Permits- CUA and SUP

Obtaining a permit at Acadia National Park


Commercial Use Authorizations (CUA)

A commercial use is defined as any activities, services, agreements, or anything offered to park visitors and/or the general public for recreational purposes which uses park resources or is undertaken for or results in compensation, monetary gain, benefit, or profit to an individual, organization, or corporation, whether or not such entity is organized for purposes recognized as non-profit under local, state, or federal law.

You are required to apply for a CUA if any of the following apply:

  • commercial transportation/tour operators and those who own, lease, charter their vehicles to other tour operators, or rent their vehicles from such places as a rental company for commercial tour purposes
  • person(s), organization, or group that arranges for the transportation and tour services, assumes responsibility for financial risk and management, and determines who shall be transported upon what terms, conditions, or charges
  • provide guided trips or services for biking, boating, hiking, climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, summer camps, tours, or other approved activities for the public.
  • provide transportation services such as taxi, van, or limousine
  • photography or painting workshops or tours
Click here for more information on CUA permits.
Special Use Permits (SUP)

A Special Use Permit is required for activities that provide a benefit to an individual, group, or organization, rather than the public at large and for activities that require some degree of management by the National Park Service in order to protect park resources and the public interest.

Activities and events that require Special Use Permits include:

  • stationary events at a single location for over 30 participants (e.g. picnics, family reunions)
  • events involving over 20 participants on hiking trails, bike paths, carriage roads, and motor roads (walk-a-thons, running and bicycling events, motorcycle rides, etc.)
  • memorialization (scattering of ashes)
  • weddings with over 10 participants
  • commercial filming/photography (not including photography workshops or tours)
  • sports events, public spectator attractions, pageants, etc.
  • First Amendment activities with over 25 participants
  • group camping
  • group climbing
  • military operations
Click here for more information on Special Use Permits.

Research Permit

Are you looking to do scientific research, monitoring, or citizen science in Acadia? All research and specimen collection activities require a research permit. For information on applying visit Research Permits.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME 04609


(207) 288-3338
General information and questions. The phone is answered weekdays 8 am - 4:30 pm.

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