BAR HARBOR, Maine — Summer is just around the corner, which means many of us are trying to figure out how we want to spend those warm days. For some, that means being in the great outdoors and exploring places like Acadia National Park.
In 2021, Acadia welcomed 4,069,098 visitors, which broke the 2018 record of 3,537,575 people.
The record-breaking attendance came despite pandemic limitations, which slowed business at other tourist attractions. Now, as restrictions continue to ease, people are ready to stretch their legs again.
National Park Service spokesperson Katie Liming told NEWS CENTER Maine the park is expecting another busy summer.
"We know many people are planning their summer trips to Acadia National Park right now," Liming said. "Know you're going to see congestion on the roads. Some parking lots that you plan to park in might be full."
Liming's advice for park visitors this year is to have a plan.
"Visit our website," she said. "There is so much great information for you and your trip planning to Acadia National Park. You can learn about campgrounds; you can learn about entrance fees and great hikes."
According to the park's website, starting May 25, visitors will once again need a reservation to drive up Cadillac Mountain. Also, Blackwoods, Schoodic Woods, and Seawall campgrounds are all taking summer reservations right now.
Park officials want visitors to have fun during their visit, but they also want visitors to be aware of the dangers at Acadia. Last year, the park had 63 search and rescue operations and 169 emergency calls. Both are records.
"Folks just need to be prepared to be out there and in the park," Keith Johnston, the park's chief of maintenance, said. "Be educated on what they're going to do with their trip so they can have a safe experience."
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