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Updated: June 27, 2024

Acadia National Park visitation was down this spring, but officials expect a big year

display at Acadia National Park Photo / Peter Van Allen Acadia National Park saw an 8.4% decline in visitors for the first four months of 2024.

Acadia National Park is off to a slow start in visits during 2024. But with a long July 4th weekend coming up and the park's busiest season ahead, officials still expect a good year. 

Compared to last year, visitation was down by 8.4% through April, the latest month with available data. Acadia had received 164,248 visitors.

But with the past three years bringing in close to 4 million visitors, a park spokesperson said the expectation is for another big year. 

"Though of course we cannot predict the future, we definitely expect for it to be a very busy summer for Acadia," said Amanda Pollock, public affairs officer for Acadia National Park.

"Since 2021, with a record number of over 4 million visits, we've consistently seen numbers surpassing pre-COVID visitation. During our busy summers, visitors should plan ahead and come with a backup plan. They also can choose to ride the Island Explorer bus system, and have a car-free experience at the park."

In 2021, 4,069,098 people visited Acadia, the most since 1989, when the park hosted 5.44 million people in its 60th year. 

Despite the slow start this year, those early-season months aren't the critical ones for Acadia, where visitation is largely concentrated in summer and early fall. 

A chart on the Friends of Acadia website shows a sharp increase in visitors in May with numbers peaking in July and August, when as many as 800,000 visitors a month can swarm Acadia and Mount Desert Island. 

Last year, Acadia hosted 3,879,891 visitors, a 2.3% dip from the 3,970,259 that came through in 2022. The number was down from pandemic-era highs, but still the third-highest in the park's history. 

For the month of April, Acadia hosted 102,928 visitors, down 7.5% from April 2023, according to data posted on the National Park Service web site.

The park has cited a number of factors that could help explain the decline so far this year, including road closures during the storms of Jan. 10 and Jan. 13 and a malfunction of the traffic counter during the month of February.

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