June Storm Caused Extensive Damage To Carriage Roads And Trails

An early June storm with torrential rains caused extensive damage to 10 miles of Acadia’s 45-mile carriage road system, as well as the Wild Gardens of Acadia at Sieur de Monts, Schoodic multi-use paths, Schoodic Head Road, and several miles of hiking trails. The Maple Spring Trail was the trail hardest hit and is expected to be closed until repairs can be made.

The storm packed one heck of a punch. According to park staff, the short duration and intensity of the rainstorm makes it one of the most exceptional weather events in the park’s history.

The peak of the storm occurred between 4:30 and 7:30 a.m. on June 9 with rainfall totals varying widely across the park. Recorded rainfall ranged from 2.5 inches at Jordan Pond to 4.7 inches at the Cadillac Summit. The U.S. Geological Survey stream gauge at Otter Creek reached a stage (water level height) of almost 10 feet during the peak of the rainstorm, an increase
of 8.5 feet from the week before.

The carriage roads, which were constructed from 1913 to 1940 and engineered to withstand heavy rainfall, were hit especially hard. They consist of multiple layers of rock graduating from large to fine-sized stones at the surface with a substantial crown to ensure good drainage. Stone culverts and deep ditches provide channels to direct runoff away from the gravel surface of the carriage roads. But this rainstorm was so intense that the volume of water overwhelmed the drainage features and, in many locations, completely removed the top two layers of stone and aggregate.

Repairs are Underway

The total estimated cost to complete repairs to the system damaged by the event is over $1 million. “We have received most of the emergency funds necessary to repair many of the park’s carriage roads, trails, and bike paths,” said Keith Johnston, Chief of Facility Management at Acadia National Park. “We’re focused on getting sections safe for visitors to use and will continue to make repairs through the season.” To date, the park has restored visitor use on the carriage roads between intersections 11 and 13 and although work remains, those sections are safe to use. The next sections to open will be from 14 to 10 and then 10 to 11 over the next several weeks.

To see the most current information on carriage road closures and updates on current conditions, visit nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/conditions.htm