Acadia Nat’l Park To Test Out Parking Reservations This Fall
This fall, Acadia National Park is going to make a test run on what will undoubtedly be a bit of a controversial move. The plan is to try out parking reservations for key attractions within the park itself. There's a lot going on behind the scenes in the decision making process, which is far from over.
But let's look at the reality of the situation. According to WABI - TV5, there's only about 150 parking spaces up on top of Cadillac Mountain. But, on average, there's an additional 150+ cars parked illegally/haphazardly around the summit as well. If you've ever been up there, it can be a nightmare trying to get around quickly, let alone safely.
Park officials are hoping that by making a parking reservation ahead of time, it can mitigate some of the frustrations shared by tourists and park officials alike. Here's what Acadia National Park Public Affairs Specialist, Christie Anastasia had to say:
Three areas that will require reservation are the road up to the top of Cadillac Mountain. Also what we call the Ocean Drive corridor which is essentially the space from the Sand Beach entrance station down to just a little bit past Thunder Hole. It's about two miles on the Park Loop Road. And then the last location is the Jordan Pond north lot. The reservation will be timed-entry which means there's a time window that you should arrive, but you can keep your vehicle there as long as you want.
So at least it's not like a restaurant reservation, where they're trying to get you in and out as quickly as possible. You won't be made to feel like you need to be in some sort of hurry. And, if you don't want to participate at all, you could still take any of the free shuttles.
Also, the reserved spaces will be split. So if you're flying in from out of state somewhere or something, you can make reservations well in advance. But if you're a local, who just wants to make a spur of the moment trip to Acadia, there will still be spaces you can reserve as well.
Obviously, there's a lot of kinks to work out, but if they do, this program will likely be up and running in the summer of 2021. Which is why they'll be doing all this testing in the fall. Fall seemed like the best choice to try it out when it's fairly busy, but not too busy. But let's be real, this change will definitely ruffle a few feathers along the way.
You what they say.... you can please some of the people all the time, but.....