Maine State Parks crush recreation visit records

2021 reservations open Feb. 1 

AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s (DACF) Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL) has compiled its year-end Maine State Park visitation statistics. As expected, 2020 activity broke all records for recreation visits, which includes day-use and camping. For the first time, total park attendance topped three million visitor days. Despite pandemic-related spring closures and season-long capacity limitations, a total of 3,067,112 people visited Maine State Parks.

In 2020, the BPL welcomed 2,786,750 day-use visitors, up 74,532 (3 percent) from 2019; and 280,362 camping visitors, up 21,871 (8 percent) from 2019. 2018 edged out 2019 as the second-highest year for recreation visits, followed by 2016 and 2017.

“Everyone wants and needs to get outside, and Maine State Parks are some of the best destinations to relax and reinvigorate,” said Andy Cutko, Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands director. “In particular, with various travel limitations in place, it was great to see so many Maine families discovering our State Parks for the first time. The whole BPL team and I extend a huge and warm thank you to everybody who arrived at the parks prepared with face coverings and hand sanitizer and all the other requisite supplies for getting outside safely during the pandemic.”  

“Our biggest concern going into 2020’s peak-season in our State Parks was the risk of COVID-19 exposure for our staff and our visitors,” said Amanda Beal, DACF commissioner. “Fortunately, because of our team’s preparedness and professionalism, we made strategic designs, and we stayed healthy while creating safe experiences for the more than three million people who came to visit. It is quite an achievement, and one we intend to repeat in 2021.”The Maine State Park camping reservation call center opens Monday, Feb. 1 for Sebago Lake State Park only. All Maine State Park campground reservations can be made starting at 9 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 5 (Monday, Feb. 8 in the event of a storm date).

Book camping reservations online at or reach the camping reservation call center by dialing 800-332-1501 from a Maine (207) area code or 207-624-9950. Seasonal reservation call center hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday, excluding holidays.

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.