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Updated: January 26, 2024

After pandemic bump, Acadia National Park visitation drops for second straight year

people on hill over ocean File photo / Courtesy, Lily LaRegina, Friends of Acadia In 2021, hikers take in the view of Frenchman Bay from the summit of the Beehive in Acadia National Park. For the second year since then, the annual number of visitors to the park has declined.

In 2021, Acadia National Park saw a big jump in visits, even compared to pre-pandemic levels.

But the park has seen a steady decline since then.

In 2021, the park had 4 million visitors. In 2022, the figure was 3.97 million. The total represented 3.4 million visitors to the Mount Desert Island portion of Acadia and 323,000 to the Schoodic Peninsula portion.

In 2023 the total number of visitors was 3.87 million, a 2.5% decline from the previous year. The total represented 3.3 million visitors to the Mount Desert  Island portion of Acadia and 338,000 to the Schoodic Peninsula portion.

The year-over-year decline was reflected by the December numbers as well. 

This past December drew 14,870 visitors, while the previous December had 22,506.

From 2016 through 2019, the annual average was 3.4 million. The figure dropped to 2.66 million in 2020.

Despite the recent fall-off, ridership around the area on the free Island Explorer shuttle bus was up last year, with 451,006 passengers, compared to 413,929 in 2022, a 9% change.

All the figures for 2023 are preliminary and subject to change. Data will be finalized by the end of this quarter.

In 2022, tourism at Acadia contributed $479 million to the local economy and visitor spending supported nearly 6,700 jobs in nearby communities, generating an overall economic benefit of $691 million.

Among national parks, Acadia ranked No. 5 in recreational visits in 2022, according to the National Park Service, behind Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Zion and Rocky Mountain national parks.

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