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What To Know Before Visiting Acadia

Visitor Checklist graphic with photo featuring family of hikers

Photo courtesy of visitor Jessica Pearce Rotondi

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As you make plans to visit during the May to October 2021 season, expect to encounter a few changes –

  • The fare-free Island Explorer bus system resumes service with limited routes and reduced passenger capacity.
  • You will need to make an online vehicle reservation to drive and park on the Cadillac Summit Road during sunrise and daylight hours.
  • An advance, online reservation is required to enter park campgrounds. There is no same-day availability for sites.
  • Visitor access to the historic Eagle Lake Carriage Road will be reduced during a rehabilitation and preservation construction project.

Top 10 “Need to Know” Facts for 2021 Visitor Season

  1. Consistent with CDC recommendations, people who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces. All people, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask on all forms of public transportation.
  2. The fare-free Island Explorer resumes service this summer, but with more limited routes, and fewer riders allowed on each bus. Masks will be required on-board, as well as crowded queuing areas.
  3. Entrance Pass Required. From May through October, all visitors are required to have a park entrance pass. All vehicles must display a park entrance pass clearly visible through the windshield. Online sales are available anytime at Recreation.gov. Entrance passes are sold in-person at Hulls Cove Visitor Center, at an entrance station located one mile (1.6 km) north of Sand Beach, and at about a dozen other locations listed at go.nps.gov/AcadiaPass
  4. A Vehicle Reservation is required to drive up the Cadillac Summit Road during sunrise and daylight hours for the 2021 summer season. Reservations are not required for other areas of the park and are not required for visitors who enter the areas by foot or bike. Vehicle reservations are purchased in advance online at Recreation.gov.
  5. No camping, campfires, or overnight parking are permitted outside of designated campgrounds. An advance, online reservation is required to enter park campgrounds. There is no same-day availability for sites. Reservations are available at Recreation.gov.
  6. Hikers, bikers, and horseback riders will have reduced access to Eagle Lake Carriage Road this summer during a project to rehabilitate the carriage road while preserving its historic character. The entire loop is expected to close initially, and individual segments around the lake will then reopen as they become available. Watch for closure updates @ go.nps.gov/AcadiaAlerts
  7. Only Class-1 e-Bikes are allowed on park Carriage Roads. These e-Bikes provide assistance only while the rider is pedaling, and at speeds less than 20 mph. Class 2 & 3 e-Bikes are prohibited. Please ride safely. Cyclists must yield to all other carriage road users, including horses and pedestrians. Stay to the right and give a clear warning before passing on the left.
  8. Leave Your Firewood At Home. Non-native insect pests pose a serious threat to forests. Your home may lie in a quarantine area where moving firewood is illegal. Buy local.
  9. While Acadia is known to be a Dog-Friendly National Park, all pets must always be kept on a leash no longer than six feet. Collect and dispose of dog waste properly in designated trash receptacles. Dogs are prohibited from six cliff ladder trails, public beaches (May 15-Oct 15), public buildings, and ranger-led programs.
  10. Respect Wildlife. Please don't feed, approach, or provoke any wild animals in the park, especially snowy owls, nesting loons and turtles, and baby seals on beaches. Observe speed limits and watch for creatures crossing roadways

Last updated: May 25, 2021