Free Weekend At Acadia National Park 

It’s not suprising to see Acadia National Park packed with siteseers on a beautiful sunday in August. “There are so many vistas in this park you just wouldn’t expect to see unless you actually get into it,” says Jim Lafontaine of Wells.This weekend vistors to the park got in free. This is the third free weekend of the summer here at Acadia and at every national park in the country, although that was news to some of the folks here today according to Kathy Grant, the supervisor at the Visitor’s Center in the park. “You would be surprised how many people really aren’t aware that it’s a free weekend,” says Grant, “they’re kind of shocked, they go to pull out their wallet to pay and we tell them it’s free and they get so excited.”One of the excited park visitors is Bill Curtis from Chicopee, Massachusetts. “We’re on vacation for two weeks,” says Curtis, “we spent a week in Wells, Maine and then we left saturday and decided to drive north and we ended up in Bar Harbor, we thought it would be cooler up here but it’s not, but we found out it was a free weekend for the park so we lucked out and we’re enjoying the weather and it’s great.” Sharon Moore of Crossville, Tennessee was also pleasantly surprised. “We found that out when we got into town yesterday adn we’ve taken advantage of it,” says Moore, “and it’s a beautiful, pretty free day.”The nice weather recently has helped the park rebound from a rainy start to the summer. “It has really picked up now in August with the warm weather,” says Grant, “I think that things, even with the rain, they did start picking up, I’m not sure if our visitation is down this year, I think people are strarting to get the attitude that this is the summer, it’s all we’re going to get, so enjoy it, rain or shine.”Letting people enjoy the wonders of Acadia without reaching for their wallet seems to have helped these folks get back into the groove of summer. “Just get people interested in national parks, because they are here for all of us to enjoy so we give them a free weekend,” says Grant, “people hear about it, and they enjoy a national park and they’ll continue to go to other national parks.””It’s beautiful, really pretty, lots of diverse areas,” adds Moore, “the sea, the lakes, the mountains, you can’t beat the combination, it’s gorgeous.”