Visitors to Acadia National Park will have the opportunity to enjoy two car-free mornings on Park Loop Road in 2015.The National Park Service will close Park Loop Road on Mount Desert Island to private vehicles from midnight to noon on Saturday, May 16, and Saturday, September 26.
The National Park Service will also waive the park entrance fee for all visitors during the car-free morning on May 16, and offer a fee-free day in celebration of National Public Lands Day on September 26. The National Park Service is promoting the car-free mornings as a way for visitors to experience the Park Loop Road through non-motorized activities, such as walking, bicycling, skateboarding, and inline skating. The National Park Service will also 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 excited to offer a way for visitors to enjoy a carefree, car-free experience on the Park Loop Road during our shoulder seasons and look forward to working with the neighboring communities to make it a success," said Superintendent Sheridan Steele.
The sections of 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, and visitors will be 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), and bicyclists will be required to ride only in the direction permitted on the one-way section of the Park Loop Road.
Additional details on the car-free morning on September 26 will follow. For more information on Acadia National Park, please call (207) 288-3338 or visit the park's website at http://www.nps.gov/acad.