2022 was second-busiest year at Acadia

Friends of Acadia President Eric Stiles talks about visitation, housing challenges, and car-free Acadia on Maine Public.

Visitors spend a day cooling off at Sand Beach in Acadia National Park in July 2022. (Photo by Sam Mallon/Friends of Acadia)

Via Maine Public (full story)

Visitation to Acadia National Park in 2022 didn’t reach the record-breaking numbers from 2021, but it sure came close.

Last year marked the second-busiest year for Maine’s national park, according to federal data, with just shy of 4 million estimated visits.

Friends of Acadia President and CEO Eric Stiles spoke with Maine Public about how these numbers create challenges for the park.

Acadia needs staff to create a safe and positive experience for visitors, as well as managing the day-to-day needs of the park, but hiring is hindered by a lack of affordable housing.

“If you had asked me a year ago if my No. 1 project was going to be affordable housing, I would have thought you’re crazy,” Stiles said. “What does it have to do with conservation? Absolutely everything.”

And the increase car and foot traffic impacts the park’s resources, too.

“This is where it really becomes a question of how the visitation occurs, by way of bus versus car,” Stiles said.

Read more from the interview via Maine Public: 2022 was the second-busiest year ever for Acadia National Park

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