Area girds for Acadia shutdown

Ocean Drive in Acadia National Park

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK — With the clock ticking down toward midnight and little hope for movement on the budget impass in Washington D.C. officials here Monday were making plans to shut down major areas of the park.

Plans call for rangers to begin locking the gates to the motor roads, including the Ocean Drive and Cadillac Mountain Summit Road at dawn on Tuesday.

The planned shutdown will affect all areas including beaches, rest rooms, visitor centers, and concessions such as the Jordan Pond House.

Visitors would not be banned from using parts of the park accessible via state roads and private lands.

Area chamber of commerce officials were planning a major push to counter the impression all of Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island is closed. “We will be reaching out to our customers through social media and other means to let them know Bar Harbor is still open and there are many other activities to enjoy in our region,” said chamber of commerce director Chris Fogg.

Early October is also peak cruise ship season with hundreds of passengers visiting Acadia by bus each day. “We have reached out to the cruise ship industry to see what impact a government shutdown would have on their business,” Fogg said. “They have said that they will continue to call on Bar Harbor, however, in the event of a shutdown of more than a few days, they may consider moving their calls to another port.”

Downeast Transportation, the agency that runs the Island Explorer shuttle bus system issued a news release on Monday. It plans to continue to run routes between outlying hubs and Bar Harbor although no buses are planned for the Park Loop Road or to Jordan Pond House.

Anyone involved in an emergency situation in the park is advised to call 911.

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Earl Brechlin

Editor at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander editor Earl Brechlin first discovered Mount Desert Island 35 years ago and never left. The author of seven guide and casual history books, he is a Registered Maine Guide and has served as president of the Maine and New England Press Associations. He and his wife live in Bar Harbor.

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