ACADIA NATIONAL PARK — Acadia National Park’s ranger dispatch center was “swamped with calls for assistance” over the July Fourth holiday, fielding 755 radio calls and 20 emergency 911 calls on July 5 alone.

A 69-year-old woman who suffered apparent heatstroke and lost consciousness while hiking on Dorr Mountain had to be evacuated by helicopter. As park rangers were unable to respond immediately because of other emergencies, Bar Harbor Fire Department paramedics and a park firefighter hiked 2 miles up the trail and determined that a helicopter rescue was needed.

Because the rugged terrain offers no place for a helicopter to land, the Maine Forest Service was called to dispatch a helicopter that could lift the patient and one of the rescuers off the mountain and carry them to safety. The rescue operation, which took more than four hours, involved park rangers, MDI Search and Rescue, and Friends of Acadia Summit Stewards.

That rescue was one of several in the park that day.

A 24-year-old man lost his footing while hiking Cadillac Mountain and slid down more than 40 feet of sloped rock before falling off a cliff. His injuries were not life-threatening and he was able to call for help. Park rangers and MDI Search and Rescue were dispatched to perform the rescue.

Two park rangers also went up the North Ridge Trail of Cadillac to help a woman who had injured her ankle about a mile from the trailhead.


In a statement, park officials said: “As many park rangers were working on rescue operations, illegal and obstructive parking led to sharp increases in traffic congestion, above and beyond Acadia’s normal parking struggles.”

The Ocean Drive section of Park Loop Road was closed for about 90 minutes and again for 30 minutes. The Cadillac Mountain summit road was closed several times during the day.

Park officials reported that illegal parking on both sides of Schooner Head Road blocked the exit for cars stopped at the Sand Beach entrance station, and that both sides of Stanley Brook Road were lined with cars “blocking the Island Explorer bus from using the road.”

To alleviate congestion, park officials ask visitors to park only in designated spaces, to use the fare-free Island Explorer bus system whenever possible and to consider walking or biking into the park.

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