Ten coastal state parks or historic sites along with Acadia National Park are opening to the public on Monday, although visitors should expect coronavirus-related restrictions and fewer services.

While many Maine state parks have been open to the public, officials closed most of the popular state-owned beaches and coastal parks in March because of concerns about crowding during the coronavirus pandemic. The following state parks are reopening Monday:

• Crescent Beach State Park
• Ferry Beach State Park
• Fort Baldwin
• Popham Beach State Park
• Fort Popham
• Kettle Cove State Park
• Mackworth Island
• Reid State Park
• Scarborough Beach State Park
• Two Lights State Park

Additionally, campgrounds at state parks are also opening Monday to Maine residents and to out-of-state residents who have completed a 14-day quarantine.

“The parks are going to look and feel a bit different this year than they have in the past,” said Andy Cutko, director of the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands.

At locations such as Popham and Crescent Beach, parking will be limited to 50 percent of their normal capacity as a way to manage visitor numbers. Additionally, restrooms or bath houses will be open to the public but may also have smaller capacity (i.e., fewer available stalls) to allow for more distancing.

Entrances and other facilities are also being retrofitted with barriers or other protective measures. And there will be plenty of signage reminding beachgoers to keep their distance from each other, wear face coverings when distancing isn’t possible and practice good hygiene.

Visitors to Crescent Beach, Popham Beach, and Reid state parks will need to be prepared to feed and hydrate themselves, at least initially. While the Bureau of Parks and Lands is talking with food vendors at those locations, they won’t be available on June 1.

Additionally, some of the most popular features in Acadia National Park are also opening on Monday, consistent with the state parks and federal guidelines.

Park Loop Road will be open to traffic and rangers will staff open-air tents outside of the Hulls Cove Visitor Center, although the actual center will remain closed to the public. Most restrooms along Park Loop Road will also open.

Jordan Pond House Restaurant will resume takeout as well as indoor and outdoor seating on Monday. The gift shop at Jordan Pond and store atop Cadillac Mountain will also open on Monday. But Acadia’s official campgrounds are slated to remain closed until at least July 1.

Acadia’s famed carriage roads won’t be open for pedestrian use until June 5, however, and will remain closed to cyclists and equestrians until a later date due to washouts and other unsafe conditions. Similarly, Wildwood Stables is not expected to open until mid-June.

All visitors are also required to purchase park passes. Prior to June 8, park officials recommend purchasing passes online at recreation.gov/pass/ and printing out the pass beforehand. Acadia visitors should also plan on using your own vehicles to navigate the park, however, because the Island Explorer bus service has been “indefinitely postponed” for the 2020 season.

“We have closely aligned our operations with the State of Maine’s phased reopening,” Acadia Superintendent Kevin Schneider said in a statement. “Our adapted operations will place the safety of our visitors, employees, local communities, and volunteers as the highest priority.”

Maine’s other federal parklands, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, is also open on a limited basis. Vehicles were allowed back onto Katahdin Loop Road as of May 23 (use caution navigating rough or soft spots) and the North Entrance is now open.

Access to Baxter State Park remains limited, however.

While the park is open to walk-in day use and hiking below treeline, Baxter is still closed to vehicular access, camping or hiking above the treeline until July 1. Additionally, park officials have closed several popular hiking routes – including the Appalachian Trail, Abol Pond, Abol Stream and Foss Trail – until further because of unsafe conditions connected to a recent wildfire.

Camping in Baxter is tentatively slated to resume on July 1.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.