Last year, so many people visited Acadia National Park – more than 3 million – that the road to Cadillac Mountain had to be closed 12 times, and the Park Loop Road to Sand Beach, twice.
Maybe the crowds were larger than usual in 2016 because of the Acadia Centennial, and maybe park plans to have parking attendants on top of Cadillac this year will help. With Memorial Day weekend marking the unofficial start of the busy summer season, it’ll surely help to know these 7 ways for a stress-free visit to Acadia National Park.
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. New this peak season: Do not go to the park headquarters on ME 233 to buy your pass, since you’ll just be directed to the Hulls Cove Visitor Center. The surest way to start off a stress-free visit to Acadia: Don’t get in a long line to get a park pass. Online, you can buy the usual 7-day Acadia pass or even the annual park pass. 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, before the price is slated to go up to $80 on Oct. 1. Hulls Cove is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in May and June, and after Labor Day through October, and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. July through Labor Day. And there are plenty of other local sites you can buy a pass at, as listed on the park’s Web site:
- 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
- Schoodic Institute, Rockefeller Hall
- 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