*** For Immediate Release ***

New Interpretive Signs Educate Travelers on the Schoodic National Scenic Byway

Contact: Click to Enlarge

James Fisher, PhD, AICP
Hancock County Planning Commission
395 State Street
Ellsworth, ME 04605
(207 667-7131 / (207) 667-2099 (fax)
www.hcpcme.org and www.schoodicbyway.org

Travelers along the Schoodic National Scenic Byway will discover new facts about the regions natural resources, history and working landscape.  Scenic stops at the Taunton Bay gateway facility, Frenchman Bay Scenic Turnout and Long Cove rest area will find colorful stories, images and educational lessons in a series of ten interpretive panels installed on Saturday, September 13, 2008. 

Years of planning, fund raising and collaboration are paying off for this unique byway that connects Taunton Bay in Hancock with Prospect Harbor in Gouldsboro following Route 1 and Route 186 and including the Schoodic District of Acadia National Park.  Partners working to enhance the Schoodic National Scenic Byway include the towns of Hancock, Sullivan, Gouldsboro and Winter Harbor, the Hancock County Planning Commission, the Maine Department of Transportation, the National Park Service, Friends of Acadia, Frenchman Bay Conservancy, historical societies and other local organizations. 

The Schoodic Byway Corridor Management Committee, chaired by Barbara Shanahan of Sullivan and Peter Drinkwater of Winter Harbor, has labored for more than a decade to make improvements to the byway and their communities.

The stunning graphics and layouts were created by the Schoodic Byway Corridor Committee and Nancy Montgomery, owner of Montgomery Design (www.nmontgomerydesign.com). Her work can be seen on byways and scenic locations throughout Maine.

The interpretive signage program has been made possible through a generous grant from the Federal Highway Administration and technical support from the America’s Byways Resource Center.   

Major accomplishments along the byway include the construction of a gateway facility in Hancock next to the new Taunton Bay Bridge that this summer has been upgraded with five new interpretive signs, a new privy and improvements in landscaping.  Additional work planned for this fall includes granite benches and trails.  The Frenchman Bay Scenic turnout has been transformed from a 12 foot gravel shoulder into a paved turnout, separated from highway traffic, with four interpretive panels (one to be completed), sidewalks, views of the bay and Mount Desert Island. Long Cove has received a larger paved parking area, picnic tables, a new privy and three new interpretive signs.

Additional interpretive signs have been prepared that chronicle the history and resource bases of Winter Harbor and Prospect Harbor. These signs will be on display in temporary locations as permanent locations are prepared.

In addition to these byway improvements, recent improvements to Route 1 and Route 186 make traveling the byway a memorable and safer experience for visitors.  While additional improvements are needed for some sections of Route 186, great progress has been made. The village center of Winter Harbor is also undergoing significant improvements with new sidewalks and street lighting.

More information on the Schoodic National Scenic Byway is available online at www.schoodicbyway.org.  Brochures are available at the Greater Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center and online.  Images of the newly installed and yet to be installed interpretive signs are available online at: www.schoodicbyway.org/photo/interp.