From the top of Cadillac Mountain, the sun appears red as it rises on Aug. 7, 2022, in Acadia National Park.  Credit: Courtesy of Aislinn Sarnacki

The number of tourists who have visited Acadia National Park this year was on pace to exceed last year’s high numbers, but then June happened.

Acadia had nearly 38,000 fewer visits this June than it did for the corresponding month a year ago, when it had more than 600,000 visits. With the year’s lower June numbers, Acadia’s running total was set back more than 11,000 visits behind where it was on July 1, 2022.

The excess of rain in June is likely why visitation to the park slowed down. Weather is consistently a significant factor for visitation levels, especially in the summer, Acadia officials have said.

The park’s visitation numbers for this July are not yet available.

According to precipitation data collected by the National Weather Service, much of eastern Maine had roughly 5 inches of rain in June, which is at least 2 inches of rain more than it has gotten for the month in recent years.

July also had more rain than July 2022, but was not as wet as June, according to National Weather Service data.

The number of tourists who have visited the park has hit historic highs since 2020, the first year of the pandemic when the number of visitors to the park hit a six-year low. The following year, the number of tourists who flooded Acadia and Bar Harbor soared, breaking the 4 million mark for the first time in the park’s 100-plus year history.

In 2022, visitation fell off a little but, with 3.97 million visits, it clocked in as the park’s second-busiest year ever.

Last winter, from November through March, Acadia had its second- busiest winter ever with 154,500 visits. Over the first three months of this year, visitation to the park was 33 percent higher than it was from January through March of 2022. April 2023’s visits were 2 percent slower than it was in April of a year ago, but a strong May kept Acadia’s running totals on pace to exceed last year’s.

The rain in June, however, set the running total for 2023 behind last year. Visitation to the park during the winter and early spring tends to be much lower than it is from May through October, which is why one slow summer month can negate high visitation levels over multiple winter months.

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....