The best camping near
East Millinocket, MAINE

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Camping Maine East Millinocket
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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!

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).

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.

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.

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

Lovely lake

Great place to spend time on the lake

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.

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!

Ranger review: GCI Roadtrip Rocker at Lily Bay State Park

Campground Review:

This large state park has two loops located on the shore of Moosehead Lake in Greenville Maine. Many of the sites are on or have a view of the water. They are large and, in general, private. The campground map includes letters to indicate the rig size each site can accommodate. Tent only sites generally require you to walk in from a parking area, many taking you closer to the water.  When I arrived, it was quite windy and I was grateful that my site in the Rowell loop was a little farther away from the water. The sites are wooded. Both loops have boat launches. There’s a playground and beach. At night you can enjoy the call of the loons; that was the only sound I heard at night during my stay, but I had few neighbors so early in the season (late May)

Because of its proximity to the water, the toilets in the loops are all vault toilets. There is a centralized bathroom with flush toilets, showers, and dishwashing sinks.

This is a great location for fishing and boating on the lake or nearby ponds, hiking peaks as part of the Pinnacle Pursuit in the greater Greenville area, exploring the B-52 crash site memorial, or seeking out moose on small ponds and logging roads. If you want some assistance finding moose, check out the moose tours that run out of Greenville, but you’ll likely have success at Lazy Tom Bog, the Maine DOT lot on your way into Greenville from the south, or on any of the logging roads at sunrise or dusk.

2-bar cell service on Verizon at some areas in the campground (I had coverage at my campsite, but not in the more central locations and not on Lily Bay Rd).

Product Review

As a ranger for the Dyrt, I sometimes get to review equipment that is useful when camping. During this trip, I was able to review a GCI Roadtrip Rocker. I already own (and love) a Freestyle Rocker and wanted to compare it to the Roadtrip.

The Roadtrip Rocker has a taller back and a deeper seat, so it’s more comfortable, providing greater support under the thighs. They both have a cloth pocket for holding drinks. The rocking mechanism seemed less consistent…depending on the terrain, it didn’t always seem to feel as smooth. Shorter friends found it less comfortable.

The Roadtrip folds up into a bag which means I can toss it into my camper without worrying that it will bring dirt in with it, but it’s heavy and tall. It does take a little longer to get it into the bag. They’re both great for sitting around a campfire.

Small and wonderful

Lovely little campground with campsites, lean tos, and cabins right on the river and near Baxter State Park. My wife and I winter camped here in a lean to in sub zero temperatures two years in a row, and while the owners thought we were nuts for not opting for a cabin they couldn’t have been nicer or more accommodating.

Maine at its best!

We enjoy our weeks on Moosehead Lake. Lily Bay Campground has spacious and wooded. The staff is very helpful and friendly. There is a beach and a playground. A clean shower and flush toilet facility. The sites have pit toilets that are plentiful and well maintained. Pets are welcomed. There is a boat launch and if you get a water site you can launch your canoe or kayak from there. The hosts clean the sites after check out so they are clean and ready for the next guests. There are no hookups, electric or water on site. Water is available at faucets every few sites. There is a dump station and there is potable water to fill you fresh water tank there. Plenty of hiking, fishing opportunities. You can take a short ride to Greenville for shopping, restaurants, laundry and a hospital. We are Mainers, but Lily Bay always feels like getting away.

First to Review
Wilderness camping on a river beach

The Omaha Beach campsite is part of the Penobscot River Corridor. Coming from Millinocket on the Golden Road (about halfway between Millinocket Lake and Abol Bridge), you'll see a turnoff to the left for "Debsconeag Campsites 4.5 miles." This is a rough road that I traveled with my Subaru Forester, but the other vehicles I saw are all high clearance trucks. There are still large puddles in places (May 31), but all passable. ~3+ miles from turnoff onto Debsconeag Rd is the sign for Omaha Beach. There's a short drive to a parking area with a latrine. You can drive to the beach for unloading purposes, but then return to the parking area with your vehicle. There's an iron ranger to pay per person camping fees ($6.54 Maine residents/13.08 nonresident with lodging tax in 2019). You may boat in on the west branch of the Penobscot, which was fast moving and high during my visit in late May 2019. There are a couple of  picnic tables and fire rings. Bring your own water or water filtration. Nice sandy beach. Black flies problematic everywhere in May and June, so come prepared!

1.1 miles farther to Little Omaha Beach, then boat launch and Wheelbarrow Pitch. 

Beautiful Park, Wonderful Lake.

We had a great trip here over the Memorial Day weekend. We had a lovely lakeside campsite. The bugs were not too bad. There was a lot of standing water, so I expect that there might be a lot more mosquitoes once the weather heats up. The water was cold in Moosehead Lake.

Beautiful and excellent facilities for the the camper who truly loves to ca

This is a beautiful spot. It has excellent canoeing and hiking. The facilities are well maintained and this is camping the way it’s supposed to be.

close to Katahdin trails

really close to Katahdin trails, reasonable price, great views

Easy access to Mt. Katahdin

Though not open during the off season, this Baxter State Park campground offers tent sites and lean-tos, each with a picnic table and fire ring. There are no sites for RV's here.

There is no running/drinking water, but the stream nearby is perfect for filtering. The pit toilets are cleaned daily. There is no electricity, so bring your solar panel. Rangers are assigned to each campground, so there is always someone to chat with if you have questions or emergencies while in the park. 

You can start the 8-12 hour round trip to the summit of Mt. Katahdin from this campground, as it sits right at the base of the mountain.  Or, choose from variety of other trail options if a 4000 ft elevation gain hike isn’t your thing.

Fall is one of the best times to be here…no bugs, less people, and full of autumn color! Be ready for wind and cold days though. You are sure to see many Appalachian Trail through hikers as they use this campground as their final base camp before summiting!

Your last stop for food and gas is in Millinocket, so be sure to stock up before you make your way to the park. Millinocket is about 18 miles from the main entrance to Baxter State Park.

Note: Dogs are not allowed in the park, but Katahdin Kritters is a pet boarding facility located in East Millinocket.

Awesome location: dark skies, great hikes, Ledge Falls for cooling off

I always struggle with the notion of rating a full amenities campground with a no-frills place like this, so when it comes down to it, I'm rating the experience. If you want to get off the grid (no wi-fi, cell service, or running water) to a quiet, dark campground with opportunities to bag some peaks, see some wildlife, and cool off in a river after a long day on the trail, and you don't mind traveling over miles of dirt roads to get there, then it is hard to beat Nesowadnehunk Field campground.

I stayed in a lean-to, drove up to it and pitched my tent inside…grateful for a little extra protection in the tent as I listened to animals scratching around the lean-to at night. There was a large bush in front of the lean to and woods behind. I could see and hear my neighbors, but wasn't disturbed by them. The site also had a picnic table. Trails led to the river behind the lean tos. There are also a number of tent sites that you park and walk back to, plus a small bunkhouse.

As the sun sets, it is the sky that catches your attention and doesn't want to let it go. Without light pollution, you'll see more than stars than you imagined you could see (tip: if you need a light, use the red setting on your headlamp so your eyes don't have to re-acclimate to the dark).

I used this as a base for bagging Coe, South, and North Brother, finishing the Maine 4000-footers here. It was so windy I decided to forego the bushwhack to Fort. It's nice to be able to get an early start because you're already in the park.

Things you need to know about low frills Baxter State Park:

  1. Make reservations online, though if you want a group site or a bunkhouse, give them a call or send a letter. Reservations open 4 months ahead of time.
  2. Plan to arrive before 8:30. It takes a while to get to the campgrounds from the gates, wildlife starts moving around at dusk, and you don't want to have to set up camp in the dark
  3. Bring either water or a filtration/treatment system so you can use surface water.
  4. Bring what you'll need…don't expect a convenient store to replace that missing item! It's a long way back to Millinocket. Pack out your trash.
  5. The general camping season is May-Oct, though winter camping (Dec-Mar) and activities are also possible. Snow may arrive early (which is why they sometimes have thru-hikers jump ahead to Katahdin and hike backwards if they aren't likely to make it to Katahdin ahead of the snow)
  6. No pets. No alcohol in public places (i.e. don't celebrate on a summit with a sip of your favorite beverage)
  7. There are a lot of rules, conditions of the donation. Take time to read the rules on the website.
Near Baxter State Park, with full amenities!

Located just a few miles outside of Baxter State Park, POC offers a few spots for small RV’s, tent sites, lean-tos, and a few camping cabins, each with a picnic table and fire ring.  And, the property has an amazing view!

There are hot showers, clean bathrooms, a dishwashing sink, and even a game room with pool tables and a small bar. You can rent canoes and gear to paddle on the lake, with a great view of Mt. Katahdin. Or, sign up for a guided canoe or rafting trip.

Fall is one of the best times to be here…no bugs, less people, and full of autumn color! Be ready for wind and cold days though.

Your last stop for groceries and gas is in Millinocket, so be sure to stock up before you make your way to the park. 

All for $11 per person/night! Haven’t seen these amenities for this low price anywhere else in Maine.

First to Review
Camping Cabins with an Incredible View

If you enjoy camping cabins on a lake with a wonderful view of Mt. Katahdin, then this campground is for you. This is 1 of the 3 campgrounds in Baxter that stays open for a bit past the normal season (thru the 3rd week of October).

It even has a small library with the best porch view you’ve ever seen. The cabins are simple and there are just pit toilets, but everything is kept very clean. Rangers are assigned to each campground, so there is always someone to chat with if you have questions or emergencies while in the park. 

You can rent a canoe and gear to paddle on Daicey Pond, or bring your mountain bikes for an awesome ride along well-kept gravel roads. Great hiking options to waterfalls, along the Appalachian Trail, and up to Mt. Katahdin. 

Fall is one of the best times to be here…no bugs, less people, and full of autumn color! Be ready for wind and cold days though.

Your last stop for food and gas is in Millinocket, so be sure to stock up before you make your way to the park. Millinocket is about 18 miles from the main entrance to Baxter State Park. 

Note: Dogs are not allowed in the park, but Katahdin Kritters is a pet boarding facility located in East Millinocket.

The cleanest bathrooms I have ever seen at a campground.

The sites are nice enough, but not a ton of privacy. Ours wasn't very flat so tent camping wasn't very comfortable. Hammocks were fine. The lodge was super cool and the owners were friendly and helpful.