11 Best Camping Areas In and Near Acadia National Park

By Joshua Davis •  Updated: 08/17/22 •  12 min read

One of America’s top 10 most visited parks, Acadia National Park is a jewel on the Maine coast. The park’s Mount Desert Island offers visitors stunning views of crashing waves on rocky cliffs, granite mountains, and lakes and ponds nestled among pristine forests.

View of Acadia National Park from the summit of Cadillac Mountain

Of its 47,000 acres, 35,332 are owned and stewarded by the National Park Service which monitors and protects the park’s delicate ecosystems as well as its 158 miles of hiking trails, 3 campgrounds, and 5 lean-to shelters.

These campgrounds fill up quickly; however, there are also numerous private campgrounds and RV parks near Acadia National Park for those looking for more amenities or who were unable to snag a reservation.

Here are the best camping options, both in and near Acadia National Park.

Best Camping in Acadia National Park

There are three campgrounds in Acadia National Park: Seawall, Blackwoods, and Schoodic Woods which comprise of 572 total campsites. A fourth, secluded campground, Duck Harbor, provides 5 additional lean-to shelters for those looking for a more secluded camping experience.

The 4 main campgrounds in Acadia National Park. Courtesy of the NPS.

All sites must be reserved in advance and same-day reservations are not offered. Currently, reservations are accepted within a 60-day rolling window. Visit the park’s campground pages to check availability and make your reservations.

1. Schoodic Woods Campground (The Campground with Most Amenities)

Opened in 2015, Schoodic Woods is Acadia’s newest campground and the only one on the mainland.

Although roughly the size of the Blackwoods Campground, all that space is shared by only a third of the number of sites as Blackwoods. Couple that elbow room with the nice division between sites provided by tall spruce trees and you have some seclusion not often found in a developed campground.

It’s located three miles (4 minutes) southeast of Winter Harbor and 43 miles (about 1 hour) from Bar Harbor, on a peninsula that offers dramatic views of the ocean.

The campground has 94 sites, including 37 in Loop A (for cars, vans, and RVs) and 30 in Loop B (for RVs only). All have picnic tables and fire rings, and there are flush toilets and potable water nearby.

There are also nine hike-in campsites, including some with ocean views. Fires are prohibited at hike-in campsites unless using a stove with containerized fuel.

The Island Explorer Shuttle offers free trips to Schoodic Peninsula and Winter Harbor from June through October.

There are also 8.5 miles of bike paths near the campground, plus a new hiking trail to the top of Schoodic Head, the highest point on the peninsula.

2. Seawall Campground (The Quietest Developed Campground)

If you’re looking for a campsite that is within short walking distance of the coastline,

then Seawall Campground is the place for you. With over 200 wooded sites available, this campground is perfect for those wanting to explore the southern “quiet side” of Mount Desert Island.

There are a few things to keep in mind before heading to Seawall Campground:

-The campground can only accommodate RVs that are 35 feet long or less.

-There are no showers available at Seawall, but there are pay showers located one mile from the campground.

-The Island Explorer Shuttle makes regular stops at Seawall Campground from June through September.

-Walk-to sites range from 10-300 feet from the parking lot. Wheelbarrows have been thoughtfully provided for transporting camping gear from the car to your site.

In addition, the Island Explorer bus stops at Seawall Campground and travels to Bar Harbor (18 miles; 30 minutes), where visitors can connect to other shuttles to explore the eastern side of Mount Desert Island.

If you’re looking for a beautiful and quiet spot to set up camp in Acadia National Park, then head to Seawall Campground. Just remember to make a reservation in advance, as this popular campground fills up quickly!

3. Blackwoods Campground (The Most Conveniently Located Campground)

Due to its idyllic location in the heart of Acadia National Park, just 6 miles south of Bar Harbor, and its proximity to the best hiking trails and points of interest (like Cadillac Mountain), Blackwoods Campground is the most popular camping spot in Acadia.

Scoring a reservation in Blackwoods means that you’ll be able to visit Acadia’s most popular spots early in the day before the crowds hit!

It is also the only campground that is open year-round. Reservations can be made up to 2 months in advance.

Each campsite is wooded and within a short stroll from the coastline. Each has a picnic table and fire ring, with flush toilets and running water nearby.

The only downside is that there are no showers on-site, but pay-to-use showers are available a half-mile from the campground at Otter Creek.

Pets are permitted at Blackwoods Campground, but they must be leashed or caged at all times. There is also limited cell service in the area.

If you’re looking for the best camping experience in Acadia National Park, look no further than Blackwoods Campground. With its proximity to the best sights, trails, and coastline, it’s the perfect spot to set up camp and explore all that Acadia has to offer.

4. Duck Harbor Campground (Most Secluded Campground)

The closest thing to backcountry camping in Acadia National Park can be found on the Isle au Haut 16 miles southwest of the main park and Mount Desert Island.

And you can only reach it by mailboat …

… and, no, your car and pets can’t come along (except for day hiking).

To get to the Duck Harbour Campground, meet the mailboat in Stonington, ME at least a half-hour before one of their scheduled departure times. Ferry reservations are not accepted; so, you’ll want to grab your spot aboard early.

Also, keep your eye on the boat’s schedule to determine whether it will take you all the way to Duck Harbour or just to Isle au Haut Town Landing. From the Town Landing, you’ll need to be prepared to hike in 4-5 miles to your campsite.

Duck Harbor Campground offers a more primitive camping experience than the previous three listed. It has only five sites, each with a lean-to shelter, a fire ring, and a picnic table.

There are three composting toilets at the campground and a hand pump for water 0.3 miles away.

Even though amenities are scarce, you can have an unforgettable experience camping in Acadia National Park. It is a beautiful location to explore by mountain bike, kayak, or on foot and provides those fortunate enough to reserve a spot a paradisical wilderness experience.

One downside is the mosquitoes in summer. Come prepared with protective clothing and repellant.

Campsite reservations can be made for the season on a 7-month rolling basis starting April 1 at 10 am EST. You’ll need to be quick to nail down a site as they can fill up for the year within a matter of minutes. Maximum stay lengths are limited to 3 nights once per season.

Best Camping Near Acadia National Park

Just because you can’t nail down a reservation in Acadia National Park proper, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all that the region has to offer. There’s a healthy smattering of privately-run campgrounds located on Mount Desert Island that make for great alternative options.

Here are some of the best bets:

1. Smuggler’s Den Campground

A well-equipped and maintained campground since 1969, Smuggler’s Den is one of the more family-friendly private campgrounds near Acadia.

Situated on 18 acres in Southwest Harbor, it’s only a 15-20 minute drive to the main attractions in Acadia National Park. They offer over 100 RV and tent camping sites, with full hookups, cable TV, Wi-Fi, clean showers and bathrooms, a heated pool, and other resort-style amenities.

Even if you don’t want to make the drive into the national park, access to 25 miles of hiking trails, Echo Lake Beach, and Sand Beach are available directly from the campground,s property.

2. Bar Harbour Campground

It’s not too often you come across an award-winning campground that allow you to just roll in and pick a spot, even one with an expansive ocean view.

In fact, they don’t take reservations (or even credit cards) at all!

That’s right, Bar Harbor Campground is a first-come, first-serve type of place with all the makings of a great camping trip. And it’s dang close to Acadia National Park’s entrance as well as all the attractions of Bar harbor.

They have over 200 RV and tent sites with water and electric hookups as well as clean showers and bathrooms. The campground also has a heated pool, Wi-Fi, and a playground for the kiddos.

Just across the street is a public beach where you can enjoy stunning views of Acadia National Park’s Cadillac Mountain.

3. Mount Desert Campground

Located in the heart of Mount Desert Island on the northern tip of Somes Sound, Mount Desert Campground is just minutes away from Acadia National Park.

This campground is a bit more rustic, but in a good way that preserves the wilderness feel of their location. They have RV (max 20 ft.) and tent sites with water and electric hookups, as well as clean showers and bathrooms.

Many of the sites are waterfront that, at low tide, essentially have their own private beaches and, because the developers kept them generously spaced, the sense of solitude is greater here than in most other campgrounds.

4. Somes Sound View Campground

Southwest across the sound lies a campground built around an old granite quarry and nestled among hardwood and evergreen forest.

Somes Sound View Campground has RV (max 30 ft.) and tent sites with water and electric hookups as well as clean showers and bathrooms.

There are also cabins available for those who want a little more comfort on their camping trip. The campground is situated directly on Somes Sound, providing stunning views and easy access for swimming, canoeing, and kayaking.

In addition, the location is ideal for day trips into Acadia National Park as well as exploring the local towns of Southwest Harbor and Northeast Harbor.

5. Bass Harbor Campground

Way down on Mount Desert Islands southern tip lies Bass Harbor Campground, a quiet and remote camping option that’s still close enough to Acadia National Park for day trips.

They have RV (max 27 ft.) and tent sites with water and electric hookups, as well as clean showers and bathrooms. Yurts and cabins are also available.

A small heated pool, sparsely equipped rec room and aging playground are also provided.

6. Quietside Campground and Cabins

A bit northwest of Bass Harbor is Quietside Campground and Cabins, a family-operated business that’s been around for over 50 years.

A virtue of this campground is that they are actually in the process of reducing the number of available sites to increase the peace and solitude of camping with them.

With an emphasis on experiencing camping in its simplest form, you won’t find full RV accommodations here; however, 30-AMP and water hookups (no sewer or dump service) for RVs 22 feet and shorter are available.

Their tent sites, non-electric cabins, and “Hobbit Huts” are immersed in Maine’s natural coastal surroundings and are a nice break from the over-developed and crowded campgrounds that dominate the area.

It’s truly a pleasant, green camping experience!

7. Hadley’s Point Campground

Located on Mount Desert Island’s northernmost point, Hadley’s Point Campground is a family-friendly option with all the amenities you need for a comfortable camping trip.

From primitive tent sites to cabins, to full-hookup RV pads, Hadley’s Point offers any type of camping. Complete with a full arsenal of amenities such as laundry, restrooms, showers, trash and recycling collection, propane, and sports court, this campground will make you feel right at home.

But the best part of Hadley’s Point is its proximity to Acadia National Park. The campground is adjacent to a park entrance and is only a short drive or bike ride to the many hiking trails, scenic lookouts, and beaches that the park has to offer.

So, What Are You Waiting For?

Seriously, if you’re going to snag a camping spot in Acadia National Park, you need to act fast. The demand is high and the season is short, so don’t wait too long to make your reservation and scratch this park off your travel map.

Now that you know a bit more about each of the campgrounds in and around Acadia National Park, it’s time to start planning your trip! Whether you’re looking for a remote and quiet camping experience or one with all the amenities of home, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for your needs.

Oh, and if you need some great insider information from an authority on Acadia National Park, check out James Kaiser’s Acadia: The Complete Guide: Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island.

Happy camping!

Now, get out there!

Joshua Davis

Being outdoors is freedom! Being outdoors with my wife and two boys is LIVING! Whether in my backyard or getting lost in a National Park, there’s nothing I’d rather do than explore, discover, and experience the paradise that surrounds us. Give me my family, a backpack, and a trail and my life is full!