For anyone that’s ever visited Acadia National Park, its rocky coastline, granite peaks, and scenic trails, you quickly learn that it’s a place unlike any other. As a child, I grew up less than an hour away, and spent many weekends soaking in the sun on Sand Beach, squinting at distant islands from the summit of Cadillac Mountain, strolling down Main Street in downtown Bar Harbor, and looking forward to the next camping trip Acadia National Park. It wasn’t until after high school that I gained a true sense of the significance of these outdoor places (after all, I had grown up in Maine and had taken pristine woods and waters for granted).
Acadia is a relatively small national park, the 13th smallest of the 59 that scatter the United States, but it packs wide variety of plants, animals, geological formations, wetlands, and much more into its 47,389+ acres. Despite its size, Acadia National Park ranked 9th in visitation in 2015, attracting over 2.8 million visitors; a high-water mark the park will likely demolish in 2016 in part due to the park’s 100th birthday, but also because of the National Park Service’s Centennial this year.
As popularity increases in a park that is almost completely restricted from growth, as most of it is located on Mount Desert Island, surrounding communities, park officials, and other organizations are scrambling to create a better system for handling the crowds.
The strain of heavy visitation is felt all across the park as volunteers race to keep trails clean, park rangers struggle to maintain facilities, and the visitor experience is weakened by full campgrounds and lodging facilities. Acadia National Park currently manages four campgrounds in the park: Blackwoods Campground and Seawall Campground on the main island, Duck Harbor Campground – accessible only by mailboat on Isle Au Haut, and the new Schoodic Woods Campground on the newly expanding Schoodic Woods section of Acadia on the Schoodic Peninsula.
These four campgrounds are open seasonally from May to October, however don’t plan on just showing up and pitching a tent. Park managed campgrounds are booked months in advance, and in the busy season you’ll be lucky to find a camp site within an hour of the park without a reservation made well in advance.
So, what can you do? You’ve traveled all the way to Maine to camping trip Acadia National Park, but you have nowhere to stay. Luckily, we have a secret for you. In the spring of 2018, we’ll be opening our first Pocket Parks Campground just outside of the Schoodic Woods section of Acadia. The campground will consist of 8-10 quiet, primitive tent camping sites. There is no staff on site, so bookings can be made online at anytime (as long as a site is available). Facilities include fire rings, picnic tables, camping toilets, hand pumped water, and solitude. The camping area is located on Route 1 in Gouldsboro, Maine and includes bay front water access for launching kayaks and canoes.
Book your camping trip Acadia National Park today – https://acadiaeastcampground.com