Camping Gems - Maine
Maine Island Trail
You can spend a day, a week, or a month exploring the 350-mile long Maine Island Trail -- a "water trail" that's meant for kayaks and canoes, not hiking boots. Running up the coast between Portland's Casco Bay and the border with Canada, this trail runs past rocky shores and open bays where you'll find seals, bald eagles, and shorebirds.
Bradbury Mountain State Park
Head to the deep woods! This 610-acre forested park is the perfect place for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. In the winter, bring your snowmobile, cross-country skiis, or snow shoes (rentals are available). Be sure to catch the leaves changing color in the fall. (on Route 9 about halfway between Portland and Lewiston-Auburn)
Kennebec River Rail Trail
Walkers, runners, bikers, and cross-country skiiers -- Maine has a new trail for you! Thanks to state efforts and volunteer labor, a paved trail now follows the Kennebec River between Augusta and Gardiner. The 6.5-mle trail makes a perfect afternoon bike ride. If you like, volunteer to help complete and continue the trail.
Maine's midcoast is famous for its rocky inlets and coves. Rockland offers sailing cruises, fabulous kayaking and canoeing, a charming shopping district, and a lively arts scene. Most importantly, it's the site of the annual Maine Lobster Festival, held in late July and early August.
Maine Wildlife Park
Bears, moose, lynx, raccoons -- where can you see all these animals? At the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray. More than 25 different species (that were injured or orphaned) call this park home. Visitors can see barred and great horned owls, hawks, bears, and much more. The park is open from mid-April to Veteran's day. (9:30 a.m. and close at 4:30 p.m. Visitors must exit the park by 6:00 p.m.)
Baxter State Park
The massive size of Baxter State Park is enough to lure any visitor who values quiet woods and secluded lakes. This park includes several mountains, among them the massive Mount Katahdin. Hike to the waterfalls, watch for birds and wildlife, or explore the trails on your mountain bike. This is also a rock climbing hot spot.
It doesn't get more remote than camping on an island that's in Casco Bay, one of Maine's most picturesque. Set in a string of 47 islands (some of which are uninhabited), this is a terrific place to explore by water, paddling into secluded bays and coves.
Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum
All aboard! Take a ride aboard antique rail cars that are pulled by hard-working steam and diesel locomotives. From your train, you'll see spectacular views of 19th century forts, lighthouses and the islands of Casco Bay. Be sure to explore the museum for a bit of railroad history.
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge
Scattered along 50 miles of coastline in York and Cumberland counties, the refuge consists of ten divisions between Kittery and Cape Elizabeth and will contain approximately 9,125 acres when land acquisition is complete. Watch for sea and shore birds, raptors, and wild mammals of all kinds.
As well as being a romantic get-away spot, Cobscook Bay is famous among bird watchers as a birding hot spot. This is the home of the annual Down East Spring Birding Festival that takes place over the Memorial Day Weekend. Visitors can also enjoy canoeing, kayaking, cross-country skiing, fishing, golfing, hunting, bicycling, lighthouse watching, lobsters, snowmobiling and snow-shoeing, and whale watching.
Camping Gems - Places to Go in Maine
Acadia National Park
People have been drawn to the rugged coast of Maine throughout history. Awed by its beauty and diversity, early 20th-century visionaries donated the land that became Acadia National Park. Take a hike or a bike ride, explore the tide pools, swim in the ocean, or fish the park's streams -- and don't forget to explore the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast.
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) is more than 2,175-mile long footpath stretching through 14 eastern states from Maine to Georgia. In Maine, the AT traces the state's highest mountains. Head to the AT for a day hike to the top of Mount Katahdin and enjoy the outstanding views of Somes Sound, the ocean, and the neighboring mountains.
Known as one of the very best fishing spots in all of Maine, Sebago Lake is easy to reach from Portland, the coast, or New Hampshire. Fish for the famous land-locked salmon while you enjoy views of the mountains and the rocky south coast area.
Saint Croix Island International Historic Site
This green gem of an island hides a conflicted and complex past. In 1604-1605, Frenchman Pierre Dugua housed his group of colonists there during a particularly cold and bitter winter. The site pays homage to these early arrivals to the New World.
Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge
Designed to protect wildlife (including migrating waterfowl, songbirds, and birds of prey), the refuge has 50 miles of dirt roads and trails are available for walking, biking, and skiing. Take a stroll and watch for osprey, eagles, and woodcocks.
Mount Desert Island
This stunning island is home to the town of Bar Harbor and the Arcadia National Park. With rocky shores and throngs of seabirds, Mount Desert Island is a picture-perfect snapshot of Maine. The island contains the 7 mile long Somes Sound, the only fjord on the East coast. Be sure not to miss a hike on the gigantic Cadillac Mountain.
Not far to the northeast of Moosehead Lake lies Lobster Lake, a well-kept secret among people who love to fish. With its solitude, clear waters, and gorgeous forests, this is also a great place for a canoeing or kayaking trip.
Allagash Wilderness Waterway
This incredible waterway is a 92-mile-long collection of lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams that wind their way through the heart of northern Maine's forests. This is a popular canoeing and kayaking spot, and it's also favored for ice-fishing and snowmobiling in winter. Come visit the area that Henry David Thoreau once paddled!
Aroostook State Park
This 600-acre park has Quaggy Jo Mountain, Haystack Mountain, lots of wildlife to enjoy as you wander the three hiking trails, a lakeside picnic area, a swimming area, a boat dock, and canoes, paddles, and life jackets for rent. Echo Lake is stocked with brook trout and public boat access is available.
Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge
This refuge straddles both Maine and New Hampshire, offering protected spaces for wildlife around 7,000-acre Lake Umbagog. Mink, otter, muskrat, and beaver can be seen in the lakes and rivers while black bear, bobcats, fishers, marten, white-tailed deer, and a dense population of moose inhabit the uplands.
Camping Gems - Things to Do in Maine
Look for moose in Acadia National Park.
Hike to the top of Mount Katahdin, a point on the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
Go canoeing around Mount Desert Island.
Take a puffin-watching and whale-watching cruise.
Catch a view of the lighthouses and islands of Casco Bay from the window of your Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad car.
Eat fresh-caught Maine lobster.
Head to Timber Tina's Great Maine Lumberjack Show in Ellsworth.
Watch for moose, deer, bear, eagles, beaver, and mink at the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge.
Explore one of Maine's many lighthouses, like the Cape Neddick ("Nubble") Light in the south coast town of York.
Canoe or kayak on the 92-mile long Allagash Wilderness Waterway chain of lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams.
Camping Gems - Places to Eat in Maine
New Moon Bangor
Street & Company
Grissini Italian Bistro