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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Was my first camping trip in a long time. This place is great and so special. We stayed for 4th of July weekend (my birthday) and even though the place was fully booked we still felt like we had the place to ourselves Most of the prime sites are nice and spread out a little from one another We love the cliff site. It’s our favorite!! And I mean getting lobstah delivered to your campsite. It doesn’t get any better. The family that runs it’s is super friendly. Staff are awesome. Good bathrooms with hot showers are a nice touch too! And a sink to wash dishes ! Yee! We relaxed. Hiked along the small lake there. Cooked up a storm and just enjoyed ourselves in nature. 🏕
We decided to spend the night at this park after having to adjust our plans due to high winds. Given our timing(early October), the place was almost entirely empty. We chose one of the small lean-to shelters for the night. There are a few of these and they do require you to walk your gear in a short distance, so pack accordingly.
The site we stayed in had a gorgeous view of the bay and it was super cool to watch the tide come and go with such a drastic change in the water levels. We even saw a racoon take a swim across the bay at high tide.
There was a nice small and consolidated fire ring and a large picnic table. The lean-to was the perfect size for our three-person tent and kept us out of some cray wind(gusting up to 40 mph).
The state park has primitive pit toilets scattered throughout the various loops that require a bit of a trek from where we were camped. There are also numerous sites right on the water in the picnic area that would be great day use options if you’re just looking to enjoy the area for a few hours. The gentleman making the rounds was friendly and it was nice to know there were a few employees still around and available if needed.
The state park is located close to Lubec as well as the St. Croix International Historic Site, which we visited while we were in the area. Given the pandemic, we weren’t able to venture over to Canada but maybe next time!
Located along the far west end of Attean Pond, this campsite is a lovely place to spend the evening or even a few evenings. There is a large beach with beautiful views of the pond that makes launching and landing boats easy. It can get rather windy here and depending on the direction, can also make launching and landing nearly impossible so be sure to check the weather.
The portage trail that connects Attean Pond to Holeb Pond is located adjacent to the campsites. There is room for at least a couple of tents here and there are a couple of picnic tables. When we were here in October of 2020, there was a large fire ring full of trash that was partially burned. Please note that you need to obtain a fire permit prior to your arrival if you plan on having a fire. Permits can be obtained in the town of Jackman which is close to the put in at Attean Pond.
It really is a gorgeous spot but is highly impacted, especially after a summer of increased outdoor recreation and use. It was a great place for us to spend our first night on a multi night trip on the Moose Bow Loop. It isn’t the only site good for the first night but know that it may be occupied so do some research so you know what other options are available.
This is a large site that sits on the eastern side of Holeb Pond, at one end of the canoe portage between Attean and Holeb Ponds on the Moose Bow Loop. This is a conveniently located spot, however, it is very impacted and often full of trash(human and otherwise). It really is an amazing location but was really gross when we were there in October of 2020. One of the fire rings, of which there are many, was full of eggshells and other food waste. The outhouse wasn’t awful but certainly heavily used. There are a lot of rocks and stumps in the sites but level ground can be found to pitch a few tents. There are some picnic tables dispersed in the area as well. I wouldn’t stay here but if you have a larger group, it may be a good fit. All in all, if you could skip this site I would.
The good - If you can get a site on the water, the views are outstanding! The most scenic site we had on our trip to Maine. My husband had a Maine fishing license & fished from out site. They have clean showers & flush toilets by the office.
This campground is 20 miles from Gulf Hagas & 50 miles from Baxter State Park.
The bad - no electricity or water at the sites. The road to get to the campground is gravel. We drove slowly as there were some ruts. They charge a day use fee of $10 per day.
The odd - when we checked in we found out they didn't take credit cards. This was not mentioned when I called for the reservation. We scrounged up the cash…barely.
Here's the thing. I got the strong impression we weren't wanted. We were from out of state. I felt the money thing was a way to screw with us. Our site neighbors came right out & asked us how we found out about this place. I said it was on the web site. I called & made a reservation. They didn't seem happy about that.
When we left, a worker asked if we had a good time. He didn't ask in a nice way. I got this feeling a lot in Maine. The locals were happy to take your money, but glad to see you go.
Some of the previous posts have confused Abol Campground inside Baxter State Park with Abol Campground and general Store. There is NO electricity, no showers, no grocery store, inside Baxter State Park. Those are available at the similarly named Abol Campground and General Store which neighbors Baxter State Park.
LILY BAY is amazing
State Park rates and a great jumping off point for day trips to Baxter / Katadin/ Kineo/ prong pond .etc etc
We love this park and my family has visited there since ot opened .
Yes , that many years
Even though we have access to family camp nearby . we still love tenting there.
So many beautiful places to experience
B52 crash site at Elephant Mountain
Great place for kids
Cant wait to go back
We tried out this campground when it was relatively new, only been in service about 4-5 years now. It’s off the beaten path and not near the hubbub of Bar Harbor, but is near Schoodic point and in a quieter area. Many opportunities for hiking and ocean viewing. The campground itself has a nice layout, sites are spacious, each with picnic table and fire ring. Many have electric. Bathrooms are adequate, just toilets and sinks, no showers in the campground, no laundry or other amenities, so bring all your groceries and supplies with you. Most of the sites are level and spacious. Unfortunately, this beautiful place and our experience there was ruined by a really disrespectful family that was next to us who didn’t understand any of the protocols for camping and behaved like animals. We left early because we couldn’t take it. I recommend going and hope they don’t show up in the the site next to you! If you want the best lobster roll EVER, go to the Winter Harbor Fisherman’s co-op which is on the way!! https://winterharborlobstercoop.com