Acadia National Park (Carriage Tours)


Solicitation for a Concession Business Opportunity - Carriage Tours in Acadia National Park

The National Park Service (NPS) is issuing a concessions prospectus on Thursday, July 13, 2023, for a 10-year concession contract to provide carriage tours and equestrian services within Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, Maine. The NPS will award one (1) concession contract. The new contract is expected to be effective January 1, 2024.

The Regional Director has determined, under 36 CFR § 51.36, that no Preferred Offeror exists for this Draft Contract. This solicitation for commercial services is fully competitive.

Acadia National Park preserves approximately 50,000 acres in Hancock and Knox Counties along the mid-section of the Maine coast. The Park consists of portions of Mount Desert Island plus a portion of Isle au Haut to the southwest of Mount Desert Island, the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula on the mainland to the east, and portions of 16 smaller outlying islands. The Park also preserves more than 13,000 acres in conservation easements across its legislated boundary, which runs from the Penobscot River ship channel to just east of the Schoodic Peninsula.

The Park was created to protect the natural beauty of the highest mountains and rocky headlands along the Atlantic shore of the United States. Significant resources include a glaciated coastal and island landscape, an abundance of habitats, a high level of biodiversity, clean air and water, and a rich cultural heritage. Acadia National Park was established in 1916 as Sieur de Monts National Monument and incorporated into Lafayette National Park in 1919 as the first national park east of the Mississippi River. Private citizens donated all the land now comprising Acadia National Park, demonstrating the fruitful efforts of philanthropy.

Acadia National Park is in a transition zone between temperate deciduous and northern coniferous forests along the Gulf of Maine and Atlantic flyway, overlying glacially sculpted granite mountains with interspersed glacially scoured lake beds and bounded by rocky headlands. Noteworthy natural resources include coastal spruce-fir forests, subalpine communities, heaths and marshes, exceptionally diverse flora, over 40 species of mammals, and documented sightings of over 300 bird species. The landforms of the Park illustrate the dynamics of many geologic processes including all three rock types, plate tectonics, volcanism, glaciations, and shoreline erosion. The power of glaciers is evident in U-shaped valleys and cliffs, while the ongoing assault by the sea constantly reworks the island’s shoreline.

The cultural resources of Acadia National Park document human activities that span 5,000 years. Acadia’s human history begins with centuries of use by native people known as the Wabanaki. Five centuries ago, Europeans contacted the Wabanaki as they explored and settled here. Decades of commercial use by stonecutters, lumbermen, shipbuilders, and fishermen, as well as an evolving and growing northeast interest in tourism, fostered an increased interest in conservation. Other historic resources protected within the boundary of Acadia include 33 miles of scenic motor roads, 120 miles of hiking trails, 45 miles of carriage roads, a hiking trail system noted for its community origins and high level of craftsmanship, four lighthouses, and the Islesford Historical Museum.

Acadia National Park receives an average of 2.5 million visits per year, with most occurring from June through October. The most popular destinations include Cadillac Mountain, Sand Beach, and Jordan Pond. Resource-based recreational activities include viewing the scenery, hiking, bicycling, camping, horseback and carriage riding, sea kayaking, and canoeing. The Park provides opportunities for educating visitors about its resources and values through a variety of interpretive activities including guided walks, amphitheater presentations, education programs, and outreach activities.

Hard copy prospectuses are not available.

Site Visit

The NPS will lead a site visit on Monday, July 31, 2023.  Attendance is not required in order to submit a proposal. Each party intending to attend the scheduled site visit must send an email message to Andrew Gertge (, Senior Concessions Specialist, no later than 4:00 p.m. (Central Time) Thursday, July 27, 2023, to reserve a spot for the site visit. Attendance is limited to two (2) attendees per organization. The email must provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Name of the organization you are representing
  • Primary contact for the organization
  • Names of the other site visit attendees for your organization (maximum of 2 attendees per organization)

The NPS will provide further information and additional directions by return email message to the organization's identified primary contact. 

Questions and Amendments

Questions in response to this prospectus are due in writing by 4:00pm Eastern Time on August 7, 2023, by email to Answers to questions received will be published under this Contract Opportunity on and
Intent to Submit a Proposal

An intent to submit a proposal is due in writing by 4:00pm Eastern Time on September 8, 2023, by email to

Proposals must be submitted electronically to the National Park Service. All proposals are due by 4:00pm Eastern Time on September 15, 2023, to be evaluated and considered for an award of a concession contract. The prospectus describes the business opportunity and includes the terms and conditions under which the NPS will award the concession contract. Instructions for electronic submissions of a proposal are provided in the Proposal Instructions document of the prospectus.

A hardcopy of the signed offeror’s transmittal letter is due by 4:00pm Eastern Time on September 22, 2023.

Send hardcopy of the offeror’s transmittal letter to:

Manager, Business Services Division

National Park Service, Interior Region 1, North Atlantic-Appalachian

1234 Market Street, 20th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Intents, questions, and proposals must be received by the National Park Service no later than 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time of the due date listed above and on the inside cover of the prospectus.

Last updated: November 6, 2023