Heed the call of Maine’s great outdoors, and you might just be surprised by what you find. From exclusive-use canvas tents pitched on wooded mountainsides to family-friendly camping resorts by the ocean, this state has it all. Here are eight of the Pine Tree State’s best-in-show campsites, whether you’re flying solo or traveling in a pack while camping in Maine.
On the shores of Millinocket Lake, amid the cloud-topped summits of the Maine Highlands, lies Big Moose. Campers can gorge on views of Mount Katahdin, the state’s highest mountain, from the campgrounds, and the wilds of Baxter State Park are only a 15-minute drive away. Sate appetites piqued by the fresh mountain air at the on-site restaurant, Loose Moose Bar & Grill, which dishes up hearty home-made American bar food, including beer-battered haddock burgers and steak and cheese subs.
At the Pleasant Mountain Stream Camp, you can paddle in the cool waters of the nearby spring-fed mountain stream, hike the forested trails throughout the mountainside retreat’s 33 acres (13ha) or embrace the solitude of your private campsite and curl up with a good book on the tent’s deck. The queen-size bunk bed makes this little spot ideal for outdoorsy families.
This top-rated Oxford County newcomer promises modern, well-maintained bathroom blocks, open green space and warm country hospitality, courtesy of sixth-generation Andover residents Tom and Corie Learned. Some of the sites back onto the banks of the Ellis River, while others boast views of the soft peaks of the Western Maine Mountains. Quad-biking enthusiasts can exploit the immediate access to an extensive ATV trail network, and the owner-operators run dedicated equestrian trails, too.
It’s not just the great outdoors that beckons at this York County hideaway. The chocolate-box town of Cornish, with its glut of antique stores, galleries, cafes and a traditional sugar shack, is only an eight-minute drive away. When you’ve stocked up on provisions and finished perusing the Maple Street stores, head to the nearby Sawyer Mountain Trail where deer, moose and even bears roam.
Welcome to the height of seclusion. Take a seat in your Adirondack chair on your private timber deck, and survey your new kingdom where the vast glassy lakes of Western Maine meet the Presidential Range of New Hampshire. By day, hike the Pleasant Mountain trail network where you might spy deer, wild turkeys and hawks among the wildflowers and woods. At night, turn off your flashlights, and take in the vast canopy of stars sparkling in the clean mountain air above your tent.
Run by attentive host Trudy in the thick of Maine’s backcountry, this prime little spot is ideal for a romantic getaway for two. Set among giant maple trees, just a 15-minute walk from the crest of Streaked Mountain, this Tentrr site overlooks a meadow full of blueberries and ferns. Wake up to the sound of birdsong, and drift off to the sounds of silence.
This long-standing Scarborough resort has made the honor roll for family-friendly camping in Maine. There are basketball and sand volleyball courts for a spot of intergenerational competition, golf cart rentals for careening around the sprawling complex and no less than three on-site fishing ponds for budding (or pro) little anglers. Each shady, sun-dappled pitch comes with a firepit and a picnic table. When you feel like you’ve exhausted the resort’s pools and hot tubs (unlikely), the ocean isn’t even a mile away.
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