With habitats ranging from salt-water wetlands to high mountain summits, spring comes to Acadia National Park in a thousand ways.

National Parks Traveler reported that near sea level, perennials sprout fresh shoots through warming soils, while buds on maples and birches swell in anticipation of first leaf. Up high, hardy conifers and delicate wildflowers await their turn to shake off winter’s cold and revel in the warmth of the strengthening sun.

In addition to preparing to deal with summer’s throngs of visitors, Acadia staff is wrestling with what to do following some weather-related damage this past winter. In January, back-to-back 50-year rainstorms, combined with rapid melting of snowpack, resulted in the area around the Sieur de Monts Spring Nature Center, and the nearby Great Meadow, being inundated by more than two feet of water.

Rapidly dropping temperature then turned that water into ice. Hundreds turned out to ice skate among the trees and above hiking trails where rangers were actually paddling canoes just a few days before.

The joy of discovering something new in Acadia was tempered however, by the toll the ice and water took on both natural and human-made features.

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