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Acadia National Park's fall foliage is peaking later in a warming climate, research finds

Hikers work their way up the Beehive in Acadia National Park in early Oct. 2022.
Esta Pratt-Kielley
/
Maine Public
Hikers work their way up the Beehive in Acadia National Park in early Oct. 2022.

As new research shows that climate change is causing foliage colors to peak two weeks later than in 1950, Acadia National Park is urging visitors to plan accordingly.

New research by University of Richmond's Stephanie Spera shows that a warming climate has shifted the peak foliage in Acadia to about the third week in October.

How climate change is impacting Maine’s iconic fall foliage

And Acadia Public Affairs Officer Amanda Pollock says the park has generally seen a trend of growing visitation in the shoulder seasons, in the spring and fall months.

"It's important for people, if they come a bit later, for them to plan their visit accordingly," Pollock says. "Our Island Explorer shuttles aren't going to be running after October 9, and we want people to make sure that they know what they're going to be walking into when they come to the park."

Pollock suggests visitors plan ahead and have a backup plan in case parking is unavailable. She also encourages visitors to be prepared for the cooler temperatures and shorter days of autumn in Maine.

Murray Carpenter is Maine Public’s climate reporter, covering climate change and other environmental news.