Summit Stewards

Since 1997, Friends of Acadia has funded a group of roving educators who serve as important ambassadors in the field for Acadia National Park.

Friends of Acadia’s Summit Stewards (formerly called the Ridge Runners and Cadillac Summit Stewards) spend thousands of hours each summer and fall on Acadia’s summits and trails, answering visitor questions, conducting basic trail maintenance, repairing cairns, removing visitor-built cairns and rock art, responding to emergencies, communicating with park managers, and collecting social science data.

One of the most important duties of the Summit Stewards is to educate visitors about Leave No Trace ethics. Acadia National Park is designated a Leave No Trace Gold Standard site because of its exemplary use of Leave No Trace education to protect the park’s cultural and natural resources and enhance the visitor experience.

Friends of Acadia annually funds a Leave No Trace Trainer course for seasonal employees and is a Community Partner of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Education. Each contact that a Summit Steward makes with a visitor brings the park one step closer to a healthier ecosystem for future generations to enjoy.

The Summit Stewards are on the frontlines in Acadia National Park throughout the summer and fall helping visitors enjoy their experience while also educating them on how to be good stewards of the park and understand their impacts on the environment.

Want to learn more about a day in the life of a Summit Steward?

Click here to watch News Center Maine’s 207 report with Rob Caldwell, Fall 2021.

Summit Stewards

How You Can Help

When hiking on Acadia’s historic trail system, please “Leave No Trace” – walk only on the trail or durable surfaces, avoid stepping on or picking vegetation, and don’t modify trail cairns (or build new ones).

Learn More about Leave No Trace