BAR HARBOR, Maine (AP) — Acadia National Park is on track for a record year as park officials see no signs of visitation slowing down this fall.
The park’s busiest year on record was 2018, when there were 3.54 million visits. This year, the number could top 4 million, Kevin Schneider, park superintendent, told the Acadia Advisory Commission.
Things have taken off since 2020, which was an off year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2.67 million visits Acadia had in 2020 was the lowest annual count the park has had since 2014, the Bangor Daily News reported.
Visitation picked up significantly last fall, however. Since October 2020, “every single month has been a record month” for visitation, according to Adam Gibson, a social scientist for Acadia.
The past 11 months have had on average 22% more visitors than the same period from the year before, he said.
The park had roughly 800,000 visits last month and Acadia has had an estimated 2.75 million visits so far in 2021.
The volume of people in the park has resulted in more rescues, said Therese Picard, the park’s chief ranger. The park typically handles two dozen rescues through August of each year, she said, but there have been 50 rescues so far this year. Most of the rescues involve leg injuries of some sort, which usually require park staff and responders from MDI Search & Rescue to carry the injured person on a litter to a waiting ambulance.
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