About a Million People with Disabilities May Visit Acadia Each Year
One in four adults in the United States lives with some form of disability. Here in Acadia, that means there may be about a million people coming to this park each year who need some form of accommodation related to mobility, cognition, hearing, or vision impairments. While Acadia is required to provide accessible, equitable experiences by federal law, it's also a key tenet to our commitment for inclusivity.
U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are permanently disabled may be eligible for the Interagency Access Pass. This free, lifetime admission pass is valid at National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, and Bureau of Reclamation sites.
Fare-free Island Explorer buses are accessible for wheelchair users, but not Bicycle Express vans. Regularly scheduled buses stop at destinations throughout the park, including campgrounds, carriage road entrances, and many trailheads.
Service animals are allowed in all park facilities and on all park trails unless closed by order of the superintendent. National Park Service policy defines a service animal as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. The tasks performed by the animal must be directly related to the person’s disability. Emotional support, therapy, comfort or companion animals are not considered service animals.
Sign Language, Live Audio Description & Assistive Listening
All of Acadia's scheduled public events and ranger walks, talks, and campground programs are listed on an online event calendar. To request sign language, live audio description, assistive listening devices, or other accomodation for any scheduled park event or program, please contact us at least 10 days in advance by email or call 207-288-3338
Braille Translations of Park Publications
Braille translations of the park's souvenir Unigrid brochure and Essential Acadia messages are available at these locations –
Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices
In accordance with National Park Service policy, individuals with mobility challenges may request a special use permit to utilize Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices (OPDMD) in Acadia National Park. These can include e-bikes, tracked chairs, golf carts, scooters and other non-traditional wheelchairs and micro-mobility devices.
Special use permits for an OPDMD may be requested at the following locations –
Park staff issuing this permit may establish “credible assurance” in the following two ways –
For more information, please email or call 207-288-3338.
Wheelchair Accessible Carriage
In 2022, Carriages of Acadia, the operator of the Wildwood Stables in Acadia National Park, and the park received a new, custom-built wheelchair accessible carriage. The carriage has a ramp on the back that should be accessible to most types of wheelchairs. Several additional passengers may join on the bench seats.
Information about the tours offered at Wildwood Stables is available on the Carriages of Acadia website. Reservations can be made by calling 877-276-3622 or 207-276-5721. Prices for tours vary depending on the length of tour and number of people. It is recommended that you call well in advance of the date you would like to reserve as spaces are limited.
The carriage was made possible through the generosity of the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation.
More than a dozen visual art pieces from the Artist-in-Residence program currently are displayed in public spaces in Acadia. To make the gallery experience more inclusive for people who have visual impairments, a recorded audio description and transcript are offered at the top of each artwork's entry in the program's online catalog. In this tour, each displayed artwork is presented in sequence along with directions to navigate the physical space.
Most of Acadia's interpretive waysides and orientation panels are presented by geographic area in these tours and on a map in the NPS app. Recorded audio descriptions and transcripts are provided for each wayside. Links are also provided to view and download production images of each panel from NPGallery.
Beach Chair at Echo Lake
An accessible chair with large inflatable tires is available for public use at Echo Lake Beach during the summer visitor season. Please email or call us at least five days in advance at 207-288-3338 to arrange for staff to meet you there.
From mid-June to mid-September, ranger-led boat tours of Baker Island are offered to the public. A tour ship leaves Bar Harbor and a smaller skiff with a boat ramp is used to land on Baker Island. Since this skiff isn't accessible to people who have mobility impairments, the park produced a 29-minute video of the tour as an abridged, equitable alternative experience.
Air Quality Monitoring
Air pollution is often carried into Maine by the wind. When conditions may be harmful to people with respiratory concerns, park staff post alerts through our Current Conditions page.
Two companies currently hold Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) permits to offer narrated interpretive bus tours in Acadia. Please contact them directly for information about the availability of accessible offerings:
Please consult our listings of local Chambers of Commerce for accommodations with accessibile ammenities.
Call 911 for emergency medical or police assistance, or to report accidents or injuries.
Mount Desert Island Hospital
Last updated: August 18, 2023