Permits & Reservations


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Vehicle Reservations

Vehicle reservations are required for Cadillac Summit Road from May 26 through October 19. Visit our Vehicle Reservation System page for more information.


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 at no charge

  • 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 207-288-1337.


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 (per 36 CFR 2.51), unless the group uses amplified sound. Hand carried signs may be used, but stages, platforms, or structures may not be used without a permit.

First Amendment permit requests will be processed within 10 business days. Some examples of special events that require permits (per 36 CFR 2.51) include:

  • Distribution and/or sale of printed matter (over 25 participants)

  • Religious services

  • Scattering of ashes

  • Public demonstrations or assemblies, etc. (over 25 participants)

  • Collecting signatures for petitions


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

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.


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: May 6, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME 04609


(207) 288-3338

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