Acadia National Park Says ‘Visitors Should Come Prepared’ for Busy Holiday Weekend

by Jon D. B.
Jill Brady/Staff Photographer: -- Passamaquoddy educator David Moses Bridge of Perry, center, demonstrates a Native American feather dance for a crowd who gathered for a Native American closing ceremony at the Wabanaki village in Damariscotta Wednesday morning. *for Dennis Hoey story* (Photo by Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Acadia National Park is expecting high visitation for this unique holiday weekend, with a whole slew of activities planned.

This weekend is Indigenous People’s Day weekend, and visitors should “plan their trip and expect long lines and wait times,” the park cites to Outsider in their media release ahead of the festivities.

Both traffic congestion and limited parking will be obstacles at the park’s most popular destinations. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying this fantastic Acadia festival. Find out more about the park’s Indigenous People’s Day celebrations below, followed by Acadia National Park’s recommendations for planning a successful trip.

Acadia’s Indigenous People’s Day Weekend Commemorates Wabanaki Homelands

“Join us as we honor and commemorate Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park have remained in the center of Wabanaki traditional homelands for thousands of years,” the park states of the festivities.

“Today four distinct tribes — the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot — are known collectively as the Wabanaki, or ‘People of the Dawnland.’ Some call Mount Desert Island “Pemetic,” meaning range of mountains,” they continue.

It’s sure to be a wonderful weekend in Acadia, complimented by fantastic fall foliage. These elements combined, however, mean visitors will need to plan accordingly for crowds.

Acadia National Park Asks Visitors to ‘Arrive With a Plan’

Firstly, “Visitors should arrive with a plan and a back-up plan in case parking is unavailable. Go to to learn about places to go and things to do in the park before you arrive,” the park recommends.

You can also download the NPS App to help guide your visit to Acadia. On the app, select “save this park for offline use.”

Acadia also reminds visitors to “Park only in designated parking spaces. Parking illegally is unsafe and adds to the traffic congestion.”

One of the best ways to navigate the crowds is to leave your car parked at your place of lodging and ride the fare-free Island Explorer bus. The bus connects the park with the surrounding communities on Mount Desert Island and the Schoodic Peninsula.

The Island Explorer continues to operate on its fall schedule through October 10th, and you can download the myStop® app to view real-time bus locations and next available buses.

And remember, visitors 16 and older are required to have a park entrance pass. You can purchase yours ahead of time at Or, you can do so in person at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center. Vehicles must display a park entrance pass through their windshield when visiting. And as always, Acadia National Park entrance fees help enhance the visitor experience and protect park resources.

Plan Ahead for Other Popular Acadia National Park Activities

  • Vehicle reservations are required for Cadillac Summit Road through October 22 and must be purchased online at before arriving. Print or download the ticket with the QR code for validation. Reservations are not available for purchase in person. Vehicle reservations are not required for other locations in the park or for visitors who enter the area by foot, bicycle or taxi.  
  • Camping reservations are required for park campgrounds and can be purchased on Same day or walk-up reservations are not available. Backcountry camping, campfires and overnight parking are prohibited outside of designated campgrounds. 
  • Hikers should know the difficulty of the park’s trails and select those that match their abilities (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. 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.  

Want more tips ahead of visiting Acadia National Park? Check out our Top 10 Things to Do in Acadia National Park. Or, if you’d like to learn more about the park’s Indigenous history, see our Top 10 Things to Know About Acadia National Park: PHOTOS next.