ACADIA NATIONAL PARK — The head of Acadia National Park in Maine says more than 2.5 million people visited the park last year, the highest figure in nearly a decade.

Superintendent Sheridan Steele told the park’s citizen advisory committee Monday that the estimated figure for 2010 represents a 14 percent increase over 2009. According to the National Park Service, 2002 was the last year the visitor count at the eastern Maine park exceeded 2.5 million.

Steele said the poor economy contributed to the increase with people in the Northeast staying closer to home and choosing Acadia for their vacation.

The Bangor Daily News reported that Steele is predicting that 2011 could have even high visitor numbers.