Those planning to visit Acadia National Park in Maine this autumn may experience a trial run of a new reservation system that is expected to be put in place in 2021.

View from North Bubble in Acadia National Park
View from North Bubble in Acadia National Park © AppalachianViews/Getty Images

The only national park in all of New England, Acadia incorporates both coastline and mountains and has a remarkably diverse landscape. There are scenic lakes and ponds to discover too plus plenty of picnic spots. It's the seventh most visited national park in the US with 3.5m visitors annually, and in order to cut down on traffic and reduce overcrowding, visitors will have to acquire permits from the summer of 2021 to visit certain popular areas of the park. In advance of this, the park's management plans to trial the system for two to three weeks around October of this year.

Water erupts from a thunder hole in Acadia National Park
Water erupts from a thunder hole in Acadia National Park © kurdistan/Shutterstock

When the new reservation system comes into effect, visitors will need to reserve permits during the summer for Ocean Drive road and the parking lots at Jordan Pond and Cadillac Mountain. They will have a specific window between the hours of 7am and 5pm to enter the restricted areas, between the second Friday in June and the Sunday following Columbus Day. Cadillac Mountain's reservations will start earlier and end later in the day. It is anticipated that these permits may cost $10 (€11.92) on top of the $30 (€35.75) park entrance fee.

Aerial of the coastline surrounding Acadia National Park in autumn.
The coastline surrounding Acadia National Park © Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock

The introduction of the new system is necessary, as the Acadia Advisory Commission was recently advised by superintendent Kevin Schneider that hundreds of cars are parked illegally and potentially in unsafe locations on a daily basis. There is a larger plan in place that includes constructing a new visitor centre with expanded parking at Hulls Cove and encouraging visitors to explore from there using the Island Explorer shuttle system.

Further information on Acadia National Park can be found here.

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