Visitation on track to top 3.2 million

ACADIA NAT’L PARK — Visitation in Acadia continues to track upwards. In September, it was up 17 percent over the same period last year and is on track to reach 3.2 million, Superintendent Kevin Schneider said at a League of Towns elected officials meeting last week. That would be about 400,000 more visitors than last year.

He said he doesn’t know if Acadia will have that many visitors next year.

“But long-term, I think there will undoubtedly be more people coming to this place; I think the trend is up.”

Responding to a question, Schneider said it is too soon to know exactly what the effects of the new park will be.

Rather than drawing visitors away from Acadia, the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Northern Maine is just as likely to increase visitation here.

“Our visitors may decide to spend a day less here and go there for a day,” he said. “But I certainly don’t think it’s going to siphon off visitors from Acadia. I think both parks are going to find themselves busy in the long term.”

Schneider spoke briefly about the transportation plan the park is in the process of developing. Earlier this month, park officials unveiled the preliminary alternative concepts they are considering for addressing the increasingly serious traffic and parking problems.

The park will hold a public forum on those preliminary concepts on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 6:30 p.m. at Peninsula School in Prospect Harbor and on Thursday, Nov. 3, at 6:30 p.m. at Mount Desert Island High School in Bar Harbor.

The transportation plan concepts can be viewed by visiting the Acadia National Park website and clicking on “Transportation Planning.”

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]

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