ACADIA NAT’L PARK — If it seemed like there were just as many visitors here in August as there usually are in late summer, that’s because there were.
In fact, the estimated 626,916 visitors to the section of the park on Mount Desert Island was 15,026 more than in the same month last year, an increase of 2.5 percent.
Apparently, the number of people who stayed away because of the coronavirus was more than offset by those who decided to come. Of course, a certain percentage of people who visit the park live locally, either year-round or seasonally.
Overall, visitation in August to all three sections of Acadia – MDI, Schoodic and Isle au Haut – was down 77,989 or 10.3 percent. But much of that decrease was because the Island Explorer buses are not running this year. When they are running, 25 percent of the passengers are counted as park visitors. In August 2019, that number was 58,290. This year it was zero.
The number of Oli’s Trolley and National Park Tours sightseeing passengers visiting the park was also zero, compared to 10,257 in August last year.
The estimated number of visitors in the Schoodic Peninsula section of the park was down by about 17,000 in August, a drop of 25.4 percent. Much of that decrease was likely because the Schoodic Woods Campground, like the other campgrounds in Acadia, did not open this year.
Overall, for the first eight months of 2020, Acadia visitation was off 32 percent. For the part of the park on Mount Desert Island, the January-August drop was 26.2 percent.
As of the end of August, the estimated number of visitors to Acadia on MDI this year totaled nearly 1.43 million. For the park overall it was 1.59 million.