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Jackman, 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.

Camp Perfect!

Camp Perfect is what we nicknamed this spot along the Western Penobscot River. It’s missing a sign, but clearly marked on the map as a camp spot. Although this is backcountry camping, these spots each have a picnic table, an established fire ring, and a very clean pit toilet (bring your own TP though).  There are bears and moose in the area, so come prepared with a bear proof container to keep your food safe.

We loved it so much, we stayed 2 nights and explored the stream nearby, swam in the bend of the river that offered a perfect swimming hole, and watched the gorgeous sunsets.   A truly gorgeous spot!

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 along the Golden Road, pay a daily access fee, and daily camping fee. And, then there’s the shuttle. 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.

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.

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.

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 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!

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!

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!

Off Grid

Nice little camping area. Plenty secluded and very off grid. Great fishing and amazing access to the water. You can drive in or boat in. Not a bad area, great for an off grid style fishing trip but that’s about it.

Great campsite

My daughter and I stayed there last Friday night and shared the site with some wonderful people. Site was quiet and really felt like one was “in” the Maine woods. 4 platforms and a privy. “Water source” for the site had dried up when we got there but there was just enough flow on a spring that crossed the trail about 100 ft north of the site. Beautiful! 4 out of 5 only because the privy seat was “dirty” if you will, but not full. Awesome weekend! Thank you MATC.

Wonderful remote camping area

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

Amazing in all aspects!

Nestled in western Maine just past Sugarloaf ski mountain lies Cathedral Pines. When you arrive you will appreciate the name. Running alongside beautiful Flagstaff lake this campsite offers something for everyone. Beautiful sunrises over the Bigelow mountains, hikes along the Appalachian Trail, bike trails, kayaking, canoeing, swimming , fishing and the ability to just huddle around the fire with a book! You can even take a short drive to the Canadian border or visit the numerous antique shops along the way in town.

There is a kids activity center where planned activities are always a hit. There is even an arcade for the kids if weather is bad. Spacious sites, some with power and water and some without. A winding maze of paved roads intertwine thru the woods. Perfect for the kids and adults alike to bike!

I am partial to waterfront sites because I love being the first up to start coffee and watch the sun rise and morning break. I've also stayed inside the campground more away from the water and have no complaints. All the facilities are meticulously cleaned and the staff are amazing!

Every year when the few families we camp with get together to pick our campgrounds and dates, it's always when are we going to Cat Pines, not will we go.

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.

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.

Out of the way but worth every mile

Fantastic camp ground. I was there end of May into the first few days of June. Staff was very helpful when I was asking about different fishing spots and how to get there. Camp sites were decent size, and about 1/3 are close to the water. A few recommendations I have if you are going. Bring everything you need with you, do your food shopping on the way. Greenville is maybe 15 miles away, the quickest way is a logging road, conditions of the logging roads can vary. Having the Maine Gazzetteer was super helpful finding my way around the logging roads. If you are looking for a camp ground but off the beaten trail look no further.

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.

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.

More Glamp less Camp

Good campground for older adults. Not much in the way camping as much as it’s a community. Good for family visits, they do events for families like cookouts and dances. Very well maintained and super nice staff.

Family Fun

Amazing campground, well maintained. Clean facilities and good family oriented place. Convenient for hiking, fishing or a nice drive. Have been going since I was a young boy, have always enjoyed it. Lake access is great!

Great place for families

Great place for families. Game room, pool, you can walk a holiday if you would like. Great entertainment on the weekends. Clean bathrooms and up to date. Friendly campers. Baked bean suppers sold on Saturday night.

Alittle extreme on how they choose seasonals.

Great for peeps who love to fish

No power or sewer hook ups. Brought our own generator.

Beautiful views. Some near the ponds and some in the woods.

Greatplace to stay and travel to Canada.

Want to really get away?

This is a great campground if you’re looking for a quiet place that’s mostly off the grid. Just a few miles away from the Canadian border in Western Maine, this campground was exactly what a group of us were looking for. We grabbed two sites right on the pond which were spacious and had water available. There are showers and toilets at a central bath house that were newly built and nice. There are also outhouses closer to the sites that were also on the newer side. Campground host was very accommodating. Definitely a place we plan to go back to!

Enjoyable

Geat place for kids,clean, nice lake, swimming, playground, paved roads!

Great Place to be

This campground is a little off the beaten path but it is worth it in our opinion.

We discovered it while on a motorcycle trip 2 years ago. It was a great find. We visited it again last summer of 2018.

The lake is about a 5 minute walk from the campgroud, but, what a beautiful lake it is. Some great water activity included.

We are from Montreal and our canadian funds were accepted at par. Considering the value of our dollar to the US dollar made this a frugal choice.

The town of Kingsfield if close, about a 10 min ride maybe less. But for bikers its nothing as we love to ride anywhere no matter the distance. lol.

We recommend this campground.

However, it is not a KOA style place. It's rustic and friendly.