From the rugged terrain of Mount Katahdin to the family-friendly hiking trails of Peaks-Kenny State Park, Maine is a dream for lovers of the great outdoors. There are also world-class fishing spots, dramatic rocky coastline, and the granite islands of Acadia National Park. There’s no better way to experience such natural wonders than by pitching a tent. This is our pick of the best places to go camping in Maine, USA.
The Appalachian Trail is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world, stretching 2,193mi (3,529km) through 14 states, from Maine to Georgia. Unsurprisingly, it’s no small undertaking. The overall elevation gain and loss is 464,500ft (141,500m); that’s the equivalent of hiking Mount Everest from sea level and back 16 times, and it takes five to seven months to complete. Maine is home to the most challenging sections of the Trail, including Mount Katahdin and Mahoosuc Notch. Looking for a nearby campsite? Naughty Pines makes an excellent base for hikers.
Run by avid backpackers Jennifer and Barry, this off-grid escape in an idyllic setting makes an excellent base for hiking the Appalachian Trail or Borestone Mountain. The campsite is set on the shores of the pristine Wilson Stream, and there’s a pretty swimming hole at the base of Little Wilson Falls just 1.5mi (2.4km) away. Go kayaking or canoeing in the Moosehead Lake region to the north, or head to the nearby town of Monson for an acclaimed barbecue at Spring Creek Bar-B-Q, or fine dining at the Quarry.
White Mountain National Forest, in western Maine and stretching into eastern New Hampshire, is a sublime combination of mountainous hardwood forests and snow-covered peaks. There are pristine lakes and streams, 1,200mi (1,938km) of hiking trails, 400mi (644km) of snowmobile trails, as well as the opportunity for skiing in the winter months. Stay at one of the 23 developed campgrounds, or head further afield; Clemons Pond Farm is just 40 minutes away by car, and has two comfortable Tentrr campsites that cater to couples and families.
This lakefront campsite at the historic 900-acre (364ha) Clemons Pond Farm, in the foothills of the White Mountains, is hidden away in the woods and surrounded by pines and blueberries, just above Little Clemons Pond. Equipped with a queen-size bed in a canvas Tentrr tent, the site is ideal for couples in search of a romantic getaway. Go fishing or kayaking in the wild Little Clemons Pond (kayaks and lifejackets are available for free) or head to the nearby Big Clemens for swimming.
The second lakefront campsite at Clemons Pond Farm is ideal for family camping trips. The canvas tent boasts a queen-size bunk bed, and is located by the sandbar of Big Clemons Pond, which offers excellent swimming and kayaking opportunities. Campkeepers Ellen and Andy offer guests the free use of kayaks, life jackets, and firewood, and you can purchase sleep sets of bedding; at the end of the trip, you can either take them home or donate them to a local charity. There’s also a fully-lit and enclosed toilet on-site.
This enormous state park, in the northeast of Maine, encompasses 209,644 acres (84,840ha) of the most rugged terrain in the state. It’s named after philanthropist Percival P. Baxter, who made it his life’s goal to protect this landscape. There are 215mi (346km) of trails, including several on the popular yet challenging Mount Katahdin. If you’re looking for an easier trail, try one near Togue Pond Gate or Matagamon Gate. There are 337 campsites in the park; nearby sites, such as Katahdin Woods and Waters, offer access to many of the other parks in the region.
This private pondside getaway, in the northeast of Maine, is the perfect basecamp for exploring some of the best trails around. It’s an hour from Bangor, two hours west of Acadia National Park, half an hour from Baxter State Park, and an hour and a half from the Roaring Brook trailhead to Katahdin. If you fancy cruising along the National Monument Roads instead, you can rent an electric mountain bike from Campkeeper Mark. Alternatively, take a dip in the private pond followed by a game of disc golf on the 12-hole course.
The Central Maine Highlands is abundant with natural beauty; Peaks-Kenny State Park, on the shores of Sebec Lake, is at the very heart of that. The 839-acre (340ha) park is a dream for hikers and campers, with 10mi (16km) of easy, family-friendly trails winding through old-growth hardwood and pine forests. Sebec Lake is also ideal for families, with a lifeguard on duty in the summer months, and the opportunity for swimming, boating and fishing. Moosehead Lake, the Appalachian Trail, and Baxter State Park are all within easy reach for a day trip.
The main campground at Peaks-Kenny State Park boasts 56 quiet sites, amidst mature trees and glacial boulders near the lake. They include luxurious Tentrr canvas tents complete with queen-size beds and private picnic areas. The highlight of a stay here is the opportunity to go for a dip in Sebec Lake; alternatively, rent a canoe or kayak to explore the shoreline. Fancy a meal in town? Dover-Foxcroft is just a 15-minute drive from the campsite, and is home to restaurants like the family-friendly Charlie’s.
Downeast Maine has a dramatically rocky shoreline, scenic harbors, and mountains with expansive ocean views from their summit. The oceanfront Lamoine State Park offers easy access to the whole area, including Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park and the nearby islands. In the park itself, pitch a tent on the campground, explore by boat, then go hiking and fishing. Although the season closes October 15th each year, the park is open year-round if you want to experience the peaceful winter landscape.
Want to enjoy the natural wonders of Downeast Maine away from the crowds of Acadia National Park? Set up camp at Lamoine State Park. Located approximately half an hour from Bar Harbor, it offers easy access to the nearby rockbound islands and lighthouses, which are around 45 minutes away. The Tentrr canvas tent is located on a grassy hill overlooking a picnic area on the shore of Eastern Bay, and can sleep up to four people in bunks. There’s also a cozy wood-burning stove.
The western mountains are a consistently popular region, and this 869-acre (351ha) park showcases everything it has to offer: think watersports, hiking, picnicking and wildlife. And then, of course, there’s the catch and release fishing on the 10sqmi (26sqkm) lake itself. The main campground has 50 campsites amongst spruce and fir trees, as well as a children’s play area, restrooms and hot showers. If you crave something more isolated, stay at the Tentrr site near South Cove.
Keen fishers will love this small, secluded campsite in the heart of Rangeley Lake State North Woods. The campsite features a Tentrr canvas tent with wooden deck, queen bed and wood burner, and it’s a conveniently short walk from parking. The nearby Rangeley Lake South Cove is ideal for fishing and paddling. Outside the park, you’ll find a number of ATV trails to explore, while the town of Rangeley is just a 10-minute drive from the campsite.
This small town in the Mid-Coast region of Maine is home to Damariscotta Lake State Park: a popular spot for swimming, canoeing and picnicking. The large, sandy lakeside beach is great for families as there’s generally a lifeguard on duty. However, it can get crowded. If you want to stay somewhere a bit more secluded but remain close enough to explore the town and park, head to the Journeys End Field of Dreams campsite, which is conveniently located just 3mi (4.8km) away.
If you’re looking for a campsite in Maine that’s easy to get to, but feels a world away from the everyday, check out Journeys End Field of Dreams. Located on a working farm, there’s 50 acres (20ha) of woods to explore and a riding trail. For swimming and picnicking, it’s just 3mi (4.8km) to Damariscotta Lake Park, and you can rent kayaks and take a river cruise in the nearby town of Damariscotta. Take note: you’ll need to park the car and hike into the campsite, but the friendly Campkeeper Jamie is on hand to help out with the gator if needed. He also has a gas grill, a six-man tent, bedding, and firewood available to rent.
Just a short drive from Freeport, Bradbury Mountain State Park is the only state park in southern Maine with shared-use trails for horseback riders, mountain bikers and snowmobilers. There’s also plenty of hiking trails, including several leading to the summit of Bradbury Mountain, and lots of spots for picnicking and camping on these 800 acres (324ha) of forested land. In spring, you’ll be able to catch the annual hawk migration; from mid-March to mid-May, the annual Hawk Watch takes place.
If you’re planning a trip to Bradbury Mountain State Park, accommodation doesn’t get more convenient than this. The site is located near a number of hiking trails that converge at the summit of Bradbury Mountain, which offers dramatic views over Casco Bay and the Portland, Maine, skyline. It’s set up for six campers, making it ideal for families or groups of friends. There are canvas Tentrr tents with comfy queen-size beds, alongside everything else you need for the perfect camping trip. All you need to bring is bedding.
This beautiful, 5,710-acre (2,311ha) public recreation area has much to offer. Think panoramic views of Camden Harbor, hiking, harbor cruises, whale and puffin watching, mountain biking, and camping. You can also enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Challenge yourself with a 1.1mi (1.8km) hike to the peak of Mount Battie; you’ll be rewarded with wildflowers and impressive views over the Atlantic. Looking for a bite to eat? Head to the nearby towns of Rockport and Rockland or, for a special occasion, book a table at the award-winning Natalie’s at Camden Harbour Inn.
This secluded campsite is ideally located to enjoy everything the area has to offer. Hike the extensive network of trails, then dine at one of the many restaurants in nearby Camden, Rockport or Rockland. The campsite is ideal for families and includes a Tentrr set-up with a canvas tent, queen-size bunk beds, fire pit, campfire grill and picnic tables. You’ll also be able to use the Park facilities, including showers, flushing toilets and water.
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