Acadia National Park: Transportation and Visitor Capacities Study: Acadia, Maine
Otak Services: Planning & Landscape Architecture
Acadia National Park provides unique and important recreation opportunities to regional, national, and international visitors. In 2021, the National Park Service (NPS) reported just over four million recreation visits to the park, marking an increase of over 50% in the past decade. This surge in visitation created a number of visitor use management challenges in the park.
The Otak visitor use management team worked with the NPS to apply the Interagency Visitor Use Management Framework to address visitor use management, visitor capacities, and long-term monitoring parkwide in Acadia National Park. We led visitor capacity workshops, helped NPS identify desired conditions, indicators, and thresholds, collected visitor use data in the park, and developed statistical and simulation models of visitor use. We conducted scenario analyses to estimate visitor capacities for the most popular areas of the park. The results of our work provided a data-driven basis for visitor capacities, visitor use management strategies, and long-term monitoring protocols specified in the park’s 2019 Transportation Plan, including the vehicle reservation system for Cadillac Mountain.