A cyclist enjoys a late morning ride on the Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park during last September's car-free morning. ISLANDER PHOTO BY LIZ GRAVES

Acadia National Park car-free mornings announced

ACADIA NAT’L PARK — Visitors to Acadia National Park will have the opportunity to enjoy two car-free mornings on the Park Loop Road in 2016.

The National Park Service (NPS) will close the Park Loop Road on Mount Desert Island to private vehicles from midnight to noon on Saturday, May 14, and Saturday, Sept. 17.

The park entrance fee will be waived for all visitors during the car-free mornings.

The NPS is promoting the car-free mornings as a way for visitors to experience the Park Loop Road through non-motorized activities, such as walking and bicycling. The NPS also will evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of car-free mornings to help inform the development of a transportation plan for Acadia National Park. The purpose of the transportation plan is to determine how best to provide safe and efficient transportation and a variety of high quality experiences to visitors within Acadia National Park while ensuring the protection of park resources and values. The plan will comprehensively examine several management options to improve safety on park roads and reduce crowding and congestion at key visitor destinations and travel corridors.

“We are offering two car-free mornings during the shoulder seasons in 2016 based on the positive feedback we received last year, although we understand that some visitors were inconvenienced,” said Superintendent Kevin Schneider. “We hope to attract visitors who are looking for a different way to experience the Park Loop Road at Acadia.”

The sections of the Park Loop Road closed to private vehicles will include the Cadillac Summit road, the road between the Hulls Cove Visitor Center and Jordan Pond and the entire one-way section.

Roads that provide direct access to the Hulls Cove Visitor Center, Jordan Pond and Sieur de Monts (including the Abbe Museum, Wild Gardens of Acadia and Nature Center) will remain open. Visitors are encouraged to park in these locations. The Jordan Pond House restaurant and gift shops at Jordan Pond, Cadillac Mountain and Thunder Hole will be open during their regular business hours.

For the safety of visitors, roadside parking will be prohibited at the Cadillac Mountain entrance on Eagle Lake Road (Route 233). Bicyclists will be required to ride only in the direction permitted on the one-way section of the Park Loop Road.

Visit www.nps.gov/acad or call 288-3338.

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