Acadia National Park Expects Incredibly Busy Memorial Day Weekend: What To Know

by Jon D. B.
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Heading to Acadia National Park this Memorial Day Weekend? Prepare for heavy crowds and traffic, the National Park Service announces.

NPS is expecting high visitation for Acadia over 2022’s Memorial Day weekend. To prepare, “Visitors should plan their trip and expect crowds, traffic congestion and limited parking throughout the park,” Acadia offers in a Wednesday media release.

“We encourage visitors to arrive with a plan and a back-up plan,” the park continues. So if you’re planning on a beautiful Acadia National Park this Memorial Day, the following tips and tricks will help significantly with planning your trip:

  • Visit nps.gov/Acadia to learn about places to go and things to do in the park before you arrive
  • Have a back-up plan in case parking is unavailable
  • Park responsibly and only in designated parking spaces
    • parking illegally is unsafe and adds to the traffic congestion
  • Consider leaving your car at your place of lodging for the day and use village connector trails or the carriage roads to reach your destination
    • The Island Explorer does not begin service on Mount Desert Island until June 23
  • Also, consider downloading the NPS App to help guide your visit
    • Be sure to select “Save this park for offline use” since connectivity in the park is not reliable
PORTLAND, ME: Park visitors crowd the summit of Cadillac Mountain, one of the most popular spots in Acadia National Park. (Staff photo by Ben McCanna/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Acadia National Park Entrance & Vehicle Information

And remember: Visitors over the age of 15 are required to have a park entrance pass. Passes are available online at Recreation.gov or at locations in and around the park.

In addition, all vehicles must display a park entrance pass through the windshield. Thankfully, the fees visitors pay for parking help enhance the visitor experience and protect resources at Acadia National Park.

Also keep in mind that vehicle reservations are required for Cadillac Summit Road from May 25 through October 22. Purchasing of these passes is only available online at Recreation.gov, and not in person in the park. Visitors can also print or download the ticket with the QR code for validation.

Vehicle reservations are not necessary for other locations in the park. Visitors who enter the area by foot, bicycle or taxi, also do not need a vehicle pass.

Current Camping and Hiking Information Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend

“Hikers should know the difficulty of the park’s trails and select those that match their abilities,” the park announces Wednesday, as many of Acadia’s hikes are more challenging than they seem. “Carry a detailed trail map with topography and don’t rely on cell connectivity for trail navigation.”

National park safety is imperative, and as Acadia notes, “Seventy percent of injuries to hikers in Acadia are due to slips, trips and falls. Wear sturdy footwear and beware of loose gravel, slippery rock, steep climbs and uneven surfaces.”

For more information on how to tackle the park safely, see our Acadia National Park Safety: Best Practices to Stay Safe While Exploring the National Park next.

In addition, “Campsite reservations must be made on Recreation.gov, but most of the park’s campsites are already reserved for the Memorial Day weekend,” the park warns. “There are no same day reservations, and no campsites are available for request upon arrival.”

And remember: Backcountry camping, campfires and overnight parking are all illegal outside of designated campgrounds.

To get a better idea of Acadia’s lodging and camping options, see our Acadia National Park Lodging: Campgrounds, Cabins, Securing Reservations in Blackwoods, Duck Harbor and More next.

And for all your other Acadia needs, our full Acadia National Park in Maine: Everything You Need to Plan Your Trip from Lodging, Camping and Views has you covered.

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