A pair of ice skaters coming off the Jesup Path at Sieur de Monts Springs on Sunday glide past a sign that shows what the path looks like in summer. A sequence of freezing, thawing and flooding has caused some damage to the site's nature center building but also has created a sheet of thick ice around the building and surrounding walking paths, drawing skaters to come see and experience the unusual conditions. Credit: Bill Trotter

Hardy adventurers are turning last week’s flooding at Acadia National Park into something fun.

[Flooding, ice blamed on climate change damage to Acadia’s birthplace]

More than 100 people visited Acadia’s Sieur de Monts Nature Center area, including its parking lots, this weekend to skate on areas usually not covered in ice, park spokeswoman Christie Anastasia said.

The nature center is called the park’s birthplace because it was the first area preserved when Acadia became a national monument more than a century ago. Park officials announced the closure of the center parking lot on Friday due to icy conditions, although people can still visit on foot.

Frozen ground, snow accumulations and last week’s rainfall left deep water in areas that would normally flood once every 25 years. But that didn’t stop skaters from enjoying it, Anastasia said.

“There was a really good game of hockey going on, families, kids on sleds,” Anastasia said Monday.

She called the Saturday visitors “probably one of the largest number of people that you’d ever see in January. If that was one of those typical days in January where there was just snow out there, we probably would have seen only a quarter as many.”

The flood damage, Anastasia said, is the flipside to the fun. Workers have drained much of the water from beneath at least a foot of ice in the parking lot and other areas and begun to dry out buildings at the center, which remains closed, Anastasia said.

She advised future visitors to beware of the receding ice and water and to bring appropriate footwear, such as ice cleats or skates, as well as plenty of common sense.

It might be several days, or the beginning of spring, before workers will be able to determine the extent of damage, Acadia said.

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