Travelers, tour guides and service workers share how years of record-high tourism levels are reshaping popular destinations
On a two-lane road leading to Acadia national park’s picturesque Bass Harbor head lighthouse, traffic has come to a standstill. A row of cars wait to enter the parking lot, with one local turning around altogether to try again on a less crowded day.
Visitors have flooded national parks this summer as Covid-19 regulations eased throughout the US. The National Park Service reported that half of recreation visits are occurring within just 5% of all parks, with significant congestion concentrated in the most popular 12 to 15 high-profile destinations.