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Wild Gardens of Acadia – Sieur de Monts Spring

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Whether you’re looking for a half-day hike or a 15 minute stroll, you’ll want to stop at the Sieur de Monts area in Acadia National Park.  This area is the core of the original Acadia, dating back to its founding as Sieur de Monts National Monument in 1916, and later Lafayette National Park in 1919.  Acadia received its current name in 1929.

Now, about that 15 minute stroll: the Wild Gardens of Acadia is a small plot of land (less than one acre), criss-crossed with paths, ponds, and streams.  12 of the park’s plant communities are represented here.

Since my visit was in early October, a lot of the flowers in the Wild Gardens weren’t blooming.  Fortunately, I had the changing leaves to add splashes of color.  The still waters provide great reflections of the surrounding trees.

That’s some great color!

And if you’d like to see it upside-down, just look in the nearest pond.

The Bog is one of the dozen plant communities represented here.  Unfortunately, during my visit, the bog was a little too “boggy”.  The path was flooded, not far beyond this sign.

After you’ve spent a relaxing few minutes wandering the trails…

… seek out the Sieur de Monts spring.  It’s in that white, domed building in the background.  Acadia’s first superintendent, George B. Dorr, named the spring, and carved “Sweet Waters of Acadia” into the large stone in front of the building.

Dorr named the spring to honor Pierre Du Gua, de Monts.  He was the Lieutenant Governor of New France (the area from Philadelphia to Montreal), back in 1603. Sieur de Monts later sailed with Samuel Champlain to the New World, and visited Mount Desert Island during their journey.

The spring is enclosed in glass, but you can still look down into those sweet waters, which reflect the blue sky above.

Just beyond the spring, you’ll find the original Abbe Museum, which is devoted to Maine’s first residents, the people of the Wabanaki Nations.  A larger Abbe Museum is now located in downtown Bar Harbor.

The spring is also a good landmark to help you find the longer, more challenging trails in this area, like the path up Dorr Mountain, our next stop.

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