Last month, officials with Acadia National Park tested out their new "timed entry" reservation system for an 18 day period to see how things would work out for next year.  There were a few surprises.

One thing that they discovered was that the online reservation system didn't work so well at the Sand Beach Entrance station on Ocean Drive. When it came to showing park personnel their reservation ticket, visitors using their phones and tablets either had a very hard time or couldn't download it at all. Park personnel themselves stationed within the entry station couldn't as well.

Reservations will eventually be [required] at the Sand Beach Entrance Station, but we’re not planning them for 2021 at this point",  Christie Anastasia the spokesperson of Acadia National Park told the MDI Islander.

The Island Explorer Bus system was a big part in planning the new reservation system for Acadia National Park, and of course because of the COVID-19 pandemic,those buses are not running this year, and at this point who can tell what next year will bring.

If people don’t have reservations or don’t want to deal with reservations or don’t want to even bother trying to park, they could use the Island Explorer,” Anastasia told the MDI Islander. “We are really hoping the Island Explorer will run next year, but it may be that COVID will make us limit the number of passengers on the buses.”

So at this point, Ocean Drive will be free of the reservation system in 2021, and the Cadillac Mountain Summit Road will be a part of it, because the pilot program proved beneficial there.

Park officials will also determine what to do about the Bass Harbor Light Head Station and Jordan Pond areas at some point.

In order to make a reservation you must first register an account with Recreation.gov. and then select a date to visit.  Then, pay the $2 fee.  Reservations will be made available on a "rolling basis" as much as 6 months in advance, with a few saved to be handed out 48 hours in advance.

You will not be able to make a reservation within the Park itself.  More information can be found HERE.  Remember, you will also need a Park Pass to enter both Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island and the Schoodic Peninsula.

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