Summer is the perfect time for camping in Maine — but a rustic lakeside site isn’t everyone’s idea of a dream vacation. Here, a sampling of campgrounds and parks to suit many styles.
By the Beach
Hermit Island Campground: This quiet island features six sandy beaches accessible only to campers — and many are just steps from sites. Tents, tent trailers, and truck campers only. 6 Hermit Island Rd., Phippsburg. May–October. 207-443-2101. hermitisland.com
On an Island
Duck Harbor Campground: Ride the ferry to Isle au Haut to camp at one of five coveted sites. Reservation requests by mail-in form only. May 15–October 15. 207-288-3338. nps.gov/acad
In the Mountains
Hastings Campground: 15 sites at the base of Mount Hastings provide easy access to Evans Notch and other hikes in the White Mountain National Forest. May 23–October 13. Rte. 113 near Gilead. 877-444-6777. recreation.gov
Best for Birding
Cobscook Bay State Park: This park is home to more then 200 bird species, including Maine’s highest concentration of bald eagles. Camp in the fall to watch shorebirds stop on their way south. 40 South Edmunds Rd., Edmunds Township. May 15–October 15. 800-332-1501. maine.gov/dacf
Lily Bay State Park: With 90 campsites (some wooded, some waterfront) situated on Moosehead Lake, this campground offers ample opportunity for wildlife watching, boating, fishing, and more. May 15–Columbus Day. 13 Myrle’s Way, Greenville. In season: 207-695-2700. Off-season: 207-491-4014. maine.gov/dacf
Recompence Shore Campground: Camp in tents, RVs, or oceanfront cottages at this coastal campground, which offers boating, fishing, a day camp for children — even WiFi for the constantly connected. Pets are welcome, too. 134 Burnett Rd., Freeport. May 1–October 31. 207-865-9307. freeportcamping.com
Acadia National Park
Blackwoods Campground: Camp out in one of 306 family or group sites in Maine’s national park. Amenities include restrooms, showers, and a stop on the Island Explorer shuttle bus route. Year-round (see website for details). Rte. 3, Bar Harbor. 877-444-6777. nps.gov/acad
Maine backcountry camping is the ultimate adventure — and most sites are first-come, first-serve only. Try a canoe trip along the 92-mile Allagash Wilderness Waterway, where campsites are now marked and viewable on Google Earth. Or take to the ocean on the Maine Island Trail, America’s first water trail (though most sites along this route do not have picnic tables, fire pits, or outhouses). Campers looking to stay on land can pitch a tent on seaside cliffs at the Cutler Coast Preserve Public Lands or hike the seven summits of the Bigelow Preserve in western Maine.
For more Maine campgrounds and information on backcountry camping areas, contact the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (800-332-1501, maine.gov/dacf), the Maine Island Trail Association (207-761-8225, mita.org), or the Maine Campground Owner’s Association (207-782-5874, campmaine.com).