BAR HARBOR, MAINE – The National Park Service (NPS) will be opening roads and other visitor facilities at Acadia National Park for the 2021 season beginning with the Park Loop Road. The 27-mile scenic drive, including the Cadillac Summit Road, is expected to open to motor vehicles on April 15, depending on weather conditions. To provide a safer and more enjoyable experience, vehicle reservations will be required for the Cadillac Summit Road between sunrise and sunset from May 26 to October 19. Vehicle reservations will be available for purchase online at Recreation.gov starting April 1 at 10:00 am ET.
In addition to needing a vehicle reservation for the Cadillac Summit Road, visitors must have a weekly, annual, or lifetime park entrance pass for all locations in Acadia National Park from May 1 to October 31. All vehicles must clearly display a park entrance pass through the windshield. Park entrance passes are available for purchase in person at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center, park campgrounds, and other outlets, but visitors are encouraged to purchase weekly and annual park entrance passes online at Recreation.gov.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, visitors are required to wear face masks in all federal buildings, including visitor centers, restrooms, gift shops, and concession facilities. Visitors over two years old are required to wear face masks outdoors when physical distancing (staying at least six feet apart) cannot be maintained, including sidewalks, hiking trails, carriage roads, overlooks, campground amphitheaters, and Island Explorer bus stops.
“The most important thing for us is to make sure that our employees and our visitors are safe.” said Superintendent Kevin Schneider. “Acadia and other outdoor recreation experiences are an important way for people to get outside and re-connect with nature throughout this pandemic.”
The Hulls Cove Visitor Center opens May 7, offering park entrance pass sales and information. The adjoining Park Store will offer park-related sales items, including books and maps. The Thompson Island Information Center opens May 15. The Sieur de Monts Nature Center opens for weekends May 15-28, and daily hours starting May 29. The Islesford Museum on Little Cranberry Island, accessible by passenger ferry, opens June 27.
Park campgrounds will open, but the number of campsites available will be reduced due to COVID-19. Blackwoods Campground opens May 7, and Seawall and Schoodic Woods campgrounds open May 26. All campsites must be reserved online at Recreation.gov. Campsites will be not be available for reservation in person.
Park concessioners will be operating under COVID-19 prevention guidelines. The Jordan Pond House Restaurant opens May 19, Jordan Pond House Gift Shop opens April 26, and Cadillac Mountain Eco-Store and Thunder Hole Gift Shop open May 3. Wildwood Stables will open May 21 for equestrian camping and boarding and will open the next day for group carriage rides.
The Island Explorer bus system will begin service on the Schoodic Peninsula on May 26 and will provide limited service with fewer routes on Mount Desert Island on June 23. To operate under COVID-19 prevention guidelines, bus rider capacity will be reduced to allow social distancing, and face masks will be required at bus stops and on board buses at all times.
For more information and important updates on current conditions, please visit the Acadia National Park website at https://www.nps.gov/acad/index.htm