Acadia National Park Lodging: Campgrounds, Cabins, Securing Reservations in Blackwoods, Duck Harbor and More

by Amy Myers
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So many of our country’s national parks are located in the west, but not to be forgotten is the hidden treasure in Maine, Acadia National Park. Despite the fact that it’s a bit further away from the remainder of our national parks, Acadia is still one of the top-ten most visited. And with all that the area has to offer, that’s not surprising.  It is 47,000 acres primarily on the state’s Mount Desert Island. With 158 miles of hiking trails, 27 miles of historic roads and the highest rocklands along the Atlantic coastline, there’s something for everyone at Maine’s Acadia National Park. Here are your options for Acadia National Park lodging… and which is the best fit for your trip.

Which Acadia National Park Lodging is Best for You?

Acadia National Park in Maine has a total of four campgrounds (three front-country, one backcountry), and while this might not seem like a lot, there are plenty of sites at each of these four locations. Also important to know is the fact that the park requires reservations for staying at any of these grounds. There are no sites available upon arrival, but you can book your reservation up to two months in advance. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire ring.

You can book your reservations for Acadia National Park lodging here.

Blackwoods – For the Beach-Goers

Blackwoods is the most popular campground at Acadia National Park – and for good reason. One of the greatest attractions of Blackwoods is its proximity to Otter Creek, only a half-mile away. That’s a mere 10-minute walk to some sand and sunshine for those that want a little extra vitamin D during their getaway. Another benefit to camping in this region is having access to the free Islander Export Shuttle, available from June to mid-October. The shuttle transports campers to popular destinations in the area, including the neighboring campground, Seawall. There are also nearby bathrooms with flush toilets.

Blackwoods has a total of 275 campsites available. The fee for this campground is $30 per person per night. Blackwoods is the only of the four campgrounds that are available year-round, though peak dates tend to be from May to October.

Seawall – For the Fishers

Locals know the Seawall campground as the “quiet side” of Mount Desert Island. While this campground isn’t as popular as Blackwoods, it is still a top choice for Acadia National Park visitors. This is especially true for any campers that prefer to spend the day on the water. Echo Lake is a short distance from Seawall. Here, you can swim, fish, canoe, kayak and picnic to your heart’s delight.

Those that are tent camping will see a $22 fee per person per night. Those in RVs will have a $30 per person per night fee, while groups of tent campers will have a $60 per person per night fee. The Seawall campground is open from May 24th to Sept 30th.

Schoodic Woods – For the Bikers

Located on the Schoodic Penninsula, the greatest attraction of the Schoodic Woods campground is its access to 8.5 miles of biking trails. This is the perfect spot for those that prefer to explore Acadia National Park on two wheels. Alternatively, for those that like to keep their feet on the ground, there’s also a new hiking trail that goes to the top of Schoodic Head, the highest point on the Schoodic Penninsula. Here, you can capture some of the best views that Acadia has to offer – the ideal location for a photo-op.

Another appeal to the Schoodic Woods campground is the fact that it is more spacious than the previous two areas. While Schoodic Woods is the same size as Blackwoods, it has less than half the amount of campsites, 90 to be exact. So, for those that prefer a bit more seclusion, this area might be the best choice for you.

Fees for Schoodic Woods range from $22 to $60 per person per night, depending on the equipment you bring. Those that are camping in an RV will see the higher end of those rates. Schoodic Woods is open from May 24th to October 9th.

Schoodic Woods – Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Duck Harbor – For the Backcountry Enthusiasts

Situated on Isle au Haut, Duck Harbor is farthest from the Acadia National Park entrance. Duck Harbor is also the most remote of the four campgrounds and offers the best backcountry experience for those that prefer to rough it while camping. To keep the campgrounds as wild and wonderful as they naturally are, Acadia National Park has a few limitations to reduce the impact that camping can make on the area. You can only book one stay per year with a three-night and six-person maximum.

Amenities at the Duck Harbor campground include a hand pump for water, located a fourth mile away from the sites, as well as compost toilets. Each site has a three-sided lean-to shelter that has a floor and roof. There’s also a storage locker for food and other smell-ables to keep curious wildlife at bay.

Acadia National Park and Maine Visitor and Information Centers

If you find yourself in a bind or just need more information, Acadia National Park has plenty of visitor or information centers to visit. Most people stop by Hulls Cove Visitor Center in order to get a lay of the land and build their trip to Acadia National Park based on their interests and limitations.

Hulls Cove Visitor Center in Acadia Nat. Park, Maine

Other than Hulls Cove, you can visit Sieur de Monts Nature Center for hiking information and different exhibits. This is a good trailhead if you’re hitting the Sieur de Monts area. It’s open in the spring, summer and fall. In addition, if you’re trying to stay close to the bustling Bar Harbor downtown area, the Village Green Information center has access to Island Explorer shuttles.

All of the information centers are a good way to plan a trip to perfection. You’re not going to want to miss places like Thunder Hole, Cadillac Mountain, Echo Lake, or Schoodic Point, and rangers will give you the best possible information on when and how to get there.

Whether you’re doing some hiking or camping, certain fees are a for sure thing in most national parks. That’s no different for Acadia National Park in Maine. All visitors need a park entrance pass. All in-person sales are available at the check station along Park Loop Road from December to April. Purchase those passes here.

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