Prepared for the Corridor Advisory Group and the Maine Department of Transportation

By The Hancock County Planning Commission

(Revised: May 10, 2000)

















Goal 1. Protect and Enhance Scenic, Historical, and Natural Resources. *

Goal 2. Insure Health and Safety for Movement Along the Byway *

Goal 3: Promote Community Support and Participation in the Acadia Byway *

Goal 4: Promote Education on the Need for Resource Protection and Preservation *

Goal 5: Promote Sustainable Economic Development and Tourism Management *


Community Participation Program *

Public Relations / Marketing in the Communities *



Responsibilities *


Town Council (Bar Harbor) and Board of Selectmen (Trenton) and Acadia National Park *

Planning Boards *


Federal *

State *

County *





Bar Harbor *

Acadia National Park *

Future Protection Techniques *


Bar Harbor *


Marketing Research *

Communication and Intervention *


Priorities for Action Plan *

Goal 1. Protect and Enhance Scenic, Historical, and Natural Resources. *

Goal 2. Insure Health and Safety for Movement Along the Byway *

Goal 3: Promote Community Support and Participation in the Acadia Byway *

Goal 4: Promote Education on the Need for Resource Protection and Preservation *

Goal 5: Promote Sustainable Economic Development and Tourism Management. *

Acknowledgments *


Figure 1 Acadia Scenic Byway Points of Interest *

Figure 2 Historic and Cultural Inventory *

Figure 3 Bar Harbor Zoning Map *

Figure 4 Land Under Acadia National Park Protection *



Table 1 Outstanding Scenic Resources *

Table 2 Natural Features *

Table 3 Registered Critical Areas *

Table 4 Cultural and Historic Inventory *

Table 5 National Register Information For Bar Harbor *

Table 6 Acadia Hiking Trails - Distances are in Miles and Kilometers and round trip *

Table 7 Participants in the Corridor Planning Group (CPG) *

Table 8 Recent Activities of the Corridor Planning Group *

Table 9 Provisional Corridor Management Committee Members *

Table 10 Bar Harbor Zoning Districts Summary *

Table 11 Summary of Action Plan *




The draft Corridor Management Plan proposes acquiring state and federal designations for a Byway beginning on the Trenton side of Thompson Island, following route 3 into Bar Harbor, and entering Acadia National Park in Hulls Cove or at Sieur de Mont Springs, for the park Loop Road is also part of the Byway.

As a gateway to the eighth most heavily visited national park, Route 3 from Thompson Island through Bar Harbor faces a number of threats from potential development and the movement of traffic. To ensure that development pressures are mitigated and the region's unique qualities preserved, the plan documents the natural, historical, cultural, scenic, and recreational resources along this section of route 3, areas immediately adjacent to it, and in Acadia National Park. There are no documented archaeological resources on the route 3 section of the Byway.

In Bar Harbor and Trenton, the management plan and the request for state and federal designation must be adopted by town meeting and will become an amendment to the 1993 Comprehensive Plan. The park supports the plan which deputy superintendent Len Bobinchock helped to develop.

One of the principal features of state and federal designation is the protection it affords areas adjacent to the Byway. The plan calls for working with state agencies, including the Planning Office, Department of Environmental Protection, and Department of Transportation, as well as seeking memorandums of understanding from utility and cable TV companies before any project such as road reconstruction are begun. The Byway designation requires that any improvements enhance, not detract from, the qualities that define the Byway and give it its character. Like the Bar Harbor Comprehensive Plan, this management plan balances preservation with economic development. The state and federal designation increases the area's ability to obtain additional funding and provides resources to communities to protect historic and natural resources, increase safety on the road, and mitigate the consequences of growth in tourism.

The plan specifies that the Corridor Management Committee (CMC), which will be chaired by Bar Harbor planner Jim Campbell, oversees implementation of objectives. In Bar Harbor, much of the actual work will be done by appropriate town boards and committees. The CMC will seek out funding sources for projects, report progress to appropriate local, state, and federal committees, and keep the public informed. Included in this plan is a six-year implementation schedule for implementing the following goals:

* protect and enhance scenic, natural, and historic resources

* ensure health and safety for movement along the byway

* promote community support and participation

* promote education on the need for resource protection and preservation

* promote sustainable economic development and tourism management

The plan provides for modifications to the implementation schedule and for a change in objectives and goals. Substantive changes would require town meeting approval.



If our lives are like Thomas Edison's inventions, one-percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration, then we are well justified in our efforts to seek inspiration. Finding the right place for inspiration and renewal is important. The right place for many of us will be endowed with a mix of natural, historic and cultural resources assembled in such a way that we can jump in and enjoy the new experiences and when our time is up climb back out, feeling reinvigorated. When too many of us find the same-right place at the same time the effect can be disastrous. Special places need special care or the strain of over-use and disregard for these intrinsic values may forever eclipse their potential.

The Scenic Byways Program recognizes and promotes six intrinsic values. The values may function independently, but more often form a composite experience that is greater than the sum of the parts.

The Scenic Byway Program seeks to balance year-round and summer residents' needs for a healthy and safe environment, economic opportunity and continuity with the past, with increasing frequency of visits by tourists. This program promotes conservation of intrinsic values along the Byway and provides resources to communities to protect historic and natural assets, increase safety on the roads, and mitigate the latent consequences of excessive tourism.

Current road design standards in Maine emphasize safety and efficiency and place far less emphasis on preserving the intrinsic qualities of the roadway. Scenic Byways designation will encourage MDOT to re-evaluate design standards used to maintain Route 3, placing greater emphasis on preservation of the landscape, the small town feel of the region, and the connections between roads and the surrounding environment. The National Park Service can work with the Maine Department of Transportation in identifying ways to preserve scenic and historic values, promote safety, and identify ways to reduce congestion and degradation of the environment.


Mount Desert Island, including Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Mount Desert, Southwest Harbor, Tremont, and the gateway in Trenton, is a special place to live, to spend the summer, or to visit for a short while. The Acadia experience involves remarkable scenery, recreation on water and land, educational facilities, geological and natural resources, and a rich history and culture. This combination of intrinsic values, or characteristics that are integral to Mount Desert Island, is unique partly by natural evolution and partly due to historic decisions leading up to the present.

The proposed Scenic Byway consists of Route 3 beginning at the Trenton side of the Thompson Island Bridge, passing through the town of Bar Harbor and circling the Acadia National Park Loop Road. The Route 3 corridor is the gateway and only land access to Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park (ANP), the only National Park in New England. This unique section of Downeast Maine is the economic backbone of Hancock County and defines "the Maine experience" for many travelers visiting the state. The Park Loop Road connects many of Acadia National Park's most prized trails, scenic overlooks, visitor facilities and natural resource areas. The combination of Route 3 and the Park Loop Road will hereafter be referred to as the Acadia Byway.

Acadia National Park (ANP) encompasses approximately 35,000 acres of land on Mount Desert Island, offering unparalleled scenic, natural, cultural, historic, archeological, and recreational resources. One of the most intensely used recreational areas in the country, ANP offers unique examples of road building through its network of motor roads, carriage roads, and hiking trails. These roads wind the visitor through pink granite archways to a variety of museums, archeological sites, recreational facilities, and pristine natural areas. Extending from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to the top of the eastern seaboard's highest mountains, this diverse area provides critical habitat for many unique plants and animals, including threatened peregrine falcons and bald eagles.

The beauty and resources of Mount Desert Island are not isolated within Acadia National Park. Rather, a combination of outstanding resources can be found along the entire length of the proposed Acadia Byway. From fresh water wetlands to lush gardens, salt marshes to mountain trails, spectacular lakes to quaint historic villages and harbors, the Abbe Museum of Stone Age Antiquities, the proposed Scenic Byway offers a rare combination of visual assets for the traveler.

The face of this unique backdrop changes throughout the seasons. The beauty of lupines and wildflowers in the spring, stunning greenery of lush vegetation in the summer, one of New England's most spectacular foliage displays in the fall, snow and ice-covered coastline and trees in the winter provide the traveler with an unforgettable experience throughout the year. Within each season, the traveler experiences many more of the area's unique features. The sunrise over the eastern seaboard is always spectacular, whether the intensely pink sky bathes the mountains or the ocean's horizon. The traveler will also be amazed as the shoreline transforms itself from rocks sprayed with white water at high tide to expansive mud flats at low tide. Whether one travels Route 3 and the Loop Road through a coastal fog consumed by dense salty air or on a bright sunny day with views of the miles of Maine's coastal islands, the traveler is assured a unique and unforgettable experience.





As an area of national and international significance, the resources found throughout the Acadia Byway are too numerous to list in detail. In fact, it is often the combination of resources viewed together such as the meeting of the mountains and the sea or the retreat of dense coastal fog revealing the islands, which gives the area its unique character. The following section reviews some of the most outstanding views found directly along the Acadia Byway as well as many of the natural, recreational, archeological, historical, and cultural resources of the area.


Built between 1925 and 1941, the Park Loop Road at Acadia offers boundless recreational and scenic resources for visitors to enjoy. In Hulls Cove, visitors can exit Route 3 to go to the Hulls Cove Visitor Center, where films about Acadia are shown, and Park staff give out information in spring, summer, and fall about ranger-led programs and recreational opportunities in the Park. From the Visitor Center, a 3-mile connector road, constructed in 1953, takes visitors on a journey above the village of Bar Harbor toward Cadillac Mountain and the beginning of the actual Loop Road, itself. Along the way, visitors have opportunities to exit twice toward Route 3 and Bar Harbor or stop at two scenic overlooks to take photographs of Frenchman Bay, the Porcupine Islands, and Champlain, Dorr, and Cadillac Mountains. The hardwood forest along this section of the road mostly grew after the Great Fire of 1947, resulting in beautiful fall foliage and gorgeous green, gold, and red buds in the spring.

Just beyond the exit to Route 233, the connector road joins with the Park Loop Road. At this point, visitors can turn left toward Sand Beach or continue straight toward Cadillac Mountain. Visitors who opt toward the Beach will be on the one-way section of the Loop Road and are allowed to park in the right lane of the road for hiking, wildlife viewing, or other recreational purposes. The first section of the one-way Park Loop Road winds around the north side of Cadillac Mountain through a beautiful birch forest. Visitors can stop at the scenic overlook on the left for photos of Bar Harbor or to hike the North Ridge Trail of Cadillac, the tallest mountain on the eastern seaboard. Other trails leaving this section of road include the Gorge Path, the Kebo Mountain Trail, the Stratheden Path, and the Jesup Path. The National Park Service, Friends of Acadia, and the Village Connector Trails group have recently begun construction of a trail connecting the Jesup Path with the village of Bar Harbor. Residents and visitors will be able to walk directly to the Park Loop Road and cross over for bird watching in the Great Meadow or hiking adventures at Sieur de Monts Spring.

If visitors opt to remain in their cars along the Park Loop Road, they will quickly reach Sieur de Monts Spring, named for the "proprietor of the first French colony in North America, Pierre du Guast, Sieur de Monts" (Thayer, 1999). At Sieur de Monts, visitors can tour the Wild Gardens of Acadia, the Nature Center, the historic building covering the spring, or the Abbe Museum of Stone Age Antiquities, a museum dedicated to the interpretation of Maine's Native American heritage. Numerous carefully constructed trails also leave from this site, offering visitors everything from relatively flat walks to steep hikes with granite steps and ladders.

At Sieur de Monts, visitors can exit to Route 3 or continue along the one-way section of the Park Loop Road. If remaining on the Loop Road, visitors will quickly come upon the Bear Brook Picnic Area and Beaver Dam Pond, where beaver activity can be seen. On the left side of the road is the backside of The Jackson Laboratory, a world-renowned genetics research facility and a resource for strains of genetically pure mice. Beyond The Jackson Laboratory, visitors can pull over on the left for a sweeping vista of Frenchman Bay or to hike the popular Bear Brook trail up Champlain Mountain.

Continuing along the Park Loop Road, visitors will travel past the East Face Trail up Champlain Mountain and come to the Precipice Trail parking area. This trail is the most challenging trail in the Park and is classified as a technical climbing route because of its iron rungs and ladders. The sheer cliff faces were created by glaciers during the last ice age. These cliffs are also home to nesting peregrine falcons. Generally from March through August, the National Park Service closes the trail to avoid disturbance to the falcons. As a result, this location has become one of the most popular interpretive sites in the Park. Rangers staff the site during summer mornings and show visitors the nesting location and aerial acrobatics of the falcons.

Beyond the Precipice Trail, visitors come to the Fee Station at Acadia National Park, where a park entrance fee is charged. At the Fee Station, visitors can also turn left off the Park Loop Road for another beautiful view of Frenchman Bay at the Schooner Head Overlook. Once through the Fee Station, visitors will travel for approximately two miles along the most scenic portion of the Park Loop Road, with dramatic views of the Egg Rock Lighthouse, Sand Beach, Otter Cliffs, and the Schoodic Peninsula. The Sand Beach route of the Island Explorer bus system serves this section of the Loop Road.

At Sand Beach, visitors can park and hike the trails along Great Head or opt for the Bowl Trail and the Beehive Trail across the Park Loop Road for more of a challenge. Sand Beach itself presents wonderful opportunities for bird watching, photography, and sunbathing. The Ocean Path also departs from the Sand Beach Parking area and runs alongside the Park Loop Road for a wonderful stroll along pink granite cliffs and the ocean.

Just beyond Sand Beach lies Thunder Hole, a chasm into which ocean waves crash (under the right conditions) causing a great boom and splash (or thump and trickle under calm seas). Visitors have access to wheelchair-accessible rest rooms here (as well as at Sand Beach and the Fabbri Picnic area). Beyond Thunder Hole, hikers will find two parking areas for Gorham Mountain. The trail up Gorham Mountain is a pleasant hike through jack pines to a relatively low summit with gorgeous views and excellent loop hiking possibilities.

Otter Cliffs is another dramatic viewshed and a very popular place to rock climb over the open ocean. Visitors can park and stroll to Otter Point, a beautiful section where the road divides for a two-tiered overlook. From here, the Park Loop Road travels through a deep spruce forest, a cool contrast to the areas of Bar Harbor that were burned in the Fire of 1947. Visitors will cross the Otter Cove Causeway, built in 1939. Otter Cove is supposedly the area into which Samuel de Champlain sailed his ship in 1604 for repairs and met with the Wabanaki Indians (Thayer, 1999).

After crossing the causeway, visitors continue along the shoreline past a trail to the backside of the Blackwoods Campground. In the distance are the Cranberry Isles and Bunker Ledge with its historic day marker for navigation. At low tide, seals regularly haul out on the ledge. The Park Loop Road gradually winds toward Seal Harbor. It passes Wildwood Stables where visitors can stop for carriage rides along the historic 45-mile network of carriage roads built by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and donated to the Park.

Just beyond Wildwood Stables, visitors have the option of leaving the Byway via the Stanley Brook Road toward Route 3 and Seal Harbor, or continuing on the Park Loop Road (2-way traffic at this point) toward the Jordan Pond House. Before reaching the Pond House, visitors will see the historic Jordan Pond Gatehouse on the right side of the road at an entrance to the carriage roads. Built in the early 1930s, the Gatehouse was intended for people who would keep automobiles off the carriage roads. The Jordan Pond Gatehouse, however, was only briefly inhabited by one of Mr. Rockefeller's engineers and is now used for Park staff housing.

Down the road from the Gatehouse is the beautiful glacial lake, Jordan Pond, which is one of the clearest lakes in Maine and is the drinking water supply for the village of Seal Harbor. At the Pond's end sits the Jordan Pond House, a restaurant and gift shop serving traditional tea and popovers along with other lunch and dinner fare. Tea and popovers have been a tradition at the Jordan Pond House since 1896, but the present facilities were built after a fire in 1979. From the Pond House, hikers and bicyclists have excellent access to numerous trails and carriage roads, and two large parking areas for recreational users have been constructed just beyond the Pond House. The Pond House is also served by the Island Explorer bus system.

The Park Loop Road gradually climbs beside Jordan Pond, and visitors gain breathtaking views of Penobscot Mountain and the Bubbles. Perched on the side of South Bubble Mountain is Bubble Rock, a glacial erratic. Visitors may also see rock climbers scaling the steep cliff faces of South Bubble. Several parking areas alongside the Park Loop Road offer hiking access up the Bubbles, Pemetic Mountain, and down to the shore of Jordan Pond.

Continuing past the Bubbles, visitors will reach Bubble Pond, another beautiful pond in the shadows of Cadillac and Pemetic Mountains. A parking lot here also offers hiking and bicycling opportunities. From here, the Loop Road climbs steadily toward the summit road up Cadillac. Visitors should stop at the overlooks and enjoy the scenery of Eagle Lake and the surrounding hills. Those who opt to go up Cadillac will not be disappointed (except in foggy conditions) by the panoramic views of Acadia National Park. The Park Service also offers interpretive tours at the summit on a regular schedule during the summer.

Beyond Cadillac, visitors will reach the end of the Park Loop Road and can either exit on the access road toward the Hulls Cove Visitor Center or head toward Bar Harbor. Overall, the Park Loop Road at Acadia offers excellent scenic, recreational, and historic features and is an important part of the visitor experience at the Park.


The Acadia Byway offers a variety of breathtaking scenery. As one proceeds along Route 3 from Ellsworth into Trenton, occasional glimpses of Mount Desert Island's topography appear, gradually increasing in frequency and prominence. Travelers truly sense that they have entered the gateway to Acadia. The visual experience builds as views of open fields and waterways become the foreground to the views of Acadia's mountains.


Crossing the Thompson Island Bridge to Mount Desert Island, views of the coastline and mountains become sweeping, panoramic, and fill a wide arc of the traveler's vision. As Route 3 winds the traveler around the perimeter of Acadia National Park, the experience continues to intensify as the local villages intermix with the awesome natural scenery. Whether it is a view of the sweeping panorama of the Trenton and Bar Harbor shorelines from the Thompson Island Bridge, the panoramic view of Frenchman's Bay as one navigates alongside the ledge outcroppings of Acadia's mountains, the magnificent architecture of Acadia's gate houses, the Route 3 traveler is guaranteed a memorable experience. Table 1 overviews the most outstanding views located directly on the Acadia Byway. Each is worthy of signage and interpretation.



Table 1 Outstanding Scenic Resources





Mount Desert Narrows, surrounding shoreline and islands

Approximately mile 0 in Trenton at the Thompson Island Bridge

Panoramic view of Mount Desert Narrows with views of Thomas Island and Haynes Point, Bar Harbor shoreline, and wetlands

local, regional,


Thomas Bay area

Approximately mile 1 in Bar Harbor

Views of Thomas Bay and the Twinnies with salt marsh on one side, wetland with forest & wildflowers on other; wildlife area

local, regional

Northeast Creek/Thomas Island

Approximately mile 2.4 in Bar Harbor

Views of Thomas Island, Northeast Creek surrounded by wetland; wildlife area

local, regional

Route 3 looking across Hamilton Station

 Approximately mile 4.0 in Bar Harbor

View of Frenchman's Bay

Local, regional

Hamilton Pond area

Approximately mile 4.6 in Bar Harbor

Panoramic view of pond, trees, and mountains


Fields and wildflowers

Approximately mile 6.8 in Bar Harbor

Field full of wildflowers with trees and hills in background


Hulls Cove

Approximately mile 7.5 in Bar Harbor

Panoramic view of Frenchman Bay at Hulls Cove, beach, islands, working waterfront, ANP access

local, regional, national

Frenchman Bay, The Bluffs

Approximately mile 8.5 in Bar Harbor

Panoramic view of Frenchman Bay, working waterfront, wildlife area, ledge outcroppings

local, regional

Champlain & Dorr Mountains, the Tarn, & wetlands

Approximately mile 13.5 in Bar Harbor

Champlain Mountain on left, Dorr Mountain on right, panoramic view of the Tarn and wetland, wildlife area, ANP access

local, regional, national

Sources: Hancock County Planning Commission, Acadia Byway Inventory, 1995; revised 1996

Jacobson & Dominie, State Planning Office, Inventory for Acadia National Park





The area surrounding the proposed Acadia Byway is rich in natural features including rocky and sandy shores, mountains, lakes, streams, ponds, wetlands, salt marshes, and forests containing pockets of old growth. This diversity of natural features provides scenic beauty, recreational opportunities, and critical habitat for a diversity of flora and fauna. Table 2 provides an overview of the area's outstanding natural features.


Table 2 Natural Features

a. Shoreline

- Sand Beach, ANP

- Thunder Hole, ANP

- Thompson Island/Mt. Desert Narrows, Trenton, Bar Harbor

- Thomas Bay, Bar Harbor

- Salisbury Cove, Bar Harbor

- Hulls Cove, Bar Harbor

- Frenchman Bay, Bar Harbor

- Coastal Islands - Porcupine

b. Freshwater

- Jordan River, Trenton

- Northeast Creek, Bar Harbor

- Hamilton Pond, Bar Harbor

- Stony Brook, Bar Harbor

- Breakneck Ponds, ANP

- Aunt Betty Pond, ANP

- Eagle Lake, ANP

- Bubble Pond, ANP

- Jordan Pond, ANP

- Lake Wood, ANP

c. Wetlands

- Northeast Creek, ANP

- Big Heath, ANP

- Great Meadow, ANP

- Bliss Field, ANP

d. Geology

- Acadia Mountains Champlain, Dorr, Day

- wetlands, kettle holes, lakes

e. Plants

- Cadillac Mountain jack pine stand

- Sargent Mountain alpine clubmoss

- 150 locally rare species

- Salisbury Cove old growth white pine stand

- 22 species listed for status by the state

f. Wildlife

- 338 bird species

- 17 amphibian species

45 terrestrial mammals

59 animal species listed for status by the state

- 5 reptile species

- marine mammals

- many fresh/marine fish species

Source: Acadia National Park General Management Plan, 1992


Several of these features have been identified by Acadia National Park staff as areas that illustrate the ecological and geological character of the United States, and others are listed in Maine's Critical Areas Program. Critical areas are those deemed worthy of special management by the state because of their natural, scientific, scenic, and historical values. Table 3 details the areas listed in the state's Critical Areas Program, all of which are accessed through the Route 3 corridor.


Table 3 Registered Critical Areas

Bald Porcupine Island

This 30-acre island lies in the mouth of Frenchman Bay in Bar Harbor. The island contains a vigorous stand of luminous moss, a white spruce/balsam fir/paper birch type forest, hosts a nesting pair of American bald eagles, and is highly scenic.

Sand Beach

Located on the eastern shore of Mount Desert Island in Newport Cove, this beach and its dune structure are an important natural and recreational resource.

Big Heath

Located in Southwest Harbor, this peatland and surrounding critical area comprise approximately 554 acres. This heath is an important example of the coastal plateau peatland type, and has two rare plant species: baked apple berry and swamp pink.

Cadillac Mountain, jack pine stand

Located on Cadillac Mountain's southern ridge at 1,000 feet elevation, this area contains 7 acres of a dense nearly monospecific stand.

Salisbury Cove, old growth white pine stand

This stand is approximately 185 years old. This species is not usually found in a marine location. This stand is a remnant of the extensive pine forests that shaped Maine's early history.

Sargent Mountain, alpine clubmoss

Two populations of alpine clubmoss are located at 1,379 feet. This species is rare in Maine, due to lack of moist arctic alpine habitat.

Source: Acadia National Park General Management Plan, 1992


According to Dominie, important ecological resources include national natural landmarks, significant natural habitats, Maine critical areas, significant Maine geological features, and natural communities within Acadia National Park. The following ecological resources have been documented on Geographical Information Systems.

In Salisbury Cove are shorebird feeding areas and tidal flats which are important to waterfowl and extend from north of Northeast Creek to the north end of Bayview Drive. Eagle nesting sites can be found on both sides of route 3 near Northeast Creek. This creek is an estuary that provides habitat for nesting bald eagles, great blue herons, and cranberry bogs. The Northeast Creek watershed stretches from just north of the Creek to Hulls Cove. Wetlands at Hamilton Pond are important to wildlife as are tidal flats near West and Eden streets and at Cromwell Cove. West of route 3 just beyond the Athletic Field is the Cromwell Cove watershed where a rare sedge (Carex adjusta) habitat can be found.

Maine's shoreline is recognized throughout the world as an area of unique natural beauty and pristine resources. Remarkably, only six percent of Maine's coast is accessible to the public and one-fourth of this is located in Acadia National Park. The Acadia Byway provides access to Acadia National Park's diverse shoreline, including Sand Beach and Thunder Hole, and winds the traveler along many more miles of shore, offering views of rocky bluffs, forested shoreline, coastal islands, bays, and open ocean.

The area's freshwater systems include lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. These systems support a variety of fish, birds, and terrestrial wildlife, supply drinking water for area residents, provide a variety of recreational opportunities, and create a wealth of unique scenic views.

The region's geologic history spans more than 500 million years during which glaciers carved the landscape 20-30 times. Somes Sound, the only fjord in the lower 48 states, Acadia's Mountains and valleys, coastal islands, the sandy and rocky shoreline, and wetland systems are all evidence of the rich diversity of the area's geological features. The area's wetland systems include salt marsh, estuaries, freshwater marshes, sphagnum-sedge and scrub bogs, alder scrub swamps, black spruce-tamarack swamps, and red maple and northern white cedar forests in saturated soils. These wetland systems are an integral part of the Atlantic Flyway providing habitat for nesting, migrating, and over-wintering birds.

The area surrounding the Acadia Byway supports a variety of wildlife through habitats ranging from the rocky intertidal zone to bare mountain peaks. The corridor lies in the transitional zone from southern deciduous to northern coniferous forest, containing several old growth forest stands and a variety of rare plant species. Many species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates, and mammals inhabit this area. The area's habitat supports nesting sites for species including petrels, scoters, cormorants, sea ducks, osprey, herons, gulls, terns, and auks. It is the only eastern state where eider ducks breed, and is an important wintering area in the western Atlantic area for harlequin ducks. The area also provides habitat for federally endangered bald eagles and peregrine falcons.




The area along and adjacent to the proposed Acadia Byway is rich in cultural, historical, and archeological resources. These resources, many located directly on the Byway and others only a short distance away, are summarized in Table 4. Table 5 lists structures on the National Historic Register along with their Federal ID number and date of listing. A map follows that indicates the approximate location of many of these historic sites.

Samuel de Champlain was the first to record the area's history after landing on Mount Desert Island in 1604, marking the beginning of European settlement in the area. Native Americans had a long history in the area prior to the arrival of the Europeans as evidenced by the deep shell heaps found throughout the area which date back 6,000 years. Native American artifacts are exhibited at the Abbe Museum and found at the Fernald Point (Saint Sauveur) archeological site, both located within Acadia National Park.

During the mid-1800s the area became a summer retreat for many wealthy and prominent families. Many elegant and extravagant houses were built. These wealthy families donated much of Acadia National Park. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. built the great network of carriage roads and the Park Loop Road, both of which are unique cultural resources listed on the National Historic Register. Beatrix Farrand designed some of the landscaping along the carriage roads. Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr. was the principal designer of the Park Loop Road landscape.

The Acadia Trail System has recently received another significant award being named the Millennium Legacy Trail for the State of Maine. The National Millennium Trail Program selects one trail from each state in the United States that reflects the heritage and culture of the region, honors the past, and brings together individuals, groups, and organizations both public and private, in collaborative support of the trail. The Acadia Trail System will be placed in a database of National Trails and will be considered as participants in special partnership and funding opportunities that may develop as part of Millennium Trails.

The opportunities for historical interpretation and visitor education are nearly unlimited on the Acadia Byway. The communities in the Mount Desert Island area developed much like many other coastal communities throughout the Downeast region. Fishing and boat building were the traditional economic staples, followed by the development of the service industry. The area still contains many sites of historical, cultural, and archeological significance. As of 1992, 27 park structures, including bridges, were listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and more than 40 additional structures are thought to be eligible. West Street in Bar Harbor is designated as an historic district and historic structures are evident throughout Mount Desert Island.

Many of the items listed in the inventory can be located on GIS maps of cultural and historic resources found in the town office. The sites shown on the maps correspond with information in the Dominie and Jacobson study.

Cultural resources include both historical and archaeological resources. Dominie and Jacobson define cultural resources as "sites, structures, districts, landscapes, and other tangibles valued by or representative of a group of people with a shared system of behaviors, values, ideologies, and social arrangements" (37). They further clarify by defining historical as things of the past while cultural resources are the present condition--what exists now.

No documented archeological resources were found along the Byway section of Route 3.

Table 4 Cultural and Historic Inventory



Historic/Cultural Resource

Historic Value



Route 3, Salisbury Cove

Coach Stop Inn

Built 1804; Stagecoach Stop & Tavern

Private Ownership


Salisbury Cove, Old Bar Harbor Road (Off route 3)

Emery Farmhouse

The 200-year old Emery farmhouse was purchased by George Dorr and given to the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory when it moved here from South Harpswell, Maine in 1921. The low windows beneath the eaves provide ventilation while maintaining the roofline. The oak-ribbed fan over the front door is a distinctive signature of the builder Benjamin Leland.

Maintained by Mount Desert Biological Laboratory. The Lab added a wing in 1929; first used a dining room, it is now a women's dormitory.


Old Bar Harbor Road, Salisbury Cove

Dalgren Hall School House

Dalgren was the original schoolhouse for the Village of Eden.

As part of the MDI Biological Lab's centennial celebration in 1998, the schoolhouse was renovated and a wing containing a state-of-the-art conference center added.


Old Bar Harbor Road, Salisbury Cove

Eden Baptist Church

200-year-old church. First meetinghouse in the town of Eden, erected July 5, 1799. Oldest Baptist Church in Hancock County.

Operating Church


Old Bar Harbor Road, Salisbury Cove

Hopkins House

Built in 1790 by Joseph Hopkins; the deed to the land is signed by Mme. DeGregoire.

Private home


Old Bar Harbor Road, Salisbury Cove

Plaque by cemetery

Plaque indicates that the first town hall for Eden--built in 1842 and razed in 1931--was located here. Incorporated as Eden in 1796, the town became Bar Harbor in 1918. The plaque was given by the citizens of Bar Harbor.



Rt 3, Hulls Cove


Cultural landscape by Pot & Kettle Club

Private Home


Route 3, Hulls Cove

Farmhouse & Fields

Cultural Landscape

Private Home


Route 3, Hulls Cove

Hulls Cove Cemetery

Stone commemorating Mme. de Gregoire's Burial, granddaughter of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac.



Route 3, Hulls Cove, 0.5 mi. No of Crooked Rd.

Church of Our Father

Built on original land granted by Louis XIV to Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. Church built in 1890

National Register of Historic Places. Functioning church.


Route 3, Hulls Cove

Hull's Cove School House

Sits across from the Church of Our Father and is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

National Register of Historic Places, Hulls Cove launched a fund raising drive to restore the schoolhouse.


Route 3, Hulls Cove, W side, 0.3 mi. NW of jct. with Crooked Rd.

Cover Farm

A 200-year-old farmhouse. Fields and gateposts at entrance are cultural landscape.

Protected under easement. National Register of Historic Places, private home.


Village of Hulls Cove

Typical New England Village

Cultural artifact with a mixture of homes and businesses.

Private property


Route 3

Canoe Point

Inn built in 1899

Private Ownership


Route 3, The Bluffs

Blue Star Highway

Named for Ernest Harriman Joy, Captain in the US Navy.

Maintained by MDOT as Route 3 right of way.


Route 3, overlooking Route 3 in Hulls Cove

Gurnee Path

A former village connector path built by Miss Belle Gurnee may be restored as part of the Friends of Acadia and park effort to restore connector trails. The path runs along the west side of route above the bluffs and provides a connection to the Visitor Center.

Being considered for restoration with assistance from Friends of Acadia, Village Trails Committee, and Acadia National Park.


Rt 3 Historic Corridor Eden St.

East of Eden (Eeganos)

Built in 1907. The architectural design was provided by Guy Lowell.

National Register of Historic Places, Private


Route 3 Historic Corridor, East Side


Lavish "Summer Cottage" built for Henry Lane Eno. Built in 1903. Subsequent owners include the Vanderbilts and Atwater Kent, the "Henry Ford" of radio.

Currently serves as a nursing facility.


Duck Brook drainage from Eagle lake to Frenchman's Bay

Duck Brook Bridge

402-foot, triple-arch span, pink granite faced bridge. View is somewhat obscured, vista restoration may be needed.

Part of National Register of Historic Places for Acadia National Park


Route 3, Bar Harbor

Ferry Terminal

Ferry service to Canada. The first home on this site was built by Alexander Cassatt, 7th President of the Penn Railroad.

Private Ownership


Route 3 Bar Harbor

Sir Harry Oakes Cottage

Former summer cottage, part of the Atlantic Oakes Motel.

Private Hotel


Bar Harbor Historic Corridor

Cleftstone Manor (Bed and Breakfast)

Built in 1884 for John Howe.

National Register of Historic Places. Functioning business.


Route 3, Bar Harbor Historic Corridor

George Dorr's Office at College of the Atlantic

At the entrance of College of the Atlantic's Natural History Museum is the old headquarters of Acadia National Park's first Superintendent, George Dorr. Its original location was at the corner of Park and Main Streets across from the Athletic Field. The historic structure was-moved to COA's campus in order to preserve it in 1996.

National Register of Historic Places. Owned by College of the Atlantic.


Bar Harbor Historic Corridor

The Turrets at College of the Atlantic

Designed in 1895 by Bruce Price of New York for summer resident John Emery; the former "summer cottage" has a gallery, mirrored morning room and Great Hall.

National Register of Historic Places. Owned by COA


Route 3, Bar Harbor

Historic Remnants

Along the west side of Eden Street from the Cleftstone Manor south to the intersection with West Street, there are architectural remains of former summer cottages. The historic granite and/or stone walls, stairs, and foundations include: Mizzentop, the Bluenose Motel now occupies part of the site; other historical remnants exist for properties such as Steepways, Bleinheim, Rochlyn, Buena Vista, and the Italian Villa. Historic rock walls and summer cottages line the east side of Eden Street.

Private ownership


Route 3, Bar Harbor

Mary Roberts Rinehart (Rockbrook)

Home of the late novelist burned in the 1947 fire.

Private Hotel


Route 3 and West Street

Gateway for the West Street Historic District

Location for 15 historic buildings, including La Rochelle, now Maine Sea Coast Missionary, Bar Harbor Club and others.

All 15 are listed on the National Register Historic Places.


Mount Desert St.

B & Bs

Former historic buildings, these now comprise a cultural resource.

Local Historic Buildings list. Privately Owned.


Off Route 3, on Ledgelawn Avenue

Bar Harbor Historical Society

Historical Society headquarters. Located on Ledgelawn Avenue, just off or Route 3 in Bar Harbor. Former St. Edward's Convent, built in 1918.

National Register Historic Places, owned by the historical society.


34 Mt. Desert St. Bar Harbor

Jesup Memorial Library

Built in 1911 in memory of Morris K. Jesup by his wife

National Register Historic Places. Endowed library.


Bar Harbor Historic Corridor

41 Mt. Desert St.

St. Saviour's Church and Rectory

First Episcopal Church on Mount Desert Island, built in 1876.

National Register of Historic Places. Active church.


Downtown Bar Harbor

Village Green

Designed by landscape gardener Beatrix Farrand. Center of Historic Bar Harbor, location for many cultural events and newly established bus terminal for the Island Explorer

Maintained by the Village Improvement Association.


Main St., Bar Harbor

Businesses and private homes

Cultural resource, typical New England village.

Privately Owned


Bar Harbor, Lower Main Street

Athletic Field

Given in 19l4 by Mrs. John S. Kennedy to the residents of and summer visitors to Bar Harbor, the six-acre athletic field by deed is restricted to "outdoor games and sports for the development and encouragement of athletics." George Dorr, founder of Acadia National Park, planted a walk of shade trees around the field. Historically the park was a starting point for many of the old walking paths and trails such as the one recently constructed by Friends of Acadia. Beginning of the connection to the Jesup trail

Transferred to town in 1933 with the stipulation that no profit can be made from this field.


Lower Main Street, East Side

Nannau Bed and Breakfast

Built in 1904 for Mary Ogden by Andrews, Jaques, and Rantoul Architects.

National Register of Historic Places. Functioning bed and breakfast.


Route 3 and Schooner Head Road

Horse Trough

Once was used as a horse trough, now maintained by Village Improvement Association with flowers planted in it.

Town owns land.


The Jackson Laboratory Site on Rt. 3

Robin Hood Park

Owned by avid horseman Colonel Edward Morrell of Philadelphia, was the site of a major horse show for three days each August from 1900-1920s. The former track is now the site of Morrell Park, The Jackson Laboratory's mouse facility. A plaque on a bolder just south of the lab's main building recognizes Colonel Morrell's contributions.

Owned by Jackson Lab. Much of the land is now developed.


Acadia National Park

motor road system

Built between 1923 and 1958 with financial and technical assistance from John D. Rockefeller, Jr.; design by Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr. and other private individuals, Bureau of Public Roads, and National Park Service


Acadia National Park

trail system

Most extensive circulation system in the Park - predating its establishment and extending beyond its borders; one of the first recreational hiking trail systems in the United States

within Park boundaries; designated Maine's Millennium Legacy Trail


Acadia National Park

carriage road system

Finest example of broken-stone roads in the National Park System

within Park boundaries or land with conservation easements; on National Register


Sieur de Monts spring

canopy over the spring

Built by George B. Dorr, the "Father of Acadia National Park"

within Park boundaries; on National Register


Sieur de Monts spring

historic landscape originally modified by George Dorr

10 acres bought around the spring by the Hancock County Trustees for Public Reservation became the cornerstone for Sieur de Monts National Monument, leading to the creation of Acadia National Park

within Park boundaries


Sieur de Monts spring

Wild Gardens of Acadia

Developed in the 1960s, its twelve habitats represent typical habitats found in Acadia. Only those native plants found in the Park are planted here.

within Park boundaries; maintained by volunteers


Sieur de Monts spring

Dorr Mountain (East Face) Trail

Constructed in 1916

within Park boundaries; Acadia's historic trail system was designated Maine's Millennium Legacy Trail


Sieur de Monts spring

Jesup Path

Constructed 1896-1916; connects with the Great Meadow Loop, a new village connector trail

within Park boundaries; Acadia's historic trail system was designated Maine's Millennium Legacy Trail


Sieur de Monts spring

Kurt Diederich's Climb

Built 1915

within Park boundaries; Acadia's historic trail system was designated Maine's Millennium Legacy Trail


Sieur de Monts spring

Tarn Trail/Kane Path

Built 1914, Acadia's historic trail system was designated Maine's Millennium Legacy Trail

within Park boundaries


Sieur de Monts spring

Canon Brook Trail

Built 1897, Acadia's historic trail system was designated Maine's Millennium Legacy Trail

within Park boundaries


Sieur de Monts spring

Dorr Monument


Sieur de Monts spring

Abbe Museum

Stone Age antiquities and native American Culture

Recently received funding to expand museum in town of Bar Harbor while maintaining park based museum.


Champlain Mountain

Bear Brook, Precipice, and other trails

Built 1890 - 1915, Acadia's historic trail system was designated Maine's Millennium Legacy Trail

within Park boundaries


Atwater Kent monument

Recognizes 1946 donation by Atwater Kent Foundation of approx. 62 acres to Acadia National Park

within Park boundaries


Great Head/Sand Beach

Satterlee Estate and Tea House site

Land given by J.P. Morgan to his daughter, Louisa Satterlee; site of round tea tower on the headland; tower and estate damaged and destroyed in Fire of 1947

within Park boundaries


Gorham Mountain

Gorham Mountain/Canada Cliffs Trails

Location of commemorative marker to Waldron Bates, one of the early path makers on MDI

within Park boundaries


Otter Cliffs

Otter Cliffs

Location where Samuel Champlain struck ledge in 1604


Otter Point

Otter Point

Location of commemorative marker to John D. Rockefeller, Jr. for his gifts to Acadia and U.S.; site of Radio NBD, naval radio installation in WWI - armistice transmission first heard here; highest coastal headlands in the Americas north of Rio de Janeiro

within Park boundaries


Otter Creek

Otter Creek Causeway

Engineering feat of the historic motor road system, completed in 1939

within Park boundaries


Black Woods

spruce fir forest

Environment unburned by 1947 fire

within Park boundaries


Seal Harbor

Stanley Brook Bridge

Triple arch bridge completed in 1933; intact Beatrix Farrand landscape

within Park boundaries, National Register as part of the carriage road system


Jordan Pond

Jordan Pond Gate Lodge

Designed by Grosvenor Atterbury and completed in 1937; one of two landmarks denoting the National Register carriage roads, bridges, and associated structures

within Park boundaries, on National Register as part of the carriage road system


Bubble Pond

Bubble Pond bridge

Some extant Beatrix Farrand landscape materials; bridge spans over former Park Loop Road location

within Park boundaries, on National Register as part of the carriage road system


Cadillac Mountain

Cadillac Mountain

Significant to Wabanaki people; highest point of granite pluton which formed most of the bedrock of MDI; site of Summit Hotel (1883-1896) and the Green Mountain Railway

within Park boundaries





Table 5 National Register Information For Bar Harbor

State, County, Name, Address, City, Listed date, Multiple, Reference number


Date of Registration

ID Number

Abbe, Robert, Museum of Stone Antiquities

S of Bar Harbor off ME 3 Bar Harbor



Carriage Paths, Bridges and Gatehouses Acadia National Park and vicinity Acadia National Park



Church of Our Father

ME 3, 0.5 mi. No of Crooked Rd. Hulls Cove



Cover Farm Off

ME 3 W side, 0.3 mi. NW of jct. With Crooked Rd. Hulls Cove



Criterion Theatre

35 Cottage St. Bar Harbor




145 Eden St. Bar Harbor




S of Bar Harbor on Schooner Head Rd. Bar Harbor



Hulls Cove High School

ME 3, 0.4 mi. N of jct. of Crooked Rd. and ME 3 Hulls Cove



Jesup Memorial Library - Maine Public Libraries

34 Mt. Desert St. Bar Harbor



Kane, John Innes (Cottage)

Off SE end of Hancock St. Bar Harbor




Lower Main St. Bar Harbor




Barberry Lane Bar Harbor




Cove Harbor Lane Bar Harbor



St. Edward's Convent, (Former)

33 Ledgelawn Ave. Bar Harbor



Saint Saviour's Episcopal Church and Rectory

41 Mt. Desert St. Bar Harbor



Sproul's Cafe

128 Main St. Bar Harbor



Turrets, The

Eden St. Bar Harbor



US Post Office--Bar Harbor Main

Cottage St. Bar Harbor



West Street Historic District

West St. between Billings Ave. and Eden St. Bar Harbor






The Acadia Byway provides access to a vast array of recreational opportunities. Acadia National Park is a recreational area of great significance. Year-round recreational opportunities range from fishing and swimming to cross-country skiing and skating. The region not only provides numerous opportunities for hiking, biking, and walking on ANP's network of 45 miles of carriage roads, and 130 miles of hiking trails, but also offers several camping facilities. The variety of bird species has made this area one of the premier bird watching areas in the country. The proposed Acadia Byway provides a perfect opportunity to see some of the nation's most scenic areas from a bus, on foot, by bicycle, or automobile. The extensive service industry provides many additional recreational opportunities including ferry service to Nova Scotia, bird watching and whale watching cruises, and guided kayak tours. The state ferry services, mail boats, and private boat services provide regular trips to Swans Island, the Cranberry Isles, and Frenchboro. There are a multitude of bicycle, kayak, canoe, motor boat, and rock climbing gear rentals available. Other unique recreational opportunities include two oceanariums, gardens, zoo, guided walks and hikes, carriage rides, amphitheater programs, and environmental education programs.



Many visitors come to Mount Desert to hike, bike, ride horses, and get closer to nature. There are over 130 miles of hiking trails in Acadia National Park that range from short, level walks to steep climbs. Connecting trails and the Island Explorer bus system enable hikers to cover many scenic destinations without using an automobile. Between 1915 and 1933, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., financed and directed the building of 57 miles of carriage roads. These carriage roads form another network of woodland roads free of motor vehicles, with large portions in Acadia National Park available for hikers, bicyclist, horseback riders, and carriages.

Two trail initiatives are working to create new walking and biking opportunities. The Village Connector Trails Committees are identifying trails that enable people to walk both for recreation and to reach needed destinations. The Department of Transportation has also awarded a grant of $25,000 to write a bicycle and pedestrian trail plan for the island. This planning initiative will take place in the year 2000 and will provide much more precise guidelines for implementation of a bikeway system, some of which may be supported through the Scenic Byway Program.

Table 5, below, lists some of the many trails available for hikers on Mount Desert Island. These trails are visible from and/or directly accessible from the Acadia Scenic Byway.



Table 6 Acadia Hiking Trails - Distances are in Miles and Kilometers and round trip




Begins At


Bar Harbor Shore Path

1.0 / 1.6

Very Easy

Town pier in Bar Harbor

Harbor and island view

Bar Island



Bridge Street off West Street in Bar Harbor

Sand bar to forested island


0.8 / 1.3


100 ft north of Sand Beach Parking Area

Woods to exposed cliffs


1.4 / 2.2


100 ft north of Sand Beach Parking Area

Forest to granite ledges and pond

Bubble Rock

1.0 / 1.6


Bubble Parking Area

Forest with occasional views, Jordan Pond view

Cadillac Mtn North Ridge

4.4 / 7.0


North Ridge Cadillac Parking Area

Open ascent, Bar Harbor View

Cadillac Mtn South Ridge

7.4 / 22.8


100 ft south of Blackwoods Campground entrance

Forest opening to gentle granite ascent

Cadillac Summit

0.3 / 0.5

Very Easy

Cadillac Summit Parking Area

Panoramic views of Frenchman Bay

Champlain Mountain (Beechcroft)

2.4 / 3.8


North End of the Tarn (Rt 3)

Rocky open slopes

Champlain Mountain (Bear Brook)

2.2 / 3.6


Bear Brook Parking Area, 400 ft beyond Beaver Dam Pond

Pine slope, vistas of Frenchman Bay

Dorr Mountain

4.8 / 7.7


Canon Brook Parking Area (Rt 3)

Forest to steep granite ascent

Gorham Mountain

1.8 / 2.8


Gorham Mountain Parking Area

Forest opening to granite ascent

Great Head

1.4 / 2.2


Eastern edge of Sand Beach

Sea cliffs

Jordan Pond Nature

1.0 / 1.6

Very Easy

Jordan Pond Parking Area


Jordan Pond Shore

3.3 / 4.3


Jordan Pond Parking Area
(not the restaurant parking area)

Follows Water's edge, rocky sections

Most Carriage Roads


Easy to Moderate

Access at Jordan Pond, Bubble Pond, Eagle Lake, Brown Mtn Gatehouse, visitor center, or Parkman Mtn



3.0 / 6.0

Very Easy

Sand Beach or Otter Point Parking Area

Sand Beach to sea cliffs

Pemetic Mountain

2.4 / 3.8


Bubble Pond Parking Area

Forest to Ocean and lake view


1.6 / 2.6


Precipice Parking Area

Exposed cliffs and ledges




The Acadia Byway is the principle artery connecting Trenton, Bar Harbor, and Acadia National Park, one of the nation's best-recognized National Parks with a long history. The National Park and Byway communities are seamless with residents and visitors enjoying the mix of natural landscape and historic villages.

Acadia National Park continues to be an important economic base for the region. ANP and town governments have learned to balance growth of tourism with preservation of the quality of the environment, health, and safety for residents and visitors. The Scenic Byway program is an opportunity for the towns to work together and with the National Park Service, the Department of Transportation, and community organizations to preserve the historic, cultural, and natural assets of the region. The Department of Transportation will work closely with town governments in planning future enhancements to the Byway.

As a result of the Byway, the volume of traffic should be reduced through promoting transit alternatives like the Island Explorer and providing safe trails for pedestrians and cyclists. Driving speed and automobile accidents should be reduced through a combined strategy of better law enforcement and improvements in road design and landscaping that should create a more-relaxed atmosphere. The quality of life for residents should be improved through a balanced strategy seeking to protect historic and scenic resources, protecting the property rights of landowners, and modifying the transportation infrastructure.

To make the Byway an educational center, local community organizations are actively researching the history and natural resources of the Byway. Visitors and residents will learn about historic buildings and vistas through informational brochures and interpretive signs.



Goal 1. Protect and Enhance Scenic, Historical, and Natural Resources.

Without scenic vistas and historic landmarks there is no Byway. The experience of nearby towns has been that the absence of planning has resulted in commercial sprawl and a loss of the intrinsic resources, eventually relegating these towns to parking and shopping way stations for people looking for the "real Maine." The objectives listed here are part of a balanced strategy seeking to protect historic and scenic resources, property rights of landowners, and quality of life for residents.

    1. Improve quality of existing views
      1. Investigate options for tree-growth management to keep views open in collaboration with property owners and within existing zoning requirements.
      2. Bar Harbor, Trenton, and Acadia National Park will work together to identify valuable viewsheds and develop policies for their protection.
    2. Protect and improve shoulders and bluffs
      1. Control saplings
      2. Remove dead limbs and brush
      3. Upgrade existing parking areas and pullouts to reduce erosion.
    3. Incentives for preservation
      1. Investigate land acquisition and easements as a means to preserve views
      2. Pursue voluntary agreements with property owners for aesthetic construction
    4. Infrastructure changes
      1. Encourage the relocation of wires, poles, and signs from the scenic side to the less scenic sides or underground (e.g. Trenton Bridge).
      2. Return to stone walls, wood guardrails, and other historic details. Where metal guardrails are required, use nongalvanized treatments.
      3. Prepare landscaping plans to preserve viewsheds
    5. Maintain distinction between villages, promote green buffers
      1. Maintain existing land-use regulations that favor cluster developments over sprawl and support the scenic Byway
      2. Investigate new incentives for central location for commercial development such as cluster zoning and density bonuses
      3. Continually monitor impacts of setback and design standards
    6. Improve quality of life
      1. Seek solutions to access problems in existing built-up areas
        1. Support Parking Review Committee work on tractor trailer parking
        2. Loading zone concept - for parking of larger trucks, analyze current patterns and design changes that would resolve congestion
      2. Identify and alter infrastructure that contributes to excessive transportation noise

Performance Measures


Goal 2. Insure Health and Safety for Movement Along the Byway

Health and safety are very important aspects of living and visiting Acadia and were repeatedly stressed in public meetings. In order for the Byway program to be considered successful it must increase health and safety for residents and visitors by reducing the risk to all persons using the Byway. In addition, protecting health involves reducing pollution to air and water, reducing stress for residents and visitors, and other health risk factors.

There are many safety issues associated with the existing roadway. The intersection of Route 3 and Route 102 at the head of the island has recently received a traffic light, but discussions are ongoing about the potential for creating an overpass alternative. There are serious safety problems throughout the Route 3 corridor due to differences in driving speeds and limits, tourists unfamiliar with the roads, deteriorated roadways, and limited parking and turnout areas. In the absence of sufficient facilities, many visitors park along the road's shoulders or inadequate turnout areas creating significant problems with safety and increasing congestion.

Residents have noted problems with traffic congestion throughout Route 3, insufficient space for bicycles and pedestrians, tourists attempting to see and photograph scenic vistas without a proper place to stop, drivers exceeding posted speed limits, and road features that increase noise, pollution, and reduce safety. The objectives listed below are only a first attempt at mitigating existing problems, many of which will grow worse as tourism continues to increase.

    1. Change road infrastructure to increase safety
      1. Implement basic improvements to the road infrastructure, including reconstruction of roadbed, resurfacing and improvements to drainage systems. However, road widening is generally not encouraged unless necessary to protect health and safety.
      2. Improve infrastructure for the Island Explorer such as bus stops, pull off lanes, and waiting areas with transportation information systems.
      3. Implement traffic calming measures - including speed limit postings, barrels at some crosswalks, maintain narrow travel lanes for cars, and maintain attractive scenic vistas.
      4. Increase safety of existing crosswalks.
      5. Study the potential for a series of crosswalks along the Byway with information that cars must yield to pedestrians.
      6. Construct pullout lanes for entering and exiting the Byway.
    2. Signage changes
      1. Remove unnecessary signage. Consider use of painted symbols on shoulders as an alternative.
      2. Resolve dangerous parking practices on the Trenton Bridge. Explore ways to discourage pedestrian crossing the bridge.
      3. Consider placing signs advising drivers about bicycle and pedestrian use along the Byway.
    3. Law Enforcement
      1. Seek lower speed limits and enforce existing speed limits more rigorously.
      2. Enforce pedestrian right-of-way in crosswalks.
      3. Increase enforcement of parking laws along the Byway.
    4. Safety of nonmotorized transportation
      1. Construct bike lanes and paved shoulders along selected portions of the Byway
      2. Consider design standards for bike lanes
      3. Promote bikeways and pedestrian paths with adequate travel lanes
      4. Study alternatives to paved shoulders, such as separate trails (with landowner permission - following Maine Coast Heritage Trust example)
      5. Assure that all drainage grates are bicycle safe.
    5. Support operations of the Island Explorer bus system and promote intermodal facilities.


Performance Measures


Goal 3: Promote Community Support and Participation in the Acadia Byway

The remarkable achievements of Acadia National Park offer testimony to the commitment and resources that are available for planning on Mount Desert Island. Many efforts within the park and surrounding communities have succeeded through strong local commitment and support from local families and businesses. The Corridor Planning Group has endeavored to maintain an open and democratic process during the planning phase. This atmosphere must be maintained during implementation.

    1. Implement an ongoing Community Participation Program - described in next section of this plan
      1. Provide continual support for the Corridor Management Committee, recruiting members and assisting with grant applications
      2. Promote partnerships between community organizations, businesses, and local government to enhance the Byway
    2. Sponsor public meetings for the Byway planning and administration
      1. Arrange meetings with Corridor Management Committee, MDOT, Hancock County Planning Commission, and local community organizations
      2. Invite guest speakers to open forums and meetings
      3. Hold public design review meetings prior to implementation of Byway improvements
      4. Seek participation of community organizations in the Corridor Management Committee
    3. Use the print and broadcast media to keep the public informed
      1. Corridor Management Committee should provide press releases to keep public informed
      2. Place information on Byway on the HCPC Internet site with links to town Internet sites
      3. Make special efforts to involve property owners in the planning process

Performance Measures


Goal 4: Promote Education on the Need for Resource Protection and Preservation

There are many opportunities for educating residents and visitors about the scenic, natural, historical, and cultural resources of this region. To quote an anonymous source, "education is learning what you didn't know you didn't know." Of the five goals in this plan, education should be considered the most amenable to new ideas and methods for implementation. As such, the objectives set forth in this plan are suggestive rather than comprehensive.

There are several partner organizations with strong track records in promoting education on historical, natural, and scenic values in the region. Acadia National Park has numerous educational programs in place promoting "Acadia's Classroom." Participants learn about the Acadia philosophy, explore a virtual watershed, use the resource library, watch videos, and attend workshops. Out on the trails, park rangers offer numerous educational lectures, hikes, and restoration activities.

Other groups have worked to educate residents and visitors, including the Bar Harbor Historical Society, the MDI Historical Society, College of the Atlantic, Friends of Acadia, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Mount Desert Bicycle Association. People who want to go further back in history can visit the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor that is devoted to Native American and prehistory of the region. In addition, dozens of outdoor excursion companies feature kayaking, cycling, canoeing, and other low-impact, outdoor educational activities.

    1. Identify historical landmarks and create interpretive signage in conjunction with the Bar Harbor Historical Society and the Abbe Museum.
    2. Identify natural resources and create interpretive signage in conjunction with Acadia National Park and Friends of Acadia.
    3. Provide interpretive information at scenic turnouts on scenic, historic, and cultural assets
      1. Conduct a Historic Resources Survey of the entire corridor.
      2. Use survey results to inform interpretive signage
      3. Create an audio cassette to use while driving the Byway or riding the Island Explorer

Performance Measures


Some education must also be directed toward better development and driving practices in the region. This education may not be as much fun as learning about history and natural resources, but it is very important.

    1. Management and regulation
      1. Drivers
        1. Use signs and traffic-calming efforts that encourage a slower pace for drivers
        2. Communicate safe driving techniques -- especially to teens and truck drivers
      2. Utilities
        1. Provide education and sensitivity training for better placement of poles, wires, substations, and other infrastructure
      3. Businesses
        1. Provide collaborative training for property owners and businesses encouraging voluntary agreements and designing structures that are consistent with natural and historic environments
      4. Commercial traffic
        1. Continue working on ways to mitigate problems
      5. Increase sensitivity of RV drivers to their impact on communities and fellow travelers
      6. DOT -- ways to design artfully, ways to work with towns

Performance Measures


Goal 5: Promote Sustainable Economic Development and Tourism Management

Development of all sorts has been brisk on much of Mount Desert Island during the late 1990s. Tourism has seen annual increases in number of people visiting and number of dollars spent. Marketing programs sponsored through the Chambers of Commerce and other business coalitions have been strong and national name recognition for Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor is high.

The Island economy has diversified significantly in the last decade with The Jackson Laboratory, College of the Atlantic, and Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory creating a strong base for high-tech marine and biotechnology employment. Other businesses on the island and in Trenton include other forms of light manufacturing, marine-based employment, and retail and service enterprises.

The towns of Trenton and Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park are concerned that the current level of tourism and pace of growth are not sustainable. Problems associated with current high levels of tourism include traffic congestion, deterioration of air quality, unsafe roads, erosion along hiking trails and unacceptable levels of nuisance for many property owners.

Given the strong track record of the region for attracting diversified economic growth, this plan emphasizes sustainable development and sustainable tourism rather than nonselective pursuit of growth. The goal is not to stifle creativity and initiative but to encourage change that enhances the historical and natural assets of the region and improves the quality of life for residents.

    1. Support sustainable tourism activities of local business, the Chamber of Commerce, and tourist information offices.
      1. Provide the local organizations and businesses with information about the Byway to be incorporated in their educational materials
      2. Encourage local businesses to invest in low impact and educational tourism in the region such as ecotourism
      3. Emphasize education about the Byway within the immediate region to assist visitors who are already here rather than external promotion to attract visitors
    2. Support education around historical and natural resource assets to encourage ecological awareness among residents, tourists, and investors
      1. Develop interpretive signage along the Byway describing historical and natural resources and educating readers about the ways to help preserve these assets
      2. Provide information to businesses interested in locating or expanding on the Byway with information about low-impact design options
    3. Advocate for transportation alternatives for tourists to reduce automobile congestion
      1. Work with the towns and the Mount Desert Island Bicycle Association to design and market safe bicycle tours on the Byway and connected roads.
      2. Support construction of infrastructure and operations of the Island Explorer bus system and promote intermodal facilities.


Performance Measures



Community Participation Program

The Scenic Byway Program depends upon significant, grass roots participation. In its design, it is a local program with the opportunity for national and state recognition and support. Without local leadership the Corridor Management Plan could not have been written, the status of scenic Byway could not have been granted, and federal and state grants could not be forthcoming. This section documents how volunteers from Bar Harbor, Mount Desert, and Trenton worked together to create a corridor management plan.

The Acadia Byway Community Participation Program was designed to:

The Byway journey has taken more than two years to date. Progress has been slow, but steady, and has demanded varying levels of commitment from community leaders and citizens. Some participants have attended dozens of meetings, arranged mailing lists, and written sections of the plan while many have limited their participation to attending public meetings or communicating through acquaintances on the planning committee.

Since the time of the granting of eligibility for the Acadia Byway, the community has been busy with meetings, presentations, and correspondence geared toward writing this corridor management plan. The table below lists some of the most active community participants in the Corridor Planning Committee.


Table 7 Participants in the Corridor Planning Group (CPG)

Full Name


Jaylene Roths, Co-Chair

MDI Historical Society

Jim Campbell, Co-Chair

Planner, Bar Harbor

Bill Haefele

Thompson Island Tourist Information Center, Trenton

David Bowden

Owner, Edgewater Motel and Cottages

Edith Milbury

Bar Harbor 2000

Ivan Rasmussen

Lone Moose Gallery

Former Bar Harbor Planning Board

Jean Marshall

Planner, Southwest Harbor

Jeffrey Miller

MDI Bicycle Association

John Brushwein

Manager, Town of Mount Desert

Len Bobinchock

Acadia National Park

Mary Jones

MDI Historical Society

Risteen Masters

Director, Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce

Rob Macomber

Bar Harbor Planning Board

Ron Landis

Local Resident, Bar Harbor

Stephanie Clement

Friends of Acadia

Susan Myers

Local Resident, Mount Desert

Jim Fisher, Planning Consultant

Planner, Hancock County Planning Commission


Public Relations / Marketing in the Communities

The Byway effort has been active for over two years, through the exploratory phase, the eligibility application, and the recent push for designation. The following table records events of the past eight months and illustrates the level of effort expended by the Corridor Planning Group to work with local residents and other interest groups in crafting a Corridor Management Plan.

In order to write this plan a multimedia strategy was employed. Year-round and summer residents owning property on the proposed Byway received written invitations to the public meetings. Two one-hour radio broadcasts were delivered and several articles were published in the leading local and regional newspapers. The Hancock County Planning Commission published several letters in their newsletter and placed information on their web site. Public presentations were delivered to town Planning Boards, Boards of Selectmen, and Town Council. Meeting notices were published in local newspapers as well.

One public meeting was held to provide greater depth of information about the Byway and to receive public input. Presentations were given to several community organizations and planning committees. All of the Corridor Planning Group Meetings were publicized and open to the public.


Table 8 Recent Activities of the Corridor Planning Group



Notes on Content


Meeting with MDI League of Towns

Deane Van Dusen presented program


Presentation to Bar Harbor Town Council

Received support to proceed with planning effort


Presentation to Mount Desert Board of Selectmen

Received support to proceed with planning effort, Concern expressed about project prioritization, loss of local control


Presentation to Trenton Board of Selectmen

Received support to proceed with planning effort


Presentation to the Village Connector Trails Committee

Received support to proceed with planning effort


CPG Meeting, Bar Harbor Town Offices

Dean Van Dusen Presented,

Membership, Goals and Objectives


Presentation to Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce

Well received


CPG Meeting, Bar Harbor Town Office

Goals and Objectives


CPG Meeting, Bar Harbor Town Office

Goals and Objectives


CPG Meeting, Mount Desert Town Office

CCP, Public Meeting


CMP Consultant Meeting, Augusta

Partnerships and Agreements, Public Meeting


Presentation to Bar Harbor MDI Rotary

Concern was expressed about any increase in tourism that may result.


CPG Meeting, Mount Desert Town Office

Plan public meeting, begin designating Corridor Management Committee


Invitations sent

Mailed approximately 500 invitations to attend the July 20 public meeting


Community Information and Vision Meeting

50+ attended COA sponsored meeting


Press release

Sent to newspapers and committee members


Bar Harbor Times and Ellsworth Weekly run full press release

Article summarizes content of meeting presentations and visioning process


Bangor Daily News runs article

Summary article about the Byway and the public meeting.


CPG Meeting, Bar Harbor Town Office

Goals and Objectives, plans, guidance methods


Ellsworth Weekly runs editorial cartoon

Problem of Byway in built up areas.


Presentation to Mt. Desert Board of Selectmen- Seal Harbor

15 minute presentation to audience of over 50 people. Questions posed by the selectmen and others.


CPG Meeting, Bar Harbor Town Office

Goals and Objectives, Plans and policies


CPG Meeting, Mount Dessert Town Office

Discussion of DOT road standards, impact of planning on construction


Radio Broadcast about Scenic Byways

Jim Fisher, Dean Van Dusen, Stephanie Clement, Risteen Masters and others interviewed on Talk of the Town, WERU 10:00 am to 11:00 am.


CPG Meeting, Mount Desert Town Office

Land use controls, action plan, marketing plan


Presentation to Bar Harbor Town Council

Presentation of the draft CMP outline


Presentation to the Mount Desert Planning Board

Presentation of the draft CMP


Presentation to the Mount Desert Board of Selectmen

Presentation of the draft CMP


CPG Meeting, Bar Harbor Town Office

Discussion of the draft CMP


Byway Coordination Meeting

Met in Augusta to coordinate scenic Byway applications.


Byway Tour

Guided tour of proposed Byway and Park Loop Road for National Scenic Byway representatives


Invitations sent

Mailed 400+ invitations to Public Hearings for the Corridor Management Plan. Also informed public of posting the CMP to HCPC web site.


Mount Desert Planning Board

Public Hearing on Corridor Management Plan


Trenton Planning Board

Presented corridor management plan to Trenton Planning Board. Board voted to support plan.


Mount Desert Board of Selectmen

Public Hearing on Corridor Management Plan


Bar Harbor Planning Board

Public Hearing on Corridor Management Plan


Mount Desert Board of Selectmen

Meeting to discuss Corridor Management Plan


Bar Harbor Town Council

Public Hearing on Corridor Management Plan


CPG and Futures Committee Meeting, Bar Harbor Town Office

Revision of CMP, review of historic assets and action plan.



One of the many challenges facing scenic areas and gateways to National Parks is their tendency to self-destruct. Self-destruction comes in several forms, but most common are increasing demands for services spurring unattractive commercial growth and changing community values leading to loss of public access. In the case of the Acadia Byway these trends are already evident and the outcome likely to be unplanned and unsustainable if communities choose a passive role. Strip development has been on a long, steady march up Route 3, with Ellsworth and parts of Trenton congested with retail establishments each having their own access points, sometime several, onto Route 3 and traffic jams during much of the peak summer tourist season.

The majority of the byway is located in Acadia National Park and the town of Bar Harbor; while Trenton is part of the byway, the land area involved is that which is immediately adjacent to the Thompson Island Bridge. Although managers at Acadia National Park welcome input from interested parties and work with neighboring towns on a number of projects which affect the park and towns, it is the Park Service that ultimately decides what does and does not occur within its boundaries. Thus, recommendations in this management plan will be implemented based on available funding and evaluation of whether the recommendation furthers the mission of Acadia National Park.

Similarly implementations of the recommendations in this plan affecting the town of Bar Harbor should be the province of the town, especially since voters are being asked to adopt the corridor management plan as an amendment to the 1993 Comprehensive Plan. Implementation of goals and policies in the Comprehensive Plan is facilitated by the Futures Committee and carried out by the appropriate town committee or board. Giving town committees and boards the responsibility for helping to implement the CMP will not only ensure local control but reduce some of the bureaucracy and streamline implementation. This does not diminish the role of the Corridor Management Committee (CMC), for town subcommittees will report results to the CMC and ask the CMC to adopt the implementation strategy.

The following management structure is recommended to assure the implementation of the corridor management planning process. These planning and management roles are not permanent or irrevocable. They are a first step that will require evaluation and adjustment.




The CMC, which will meet quarterly and be chaired by Bar Harbor's town planner, will identify local, state, and federal resources, inform the towns and park of these resources, work as needed with the Maine Department of Transportation, Hancock County Planning Commission, and other state agencies to assist the towns and park in implementing the goals of this plan, and will approve the implementation strategies brought to the Committee.

The CMC will also be responsible for monitoring progress on improvement projects and reporting progress back to the local select boards and to the Maine Department of Transportation. Employees of the regional office of the Department of Transportation will assist them in this task. The CMC will be responsible for submitting annual reports to the State Scenic Byway Board and the Federal Highway Administration.

Finally, the CMC will be responsible for keeping the public informed and involved in the Scenic Byway. They will be assisted in this process by local news media, community leaders, and the Hancock County Planning Commission.

Fortunately this region is already organized for intermunicipal coordination through the Regional Transportation Advisory Committee and the Mount Desert Island League of Towns, made up of Town Managers, Selectmen and Administrative Assistants from Bar Harbor, Mount Desert, Southwest Harbor, Tremont, Trenton, Lamoine, and Acadia National Park. These organizations will prove invaluable in coordinating Byway management in the future. The Corridor Management Committee will report quarterly to the Regional Transportation Advisory Committee and as needed to the MDI League of Towns.


Table 9 Provisional Corridor Management Committee Members

Full Name



Jim Campbell


Planner, Town of Bar Harbor

Debbie Dyer


Bar Harbor Historical Society

Chair or Designee


Bar Harbor Planning Board

Ann Hogben


Trenton Planning Board

Len Bobinchock


Acadia National Park

Chair or Designee


Bar Harbor Futures Committee

Bill Haefele


Thompson Island Tourist Information Center, Trenton

Bruce Mattson

Transportation Engineer

Maine DOT, Ellsworth

Chip Reeves


Bar Harbor Public Works Director

Chair or Designee


Bar Harbor Design Review Board

Jim Fisher


Hancock County Planning Commission




Town Council (Bar Harbor) and Board of Selectmen (Trenton) and Acadia National Park

The Town Council, Select Board, and Acadia National Park will have the primary responsibility for implementation of the Corridor Management Plan within their jurisdictional boundaries. The Town Council, Select Board, and Park will develop proposals for improvements to the Byway and provide direction to the Corridor Management Committee regarding priority projects for the corridor. The Town Meeting (Bar Harbor), Select Board (Trenton), and Park will also have the ultimate authority within their jurisdictional boundaries to decide to participate in or pull out of the Byway program. Furthermore, while the current funding formula for Byway grants does not require a local match, the Town Council and Select Board may make recommendations for local contributions for Byway development. Recommendations involving expenditure of local funds will be voted on at annual town meetings.


Planning Boards

The Planning Boards will play a primary role in the implementation of the corridor management plan. The Planning Board will routinely review the plan, indicating any inconsistencies with the existing comprehensive plan, zoning, or ordinances. This CMP and subsequent revisions will be moved for adoption at annual town meeting. The Planning Boards will assist in preparation of grant proposals for Byway improvements. One member or designee of each Planning Board should serve on the Corridor Management Committee and act as liaisons to their Board. The Planning Boards will assist in interpreting the CMP and related ordinances for persons' seeking to change activities located on the Byway.


Local Law Enforcement

Local police and constables will help the CMC in identifying traffic calming opportunities as well as identifying safety issues related to proposed projects. The local police and constables provide routine enforcement of traffic safety laws and can assist the CMC in determining which Byway enhancements will provide significant benefits for health and safety.





Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

The FHWA manages the National Scenic Byway Program. It will continue to provide standards and technical support for creation and maintenance of the Byway, marketing assistance for the Byway, and financial support for approved Byway enhancements.

National Park Service - Acadia National Park

Some of the Byway is in Acadia National Park (ANP). ANP will continue to make improvements that affect park resources. ANP will also contribute to development of interpretive signage for areas within and outside of ANP land by providing suggestions for content, style, technical information, and location. ANP will continue to lead in the area of environmental and recreation education and will promote educational opportunities in collaboration with Byway promotional activities. ANP will help to oversee the Island Explorer bus system.



Department of Transportation (MDOT)

The Maine Department of Transportation will work with town and county government to support the Byway with improvements that are consistent with the corridor management plan and consistent with town preferences. MDOT will provide technical assistance to town governments on matters such as road construction standards, safety, parking facilities, and alternative modes. MDOT will assist in writing federal grant applications for Byway improvements and will seek to provide state matching funds whenever possible. The CMC will work through the Regional Transportation Advisory Committee (RTAC-2) for Hancock and Washington Counties to communicate Byway needs and future plans. The CMC will function in the same way as a Corridor Committee for the RTAC.

State Planning Office (SPO)

When needed, the State Planning Office (SPO) will provide financial and technical support for land use and transportation planning along the Byway corridor. SPO will assist the towns in determining whether specific development proposals are consistent with the town comprehensive plans and with Byway goals and objectives.

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

The Department of Environmental Protection will provide towns with technical support to determine appropriate design of Byway improvements to minimize negative environmental impacts. DEP will provide financial assistance, whenever possible, to towns for mitigation of existing environmental problems along the Byway.

Maine Department of Public Safety

When needed, the Maine Department of Public Safety will provide back-up law enforcement services along the Byway to control illegal activities such as speeding, operating under the influence, and reckless operation. The Maine Department of Public Safety will provide technical assistance to the towns to determine traffic calming and driver education measures to improve safety for persons traveling and living along the Byway. State Police service for Hancock County is administered through the East Machias headquarters. Contact: State Police Troop J Headquarters, P.O. Box 250, East Machias, Maine 04976, Phone: (207) 255-6125, Fax: (207) 255-6113.



Hancock County Planning Commission (HCPC)

As designated, the Hancock County Planning Commission will act as a liaison between the towns and state government. The HCPC will provide technical assistance in transportation, land use, environmental, and other planning. The HCPC will assist towns and the CMC in submitting and implementing federal and state Byway improvement grants.


Office of the County Sheriff

In Trenton, the County Sheriff will provide back-up law enforcement services along the Byway to control illegal activities such as speeding, operating under the influence and reckless operation. The Sheriff will work with the State Police, local police and constables and town leaders to determine how to reduce incidence of speeding, operating under the influence, reckless operation, and other violations. The County Sheriff's office provides dispatch services and call sharing in which the county is divided into slots serviced by State and County law enforcement at different times. The Hancock County Sheriff's Office is located in Ellsworth, Maine 04605, phone: 667-7576 or 667-1404.



Utilities, including Bangor Hydro-Electric Corporation, Bell Atlantic, Frontier Vision

The Corridor Management Committee will seek memorandums of understanding (MOU) from Bangor Hydro, Bell Atlantic, and Frontier Vision asking them to inform the towns of significant changes in distribution networks, including location of poles, wires, transformers, and other structures and work with CMC and planning boards to avoid construction within the identified scenic vistas. The MOU will also request that these businesses collaborate with the towns to identify opportunities for relocating infrastructure away from scenic areas, including future underground cabling through downtown areas.

The Jackson Laboratory

As is its custom, The Jackson Laboratory will continue to work with the Planning Office on future expansion projects along the Byway.

College of the Atlantic

When appropriate, COA will provide support for research and planning in the Acadia region particularly related to human ecology and natural resources management. COA will provide leadership in regional geographic information systems and mapping and promote travel safety for students, staff, and faculty of the College.



Bar Harbor Futures Committee - will provide long-range perspective for the CMC.

Bar Harbor Downtown Master Planning Committee - will consult on downtown Bar Harbor Byway improvements.

Bar Harbor Historical Society - will consult in producing a detailed inventory of historic resources, identify important landmarks for preservation, and consult in development of interpretive signage.

Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce - will represent local businesses in CMC activities, provide information on current levels of tourism, and methods for improving tourism management

Friends of Acadia - is expected to play a significant role in advocating for Acadia National Park and park users. FOA will leverage private donations and matching funds for improvements in the park and the border communities. FOA will promote volunteerism in the park for projects such as trail maintenance and connector trail planning. FOA will help to plan and implement public transportation and trail development projects along the corridor.

Maine Coast Heritage Trust - will consult in preservation of scenic vistas and landscapes, particularly through voluntary agreements.

MDI Bicycle Association - will provide support in planning bikeways, bike parking facilities and other projects related to safety and shared use of the Byway.

MDI Historical Society - will consult in producing an inventory of historic resources, identify important landmarks for preservation, and consult in development of interpretive signage.

MDI League of Towns - will provide regional input for the corridor management team, coordinate communications for multi-town projects, and provide support in seeking project grants. MDI League will also help to plan and implement public transportation in the region.



Many techniques exist for protecting Scenic Byways, but each is limited either by insufficient public acceptance, impracticality, or low effectiveness. One means for categorizing protection techniques is the degree to which they rely on top-down control, generally exerted by a governmental body, versus economic incentives that may be publicly or privately sponsored.

For instance, protecting a scenic view on the Acadia Byway might be achieved through control techniques such as zoning, development ordinances, and eminent domain. Control techniques have the advantage of being explicit, effective, and, barring court challenges, relatively inexpensive. However, control mechanisms are very difficult to enact when the benefits do not include high priority public goods such as safety and security. A frequent criticism of control techniques is that they do not respect private-property rights and act to reduce the market value of specific parcels of land. Public opinion gathered during the process of writing this Corridor Management Plan indicates great concern for protecting the property rights of adjacent landowners. Thus, the plan recommends that eminent domain powers not be used for the purpose of implementing the Corridor Management Plan unless these improvements are necessary for increasing health and safety along the Byway. This recommendation should be further reviewed by each of the towns' Planning Boards and adapted to be consistent with current comprehensive plans.

Economic measures to protect a scenic view include charging developer fees, purchase of development rights or easements, development bonuses such as permits for higher density development when performance criteria are met, and outright purchase of property. Economic measures attempt to reimburse landowners for preserving or enhancing a public good such as a scenic view. Economic measures are generally more palatable for property owners, but can be costly and complex.

The third avenue for protecting scenic Byways is education and voluntary participation. This approach relies heavily on the persuasive power of local leaders and the soundness of their arguments for protecting the scenic Byway. Education and voluntary action are not alternatives to control or economic strategies, but are required components of all strategies.

Bar Harbor and Trenton have adopted town-wide zoning for preserving their landscape and quality of life. In addition to local controls, towns are affected by state regulations for development in shoreland as well as other areas that are environmentally sensitive. The towns regulate new construction through their planning boards, boards of appeal, town managers, and code enforcement officers.

This section describes measures already in place to support the scenic Byway's designation and assesses their effectiveness. The focus here is on municipal protection measures. These include comprehensive plans, land use ordinances, and other regulations or restrictions. This is done on a town-by-town basis.


Bar Harbor

Protection Techniques

Bar Harbor adopted its comprehensive plan in 1993. This plan has been deemed to be consistent with state planning guidelines by the State Planning Office. The Bar Harbor Land Use Ordinance was last updated in November 1999. The Bar Harbor Land Use Ordinance presently divides the town into 35 separate "Neighborhood Districts," and includes a buffer zone along the Route 3 corridor.

While the village of Bar Harbor and the Hulls Cove area allow a range of commercial uses, the main commercial uses allowed in the rest of the corridor are transient tourist accommodations. Only a limited number of other uses are allowed. Buffering and screening are required for all sites located within a 200-foot corridor of Route 3. Specifically, a one-story building with a minimum width of 60 feet requires 10 canopy trees, 15 understory trees, 30 shrubs, and 10 evergreen trees per 100 linear feet of buffer. All other buildings with a minimum width of 60 feet require the same buffering with 5 additional canopy trees and 10 evergreen trees.

In addition to town wide zoning, Bar Harbor has ordinances to preserve their downtown. They are considering strengthening those ordinances. On September 29, 1999 the Planning Board endorsed new regulations to govern development in commercial and historic districts and was passed at town meeting in November of 1999.

Zoning along Route 3 changes many times to reinforce the town's desire to maintain green buffers between the more concentrated residential and business areas. Because there are so many zones, even color maps can be difficult to interpret. The Byway begins in Trenton in a resource protection area. It then passes through Town Hill Residential for a short while before a long segment called the Salisbury Cove Corridor and Salisbury Cove Village. After passing through the village portion, the Byway passes through Salisbury Cove Residential and the Ireson Hill Corridor which leads to the Village of Hulls Cove. The Byway in Hulls Cove is quite close to the water with Shoreland General Development 2 zoning. Leaving Hulls Cove the Byway passes through The Bluffs which is also very close to the water. The Byway then enters into the third population center, Bar Harbor. The zoning changes several times and includes Bar Harbor Corridor, Bar Harbor Historic Corridor, Bar Harbor Historic, Bar Harbor Residential, Downtown Residential, and Downtown Business. Emerging from the village, the Byway passes through a significant stretch bordered on one side by Bar Harbor Residential and Bar Harbor Historic. The Jackson Laboratory has a zone of Scientific Research, followed by a section of Acadia National Park. The Park Loop Road is less complex, being governed by Acadia National Park.



Table 10 Bar Harbor Zoning Districts Summary








Bar Harbor Corridor

100' w/ sewers

150' w/o

100' on Rte 3


20,000 sq. ft. w/ sewer

40,000 sq. ft. w/o sewer


Provide landscaped transportation linkages between neighborhood districts. Permits development of suburban character. Provides for moderate density residential development and for highway-oriented commercial, institutional and light industrial uses. Excluded from this district are uses of higher density or intensity, or major industrial activities.

Bar Harbor Historical Corridor

100' w/sewer

150' w/o



40,000 sq. ft.


Encourage protection of historic sites, buildings, corridors and neighborhoods through their maintenance as landmarks in the history and architecture of Bar Harbor.

Bar Harbor Residential




20,000 sq. ft. w/sewer

40,000 sq. ft. w/o sewer


Provides an area that restricts intensive uses so that residents may enjoy measure of quietness and privacy in their homes.

Hulls Cove Business

100' w/ sewer

150' w/o sewer



20,000 sq. ft. w/ sewer

30,000 sq. ft. w/o sewer


To serve as a community focal point for cultural, business and service activities. An area of high intensity uses with full municipal services.

Hulls Cove Residential Corridor

100' w/ sewer

150' w/o sewer



20,000 sq. ft. w/sewer

40,000 sq. ft. w/o sewer


Provide landscaped transportation linkages between neighborhood districts. Permits development of suburban character. Provides for moderate density residential development and for highway-oriented commercial, institutional and light industrial uses. Excluded from this district are uses of higher density or intensity, or major industrial activities.

Ireson Hill Corridor

100' w/sewer

200' w/o sewer

25' w/sewer

50' w/o sewer


20,000 sq. ft. w/sewer

40,000 sq. ft. w/o sewer


Provide landscaped transportation linkages between neighborhood districts. Permits development of suburban character. Provides for moderate density residential development and for highway-oriented commercial, institutional and light industrial uses. Excluded from this district are uses of higher density or intensity, or major industrial activities.

Otter Creek




40,000 sq. ft.


Provides an area that restricts intensive uses so that residents may enjoy measure of quietness and privacy in their homes.

Resource Protection




40,000 sq. ft.


Preserve wetlands, stream corridors and areas subject to flooding and other areas in which development would adversely impact water quality, productive habitat, biological ecosystems, or scenic or natural values. Development is severely restricted.

Salisbury Cove Corridor


150' on Route 3

75' elsewhere


40,000 sq. ft.


Provide landscaped transportation linkages between neighborhood districts. Permits development of suburban character. Provides for moderate density residential development and for highway-oriented commercial, institutional and light industrial uses. Excluded from this district are uses of higher density or intensity, or major industrial activities.

Scientific Research

100' w/ sewer

200" w/o sewer



20,000 sq. ft. w/sewer

40,000 sq. ft. w/o sewer


Promote the continuation of scientific research and development activities.

Town Hill Residential




40,000 sq. ft.


Provides an area that restricts intensive uses so that residents may enjoy measure of quietness and privacy in their homes.

Acadia National Park

The Acadia National Park General Management Plan, completed in 1992, recognizes the increased demands being placed on all park services and facilities. According to the plan, only six percent of the Maine coast is accessible to the public and one-quarter of that acreage is in the park. "The park is one of the most intensively used leisure destinations in the Northeast."

The length of the primary visitor season has doubled from eleven weeks in the summer to a 22-week summer/fall season. If current trend continues, visitation is expected to increase by 4.5 to 6.0 percent annually. "As the population ages, the demand for less strenuous, more social, higher density kinds of recreation dependent on private vehicles will presumably grow at a faster rate than the demand for low density use."

The plan proposes management actions to "retain and enhance the unique qualities and resources of the park....Development in the park will be kept to a minimum. High density and low density use areas will be established to protect resources and provide a variety of visitor experiences."

The plan also proposes enforcing existing parking capacity and developing other means of transit including bikeways, walkways, and bus service from surrounding communities. "The Park Service will intensively study transportation issues in and around the park with the goal of implementing a transportation system as an alternative to or replacement for private automobile access." Acadia National Park played a key role in obtaining funding for the seasonal bus service for Mount Desert Island and has supported other regional transportation initiatives aimed at reducing congestion and promoting alternate modes of travel.


Future Protection Techniques

The past several pages indicate that Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park have perhaps the most specific sets of land use controls in the State of Maine. The impact of the current zoning standards is to encourage nonresidential development in designated areas, particularly the existing village centers. In the long run these protection measures should reinforce the current pattern of development which has a succession of small and historic villages separated by open space. Moving forward, the CMP promotes providing education for developers about the long-term importance of maintaining the current "look and feel" of the communities. The CMP also encourages providing economic incentives to avoid loss of critical natural and cultural assets. These incentives may include purchases of open space easements, transfers of development rights, and outright purchase of land.





Bar Harbor

The goals and objectives cited in this Corridor Management Plan are consistent with the Bar Harbor Comprehensive Plan, and many have already been adopted. The Bar Harbor Comprehensive Plan recommends that greater effort be made to preserve scenic approaches to Bar Harbor along Route 3 and that all development outside of built-up areas be made as inconspicuous as possible. The plan further recognizes the problem of traffic congestion on Route 3, both in the downtown area and in other parts of town. The plan's policies call for a tourist-oriented public transit system such as the Island Explorer Bus that went into service in 1999. Other recommendations include encouraging greater use of bicycles through the installation of bicycle racks, the inclusion of bicycle paths in any major road project, and the preservation of scenic approaches to Bar Harbor along major road corridors. Bar Harbor also has a sign ordinance allowing two square feet of signage per foot of lot frontage.

Since adoption of its comprehensive plan, Bar Harbor has had success in implementing some of its policies. The town is one of the sponsors of the Island Explorer seasonal bus service. Furthermore, citizens from Bar Harbor worked with MDOT engineers to redesign the reconstruction of a portion of the Route 3 corridor in a manner that minimizes the negative impacts on the corridor. As the home of Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor remains committed to improving the Route 3 corridor by exploring alternative modes of travel and preserving the area's resources. Clearly, the town of Bar Harbor is an integral part of the proposed Scenic Byway.

The Bar Harbor Town Council and Bar Harbor Planning Board are reviewing the Corridor Management Plan. This matter will be taken before the next special town meeting for citizen ratification in the summer of 2000. Letters expressing their support are included in the Appendices.




The current levels of visitation to Acadia National Park and the towns of Mount Desert Island during the peak summer season exceed the carrying capacity of the roads and public infrastructure. The overriding sentiment expressed in public meetings has been that this Byway plan should emphasize protection of local quality of life and should not endeavor to advertise the region to attract more tourists. Accordingly, a marketing strategy for the Acadia Byway should support local desires to better manage existing levels of tourism. Examples of marketing objectives include reducing the number of vehicles on the roads particularly large recreational vehicles, shifting peak usage to the shoulder season, encouraging users to travel by the Island Explorer busses, discouraging tourism that disrupts life in residential neighborhoods, and so on. As such, marketing should not be confused with advertising. In this instance "marketing" refers primarily to conducting research that identifies ways to reduce the unsustainable and undesirable aspects of tourism and employing a combination of communication and intervention strategies that will encourage the desired outcomes.

Marketing Research

The purpose of conducting research is to assure that implementation of the Corridor Management Plan will not lead to unintended outcomes. For instance, placement of bus stops for the Island Explorer should not result in increases in illegal parking, signage along the Byway should not distract drivers, and improvements in scenic vistas should not result in loss of privacy for property owners. These unintended impacts can be avoided with careful research planning.

A considerable body of research exists for tourism and transportation demands on Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park. These studies include recently completed visitor studies for Acadia National Park, research on the Island Explorer bus system, and research conducted for the state's Strategic Passenger Transportation Plan. These studies should be reviewed in light of the potential impacts of Byway improvements on the level, timing, and travel modality of tourism to the region. Additional research is recommended in instances where the impacts of proposed Byway improvements are uncertain.

Communication and Intervention

Communication with residents and tourists is perhaps the most efficient and productive means for encouraging low-impact visitation and minimizing conflicts between users of Mount Desert Island. This Corridor Management Plan advocates that communication materials be restricted to the Island and towns in the immediate vicinity. The objective of communications will be to assist persons who are already in the process of visiting Mount Desert Island, not to encourage others to visit. Communications should assist visitors with parking their cars and using the Island Explorer busses, avoiding unnecessary driving on the island, avoiding unsafe situations for bicycling or walking, planning visits during off-peak hours, and staying focused on out-of-car experiences.

Three initiatives are currently underway on Mount Desert Island that will greatly facilitate attaining these objectives. They are the Island Explorer, the Intelligent Transportation System, and Bicycle-Pedestrian Planning. Efforts such as these should be supported.


The time has arrived to layout our most concrete ideas about where we are heading and what we want to do over the next six years to get there. This action plan describes a number of short-term (one to two years), medium term (three to four years), and long term (five to six years) projects that offer significant benefits for people using the Byway.

The objectives breakout over the three time periods as follows:




Examples of Anticipated Activities



Implementation planning, creating support services, production of informational materials, local organizing



Placement of interpretive signage, traffic calming measures



Safety improvements, turnouts and overlooks, bikeways

The action plan also includes citizen participation in and education about the planning process and long-term objectives.

Five goals are identified in this plan: scenic and historical enhancement, safety, education, public participation, and economic development. These five are not immediately achievable and refer as much to the process of planning and implementation as they do to the ends that are sought. The objectives for each goal are more concrete and achievable, though many are long term or process oriented.


Priorities for Action Plan

Goal 1. Protect and Enhance Scenic, Historical, and Natural Resources.

Turnouts and Overlooks


 Historic Preservation

Goal 2. Insure Health and Safety for Movement Along the Byway


Bicycle planning


Safe Access


Transit Alternatives


Traffic Calming


Goal 3: Promote Community Support and Participation in the Acadia Byway

Goal 4: Promote Education on the Need for Resource Protection and Preservation

Visitor Centers

One option is the "Head of the Island" by the Statue of Glooscap - good place for people to pull off and get information. Gateway sign - lots of parking, information and maps. Glooscap is a Native American concept of the great creator.

Interpretive Signage Locations - Mark important historic sights with bronze plaques. For example:


Goal 5: Promote Sustainable Economic Development and Tourism Management.

Table 11 Summary of Action Plan

Within Six Months


Establish Corridor Management Committee, Establish reporting procedure to the Regional Transportation Advisory Committee



Complete a biennial work plan, seek recommendations and approval from RTAC. Identify significant opportunities for project advancement in the BTIP.



Hold Town meeting votes to adopt the Corridor Management Plan in Trenton and Bar Harbor. Seek approval from ANP.

CMC, FC, Towns, ANP

Within One Year


Identify threats and establish priorities for historic and cultural preservation, protection measures. Hold public meetings to discuss alternatives. Propose warrants for next town meetings.



Finalize language for interpretive signage. If grants have been obtained, produce the signage and put it in place for the summer of 2001.



Establish priorities for additional scenic resource preservation. Prepare proposals for protective policies. Hold public meetings to consider alternatives and identify course of action.



Establish a shoulder-paving plan for the Byway based on findings from bicycle consultants. Move these priorities to the six-year planning process. Take advantage of current BTIP projects when possible.



Prepare Annual Report for MDOT and FHWA


Within Two Years


Identify design and funding for scenic turnouts and alternative park-and-ride lots.



Identify low impact designs for improvements of unsafe road sections



Propose warrants, if any, to Town meetings for protection of historic, cultural and scenic resources.



Assist in establishing stable sources of support for the Island Explorer.



Prepare Annual Report for MDOT and FHWA


Within Three Years


Design and implement information campaign to sensitize RV drivers to their impact on communities. Provide drivers with information on satellite parking, accommodations with adequate parking and other needed facilities.



Advance bikeway construction in unsafe areas in accordance with public hearings, consultant findings and other inputs.



Prepare Annual Report for MDOT and FHWA


With Four Years


Develop strategies for reducing the impact of utility poles and wires on scenic vistas throughout the Byway.

CMC, Utilities, SPO


Place remaining interpretive signage for historical, cultural, natural resources and scenic locations.



Establish methods for traffic calming along Route 3 and the Acadia Loop Road where needed. Solicit public input for intervention measures.

CMC, FOA, MDOT, Local and state police


Prepare Annual Report for MDOT and FHWA


With Five Years


Identify access management strategies to maintain level of services and scenic appearance of the Byway.



Complete remaining scenic turnout improvements



Review progress of ITS system, support additional projects as needed.



Prepare Annual Report for MDOT and FHWA


With Six Years


Complete bikeway projects.



Propose additional access management policies for towns as needed. Sponsor public meetings, prepare draft policies.



Prepare Annual Report for MDOT and FHWA


ANP Acadia National Park, National Park Service

CMC Corridor Management Committee

DEP Department of Environmental Protection

DMR Department of Marine Resources

FC Bar Harbor Futures Committee

FOA Friends of Acadia

HPC Historic Preservation Commission

HS Bar Harbor Historic Society and Mount Desert Historic Society

HCPC Hancock County Planning Commission

MDOT Maine Department of Transportation

RTAC Regional Transportation Advisory Committee

SPO State Planning Office



Participating Organizations

The Corridor Planning Group wishes to acknowledge the valuable input and feedback of numerous local organizations, including the Friends of Acadia, the MDI Historical Society, the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of Mount Desert, and several town-sponsored committees involved in planning their communities.



"Sand Beach, Bar Harbor - Photograph Copyright 1997 Larry S. Bermel, Chappaqua, NY, USA. Courtesy of Larry S. Bermel."

Thayer, Robert. A. 1999. The Park Loop Road: A Guide to Acadia National Park's Scenic Byway. Camden, ME: Down East Books.