76 people died in Acadia National Park

I had no idea 76 people died in the Acadia National Park. But to put that in perspective, 300 people have died in Glacier National Park, a place that Linda and I really like and visited quite often.

Randi Minetor has written a number of books about deaths in our national parks. Her latest book, Death In Acadia, published by Down East Books, is very interesting. Randi does an amazing amount of research for her books, and some of her stories of deaths in Acadia take us back into the 1800s.

A bunch of deaths occurred when people were swept by huge waves out into the ocean. Many of them ignored danger signs put up by park staff and got way too close to the water. Other people died slipping off cliffs, skating and boating, riding bicycles and snowmobiles and skateboards, and one Park worker was killed by a dynamite blast. And three people have been murdered in tor very near the park. Randy chose not to write about the 11 people who  committed suicide in the park.

Randi reassures us that we can be safe in Acadia. More than 3.5 million people annually visit the park without being harmed. But she also encourages us to stay behind barriers and obey warning signs. “Don’t risk your life for an Instagram photo,” she writes. “Learn from the errors of others who did not take the most basic precautions to protect themselves.”

“Welcome to Acadia. Be careful out there,” she concludes. Good advice anywhere in Maine.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.