UPDATE 5/20/2017: See updated “7 ways for a stress-free visit to Acadia National Park”
With Memorial Day weekend around the corner and this being the park’s Centennial year, more crowds than usual are expected to be visiting Acadia National Park in 2016 – possibly even more than last year’s 2.8 million visitors.
Here are 5 tips to avoid long lines, frustration of finding parking, and other aspects of what can be a maddening crowd. Yes, visiting Acadia National Park during peak times can be stress-free. Why line up behind dozens of other people to pay for a pass, or ask a ranger “Where’s a good place to hike?”
1) Buy your Acadia National Park pass online, go early or late to the main Hulls Cove Visitor Center, or get the pass at one of the other local sites. This is the first year that visitors can buy the usual 7-day pass – and even the annual pass – online. If you’re age 62 or older, you can buy the lifetime Senior Pass for $10 in advance at a participating federal recreation site near home, or via mail. Hulls Cove is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in May, June, September and October, and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. July and August. And there are plenty of other local sites you can buy a pass at, as listed on the park’s Web site:
- Park headquarters – ME 233 (Eagle Lake Road) – passes sold 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Bar Harbor Village Green Information Center – late May to Columbus Day, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Thompson Island Information Center – early May to mid-October, hours vary
- Sand Beach Entrance Station
- Blackwoods Campground
- Schoodic Woods Campground
- Seawall Campground
- Cadillac Mountain Gift Shop
- Jordan Pond Gift Shop
- Mount Desert Town Office
- Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce
- Southwest Harbor / Tremont Chamber of Commerce
- L. L. Bean in Freeport, ME