Acadia on track for 779K fewer visitors despite record-setting November

ACADIA NAT’L PARK — The park will record an estimated 779,000 fewer visits this year than last year, a drop of about 23 percent, despite spikes in visitation in October and, especially, in November.

The estimated 76,251 visits in November were the most ever recorded for that month and 65.7 percent more than in November last year.

Typically, about 99.5 percent of Acadia’s visits occur in the first 11 months of the year, so the estimated number of visits through November – just under 2.65 million – is likely very close to what the end-of-year figure will be.

Several factors contributed to the decline in visitation this year, all of which were directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic: No cruise ships visited Bar Harbor. Far fewer people came on their own. The park’s campgrounds were all closed. The Island Explorer buses were idle. The number of motor coach passengers was off by 98.3 percent.

Park visitation started off strong this year, with 44.4 percent more estimated visits in the first quarter than in the first three months of 2019. Then the coronavirus began taking its toll, and visitation dropped sharply starting in April.

It was off 54.4 percent in May, 59 percent in June and 34.7 percent in July.

Visitation rebounded somewhat in late summer but was still down 10.3 percent in August and 17.1 percent in September.

Then in October, the number of visits was up 10.2 percent to 480,859. That was the highest October number since 2017.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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