Best Campgrounds for You in Acadia NP & Bar Harbor Maine

You’ve decided to camp near Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, Maine – great choice! 

If you’re having a hard time deciding which campground to choose, I’ve got you covered!

This post includes a comparison of both tenting and RV campground options near Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor. 

The chart below features the campground name, location, cost, whether there are tent or RV campsites, as well as RV hookups. I’ve also included the open seasons for each campground and any helpful notes you should know. 

In addition to the chart, you’ll see a Google map with all of the campgrounds listed. The green pins are the 4 campgrounds within Acadia National Park. The blue pins are all of the campgrounds outside of Acadia. 

Wonderland Trail in Acadia National Park

Overview of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

If you’re planning a trip to Maine, you’ve most likely thought of visiting Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park located on Mount Desert Island. 

Bar Harbor is a small Maine town that comes alive during the peak summer months of June, July, and August and is relatively sleepy the remainder of the year. 

In Bar Harbor you’ll plenty tons of restaurants, coffee shops, shopping, and activities. Here you can find whale watching and boat tour companies, gorgeous oceanfront trails, and experience the best of Maine’s summer weather. 

While Bar Harbor is perfect for a day of shopping and eating, Acadia National Park is for those who want to spend time in nature. 

Acadia National Park is New England’s only national park and is renowned for it’s beautiful ocean views, gorgeous hiking trails, and rocky beaches. 

Read More: 3 Amazing Maine Oceanfront Campgrounds: Reviewed for You!

A fire at our campsite at Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA

How Many Days Do You Need in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park?

I would recommend staying at least 2 nights in the Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park region.

If you only have 2 days you could spent one in Acadia and one exploring downtown Bar Harbor.

Most first-time visitors to Maine will want to do a few days in southern Maine, a few days in Midcoast Maine, and finish up by visiting Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. 

It’s important to realize that Mount Desert Island has a lot to see and although you can drive the entire island in just a few hours, you may want to devote more time to staying here. 

You could easily spend a few weeks in this region. There is so much to explore within Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. 

There are also other towns in the region worth your time like Southwest Harbor and Winter Harbor. 

If I were visiting Maine for the first time for 10 days I would spend the following in each region:

  • 3 nights in Southern Maine (Kennebunk, Scarborough, Portland, Freeport, etc.)
  • 3 nights in Midcoast Maine (Boothbay, Georgetown, Camden, etc.)
  • 3 nights in Acadia NP / Bar Harbor 
A sailboat off the coast of Bar Harbor, Maine

Off-the-Beaten-Path Itinerary for Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

If you had more time after your visit to Bar Harbor and Acadia NP, I would explore the Downeast coast and stay in Lubec, Maine for another 3 nights. 

I’ve included our top stops along the drive from Bar Harbor to Lubec below, including multiple state parks, a gorgeous hike along the ocean, and even more hidden gems. 

Read More: Bar Harbor to Lubec: The Most Beautiful Part of Maine 

Kayaking off the coast of Maine

Acadia National Park Has Multiple Sections

Most of Acadia National Park is located on Mount Desert Island. 

The eastern side of Mount Desert Island includes the towns Bar Harbor, Northeast Harbor, and Otter Creek. It also hosts the most famous sights within the national park including Cadillac Mountain,  Beehive Trail, Sand Beach, and Jordan Pond. 

The western side of Mount Desert Island is known as the “quieter” side and includes sights like Echo Beach, Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, and Wonderland Trail. 

There are two other regions of Acadia National Park you should know about. 

One is located on Isle au Haut, an island only accessible by ferry from Stonington, Maine. This is where you’ll find the primitive Duck Woods Campground, a tent only campground. 

There is also a region of Acadia National Park located in Winter Harbor, about 1 hour north of Bar Harbor. This is where you’ll find Schoodic Woods Campground. This area is way less crowded in the summer and a great option for those who prefer the quiet or who have already been to Mount Desert Island. 

When to Book Your Campgrounds in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

Just like other popular destinations, campgrounds in this region can fill up incredibly fast, especially during peak summer months of June, July, and August. While the weather is gorgeous in the summer, Maine can get really crowded and expensive in the summer. 

Consider booking a year in advance if you are determined to stay at a certain campground. For example, we booked in January for Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA and by then we could only find availability in September. 

Luckily, we love visiting Bar Harbor in September. We felt the crowds were smaller, prices were a bit better, and the weather is still gorgeous. 

Best Campgrounds for You in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

I created this round-up of campgrounds because there are SO many options and it can be hard to narrow down your choices. I hope this list helps you choose the best option for you, whether you’re looking for the cheapest option, highest rated, or an oceanfront.

Campground with Best Location in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

  • Blackwoods Campground
  • Bar Harbor Campground
  • Mount Desert Campground

Blackwoods Campground is the best location for those wanting to stay within Acadia National Park on the more popular eastern side of Mount Desert Island. 

If you’re wanting to be close to downtown Bar Harbor, the Bar Harbor Campground and Mount Desert Campground are both 13 minutes from downtown. 

Campground with Least Crowds in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

If you’re hoping to visit this region without the crowds, check out Schoodic Woods Campground in Winter Harbor. 

Although this campground is an hour away from Acadia NP, it offers a quieter experience. Not as many people venture north along the coast. 

Cheapest Campground in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

  • Quiet Campground & Cabins
  • Seawall Campground
  • Duck Woods Campground
  • Schoodic Woods Campground
  • Blackwoods Campground

For the cheapest camping options check our Quiet Campground & Cabins and all 4 campgrounds in Acadia National Park.

It’s important to note that all of the campgrounds have a variety of price points. 

Tenting will always be the least expensive option when visiting Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. 

There are also cabin rentals if you don’t have your own RV or tent, but those options tend to be more expensive. 

Best Rated Campground in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

While ratings can change all the time, these are the highest rating campgrounds at this time in case that influences your decision of where to stay. 

  • Bar Harbor Campground
  • Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA
  • Schoodic Woods Campground
  • Mount Desert Campground
  • Seawall Campground
  • Smuggler’s Den Campground

Oceanfront Campgrounds in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

If you’re wanting the ultimate experience by staying at an oceanfront campground, then check out these options below.

  • Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA
  • Mt Desert Narrows Campground
  • Mount Desert Campground
Sunset from our campsite in Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA, Maine

A Special Note on Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA

We recently spent 4 nights camping at Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA and absolutely loved our time! 

We were lucky enough to book an oceanfront campsite and it made our experience fabulous. We especially loved how we could launch our kayaks right from our campsite. 

We highly recommend this campground – but note, it is one of the more expensive options on Mount Desert Island. 

Read More: How to Spend 4 Nights Camping in Bar Harbor

Campground Chart Legend

  • $ – Under $30/night for RV Campsites
  • $$ – Under $60/night for RV Campsites
  • $$$ – Under $100/night for RV Campsites
  • $$$$ – Over $100/night for RV Campsites
WATER & ELECTRIC HOOK-UPs CAMPGROUNDS OUTSIDE OF
ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
CampgroundLocationPriceTent / RVHookupsSeason DatesNotes
Quiet Campground & CabinsBernard, Maine$BothW/EMid June – Labor Day30 minutes from Bar Harbor
HTR Acadia (formally Somes Sound)Mount Desert, Maine$$$BothW/EMid May – Mid Oct.RVs up to 25’, Heated Pool, Waterfront campsites
Mount Desert CampgroundMount Desert, Maine$$$BothW/ELate May – Mid Oct.Dogs only allowed during off season, no dump station, waterfront campsites, RV’s under20’
FULL HOOK-UP CAMPGROUNDS OUTSIDE ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
CampgroundLocationPriceTent / RVHookupsSeason DatesNotes
Bar Harbor CampgroundBar Harbor, Maine$$$BothFullMid May – Mid Oct.Heated Pool
Smuggler’s Den CampgroundSouthwest Harbor, Maine$$$BothFullLate May – Late Oct.Pool
Bass Harbor CampgroundBass Harbor, Maine$$$BothFullMid May – Late Oct.Heated Pool
Hadley’s Point CampgroundBar Harbor, Maine$$$BothFullMid May – Mid Oct.Pool
Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOABar Harbor, Maine$$$$BothFullEarly May – Late Oct.Oceanfront Campsites, must book early
Mt Desert Narrow’s CampgroundBar Harbor, Maine$$$$BothFullMid May – Mid Oct.Oceanfront campsites, Thousand Trails Campground, heated pool
CAMPGROUNDS IN ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
CampgroundLocationPriceTent / RVHookupsSeason DatesNotes
Seawall CampgroundSouthwest Harbor, Maine$BothNoLate May – Mid OctReservations available 2 months in advance
Blackwoods CampgroundMount Desert, Maine$BothNoEarly May – Late Oct.Reservations available 2 months in advance
Schoodic Woods CampgroundWinter Harbor, Maine$BothW/ELate May – Early Oct.Reservations available 2 months in advance, 1 hour from Bar Harbor
Duck Harbor CampgroundIsle au Haut, Maine$TentNAMid May – Early OctOnly accessible by Ferry, no pets

Things To Do in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

Now that you’ve picked your campground, check out our top recommendations of things to do during your visit. Luckily, no matter where you stay on Mount Desert Island, you’ll only be 30 minutes or so from all of the sights. 

Keep in mind, traffic may be heavier in the summer so we recommend getting to these sights early in the morning. 

Things To Do in Acadia National Park

There is so much to do in Acadia National Park. Here are a few of our favorite activities!

  • Spend the afternoon on Sand Beach
  • Hike the famous Beehive or Precipice Trails
  • Check out the short and off-the-beaten-path Wonderland Trail
  • Visit the sandy Echo Beach
  • Hike around Jordan Pond
  • Hike or drive up Cadillac Mountain
Lamoine Beach – 30 minutes from downtown Bar Harbor

Things To Do in Bar Harbor, Maine

A few of our favorite activities in Bar Harbor!

  • Go Whale watching
  • Explore Downtown Bar Harbor
  • Check out lesser known Lamoine Beach (30 minutes outside of Bar Harbor)
  • Go sea kayaking
  • Explore the towns of Southwest Harbor and Northeast Harbor
  • Walk the Bar Harbor Shore Path
  • Eat your heart out in seafood
Precipice Trail in Acadia National Park

Final Thoughts

No matter if you stay within Acadia National Park or in nearby Bar Harbor, you are bound to have an amazing experience on Mount Desert Island. 

Acadia National Park and the surrounding area provides ample activities and beautiful views and there are so many campgrounds to choose from, you’re bound to find the perfect fit for your trip!

Happy Traveling!