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Chesterville, MAINE

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Camping Maine Chesterville
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Awesome!

Been a seasonal camper for 6 years but there are many sites available, some right on the lake, for shorter stays. The owners have worked hard to make Vacationland one of the nicest campgrounds around. Crystal Lake is never crowded and perfect for boating, swimming, and fishing.

Could be the quietest place on Earth

When we pulled up to this quiet campground during a warm and sunny day in October, the light shone through the trees on an idyllic pond wreathed in fall color. With no one else around we thought, “welcome to the perfect campsite.” 

Each site offers a picnic table, fire ring, and access to the pond. The pit toilet bathrooms were clean and centrally located in the campground. There is a hand driven well pump for fresh water close to the boat ramp (canoes, kayaks, rowboats only). The water was a little rusty tasting, but perfectly fine to drink. 

A trail lead directly out of the campsite to another pond about a mile away offering a short round trip afternoon hike.  Further up the road, about a mile from the campground, the Mt. Albany trailhead offers a longer and more challenging hike up to the summit as well as connection to other trails in the area. Along the way we found amazing views of the surrounding mountains in all their fall glory!

The campground is only 8 miles from the town of Bethel, ME. This small hamlet offers a few restaurants, gas stations and grocery stores.

Small, friendly campground in a perfect spot!

This small, private campground just outside Grafton Notch State Park offers clean, level, quiet sites with hot showers. If you don’t need wi-fi and hook-ups, this is the place for you! Seasonal decorations and solar lights decorate and brighten the paths. A small field near the bath house offers benches and horsehoes. A river runs behind the first several sites on the right side of the loop road. There’s a dump station available. It’s a great spot to stay if you are looking to hit the trail and want an early start.

I stayed here in site 4 a few years ago during my quest for the New England 4000-footers and stopped by recently to check it out again.

Hiking opportunities abound in the area, including the notorious Mahoosuc Notch stretch of the Appalachian Trail or family friendlier Table Rock as well as Crocker, Baldpate, and the Grafton Loop. At the right time of year, you may have a chance to chat with through hikers. Splash in the pools at Screw Auger Falls or Step Preserve falls on a hot summer day. Look for moose and other wildlife at dusk or dawn. This is a true retreat.

5-star now with new bathhouse

I stayed here for the first time in August last year, but returned in October this year to enjoy the autumn colors. This is a lovely state park on a large lake, offering drive-in sites with and without water/electric hookups plus a number of primitive boat-in sites around the lake. In 2019 the bathhouse was renovated, delaying the season opening, but it was worth the weight. Bathrooms are clean and bright, offering hot showers ($) and laundry. 

Site fill up on weekends, especially prime lakefront sites.  You can choose something more open and grassy or a wooded site. There's a swimming area and boat rentals. The office has limited hours. If you arrive after 5 or 6 (depending on the day/month), you'll need to check in in the morning and won't be able to buy firewood on site.

Off site, it's a short drive to Grafton Notch State Park (ME) for hiking and waterfalls, a little farther to Bethel, ME for canoeing, biking, and other outdoor activities. The Umbabog National Wildlife Refuge also offers hiking and boating opportunities with moose, loons, eagles, and beavers, to name a few.

It was bitterly cold overnight (24-27 degrees), so I was grateful for my trailer, but it made for some beautiful, if foggy, mornings and brilliantly clear skies for stargazing. If a tent or trailer isn't your chohice, there are cabins available, too.

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.

Overpriced

This campground is overpriced for the location, amenities and condition of the sites. The lay of the land is sloped and they need to improve drainage of run off. The site was very wet with standing water making most of the site unusable. The post that the electrical box and water was hooked to was in standing water. The water hose coming out of the ground had a leak and was spurting out water. I was given a price and paid half at time of booking. Upon arriving at campground I was charged additional fees. When asking why I was being charged so much more than what I was originally told the explanation was I don't know. I had to push to get this info. It boiled down to that I had changed my reservation due to a conflict. At that time I was never advised of a price change so what a shock upon arrival. I pushed back I was told sorry it is what it is. I was a first time visitor to this campground and will not be returning.

Wish all campgrounds were this nice!

Moe and her husband built this campground after he retired (sadly, he has since passed away so now Moe and her energetic dog, Rusty, run the place). It is located just a few miles down the road from the state park with the same name (I was a bit confused at first, thinking the state park has a campground, which it does not). This is a small, fifteen site campground located on the Bear River, and it is immaculate. It is obvious that Moe takes great pride in her campground with many little touches like flowers and seasonal, yet tasteful decorations. There was only one additional site occupied when we were there, so it was very quiet. Our site (site 7) backed up directly to the river with a path to access it. The restrooms were spotless, as was the shower. There is no additional fee to use the shower and it had plenty of hot water and a great spray. Sites are all level and trees provide sufficient privacy between them. In the middle, there is a grassy area with a table, several Adirondack chairs, and a horseshoe pit. There is potable and non-potable water, and a dump station and an information board with information on nearby hiking trails and weather.

Amazing spot!

This place was absolutely amazing! The campground is on the same land as an organic dairy farm! You get to be a part of the farm experience and see how a farm operates. We saw them milking the cows and feeding the other animals. There are also greenhouses and plants everywhere. A lot of the spots are right on the water, which is beautiful. There are trails to the shore along the campground. Showers and bathrooms were great!

Nice campground!

This is a huge campground with very nice wooded spots! We stayed on a Friday night and there weren’t many people. The bathrooms and showers are nice as well. The campground has a trail to the beach of the lake! Many trails are available in the park too.

Great place

Perfect basecamp for outdoor adventures. Sites are very large. Facilities are very clean and cleaned daily. It was very quiet the 3 nights we were there (but it was also after Labor Day). Lakefront sites have gorgeous views. We saw loons and bald eagles on the lake daily. There is cell service for both Verizon & AT&T. The market right outside the campground entrance has just about everything you might need. We will definitely be back.

Great spot to camp and bike!

Great camping here!!! Campground host was wonderful and so considerate. The sites are a little close together but some are set back. Campground was not full when we stayed. Dog friendly, toilets, SHOWERS, and the most adorable communal outdoor covered kitchen that had a sink, microwave, free library, and donation boxes with beverages, snacks and veggies. All around great place to stay. Everything was so clean and the staff was more than friendly. We will be going back for sure!

Lots and LOTS of trails surrounding the campground. Great for biking and trail running.

Nice family campground with good amenities

Pros: this was a seemingly nice family-oriented campground with lots of nice amenities - the restrooms were in decent shape, there was a dish-washing sink available, and they even do movies in the amphitheater.  The lake is also very nice as well. And even though there was an extreme lack of privacy, it was one of the quietest campgrounds I've ever been to, which surprised me a lot.  

Cons: virtually no privacy between sites.

There are a handful of sites right on the beach by the lake.  If I could get one of those sites, or one a little more private than what we had, I would go again in a heartbeat.

Great place

Sites are very large and spacious. You are not on top of the next one. Facilities are bright and clean. Every site has its own "fire box" with cooking grate. There is no "general store" but just outside the entrance to the campground is a gas station/general store which has everything from deli meats to hardware. The sites along Flaggstaff Lake have some spectacular views.

Family Tradition

This place is awesome. Our family loves Cathedral Pines. We have been coming here every summer since I was a kid. They have a great water front, playground, and an area add (which we could only go to once we earned our $1 a day). It’s also close to pines market where you can walk, ride your bike, or drive to pick up some snacks and other camping essentials!

Amazing

This is an amazing little campground off in the middle of nowhere. My friends and I went up here for a weekend and we love how isolated it was. It had a beautiful waterfront, it was quiet, and dog friendly!

There is also no cell service up there so no phones as distractions!

Wonderful Gem of Turner

This is a wonderful campground. The sites are large and well kept. The grounds are in great condition. This is definitely a gem in Turner. Zach is an excellent host. I would highly recommend booking a site. "Paul Bennett"

Favorite

Great weekend, quiet and well spaced sited.

Less than average

The family and I stayed at Poland Spring Campground for 8 days this August. It’s a family campground with activities for kids but make siblings share arts and crafts materials if the activities director doesn’t plan ahead. (Lots of crying from my youngest because she wanted to make one herself and showed up to the activity 15 minutes early, yet, got her materials yanked out of her hands when another child showed up 15 minutes late). Very strict 4 adult, 4 child per site rule so forget about having even paying visitors. Quiet time is 11 (even talking!) they will force you to go to sleep by 11 if you’re not COMPLETELY silent! Practically destroyed my camper getting in and out of the campground thanks to the way they tell you to get to your site (unnecessarily making me loop through the whole damn place instead of taking the straight shot in) Trees and roots everywhere making it impossible to take turns and forget about kids on bikes! I cleaned so many wounds during our stay from my kids falling off their bikes thanks to the landscape. Really weird dirt there also, it’s like a clay of some sort and caked to the bottom of your shoes and made a mess all through the camper no matter what I did. A couple of us went barefoot a lot and they are still treating a weird rash that developed on the bottom of their feet. We will not be going back. The only reason I gave them a star at all is because of Riley in the front office. Long walk to the “beach” no matter which campsite you book. No place to lay out so leave your beach chair at home. Bathroom on my side of the campground was disgusting! So many bugs and spiders and the clay dirt was all over the floors even right after they cleaned.

Great location

Nice beach area with boat docks, family works hard to keep campground in nice clean condition. They have good children’s activities and a nice indoor pool

Small and Quiet

We stayed here 8/24-8/26/2019 Nice small campground with the lake and lake side camping available No WiFi or cable hook up and sewer hooks are limited but we liked it

Perfect location-not so perfect experience

 I called to book my site and explained that I had a gift card for$100. No problems just bring it with me. They charged my card for half the amount due and was told that upon arrival I could present my gift certificate and pay the rest of the amount due on my credit card. We arrived just after 2:30. Their website states that check-in time is 1:00. I also received an email a few days before our arrival which also stated arrival time at 1:00. I was told when we got there that we could not check in until 4:00. I explained that their website and email states 1:00. I was asked when I booked and told them about 2 weeks ago and she said that the check-in time had just recently changed. They could have sent that in their email, wouldn’t you think? She told me that I could pay an extra$25 to enter the campsite and use the beach while we waited. I declined. Why would I spend another$25 for less than an hour and a half? Before I left I gave them my gift certificate and credit card. The girl didn’t know how to process the GC but she would only charge the amount minus a hundred to my card and straighten the GC out when her boss came in. That was fine. We left and returned back at 4. I was given a bag with some information in it which included a menu for the Lazy Loon Cafe, which is also stated in their website that it is open daily. Come to find out it is only open Thursday-Sunday. We camped from Monday- Thursday. I’m glad I brought food! Wednesday night around 7:10 we decided to walk up to the camp store which is posted that it is open until 8pm. Wrong!!! It was closed. Friday when I went to use my credit card at home I was declined. I didn’t understand why because I knew I had plenty on there. I checked on my phone and Loons Haven had a pending amount of$100 which they charged to my card the day we left. So anyway I gave Loons Haven a call and explained the matter to the girl. She said well I can give you a gift card for the$100. Nope, not what I want. What would be the point of that??? So I can always carry a Loons Haven gift card around. I wanted it to be used for this trip. She said she would look into and get back to me right away. 3 1/2 went by so I called and they informed me that they did credit it back to my card but it would take 2-3 days. What an inconvenience. I got an“I’m sorry” but not a“how can we make this right for you?” I do have to say that all in all we had a wonderful time. The site we had was perfect and the campground is immaculate. Trickey pond is extremely clean and beautiful. For that I would return but with the experience I had I just may reconsider.

Awesome spot!

Very clean, very well organized, friendly staff. The lake is beautiful. Brand new bath house. Dog friendly!

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!

Breath taking!

This is the most beautiful place. The lake is very large. My son and I went took a hired boat out to an island. They boat took all our camping stuff and 2kayaks!  We stayed three nights. There are tent platforms, picnic table and fire pit at each site. We were the only ones on the island. We kayaked in the day. Was amazing! I would highly 

recommend this beautiful spot in NH!

Excellent Campground

This place quiet , clean , nice private campsites. Lots of things to do in the area such as swimming, fishing , hiking and mountain biking that we enjoyed. Our son enjoyed golfing just up the road on Sugarloaf. Saw various wildlife like moose and deer. We really are enjoying our stay here!

We wont be back...

We chose this campground because it was close to a festival we wanted to check out. Upon arrival we could not find the office. We had to stop a camper who was walking and ask her where the office was. The workers were less than helpful. To many seasonal campers. The sites were to close. The owners were dog breed prejudice. There was a whole paper full of rules if you brought a pet. We are big dog lovers of all breeds and took offense to them being so against certain breeds even being on there property. I will say that the bathrooms were very clean and seemed new.

Family Fun!

Beaver Brook in Monmouth Maine is a must stay if you have kids from babies to teens. Our family has been going annually for the last five years. We meet up with a couple Moms and their children who we don’t get to see too often and make it a “girls and kids” trip and have a blast making memories and gives us moms a well deserved break. This year we opted for a small group site with a centrally located fire pit and spent our days in the lake, pool, or just hanging out while our kids (ranging from 8-12) rode their bikes, made friends at the playground or participated in the activities that the camp had to offer. Sites are all big with plenty of room between the sites for the perfect amount of privacy. Hook ups for water/electric/sewer but also tons of tent sites too. Staff is friendly and helpful, kids loved the big red and blue slides at the pool, restaurant, ice cream and store all in the same area.

For parents; live entertainment with local bands on Saturday nights, an adult only swim nightly. (Playground is close enough to the pool to actually enjoy this while listening to my kids play), candy bar bingo (where you can play bingo WITH your kids and was quite fun) and just a nice atmosphere all around between all the other families there.

Will definitely be back next year!

Nice park, but camping is an after thought...

The campground is right at Thomas Point Beach which was fantastic!  However, the sites were only average, no water hook ups, and the electric hook up required a 50 ft. extension cord to reach a pole.

Since it was not too crowded, we were able to find a site that gave us some room, but many sites were right on top of each other.  The bathrooms were less than average in upkeep and cleanliness.

We put our kayaks into the water right at the beach and had a nice float in the bay.  The campground is close to Topsham and Brunswick, which is where we needed to be for the weekend.

I would not recommend this campground as a destination by itself.