ACADIA NAT’L PARK — Rangers have started cracking down on people who park their vehicles in the park without displaying an entrance pass. The price of not complying is a $130 fine.
Park officials said in a press release Tuesday that they are “enhancing efforts” to ensure that visitors have passes and that rangers will issue a “fee compliance notice” for vehicles that don’t display a valid pass.
Park spokesman John Kelly said the “notice” is actually a “citation” that carries a fine of $130. But the vehicle’s owner or operator can avoid the fine if, within 24 hours, they buy an entrance pass or show proof that they had a valid pass that was not displayed.
Such proof can be shown at the Sand Beach entrance station, the Hulls Cove Visitor Center, the information centers at Thompson Island and the Bar Harbor Village Green and at any of the park’s three campgrounds.
“While not displaying an entrance pass is a violation, we are offering visitors … a second chance to obtain an entrance pass rather than pay a more costly fine,” said Superintendent Kevin Schneider. “This effort follows several years or providing increased education to visitors and installing signs throughout the park that indicate the requirement to display an entrance pass.”
Passes may be displayed on the vehicle’s dashboard or on rearview mirror hang tags that are available everywhere passes are sold.
People who drive into the park to hike or enjoy other activities should leave their entrance passes visible in their vehicles rather than taking them with them.
“Park rangers will never stop individuals to request to see their pass,” said park spokesman John Kelly.
He said rangers will not be issuing citations for cars parked without entrance passes in the Schoodic Peninsula section of the park.
An Acadia entrance pass for a private vehicle and its occupants, which is good for seven days, costs $25. Motorcycle passes cost $20. Passes for hikers and bicyclists cost $12. An Acadia annual pass costs $50.
Park passes for the following season usually go on sale for half price in December.
Lifetime senior passes, for people 62 and older, currently cost $10, but the price will go up to $80 on Aug. 28. Lifetime senior passes are good for Acadia and all other National Park Service sites.
Eighty percent of entrance pass fees collected in Acadia are used to fund infrastructure and other projects in the park, including the Island Explorer bus system.
All fines collected for failing to display entrance passes go directly to the U.S. Treasury.