the dyrt
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Unknown
Drinking Water
About Duck Harbor Campground
Duck Harbor Campground is located on Isle au Haut, a rugged island off the coast of Stonington, Maine. Remote and inaccessible to automobiles, Isle au Haut is linked to the mainland by mailboat. Recreation Isle au Haut offers excellent hiking. The remoteness of the island provides a quiet experience along primitive trails with many great views of rocky cliffs and coastal scenery. Bicycling is allowed but is very rigorous, on loose rock, and unpaved road. No trail biking. You must bring your own mountain bike. Bicycles can only be unloaded at the Town Dock. No bicycles may be loaded or unloaded at Duck Harbor Landing. Facilities This small campground contains five campsites. Each campsite has a fire ring, picnic table, and a lean-to shelter which is three-sided with roof and floor. Dimensions are 8' tall, 8' deep, and 12.5' wide. Use of tents is limited to what can fit inside the shelters. There are three composting toilets at the campground and a hand pump for water located 0.3 miles from campground. There is a ranger station 4 miles from the campground but only 0.3 miles from the Isle au Haut Town Landing. The ranger station is open mid-April to mid-October, when there are rangers on Isle au Haut for the season. While the rangers are typically out in the field and not at the ranger station during most of the day, the lobby remains open, allowing visitors access to maps, reading material, water, and the only public restroom in town. Boat service to Duck Harbor is only provided from mid-June to mid-September. Please review the Know Before You Go section below. Natural Features Isle au Haut provides opportunities to explore rocky shorelines, wooded uplands, marshes, bogs, and a mile-long freshwater lake. A section of Acadia National Park covers about half of Isle au Haut. The campground is situated on the western side of Isle au Haut. It is just south of the Duck Harbor Boat Landing. The island is approximately six miles long by two miles wide. Nearby Attractions There is a small, traditional village near the Isle au Haut Town Landing where one can find a general store, seasonal gift shop, a seasonal food shack, and post office. ADA Access: N
Access
Drive In, Hike In, Boat In
Operator
National Park Service
Features
+ More
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Fires Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Reservable
Toilets
Trash Available
Location
Duck Harbor Campground is located in Maine
Latitude
44.028 N
Longitude
-68.653 W
Get Directions
Directions
From the north, take I-95 to Bangor, then I-395 to Brewer, then take Rte. 15 south to Stonington. From the south, take I-95 or I-295 to Augusta, then Rte. 3 to Belfast, then Rte. 15 to Stonington.
2 Reviews of Duck Harbor Campground
Hard to get to, difficult to get a reservation, but so worth the time!

Camping on in the Duck Harbor Campground is nearly the stuff of legends. This remote island off the coast of Maine only has 5 campsites in this part of Acadia National Park, and reservations are required. The Park’s website describes this in classic Park Service understatement, “Duck Harbor Campground is very popular. Please plan your trip in advance.” What they mean is if you don’t go online within 10 minutes of opening day, April 1st, at 10 am EST, you will miss your chance to stay here for the whole year. You won’t be the first to get denied and certainly not the last. You might however, get lucky if you’re in the area for long enough and there is a sudden cancellation.

I believe I’m right in saying that the hype is worth it here, more than just because it’s difficult to get here and difficult to get a reservation. This is a beautiful place to camp and an amazing island to explore by bike, by kayak, and on foot.

Each of the 5 sites offers a classic lean-to structure with a campfire ring and a picnic table. But it’s not the site which makes this place so special. Sticking out into the Gulf of Maine, this is one of the most remote islands with established camping and recreational trails on the coast. It feels like another world entirely than Mount Dessert Island, where the rest of Acadia National Park is located. By comparison, MDI feels like Central Park.

There is fresh water a short walk away from the campground, and a bear proof food storage locker at each lean-to. Mosquitoes can be bad during the summer, so I would recommend bringing a bug net or small backpacking tent which you could set up in the lean-to for more protection and privacy.

Getting to the island is possible through the daily mailboat which goes directly to Duck Harbor from Stonington, but the best way to get there is to paddle up in a sea kayak as we did!

First to Review
Duck Harbor Acadia National Park

I describe this as "backpacking light". You need to bring everything with you (except water) on the mailboat and then walk on a short distance to one of 5 campsites. It is a great place to just get away. There are several miles of moderate hikes. Starting in 2018 reservations will be online starting April1. The campground is open mid May to mid October but the mailboat only goes to the campground from late June to late September; otherwise a 5 mile walk from town.