Acadia National Park located in Maine combines two spectacular but unexpected elements; mountains and the sea. The versatile landscape has made the 45,000-acre park a bucket list destination complete with streams, wetlands, forests, beaches, crystal blue water and a wide variety of wildlife. Three breathtaking campgrounds are optimal for immersing yourself in the beauty of Acadia.
On route 3, about 5 miles south of Bar Harbor, Blackwoods is a year-round site with some limitations; RVs will have to come through the route 3 entrance December through March. While there aren’t electric or water hookups, all sites are nestled in the trees, with the rocky coast just a short walk away. Acadia’s main transportation route, Park Loop Road, is also mere steps away from your campsite.
Cadillac Mountain– If you are spending any amount of time in Acadia, you have to make your way to the peak of Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on the eastern coast. The relatively easy going, South Ridge Trail breaks off from the grounds and takes hikers to the smooth mountaintop with breathtaking views of the surrounding islands and harbors.
The Carriage Roads– In 1913, the Carriage Roads were designed for horse and buggy as a means of transportation around Mount Desert Island. Motor vehicles are not permitted along the blueberry lined, gravel paths and granite bridges; bikers, hikers and carriages are able to comfortably navigate to Eagle Lake and Jordan Pond. The pond is situated in front of two mountain tops known as the “Bubbles.” Since the 1800s, travelers have been stopping at the Jordan Pond House for a view of the water and mountains, as well as their world famous popovers with strawberry jam.
Gorham Mountain– Another nearby hike, the Gorham Mountain trail can be steep and rocky. However, the path has unique, natural overhangs, caves and other interesting nooks that keep the walk exciting. The view at the top of Gorham Mountain is well worth the climb and has ample opportunities !
Off Route 102 A, you’ll find Seawall Campground just 4 miles from Southwest Harbor. People come here for a more secluded experience; Blackwoods can sometimes become crowded because of its close proximity to downtown Bar Harbor. While there aren’t any water, sewer or power hookups for your RV, there are flushing toilets, running water and shower facilities within a mile of the campground. Most campsites are meant to accommodate tent campers but there are several campsites which can host RV’s up to 35 feet in length.
Seawall Campground is where you’ll truly be able to unplug; the stars are bright and you can hear the ocean crashing against the rocks from the comfort of your tent or RV.
Cranberry Isles– This cluster of islands is completely separated from the mainland, and can be accessed by hopping aboard the Cranberry Cove Ferry. The ferry can only take passengers; no cars allowed. On the small island there’s a free shuttle and a couple of cozy restaurants to visit during your stay.
Tide Pools– From the grounds, you can walk to the ocean in minutes. During low tide, pools of sea water collect in rock crevices, leaving hermit crabs, starfish and other sea life stranded but alive until the tide rolls back in. It’s a great way to see some cool things up close and be able to capture some great photos of aquatic life.
The Common Good Soup Kitchen– This non-profit cafe serves soft, warm popovers through the summer, and hot soups during the winter. You are only expected to leave a donation for your food; donations are what allow the volunteer-based restaurant to provide for those in need. It is a great way to get a cheap meal and give to those in need.
Schoodic Woods Campground
A 6 mile road loops around the Schoodic peninsula; RVs are permitted only on the section of Schoodic Loop Road that accesses the campground. If you are wanting to be able to see the entire Schoodic loop, you will need to bring a small car, bike or just a good pair of walking shoes.
Schoodic Peninsula comprises the only mainland part of Acadia National Park and features some of the most astonishing views Acadia has to offer. Schoodic Woods Campground is a recent addition, but still blends well with the area. Don’t forget to stop by the cozy information cabin to pick up your trail maps, activities list, take part in a guided tour or stock up on some snacks.
Buck Cove Mountain Trail– Just over 3 miles, this route passes numerous caves and mountains, ultimately guiding hikers to Schoodic Head, a 440-foot elevation. Birds, beautiful foliage and other wildlife accent this trail.
Lower Harbor Trail- This is a great beginner’s hike at 1.5 miles. The coastline hike is pretty and relaxing, a nice wind down from more difficult routes.
Winter Harbor– Named many years ago because of the water’s inability to freeze over, Winter Harbor is a quaint, classic fishing village. Scallop draggers and lobstering boats still fill the waters of this timeless town. Grindstone Neck is an area with incredible views of various islands and lighthouses; you’ll also find a shop selling smoked salmon, mussels, shrimp and trout as well as smoked cheese spreads. Try the horseradish-cheddar, it’s sure to jumpstart your tastebuds!
Acadia National Park has a lot to offer and at times, it can seem to be a lot to take in, but these three campgrounds in Acadia are spectacular and provide excellent launching points for your next New England adventure!