Best Campgrounds in Maine

The Pine Tree State has a lot more going for it than trees. It's also home to some of the nation's best hiking trails and most beautiful camping spots. Discover our top picks in this definitive guide to the best camping in Maine.

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Best Camping in Maine

Looking for some of the top campgrounds in Maine?

You’re in the right place! In this guide, we will be covering the following:

    • Our pick of the ten best campgrounds Maine has to offer
    • Some of the features each campground offers
    • Recommend National Park and other beauty spots near Maine campgrounds to visit

Also known as the Pine Tree State, Maine is famous for its spectacular, rocky coastline, heavily forested interior, rolling mountains, and pretty waterways. “Vacationland” is also renowned for its lobster and clams, which are caught fresh and served in the many beachfront cafes and bars that pepper the coast.

The climate in Maine is mostly humid, including around coastal areas. Summers are long and balmy, making this a perfect location for a camping vacation. You can enjoy beachside camping at points along the state’s 3,478 miles of coastline, including islets, peninsulas, and deserted sandy beaches just waiting to be explored. 

Alternatively, head into the National Parks to check out nature at its best along the Appalachian Trail amid majestic granite escarpments and fragrant pine forests.

Right across Maine, you’ll find over 100 well-equipped campgrounds that offer a dazzling array of summertime occupations, such as trails, forts, and lighthouses to visit, historical sites, beautiful beaches, shore fishing, and wildlife watching.

We’ve found ten of the best camping locations that the Pine Tree State has to offer visitors. Whether you’re going camping for a weekend or a week, Maine has something to offer everyone!

Top 10 Campgrounds in Maine

Cobscook Bay State Park, Maine
Photo by Rich Bard / CC BY-ND 2.0

Cobscook Bay State Park, Dennysville

Cobscook Bay State Park (here) is just about the most unusual park in Maine, having an incredible tidal range of around 24 to 28 feet on average.

The area is also fabulous for those who love to explore. Check out the craggy shoreline and the rivers and streams that feed it. The nutrient-rich waters of the Gulf of Maine stimulate the growth of plankton, which in turn feeds a vast array of sea and land animals that you can observe from one of over 100 camping spots dotted along the shoreline. At low tide, you can dig for softshell clams or spend your days’ birdwatching in nearby Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge among wildflowers in the woodlands and meadows. 

Here, you’ll find Adirondack shelters, sites for RVs over 35’, and small pop-up tents for those who prefer to travel light or backpack.

Sebago Lake State Park, Maine

Sebago Lake State Park, Casco

Sebago Lake State Park is located in southern Maine and is the largest park in that part of the state.

The park opened in 1938 and is one of the original five state parks in Maine. The parkland is forested and sits on the shores of Maine’s second-largest, deepest lake. Lake Sebago was created millennia ago by the passage of ancient glaciers and rivers and today provides a 45-acre recreation facility for thousands of visitors every year. 

The park is located close to the foothills of the beautiful White Mountains and includes a stunning array of environments for visitors to explore across its 1,400 acres, including sandy beaches, bogs, a river, ponds, and extensive woodlands. Popular summer vacation activities here include sport fishing, swimming, and boating. Also, there’s plenty of biking and hiking trails and park roads.

There are over 250 sites, including both non-reservable and reservable areas, many of which have electric hook-ups and water. Note that you’ll need to book reservable sites for at least four nights from mid-May through mid-September, during the official camping season.

Natanis Point Campground, Coburn Gore

Natanis Point Campground is located (here) in Coburn Gore in the Chain of Ponds, adjacent to the border with neighboring Canada. 

Many of the 61 spacious campsites at this breathtakingly beautiful location lie directly on the waterfront, although it isn’t only the lake that makes this location wonderful. Site owners, Tasha and Bob, will help you to arrange a local hunting guide if that’s your thing, and they will also offer ATVs for use in and around the immediate area.

Natanis Point offers you an authentic wilderness camping experience if that’s what you crave. Whether you want to relax by your campfire or participate in some of the numerous activities that are on offer here, you’ll find something to please. There’s a secluded campsite too that’s only accessible by canoe or boat.

Bradbury Mountain State Park, Maine
Photo by Paul VanDerWerf / CC BY 2.0

Bradbury Mountain State Park, Pownal

Bradbury Mountain State Park in southern Maine is located (here) in Pownal and is one of the original five state parks that were founded in 1939 by the Federal government.

The campground offers visitors with access to an extensive network of trails to explore, including spectacular views from the summit of the mountain. For those less energetic visitors, the shady canopy of trees provides plenty of perfect picnic spots.

There are 35 campsites here that have access to showers, restrooms, drinking water, a dishwashing station, and telephone. The sites can accommodate everything from pop-up tents to 35’ RVs. All the facilities here are handicap accessible. Be aware that all the sites must be reserved in advance.

Baxter State Park, Maine

Baxter State Park, Millinocket

Baxter State Park is located (here) in Millinocket, northern Maine.

This location is one for those of you who want a backcountry camping experience that’s close to nature and takes you right away from the noise and crowds of the city. There are 337 campsites to choose from, including two backcountry camping spots. One of those sites requires a three-mile hike from the Roaring Brook campsite to the Chimney Rock site. 

Here, you’ll find nine lean-tos and a ten-person bunkhouse. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you can stay at the other backcountry site of Russell Pond. To get to this site, you need to undertake a relatively strenuous hike of around seven miles from Roaring Brook. There are five lean-tos, three tent sites, and an eight-person bunkhouse.

As this is a backcountry, wilderness camping experience, there are some essentials that you must bring with you, including

  • Potable water (there is no drinking water provided here)
  • Cooking equipment. You can cook on a Coleman-style stove on your porch or the picnic table provided outside your cabin. All cabins may use the fireplace that’s located on the lawn.
  • Flashlight
  • Bedding (mattresses are provided)
  • Dishes and cooking utensils
  • Dishwashing equipment
  • Bucket for washing-up

No trash facilities are provided, so you must be prepared to take all your garbage with you when you leave.

You are not allowed to bring pets into the park. The trails are not suitable for large vehicles, including RVs. You must not bring firewood into the park, as it could transport pests into the local area. Generators are not permitted; the park is a quiet place!

Lily Bay State Park, Maine

Lily Bay State Park, Beaver Cove

Lily Bay State Park is located (here) in Beaver Cove. Some of the campsites here are on the shores of beautiful Moosehead Lake while most are in woodland nearby. The sites are well-spaced for your privacy and peace. Beaver Cove provides visitors with access to the central Maine region, where you can enjoy boating, hunting, swimming pool, fishing, hiking trails, and leaf-peeping all year round. 

Moosehead Lake is the largest lake in New England, set in a basin created by glacial activity and covering an area of 117 square miles. The lake is home to brook trout, togue, and landlocked salmon. The area is famous for its moose, but you also stand a good chance of seeing deer, bear, and many other wild animals during your stay.

The most spectacular mountain peak in the region is Mt. Kineo, which rises right out of the lake’s center. The mountain’s cliffs tower a full 800 feet above the water and have to be seen to be appreciated. The park is open during the winter too, and visitors can enjoy snowmobiling, ice-fishing, and cross-country skiing through a magical, wintry landscape.

Campsites here can accommodate 35’ RVs through to small pop-up tents. Note that most of the campsites must be reserved in advance.

Warren Island State Park, Penobscot Bay, Maine

Warren Island State Park, Penobscot Bay

Warren Island State Park is located (here) in Penobscot Bay.

Warren Island State Park provides the opportunity to visit a serene location that can only be accessed by private boat. If you want somewhere remote and peaceful to enjoy some quality time with your loved ones, this could be the perfect vacation location for you.

There are 12 camping sites on the island. Camping is primarily tent-only, although there are two Adirondack shelters available too. Campsites must be pre-reserved, which you can do via the link posted above.

If you want to double up your trip, then a visit to Acadia National Park is a little bit of island hoping away.

Hermit Island, Maine

Hermit Island, Phippsburg

Hermit Island is located (here) in Phippsburg.

The campground was opened in 1952, and since then, many generations of visitors have adored the island. The place is mostly unchanged since it first opened. The pace of daily life is slow; accommodations are rustic, and everything is in tune with the natural environment.

The island has 271 campsites spread right across its southernmost region, and each site is unique. Tents, truck campers, and pop-up trailers up to 25’ are all welcome, but hard-topped campers and RVs are not permitted. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed here.

There’s a snack bar where you’ll find a pool table, a few video games, two outdoor ping-pong tables, and a sand volleyball court for the more energetic. Bathrooms are also provided. You’ll find seating both inside and outside the snack bar where you can enjoy views out over Head Beach.

After a blissful day spent relaxing on the beach or hiking around one of the many trails on the island, you can rent a pot and cook some of the clams and lobsters that are sold in the snack bar. If you don’t feel like cooking, order some ready-to-eat seafood instead and take it back to your campsite to enjoy by the fireside.

Cape Neddick, Maine

Cape Neddick Oceanside Campground, York

Cape Neddick Oceanside Campground is located (here) in York.

If you want to enjoy your vacation by the ocean in a peaceful environment, Cape Neddick Oceanside Campground must be on your list of must-see destinations. You can pitch a tent or stay in your tent camper right on the oceanfront where everyone gets to enjoy a sea view!

There are two beautiful, pristine sandy beaches nearby and a vibrant street scene in the town of York Beach to entertain you in the evening. You can check out the Nubble Light from Sothier Park, a view that’s been enjoyed by visitors to this charming resort since 1879. Drive up to the summit of Mount Agamenticus to gaze at the impressive panoramic views. The more energetic among your party may prefer to take a hike or mountain bike along the extensive trail network.

If you don’t fancy cooking, you must visit the Cape Neddick Lobster Pound Harborside Restaurant, conveniently situated right across the road from the campground. Enjoy delicious, locally-caught lobster while watching kids skipping stones, paddlers and kayakers drifting past, and gulls soaring overhead against glorious sunsets.

Bayleys Camping Resort, Scarborough

Bayleys Camping Resort is located (here) in coastal Scarborough, southern Maine.

A real family-friendly resort – This is a camping paradise for families with children of all ages! There are three heated swimming pools, a games room, an arcade, four hot tubs, three playgrounds, three fishing ponds, and two stores. As if that wasn’t enough, the resort has a recreation center where nightly entertainment and scheduled daily activities are provided.

If you run out of things to do in the resort, Bayley’s puts on an hourly shuttle ride to Old Orchard Beach and Pine Point Beach where you can soak up a few rays, enjoy spellbinding views out over the ocean and check out the famous pier at Old Orchard Beach.

To keep old and young entertained, twice-daily shuttles are provided that will take you to the super-fun amusement centers of Funtown Splashtown U.S.A.

For a quieter time, cycle or stroll along the Eastern Trail that winds its way through Scarborough Marsh with its vibrant wildlife population, or rent a kayak or canoe and spend a blissful afternoon paddling along the Dunstan River.

The Top Campgrounds in Maine: Wrapping it up

Maine is a camping enthusiast’s dream destination.

If you’re looking to get right away from the hurly-burly of your daily routine, head to the wilderness for some time-out. Or suppose you’d rather spend a fun-packed vacation by the sea, taking in some of Maine’s fascinating, picturesque historical sites and enjoying the local cuisine caught fresh from the mighty Atlantic Ocean. In that case, Vacationland is where it’s at!

Brian has been an avid hiker and backpacker since he was a small kid, often being taken out into the wilderness on trips with his father. His dad knew everything about nature and the wilderness (or at least that's how it seemed to a ten year old Brian).

After high school, he went to university to read for both a BS and MS in Geology (primarily so he could spend his time outside rather than in a classroom). He's now hiked, camped, skied, backpacked or mapped on five continents (still need to bag Antartica) & 30 of the US states.

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