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Maine state parks saw a record 3.3 million visits last year

Andrew Catalina
Maine Public file
A waterfall along Howe Brook near South Branch Pond campground in Baxter State Park on July 4, 2020.

Maine's state parks saw more than 3.3 million visitors in 2021, surpassing the all-time high recorded the year before by 8%.

Bureau of Parks and Lands Director Andy Cutko says it's great to see so many residents and out-of-state visitors enjoying the parks, but limitations had to be put in place at popular spots to protect wildlife.

"There is an impact to the resource and we need to be sensitive to that. At Popham Beach we limited access to the parking lot at high tide because of the limited space for people and the wildlife habitat," he says.

Cutko says the trend in outdoor use is expected to continue this year, and the Bureau is hiring more staff to ensure operations run smoothly.

Carol Bousquet