ACADIA NAT’L PARK — After being closed all last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the park’s campgrounds are to be open this year, starting in May.
But the overall number of available campsites will be reduced “to allow us to spread campers out and to clean the restrooms more frequently,” said Deputy Superintendent Mike Madell.
“At Seawall, the campsites are really quite close together, so we might have only about 50 percent occupancy there,” he said. “But Schoodic Woods, the newest campground, was built in a way that there is inherently more distance between sites. So that’s probably going to be closer to full occupancy than to 50 percent.”
Blackwoods Campground is currently scheduled to open May 7; Seawall and Schoodic Woods on May 26.
Madell said reservations for camping in Acadia are being taken only 60 days in advance this year, “so we will have a little more ability to adapt to changing conditions.”
Reservations may be made online at recreation.gov.
Seasonal hiring, housing
Acadia is looking to hire about 160 seasonal employees this year. Madell said that, so far, hiring for some types of jobs has been somewhat slower than in the past.
“We’re not quite sure why that is, whether it’s competition with the private sector or some aspect of COVID that’s scaring people away,” he said.
Acadia doesn’t have enough housing of its own to accommodate even half of its seasonal employees, and COVID-19 has reduced capacity even more.
“Last year, we could put only one person per restroom in our housing,” Madell said. “This year we are going with one person per bedroom, which gives us more latitude. With that standard, we should be able to handle about 65.”
Others will have to find housing outside the park. Fortunately, some of the park’s seasonal employees already live locally.