Acadia’s May visits up 0.8% 

ACADIA NAT’L PARK — May was the first month this year in which the estimated number of visits to Acadia exceeded the number for the same month the year before. 

But the increase was only 0.8 percent, and that was more than accounted for by the number of tour bus passengers who entered the park – 5,419 this May compared to 1,581 in May 2021.  

The estimated number of non-bus-passenger visits to the Mount Desert Island section of Acadia in May was 299,785. The number for the section of the park on the Schoodic Peninsula was 22,095. 

Overall, the estimated number of visits through the first five months of this year was off 6.1 percent, from 509,201 to 478,357. 

The number of overnight stays in Acadia’s campgrounds in May was up 47.8 percent over the May 2021 figure – from 10,471 to 15,477. 

Last year was a record-breaking year for Acadia visitation, with an estimated 12-month total of 4.1 million visits. 

How visits are counted 

The park estimates the number of visits, not individual visitors, so one visitor can account for several visits.   

The visitation estimates are based on actual counts. Here is how it works: There is a vehicle counter on both lanes of the Park Loop Road near the Sand Beach entrance station. The traffic count at that location is multiplied by a “vehicle expansion multiplier” to estimate the number of vehicles going to all of the other recreation areas in the park. The vehicle expansion multiplier ranges from 1.8 in January, February and December to 2.7 in June, July and August.  

The adjusted vehicle count is then multiplied by the “persons-per-vehicle” multiplier. That multiplier is 2.0 in January, February, March and December, 2.8 in April and November, and 3.0 in May through October.  

The estimated number of commercial bus and van passengers is calculated by multiplying the number of full-size motor coaches by 45, the number of small buses by 18 and the number of vans by 10.  

The number of people getting on an Island Explorer bus can easily be counted. But the buses don’t just pick up and drop off passengers in Acadia. So, 25 percent of Island Explorer passengers are counted as park visitors. 

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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