Unless you literally spent last summer without leaving your home, you probably noticed that the pandemic drove people outside.  Instead of watching movies in an air conditioned theater on a hot summer day, we took the kids to the park (or the lake, or to the beach, or on a bike ride).

The proof of this was the fact that 2020 was a record year for our state parks.  Maine's 48 state parks saw a record three million visitors in 2020.

Not surprisingly, this uptick has lead to some congestion at even the quietest of parks.

As it is becoming evident that the vaccine is not an overnight solution, state and national parks are planning ahead for issues that could occur in 2021.  As a result, they are implementing some new procedures.

According to the Bangor Daily News, Acadia National Park administrators are discussing charging a fee to make the drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain.

The fee would be $6 per vehicle.  Additionally, each vehicle would have a reservation time.  The fee / registration system would go into effect in May and run through October.  Of the fee, $4 would go to the park and $2 would go to online service provides recreation.gov.

It appears the system would be annual - meaning it will stick around once life returns to normal.

While the park has never used a reservation system before, there have been occasions where park staff had to close the road due to congestion at the summit.

Oddly, while Maine's state parks saw a record year, Acadia National Park saw a dip in visitation in 2020.  In the years leading up to 2020, the park received approximately 3.3 million visitors.  In 2020, that dropped to 2.67 million visitors.

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