One of Maine’s most popular natural attractions will shut down Friday and remain closed to visitors until Memorial Day weekend, and possibly beyond.

The entire viewing area at Thunder Hole, a tidal cavern in Acadia National Park, will be off-limits to visitors through at least May 22 so crews can repair the attraction’s stairway and observation deck, which have eroded. The repairs have been planned for some time and are not related to this winter’s harsh weather, said park officials.

The right lane of Park Loop Road, which visitors must use to reach Thunder Hole, will remain open during construction.

Thunder Hole is a popular destination for park visitors, who can watch waves roll into the cavern. The impact often sounds like distant thunder, and waves have been seen splashing as high as 40 feet into the air.

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