Acadia revises permit rules

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK — In an informal meeting held at park headquarters in Bar Harbor on Monday, Oct. 20, park officials announced changes to the rules regarding special use permits.

Groups of 20 or fewer people no longer need a permit for non-commercial moving group activities such as running or biking on Acadia’s hiking trails, carriage roads, bike paths and motor roads.

“We had a more informed discussion,” said Public Information Officer John Kelly. “It was a work-in-progress from the last few months of discussion.”

These conversations between park officials and area residents were prompted by discontent among the running community over a citation issued to an Ellsworth resident for organizing a group run in the park without a permit in mid August.

Even though the citation was later dismissed, it led to the park’s review of the special use permit process and resulted in the modifications.

Monday night’s meeting was attended by only a handful of people, and according to the Deputy Superintendent, Michael Madell, even though “it was a much smaller crowd, it went very well.”

Madell said park officials got an opportunity to communicate that the park has gone through a “holistic review of all their policies,” and not just the ones concerning group running activities on the park’s trails and carriage roads.

Another change, explained Kelly, is concerning stationary events at a single location involving more than 30 people.

“We want people in those cases to get a special use permit,” he said. That includes gatherings such as picnics, family reunions or a wedding on park property.

The special use permit for an organized activity costs $50, which is refunded if the park deems the permit is not required or rejects the application.

More information on the requirements of special use permits is available online at

Amanat Khullar

Amanat Khullar

Amanat Khullar is a sports reporter for the Mount Desert Islander. She comes from New Delhi, the capital city of India and graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

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