Thinking of camping in Maine, and you’re likely thinking of two regions: DownEast, where Acadia National Park and Portland steal the show, or along the southern coast, where Wells and Old Orchard Beach are popular. While these places are certainly well worth a visit, limiting your experiences to these coastal haunts, means missing out on some of the best camping in Maine…and there’s a lot. Indeed, Maine covers nearly one-half of the total area of New England. With over 30 state parks, the first national park east of the Mississippi, and, depending on the way you hike it, either the beginning or the end of the 2181 miles of the Appalachian Trail, Maine has a little something to offer even the greenest camper among us.
Southern Maine is a typically more crowded area. The water is a bit warmer than Maine’s northern beaches, and the beaches typically less rocky. For those looking for a break from the surf, there are shopping outlets, mini golf courses, and numerous spots to grab some fresh lobster. Old Orchard Beach has long been a New England summer tradition; trading quiet camping for go-kart races and thrilling rides, this area is chock full of summer fun. Looking to escape the crowds while camping in southern Maine? Head inland to kayak and camp along the Saco River, as it carves its way from New Hampshire’s White Mountains through to the Atlantic.
Most campers head to the ocean come summer, so you’ll find solitude amongst the trees, lakes and rivers of inland Maine. Moosehead Lake has some of the best camping in Maine, with numerous lakeside camp spots and deserted beaches off of one of the lake’s dozens of tiny islands. Bring your own canoe, or rent one, and spend the day leisurely paddling alongside loons and other waterfowl; if you’re quiet, you might even happen upon a moose. There are a number of campgrounds to choose from, and many offer secluded lakefront sites. If you are looking to stretch your legs and gain some altitude, head to nearby Baxter State Park. Hiking Maine’s highest peak, Mount Katahdin, is an intense hike that’ll reward you with unparalleled views over Maine’s seemingly endless backcountry. Fair warning: this hike isn’t for children (in fact, no children under six are allowed above the treeline anywhere in Baxter State Park). Nor is it for the faint of heart: its ridgeline is sheer, dropping off some 5,000 feet into Maine’s ancient wilderness below.
Downeast Maine is a remote area that has some of the most beautiful coastline in the world, and some of the most beautiful camping in Maine. Iconic lighthouses, piles of fresh lobster, and seaside hikes that rival inland Maine’s rugged peaks, exploring this area is a must. With Portland, Bangor, and small coastal towns like Bar Harbor, Kennebunkport and Freeport, there are no shortages of places to explore. Our favorite downeast adventure? Camp in Acadia, where you can hike to the top of Cadillac Mountain and watch as the sun sets over the rugged atlantic coastline. For those early risers, catching the sunrise from October to March means you’re catching the first of the sun as it rises over the US.
Whether you’re looking for backcountry seclusion or prefer the comforts of car camping, camping in Maine has a little something to offer all of us. True to its slogan, it really is the way life should be.
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This campground was really beautiful. Sites were not very private, but the views and scenery are spectacular. My kids enjoyed visiting with the farm animals and walking along the rocky shore each day. Plenty to do between biking, kayaking, farm experience and visiting downtown Freeport close by.
I spend one week at this campground every year, and I am so sad covid killed that for us this year! However, I’m going to write this to share just how awesome it is because I can’t wait to go back!
We stay in an HHK which is a site that has its own electric stove, kitchen sink, covered picnic table, and small bathroom in the back! It’s definitely more lux than a standard site, but it makes camping with kids insanely easy. There are a million other options from plain tent sites to rentable cabins and everything in between, there’s something for everyone.
There are two sides across a road of this campground-pond side and pool side. Pond side is a lot more crowded and desired so if you’re more into a quiet experience, stick to pool side.
They have weekly events that we love! Tuesday trivia, Wednesday beach party, Thursday dance party, and Friday karaoke- the latter being the most fun! There are so many things for kids to do throughout as well, there’s very little time for down time or boredom!!
My one con is the location of public restrooms. There aren’t many, hence why we stay on a site with our own, and some are extremely far away from campsites that don’t allow campers. There’s a site called the Tree House and because the treehouse is a ‘structure’ (it contains two bunk beds) you aren’t allowed to put a tent or a camper on the site. I personally think that’s absurd, because the nearest rest room is FOREVER away. I would never be able to get my kids to the bathroom in time all the way over there. It would be amazing if they changed this policy or added another bath structure. Just keep an eye on the map when you book!
I couldn’t recommend this place more. I can’t imagine anything happening that would cause me not to return next summer or every single summer from now on. I fully intend on making this a lifetime trip.
one of my favorites to go camping. they have pools, hot tubs live entertainment, mini golf, fishing, kayaking. almost anything you want to do while camping they’ve got it here. they’ve got sites for tents, campers, RV’s and they have rental campers if you don’t want to tent. great place for little kids and people of any age to kick back and relax
I stayed several nights here with my dog, in a gorgeous site right by the water. Fellow campers were friendly and it was nice and quiet. Great location - a short drive to Acadia without the crowds.
There's a day use area with a boat launch. Loved hearing the water on the shore at night, and the fishing boats heading out in the morning.
I didn't use the facilities, but they looked nice enough. My dog and I took a couple walks around the campground and all of the sites look decent - good size and not right on top of each other.
I'd happily stay again!
Great park camping. The water pressure in the showers is a highlight. Large, mostly level sites, and most are rather private. Access to park amenities like lake and hiking trails.
Have camped here in summer (be prepared for bugs) and winter (no services) and enjoyed every visit. There are cooking grated at check-in for the fire rings if you want, and a spot to deposit trash and returnable son the way out. Super reasonable rates and easy check-in process.
Nice large, level site with water and electric hookups. Large, clean shared bathrooms with good water pressure.
Loads of amenities - general store with basic supplies, tons of activities for kids, pool, atv trail access and walking trails.
Was here in the fall. Campground was quiet and there were no crowds for the bathroom. Very enjoyable.
3 secluded spots on a dead-end road. Wooded, path to the lake. Each site includes fire ring and picnic table, and share a pit toilet. Strictly carry-in, carry-out. Road into camp is dirt and some of it can be rough. Cars can make it just go slow. Atv trail access from camp - can ride to Lincoln, Ellsworth, Grand Lake Stream, Machias and all points downeast from here.
No fee, first-come first served. I have never seen all 3 sites in use at one time.
Over 20 miles from paved road. Designated cell reception about few miles away. Accessible to Jack’s Snack Shack (seasonal food and firewood).
This cluster is a well-kept secret. It’s a great backup plan if the Unknown Lake sites are full. Being wooded, it’s a tad cooler here, but the bugs are still obnoxious. If you enjoy listening to Loons, they put on quite a symphony. The lake would be great for kayaking or SUPs and fishing.
Handful of spots, directly on the beach of a quiet lake. The road runs between middle and lower Unknowns and the scenery is wonderful. There is a pit toilet, shared by 8-10 spots. Strictly pack-in/pack-out. About 20 miles from paved road and 10 miles from spotty cell service.
No fee, first-come first served. These fill up FAST in the summer. Don’t worry - if it’s full when you arrive head to Duck Lake or Gassabias Lake camp sites. They don’t fill up (in my experience).
Bugs here can be THICK so be prepared.
Sites include picnic table and fire ring. Some are private and others are more exposed. There are also “group sites” on both sides of the road driving in, and they’re more wooded than the beach sites.
Our first viewing of Northern Lights was on the beach here. Super quiet, amazing sunsets and lots of wildlife.