Restoring Acadia’s Historic Hiking Trails

Hiking Acadia is a pastime almost as old as the state of Maine itself. “People have been hiking Mt. Desert Island and these moutains since the mid-1800s,” said Gary Stellpflug, Trails Foreman at Acadia National Park.

Between the 1890s and the 1930s some 130 miles of trails were cut in this park. But then… “Finances for the trails program dwindled over the course of the next couple years, right into the 1960s and 1970s,” said Stellpflug.

Many trails were abandoned or fell into disrepair-that is until 1999 when a massive restoration effort began.

“People realized that the trails were a cultural resource, a natural resource, and something that everybody loved and that they were truly suffering and we needed a way to bring them back to their standard,” said Stellpflug.

So each summer a crew of 35 federal workers and some 16 youth corps are going trail by trail, bringing them back to life.

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