Visitors to Acadia National Park are finding it can be hard to get there from here.
The Hulls Cove Visitor Center, the main venue for selling park passes, could be closed until the end of June while it undergoes $1.2 million in renovations including upgraded restrooms.
Just outside the 1960s-era center, a large electronic sign warns of the closure, possibly discouraging Acadia National Park visitors from turning into the parking lot, where they might see an exhibit that includes information about buying a pass at other locations, a map or park programs. And if visitors do enter the lot, they are greeted at the center steps with a big “Road closed ahead” sign.
On top of Cadillac Mountain, the first stop for many Acadia National Park visitors, the gift shop, which also sells passes, is closed because of ice and snow damage and mildew issues. A sign urges motorists to buy a pass at the gift shop for display in their vehicles, but people walking up to the shop to make the purchase on Monday were turned away by a sign on the door that says “Temporarily closed.”
And along the main state highway that leads to Acadia and Bar Harbor, road construction, detours and one-way traffic are sometimes causing long backups and confusion. The construction, scheduled to be complete by mid-June, prompted at least one recent visitor to get lost in the dark and call the hotel she was registered at for step-by-step directions via cell phone.
Further adding to the potential frustration this spring and summer for Acadia National Park visitors who are unprepared or unaware, in trying to get there from here:
– New paid parking meter and kiosk system in Bar Harbor, approved by the municipality
– Culvert replacement and other work on the Park Loop Road and related bridges
– Intermittent closures on carriage roads for drainage work
– Maintenance and rehabilitation of Kurt Diederich’s Climb, Cadillac West Face Trail and Valley Cove Trail
– Random rock stacking or vandalized Bates-style cairn trail markers, which can mislead hikers
Christie Denzel Anastasia, public affairs specialist for the park, wrote in an email that it has been “a challenging year” with the Route 3 detour and the closures of the Cadillac gift shop and the Hulls Cove Visitor Center.