Park visitation down in October, up for the year

ACADIA NAT’L PARK — Fewer people visited Acadia in their personal vehicles in October than in the same month last year, but there was a huge increase in visitation by motor coach and commercial van passengers, according to figures compiled by the National Park Service.

Overall, visitation for the month was down 3.8 percent. Still, visitation for the first 10 months of the year was up 1.2 percent over the same period last year, so the park may be on track to set a new annual visitation record.

The estimated number of non-motor coach visitors was 488,204 last month, down from 507,595 a year ago. The visitation number for the Mount Desert Island section of the park was 355,058, a reduction of 16.5 percent from last October. The Schoodic Peninsula section of the park had 26,004 visitors, a drop of 10.8 percent. The 270 visitors to the section of the park on Isle au Haut represented a decrease of 24.2 percent.

But the total number of motor coach and commercial van passengers shot up 116.1 percent, from 46,812 in October 2017 to 101,173 last month. Nearly all of those visits were to the Mount Desert Island portion of the park.

The number of passengers carried by the two local sightseeing bus companies, Oli’s Trolley and National Park Tours, was actually down 13.2 percent in October.

The estimated number of people riding the fare-free Island Explorer buses into the park was down 9.6 percent from the same month last year, but the number for the first 10 months of the year was up 7.5 percent to 623,527.

Meanwhile, motor coaches serving cruise ship passengers and those on overland “leaf peeper” tours saw a 163.3 percent spike in October. An estimated 76,545 people visited the park via motor coach, up from 29,070 in the same month last year.

In 2017, Acadia set a new record with an estimated 3.51 million visits. For January through October of this year, the number was just over 3.48 million.

Acadia remains the seventh most-visited of the nation’s 59 national parks.


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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