If you are looking for a great summer adventure, consider staying at some campgrounds near Acadia National Park. You can also stay at camps within the park, but you can also find great campgrounds near Acadia with great amenities and even ocean views.
About Acadia National Park in Maine
Acadia National Park is a beautiful park located on Mount Desert Island situated on the coast of Maine.
Mount Desert is pronounced both like it is spelled (as in “desert island”) and like “dessert” with the accent on the second syllable. This is because the island was named by a French navigator who named it “Isles des Monts Desert” in 1604. The accent on the second syllable is the French pronunciation.
The park, located 50 miles from Bangor, Maine, boasts amazing scenic ocean views along with diverse wildlife. It is a great place to bird watch. Birds include spring warblers, sea ducks, hawks, and peregrine falcons. Puffins are nearby on other islands and accessible by boat.
Seals and whales can be spotted via many boat cruises that leave the local area.
The park itself offers many scenic hiking trails. These are categorized by easy, moderate, advanced, and strenuous. The advanced and strenuous trails can have some steep grades and drop-offs, and because of the slippery granite surfaces in the park, hiking Acadia in the winter is not recommended.
Campgrounds in Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park has three campgrounds within the park. These are the Blackwoods Campground, the Seawall Campground, and the Schoodic Woods Campground.
Only Blackwoods Campground is open during the winter, and during that time, only “primitive, walk-in camping” is available.
When you camp inside the park, you will also need to pay park fees as well as camp fees. Note: Park fees may be going up from $25 to $75 – this is just a proposal as of this writing.
Camping in Acadia National Park is quite popular. You need to make reservations far in advance to secure a spot.
3 Campgrounds Near Acadia National Park
If you are unable to secure camping reservations inside the park, you may have better luck outside. Approximately 12 private campgrounds are available on Mount Desert Island. Here are some options:
1. Duck Harbor Campground on Isle au Haut
The Duck Harbor Campground is part of the park system. Located on the nearby (but more remote) island called Isle au Haut, this campground is only accessible by boat. It is open from May 15 to October 15. You have to reserve your spot by mail starting April 1 of each year.
2. Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA
KOA is a well-known campground brand that has been around for decades. It is generally considered to be a safe place to camp that offers a lot of amenities. In other words, it’s a great option for the casual camper who really doesn’t like to “rough it” too much.
The Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA offers oceanside camping on the west side of the island, meaning you can watch beautiful views of the sunset over the water. Amenities include a dog park, fishing, free wi-fi, a snack bar, and optional tour shuttles. The park is located close to the entrance of Acadia National Park.
3. Somes Sound View Campground
Somes Sound View Campground is a dog-friendly campground for people who want to enjoy a nature-filled, quiet stay along the Atlantic Ocean. Open from May 19 to October 16, the campground offers many activities and amenities for guests. These include kayak rentals, paddle boats, saltwater fishing, and a playground.
The campground also offers a heated swimming pool that is free for guests, along with hot showers (these do require paid tokens).
4. Smuggler’s Den Campground
A family-owned campground in business since 1969, Smuggler’s Den Campground offers spots for tents, campers, and RVs. They also have cabins available as well as an on site heated pool complete with a slide for the kids. Hot showers are free, and a coin laundry is available.
While the campground is not on the beach, it is accessible via a 20-minute walk. You can also access the rest of the island with the free Island Explorer Bus service.
Acadia National Park Firewood Warning
Before you arrive at your campground, make sure you don’t bring in any firewood from other locations. Non-native insects that embed themselves in the wood pose a grave threat to Acadia National Park’s natural flora. You can read the National Park Service’s pest alert for more information.
Plan Your Camping Stay at Acadia in Advance
While there are many wonderful campgrounds near Acadia, you still need to plan your trip in advance to take advantage of them. Try to make your reservations as early as possible, so you can enjoy all that Acadia National Park has to offer.