Permits

Picnic table along coastline of Schoodic Peninsula
Picnic table along coastline of Schoodic Peninsula

(NPS Photo by Kent Miller)

 
 

Special Use Permits

A Special Use Permit (SUP) 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, such as picnics, family reunions

  • Events involving over 20 participants on hiking trails, bike paths, carriage roads, and motor roads, such as walk-a-thons, running and bicycling events, motorcycle rides

  • Memorialization, such as scattering of ashes

  • Weddings with more than 10 participants

  • Commercial filming or photography, but not including photography workshops or tours

  • Sports events, public spectator attractions, pageants

  • First Amendment activities with more than 25 participants

  • Military operations


Areas accessible only by trail are limited to groups no larger than 20 people.

In the Schoodic District, events at Frazer Point that exceed 30 participants require a Special Use Permit. Groups larger than 15 anywhere but at Frazer Point require a permit. This is because the Schoodic District is managed to provide greater opportunities for solitude (Schoodic GMP, 2006).

Events on the Schoodic Education and Research Center campus do not require a permit. For more information about hosting group events on the campus, please contact Schoodic Institute at 207-288-1317.

 

First Amendment Activities

Freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly are Constitutional Rights. However, the courts have recognized that activities associated with the exercise of these rights may be reasonably regulated to protect park resources. Therefore, all First Amendment activities with over 25 participants require special use permits, and the park may regulate the time, place, and manner in which they are conducted. First Amendment activities with less than 25 participants who utilize designated areas do not require a permit. First Amendment permit requests will be processed within two business days. Some examples of special events that require permits include:

  • Distribution and/or sale of printed matter

  • Religious services

  • Scattering of ashes

  • Public demonstrations or assemblies, etc.

  • Collecting signatures for petitions

 

Memorialization Permit

A permit is required for the scattering of ashes. There is no charge for a memorial permit.

Weddings

The park's inspiring vistas and natural settings are ideally suited for small, informal weddings. All weddings with over 10 participants require an approved wedding permit.
See also Weddings

Commercial Filming/Photography

A commercial filming/photography permit is required for any filming or photography involving models, sets, or props.
See also Commercial Filming and Photography.

Miscellaneous Activities

Other activities may require permits if there is the potential for interference with visitor use, congestion of highly visited areas, or possible impacts on park resources.

 

Special Use Permit Process

Download an application:

Special Use Permit (short form)
Special Use Permit (long form)

Mail completed applications to:

Acadia National Park
Attn: Special Use Permit Coordinator
PO Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME 04609


Special instructions are listed on the application forms; please read them carefully. A completed application must be accompanied by an application fee of $50 in the form of a cashier's check or money order made payable to the National Park Service. The application fee is non-refundable unless it is determined that your event does not require a Special Use Permit.

 

Commercial Use Authorization

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 Commercial Use Authorization (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 bus, limousine, ride-hailing service, taxi or van.

  • photography or painting workshops; photography or painting tours.

  • or any other service a commercial entity wishes to perform in the park (this requires prior approval).

See also

Commercial Use Authorization

Bus & Motor Coach Rules

 

Requests for Proposals

Acadia National Park welcomes Requests for Proposals from any organization or business wishing to add Park Ranger-conducted nature programs about Acadia National Park to talks, walks, hikes, youth programs, bicycle tours, bus tours, or boat programs serving Mount Desert Island and Schoodic. A standard fee for park ranger-narrated activities will apply. Accepted proposals will be valid for up to five years and ranger-led services will be marketed to park visitors in park facilities, program publications, and on the park website. To learn more, please email park staff.

 

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.

Last updated: September 24, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME 04609

Phone:

(207) 288-3338

Contact Us