We love Acadia: its hiking paths and carriage roads, its sun-warmed ledges and rhythmic waves. We even get a kick out of its summer crowds — without them, after all, downtown Bar Harbor wouldn’t be the crazy, noisy, joyful festival that it is. One hundred years ago this summer, President Woodrow Wilson established Sieur de Monts National Monument on Mount Desert Island, which would evolve by 1929 into Acadia National Park. It was the first national park established east of the Mississippi, a different beast than the sprawling wilderness parks of the West. In fact, if we had to pick one reason we love Acadia, it would be the way it’s woven into Maine’s cultural fabric, so intertwined with its neighboring fishing villages and resort towns that it’s sometimes hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. Fortunately, we’re not limited to one reason. In this issue, we present our hundred-item celebration — as rich and varied as Acadia itself — of the park we’re proud to call Maine’s own.
It took a starry-eyed aristocrat to transform exclusive MDI into a shared national treasure. By Kathryn Miles
The relationship between the Wabanaki and the lands we call Acadia is millennia-old, complex, and ongoing. By Jill Tompkins
One writer’s earliest childhood memory: fleeing the blaze that forever changed Bar Harbor. By Lance Tapley
One author’s obsession with Acadia’s unnoticed memorials and clandestine trails. By Don Lenahan
“Which Way to the Park?”
A (slightly cringe-inducing) excerpt from a 2013 National Park Service report on the history of Isle au Haut. By Douglas Deur