Acadia National Park had a record-setting 3,509,271 visitors in 2017, a 6.2 percent increase over the all-time high set the year before.
The latest record-setting number isn’t much of a surprise, as on Jan. 9, park officials announced an estimated 3,497,187 visitors had visited Acadia as of the end of November. That’s 560,601 more than came into Acadia for 11 months of 2016 and broke the park’s record 3.3 million visitations that year.
An estimated 12,684 people visited Acadia in December, about 14.4 percent less than came to the park in December 2016, when 14,611 visited, according to statistics provided by park spokesman John Kelly.
The 3.3 million figure was significant because 2016 was the year of the National Park Service’s centennial and also Acadia’s 100th birthday, both special dates to fans of America’s national parks. Promotions for the park service and Acadia, both founded in 1916, played a big part in the increase and weren’t repeated.
Park visitors also trigger concerns in Bar Harbor and other Mount Desert Island towns that tourist traffic is degrading the island’s quality of life.
Bar Harbor and Acadia are both working on plans that would better manage traffic, while other towns have instituted cruise-ship visitation bans.
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