Seasonal passes to Maine’s state parks will increase this year, prompting hikers and swimmers to dig a little deeper for their outdoor experiences.
Although entrance and camp reservation fees increased last year, John Bott with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry says the state delayed raising the annual park pass fee from $70 to $105 until now.
“So even though we raised the rates for the first time in 14 years in 2016, the day pass remained the same for last year, so that was adjusted up again starting this fiscal year, so we started selling state park passes at a higher rate back in August,” he says.
Bott says despite the increase, the annual pass still represents an exceptional family value.
“If you have a family of four and you visit the park four times, your fifth trip to the park is paid for, so it’s still a really good value for consumers and we’re very pleased the adjustments that we feel we had to make over a decade have been well received,” he says.
Prior to the implementation of the park fee increases, Bott says the admission charge structure covered about half of the department’s costs. He says that with the new fee increases, about 70 percent of those costs should be recovered.
Bott says last season was a banner year for park attendance, at just over 2,875,000.