In another sign of spring, Acadia National Park is closing its carriage roads.
That temporary closure begins Friday, and coincides with the beginning of Maine’s mud season, popularly known as the “fifth season.”
The closure is intended to protect the 45-mile network gravel roads as warmer weather arrives and with it wet conditions. That leaves the carriage roads vulnerable to damage — particularly potholes, ruts and erosion — from bicyclists, walkers and horseback riders.
Acadia visitors can still explore the park’s vast network of hiking trails, as well as the Park Loop Road, which remains closed to vehicles until April 15.
The road network will reopen later this year once the roads dry out and become firm.
Acadia National Park recently restored its carriage roads, with the last six miles around Eagle Lake being completed in 2021.