This spring was truly a magnificent one...wonderfully placed, with the mountains rising steeply up beside it, contrasting with the Great and Little Meadow lands on either side.
George B. Dorr, 1942
Like others before him, George B. Dorr, the founding father of Acadia National Park and its first superintendent, was impressed by the tranquil beauty of Sieur de Monts Spring. The spring was the setting for social gatherings in the early 1900s, and artists sketched the area's scenic vistas. Hikers followed Native American paths along wet meadows and created trails to granite peaks. Thanks to the foresight of Dorr, who purchased the spring in 1909, the spring is forever protected.
In the early years after the park's establishment in 1916, Dorr established the Sieur de Monts Spring area as the heart of the park, which it remains today. As you explore, keep your eyes open for Dorr's legacy: "The Sweet Waters of Acadia" carved into a rock, the spring house, the trails leading into nearby mountains. In a sense, Sieur de Monts Spring has become a memorial to Dorr, in recognition of his inspiration and dedication that led to the creation of Acadia National Park.
Trails of Time
The trails of the Sieur de Monts Spring area have a rich history. The Wabanaki once transported canoes along carry paths connecting ponds and streams with the ocean. European settlers created trails linking growing towns. As recreational hiking became popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the path committees of village improvement societies planned and built 250 miles of hiking trails. Many of these trails are still in use today, ready for your exploration and enjoyment.
[Background photo caption reads] George B. Dorr and friend at a historic pool built near the actual Sieur de Monts Spring.