As you explore Acadia National Park, you will discover private property interspersed with park lands. Many large national parks, like Yellowstone and Grand Canyon, were carved from the public domain as single, vast tracts of land. Acadia, in contrast, evolved as a patchwork of private lands donated by individuals who loved this landscape. Their generosity created the first national park east of the Mississippi River in 1916, and the first national park derived solely from private property donations.
The park is now restricted by law in its acceptance of land donations, but private landowners may place conservation easements on their property, a charitable act which legally limits development. The park oversees these easements, which help preserve the wild coastal character of Maine.
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Ironbound Island, to your left (northeast) is forever protected by a conservation easement.