The Downeast Phenology Trail was created to help advance scientific research in Acadia and throughout all of Downeast Maine all while providing the opportunity to engage citizen scientists in the data collection process.

Spread over 9 conservation areas located throughout Downeast Maine, the trail provides visitors with the opportunity to contribute data to address these important research questions. The project uses Nature’s Notebook, iNaturalist, and eBird applications.

What is Phenology?

Phenology, or nature’s calendar, is the study of plant and animal life cycle events. It includes tracking the timing of flowering and fruiting plants, emergence of insects, and bird migrations.

Why is phenology important to us?

Millions of songbirds migrate south every fall along the Atlantic coastline. As they travel the long distances needed to reach their southern destinations they need stopover sites where they can refuel on fruits and insects.

Temperatures are increasing, potentially altering the timing of fruits ripening, insects emerging, and birds migrating. Is climate change creating a “mismatch” between fall migrating birds and their food sources like fruits and insects? Will there be any fruits or insects left for the birds when they fly through our region?


Working with the National Phenology Network Nature’s Notebook, along with Acadia National ParkBlue Hill Heritage TrustDowneast Lakes Land TrustFields Pond Audubon Center, Frenchman Bay ConservancyIsland Heritage TrustGreat Pond Mountain Conservation Trust, and Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge, Schoodic Institute established the Downeast Phenology Trail.

Downeast Phenology Trail Sites