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Brownville, MAINE

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No frills waterfront camping

Head north out of Greenville on the east side of Moosehead lake and shortly before you reach Kokadjo, turn right and follow the road along the edge of First Roach Pond. Near the far end of the lake you’ll come upon a small campground with a number of named waterfront sites on the left and a grassy hillside area with additional spots. I drove past this place several times en route to ponds where I could kayak and look for moose before I finally decided to stop in. I couldn’t find much of anything online and that’s because they are old school, taking reservations by phone and tracking them on wirebound notepads. These are no frills sites; most of the outhouses are on the other side of the road from the waterfront sites and not necessarily nearby. Some of the sites occupy rises above the lake while others are right down on the water. There is a gravelly beach area. If you like to fish or boat or look for wildlife, you've come to the right area. Grab your Maine atlas and explore the back road and ponds. Book a moose tour out of Greenville if you want some help finding the moose. There are some small peaks in the area (Greenville promotes a Peak Pursuit). Kokadjo has a small trading post and restaurant, but you'll want to pick up most of your supplies in Greenville. Remember to bring water.

On the shores of GORGEOUS Moosehead Lake!

This gorgeous state park along the shores of Moosehead Lake near Greenville feels like the campgrounds of my youth. Sites are all tucked into the woods with easy access to trails and the lakeshore. Each site offers the usual picnic table and fire ring. 

Well-kept latrines are scattered throughout the campground, as well as drinking water faucets.  A centrally located, and clean bath house with flush toilets, warm individual-use shower rooms, and a great dishwashing sink is a recent addition to this large facility. The only downside is that it can be a 10 to 15-minute walk from the farthest campsite, making most people get in their vehicles just to take a shower or wash dishes.

The great network of trails offer opportunity for hiking and biking in summer and skiing and snowshoeing in winter. The lake, over 35 miles long offers sailing, paddling, swimming and even power boating.  The closest town is conveniently located about 6 miles away for gas and groceries.

Worth the hike-in, very close to the AT

Beautiful hike-in sites located along the Pleasant River, and a great access point for hiking on the Appalachian Trail or in Gulf Hagas area!  We didn’t stay at these sites, but came across them while hiking just off the AT. 

Each site has a picnic table and fire ring, with access to a clean latrine (with TP!).  No potable water is available, but the river is easily accessible for dishwashing and boiling/filtering. Firewood is available for purchase at the access gate at Katahdin Iron Works, but keep in mind you’ll have to carry it about ¾ of a mile, and across a river. 

For safety, no bikes or ATV’s are allowed beyond the Katahdin Iron Works gate, as these roads belong to the logging companies in the area and there can be many fast-moving logging trucks. The town of Milo is where you’ll find the closest grocery stores and gas stations, but it’s a bit of a drive so come prepared. 

Note about costs: Located in the Maine North Woods, getting here is quite a journey, but ooohh so worth it. It’s on the way to nowhere, you have to pay to get through the gate at Katahdin Iron Works, pay a daily access fee, and daily camping fee.  Note: If you are planning to backpack on the AT from this location, the pricing is very different, so be sure to ask!

Fresh water lobsters? Don't let the name fool you!

This was the first campsite along our Maine North Woods canoe adventure – about 4 miles from the Lobster Launch. It is a gorgeous campsite along the sandy shores of Lobster Lake, with plenty of room for a group of 8-10 people.  It's called Lobster Lake because it's shaped like a lobster claw.  

Has a huge picnic table, separate food prep area, fire ring and toilet (bring your own TP). Bring plenty of fresh water (though you can filter from a stream feeding the lake/river, but we were advised not to use the lake water, even filtered). Very easy access to the water for swimming, hauling gear up, etc. 

Note about costs: Getting here is quite a journey, but ooohh so worth it. It’s on the way to nowhere, you have to pay to get through the gate along the Golden Road, pay a daily road access fee, and daily camping fee. And, then there’s the shuttle for your vehicle. It’s expensive, but if you go with a group and share costs, it’s a treat!  Maybe a once in a lifetime adventure for some people.

First time we've seen moose FROM our campsite!

This was an unexpectedly beautiful site and great access point for hiking on the Appalachian Trail or Gulf Hagas area! We were seeking a place to stay 1 night just before embarking on a backpacking trip. The woman at the Katahdin Ironworks gatehouse selected the site for us and couldn’t have picked a better one. 

Lots of privacy, beautiful view of the river, and we even were visited by a moose and her calf one evening! Each site has a covered picnic table and fire ring, with access to a private, clean latrine (with TP!) across the road. No potable water is available, but the stream is easily accessible for dishwashing and boiling/filtering. Firewood is available for purchase at the access gate at Katahdin Iron Works. 

For safety, no bikes or ATV’s are allowed beyond the Katahdin Iron Works gate, as these roads belong to the logging companies in the area and there can be many fast-moving logging trucks. The town of Milo is where you’ll find the closest grocery stores and gas stations, but it’s a bit of a drive so come prepared. 

Note about costs: Located in the Maine North Woods, getting here is quite a journey, but ooohh so worth it. It’s on the way to nowhere, you have to pay to get through the gate at Katahdin Iron Works, pay a daily access fee, and daily camping fee. Note: If you are planning to backpack on the AT from this location, the pricing is very different, so be sure to ask!

Quiet, Spacious, Lots of Amenities

While we don’t usually stay in private campgrounds due to their high cost, the price was reasonable for the quality of this campground and amenities provided. We were in need of a shower and a place for the night and this campground was perfectly situated off the highway to Greenville. 

Most of the sites are designed for larger RVs with full hook-ups, but they have just a handful of simple tent/small camper sites without services, which is exactly what we needed.   Just a picnic table and fire ring and some privacy and we were happy campers.

The shower house was newly remodeled and very clean, as was the laundry facility with dishwashing/utility sink. The campground has access to over 1000 miles of trails, which are designed for ATV’s. They even have an ATV washing station. While it was not open in late September, the campground offers a nice pool, game room for the kids of all ages, a small camp store, and even has a snack bar and ice cream counter.  And, if you are seeking some amazing hiking, it's relatively close to Borestone Mountain and sections of the Appalachian Trail.

The young husband and wife team who own/run the place are very sweet folks who seem to really pay attention to the needs of their customers.  For instance, they recently spent a good deal of money on high speed wifi because that is what their customers said they wanted.  We didn't need it, so can't comment on its quality, but it's there if you do.

Great sites and super convenient

My wife and I went up during Columbus Day weekend for some fall fishing and leaf peeping. We had a tent site that had tons of room. Camp store was great. Camp is just outside of Greenville so it’s super easy to go into town if you forgot anything. The only thing I wasn’t a fan of was I could hear the road noise from rt.6. In my opinion if I’m headed up to moosehead I would want to camp in the middle of the woods. But overall we had a great time.

First to Review
Breathtakingly beautiful lake

This was the second of four huts on Maine Huts and Trails network of trails and it is situated very close to a gorgeous lake. The fall colors were at peak when we were there. I had never heard of Maine Huts and Trails (a small non-profit organization) and likely would not have if we had not traveled with an organized group for a three-day hut to hut experience. Although they are called huts, I would call them lodges. There is a large main area with showers, compostable toilets, a kitchen, and shared dining and living room space. There is a pack-in, pack-out policy. There are no electrical outlets or cell service, so you are off the grid. 

The bunkhouses are shared and each one accommodates up to eight people. 

When it is open and staffed, meals are provided, and the food is good. Dietary needs are taken into account. 

Now for the bad news: One of the four huts (Poplar Stream) has already temporarily closed and all the huts are in jeopardy of not operating during the winter due to a severe financial shortfall. The catch 22 is that they likely do not have money for advertising so very few people know about them. I’m hopeful that by spreading the word on The Dyrt, more people will discover how beautiful they are, become members, donate to them, volunteer, and/or hopefully enjoy time spent in one of the huts.

Beautiful lodging you may not be able to visit!

I had never heard of Maine Huts and Trails (a small non-profit organization) and likely would not have if we had not traveled with an organized group for a three-day hut to hut experience. Poplar Flat is one of four gorgeous huts (and huts do not begin to describe these accommodations– they are more like lodges) on a trail system. The huts were constructed 11 years ago, and Poplar Stream was the first one completed. The main “hut” has showers, radiant heat floors, and compostable toilets. There are no electrical outlets or cell service, so this is an off-grid experience. There is a pack-in, pack-out policy. 

The bunkhouses are shared and each one accommodates up to eight people. When it is open and staffed, meals are provided, and the food is good. Dietary needs are taken into account. 

Now for the bad news: Poplar Flats hut is currently not open to the public (we stayed there as part of a group) and all of the huts are in jeopardy of not operating during the winter due to a severe financial shortfall. The catch 22 is that they likely do not have money for advertising so very few people know about them. I’m hopeful that by spreading the word on The Dyrt, more people will discover how beautiful they are, become a member, donate to them, volunteer, and hopefully enjoy time spent in one of the huts (I believe that the other three are still open).

Very nice, quiet, clean park

This place is excellent! The staff are friendly, the park is quiet, clean, well maintained and spacious. If you are planning on staying around Bangor, this is the place!

Best small campground I've been to in 18 years.

Clean,quiet,very well taken care of,great staff,very helpful,huge sites,absolutely loved this place!

Little tight but we got it solo

We really enjoyed staying here since we were rafting with them the next day. Cheap spots right next to the river. It was also right off the high way so we heard trucks all night, but I found it pretty reasonable. The sites are all pretty together in a open field, which was okay for us since we were the only ones there but might be hard if fully booked. I think this would be great for a big family or group because it would all be close together. They supplied all the sites with bottle/can and trash cans. We got a spot right under a nice crab apple tree and enjoyed our time there. A little older but still a great place. Very nice, friendly owners!

First to Review
Little tight but we got it solo

We really enjoyed staying here since we were rafting with them the next day. Cheap spots right next to the river. It was also right off the high way so we heard trucks all night, but I found it pretty reasonable. The sites are all pretty together in a open field, which was okay for us since we were the only ones there but might be hard if fully booked. I think this would be great for a big family or group because it would all be close together. They supplied all the sites with bottle/can and trash cans. We got a spot right under a nice crab apple tree and enjoyed our time there. A little older but still a great place. Very nice, friendly owners!

Close to Mount Katadhan

This is my 2nd time enjoying this camp. The management is very friendly and helpful in the care of my family pets, they’ll walk and occasionally keep an eye on your pets while you’re out hiking on Mount Katadhan, and will provide a shuttle to and from the mount, for an agreeable fee.

Beautiful location

This campground has a gorgeous view of the lake. A great place to fish for bass and yellow perch. The campground was very rustic and quiet. Bathroom electrical outlet did not work. The Owner was extremely pleasant and helpful. A lot of water activities available for families. A very nice place to go to relax.

Fantastic family camping!

We had so much fun at this campground. So many many things to do for kids. The swimming pool was awesome as well as the water slides. The fireworks on July 4th could match Disney World! Wonderful place to camp!

Great place

Really nice campground. Friendly group of people.

Riverside campground; boat or drive in before hiking or rafting

It will be tough to beat the price ($6-12/person before taxes) at this Penobscot River Corridor campsite. Located just across the Golden Road from the Abol Bridge campground and before the bridge, Abol Pines is a state operated campground with picnic tables, fire rings, vault toilets, and a few sites with lean-tos. Millinocket is your last place purchase most forgotten items if you're coming from that direction, though there are a couple of smaller shops along the way. Be prepared to drive on gravel logging roads that can tear up your tires. Don't be surprised when the logging trucks start coming through in the morning.

I was here in early June, when rafting had started, but the Katahdin trails were not yet open. The campground was completely unoccupied. There are beautiful views of Katahdin from the bridge.  This is NOT the Abol campground located in Baxter State Park. If you're paddling or rafting the Penobscot or planning an attempt on Katahdin, but couldn't get a spot within the park, this may be just what you need. Your noise experience will depend on your fellow campers as there isn't a host on site full time. May and June, prepare for black flies!!!

You'll park and then walk into the campsites. There was a little water on the road, but easily passable. The sites themselves were generally dry.

If you're from out of state with a few people in your group, it may be less expensive to book a site in a more formal campground.

Wonderful remote camping area

Family run campground. Clean and well cared for. Great for kids.

Convenient and close to home

This campground is small family owned. The owners are outgoing and nice. The store offers handmade craft items with awesome prices and a small selection of take out foods. And ice cream. Again prices are reasonable. Activities are listed on the board and are fun. Variety of RV sites. Waterfront are our favorite. Play area for kids.

Nice site markers

A bit crowded but very family friendly. Lit site markers made it easy to find your site. Not great site vehicle parking. We went on a holiday weekend with lots of events planned. Family hayride was fun. Kids enjoyed riding bikes and using the game room. Pool was clean and in a central location. Quick easy walk on a path to store and small restaurant.

Well maintained

We had a riverfront site, enjoyed our stay

Family friendly

Was a very nice campground lots of activity for the families, level lots great store overall a nice place to stay

People are nice

Wooded lots can be tight, lot you reserve isn’t always what you get when you reserve a spot, they will change it and surprise when you get there, not always a good thing

Amazing campground and people!

Stopped here for one night while passing through, water/electric sites for $35 and primitive tent sites for $21 (still has flush toilets and showers a short walk down the road). Super pet friendly! The people who run this place are absolutely incredible! I happed to stop in on a Friday night they were doing a bean bake with a BBQ, live music, and games for the kids! Would definitely come back anytime!

Very nice campground.

Been here several times. We love it here. Staff was greatly helpful. Enjoyed all they had to offer with our grandchildren. Beautiful beach area.  Nice and clean. A great state park!

Maine Wilderness campground

Stayed here 2 nights in June. Wooded sites on the shore of the largest lake in New England. Our site was large enough for tents and hammocks; which was nice to have options. The sites are also far enough away from each other that you dont feel like you're in an apartment building. Central bath and free shower house with laundry/dish sinks outside was an added bonus. Fire ring and table at each site. Rangers were super nice and helpful. Trails to beach area with a playground for the kiddos. Its pretty remote so make sure you have everything you need before venturing past Greenville. Take the drive up to(and past if you're real adventurous) Kokadjo for moose spotting.

Fun campground

Brought the family here for a nice Father’s Day weekend. Good place to bring the kids. The staff here were are friendly and very helpful for any questions or camping needs you had.Everyone had fun. Bathrooms were clean and plentiful. Lots of fun activities to keep everyone in the family entertained. The themed weekends are a neat concept and enjoyable.

Wilderness camping in a new national monument

It was tricky to find any information on this campsite and then the loop road didn't open until just before I left the Millinocket area. It has been a very wet spring after a heavy winter, so there were lots of delays and it didn't' open until after Memorial Day, so I didn't get to stay here, but I did get to visit!

Because the Katahdin Woods and Waters (KWW) National Monument is so new, information and services are limited. Sometime this summer they are supposed to erect signs to the park; until them you're dependent on small signs and trusting you haven't missed a turn. 

On to the campsite…it's first come, first served, at the beginning of the gravel loop road in the southern section of KWW. There are picnic tables, vault toilet, fire ring, and a tent pad. To light a fire, you will need a fire permit. Per their website, "A free permit is easily acquired prior to a visit by calling the Northern Regional Office of the Maine Fire Service at 207 435-7963 or visiting them at 45 Radar Street in Ashland, Maine." It's bear country, so plan appropriately. There's a spot with easy access to the pond/stream for launching a kayak (I"m not sure how deep it is, esp mid-summer) or wildlife watching (moose, bear, birds).

The 17-mile loop road features overlooks that include views of Mt. Katahdin, trails to peaks and waterfalls, and multi-use trails for bicycles, horses. There's an information board here as well.

You'll want to pick up any necessary items and fuel in Millinocket before you head into the Monument. Don't count on cell service. Be prepared to change a flat tire.

To get information about KWW, you MAY be able to visit the visitor's center in Millinocket (it was only open 1-4pm on Thursday; it has longer hours during the summer), but I found the best source was a Friends of KWW booklet that I picked up at a Maine Visitor's Center that included a map centerfold. There's a map here, too: Katahdin Woods and Waters Map

Ranger Review: GCI Outdoor Compact Camp Table at Wilderness Edge Campground

Campground Review

I headed to the Millinocket area because I wanted to explore the new Katahdin Woods & Waters (KWW)National Monument, Baxter SP, ponds and byways. Staying at Wilderness Edge proved to be an ideal location with full amenities. It’s convenient to each of these areas without requiring an extensive drive to any of them. My visit was very early in the season ( late May/early June) and the trails to peaks at Baxter state Park were still closed, so it was quiet. The sites are in two sections, with tenters up the hill in an area I did not have time to explore, and a lower section with hookups for RVs. The RV sites offer electrical and water. The location of the hookups is somewhat unusual and inconsistent. My site had the connections on the right side of my camper once I had backed it in, so I had to be careful about placement or have longer cords. It then made sense why Marcel explained that some campers like to park parallel to the camp road to create some privacy,

My site (6) was large and level, backing up to the woods and with trees between the sites providing some privacy. There were no sites directly opposite mine as the loop road turned and went up a hill. The very clean bathrooms are up the hill, providing free hot showers and also a dishwashing sink.

There’s a small camp store with a selection of necessities, just in case you need a map or forgot a backpack, etc. They’ll deliver firewood to your site. There was wi-fi available, strongest near the bathroom, but I had more than adequate cell phone coverage (Verizon) at my site, that I did not need to use the wifi. There’s a pool and a play area near the entrance.

This is not a campground packed with seasonal sites; they only have 2 seasonal campers. Instead, the campground fills with families, singles, couples, looking for a quiet camp setting with amenities. The amenities do come at a price, costing more than other campgrounds, but also providing more.

If you want to explore, the Discover Katahdin app is great for identifying hikes or paddles, etc. so be sure to install it to help with your planning. It’s also worth stopping by the Moose Prints Gallery in Millinocket. Anita provided some excellent suggestions for wildlife watching and paddling. If you’d like a guide, Marcel is happy to offer small tours.

In town there are a variety of shops, including groceries, dollar stores, and hardware.

Product Review: GCI Outdoors Compact Camp Table 20

As a ranger with The Dyrt I sometimes get to test and review camping equipment. On this trip, I was able to review the GCI Outdoors Compact Camp Table 20 (it also comes in a larger, 25” size). This is a great little table with telescoping legs (love the squeeze mechanism to get them to collapse), giving you two height options while occupying very small space in your vehicle while traveling. You may find yourself using it for more than just camping (I saw one in a picture of a recent tailgate party). It’s aluminum top allows you to place a hot pot on it. It can handle a substantial weight and doesn’t feel wiggly. It’s great for dinner by the campfire!