ACADIA NAT’L PARK — The regional director of the National Park Service has approved Acadia’s plan to charge a $6 fee for reservations to drive up the Cadillac Mountain summit road between dawn and dusk from late May to mid-October.
The exact dates this year are May 26 – Oct. 19.
As of April 1, timed-entry reservations for Cadillac Mountain may be made online at recreation.gov.
The reservation system is intended to improve the visitor experience by reducing parking and traffic congestion. The Cadillac Mountain summit tends to be most crowded around sunrise and sunset.
When Acadia piloted the reservation system last October, the fee was $2 per reservation. But park officials said that would not be enough to cover costs if the system were implemented on a permanent basis.
Of the $6 fee that will now be charged, $2 will go to recreation.gov, the online reservation service provider. The other $4 will pay for infrastructure improvements and the hiring of additional park staff to check reservations at the entrance to the Cadillac summit road, manage traffic and oversee the system’s operation.
Acadia Superintendent Kevin Schneider has said the reservation fee “is key to supporting the park staff and infrastructure needed to operate the system safely and efficiently.
“Visitors accessing the Cadillac summit road during peak use times will benefit from having assurance that they will find parking and have a more enjoyable experience.”
Vehicle reservations will provide a time for vehicles to enter the summit road, but there is no required departure time.
The reservation fee is in addition to the park entrance fee. The public had an opportunity earlier this year to comment on the proposal to charge $6 for reservations. The comment period ended Feb. 11.