interpretation of the important ecological, scenic, cultural, recreational and shorefront resources of Acadia National Park and the scenic Schoodic Peninsula.”

The acreage that has been annexed by the park was purchased in 2011 by Schoodic Woods LLC. That corporation, established by Lyme Timber Co. and a private family foundation, built the campground, along with four miles of hiking trails and more than eight miles of bike paths.

The campground, which opened Sept. 1, was built to National Park Service standards, and Acadia has been operating the campground and managing the land as if they were part of the park.

This summer, Schoodic Woods LLC donated the property to the National Park Foundation, a nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, with the understanding that ownership would ultimately be transferred to Acadia.

“The donor…would like it to become part of Acadia, and I’m trying to start to put the wheels in motion to do that,” Sheridan Steele, who retired at the end of October after 12 years as Acadia’s superintendent, said in July. “I hope before the fall is over to change the boundary and put that land into Acadia National Park. Since we agreed to operate [the campground], it only makes sense to make it part of the park.”

With the boundary revision that went into effect Tuesday, Acadia can now accept ownership of that property. Acting Superintendent Mike Madell said it is an important acquisition.

“It’s an amazing resource that provides opportunities for additional recreation and protection of nature,” he said. “It’s just fantastic to be able to add that to the public estate and make sure it’s available for people’s enjoyment for a lot of years to come.”

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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