Feb 13 2006, 10:07 AM
My family and I are planning a trip in August to Acadia NP for a few days and then heading down to Cape Cod for a few more days. Knowing our older teens, we believe the tourist area of Bar Harbor would be best for them. Based on the reviews that we have read, we are thinking of Bar Harbor KOA. Looking at their website, they have 4 different types of sites that you can book. Could someone recommend which sites are best at this CG? We don't have to have a full hook-up.
Also, we will be camping in Cape Cod on the return trip. Any thoughts on good campgrounds that will give us easy access for lounging on the beach and sightseeing?
Thanks very much.
Feb 14 2006, 09:50 AM
Have not been into the Bar Harbor KOA Campground since KOA purchased it a few years back. Had checked it out when it was called Barcadia Campground and found the sites to be very close with little or no privacy. In the past, at low tide, and in the hot August sun, the mud flats adjacent to the cg had a very bad odor. Must admit that in recent years that problem has seemed to be somewhat diminished. The KOA is very expensive, busy, and you have to drive a number of miles to activities such as, Bar Harbor Village, the Acadia Nat'l Park, etc. Of course you will have drive to any activities that you may choose from any cg you may choose. NOTE: There are FREE buses that will transport you,and bike(s), if you so desire, from your campground to most of the activities on Mount Dessert Island. This program has been in service for about the last six years. The purpose is to reduce the number of vehicles on the island in the Nat'l Park areas. The island is quite large, I would guess about 30+ miles long by 20+ miles wide. The population on the island during July & August will increase from about 3500 off season, to over one million in season, thus the reason for the buses. Last year this same KOA has purchased another campground, fore-named Spruce Valley cg, further down the island, and I believe they have named it KOA Woods cg. These KOA cgs are corporate owned and operated. There are many campgrounds on the island and all depends on your needs as to location and amenities. Plenty to see and do in the area, would need weeks to see it all. Sorry, I do not have any info on Cape Cod, but hope this information here gives you some insight of the area. Enjoy, Acadia has so much to offer.
Feb 14 2006, 04:26 PM
Thanks very much for all the detail. This was great! Any suggestions on better campgrounds on Acadia? We want to stay at a private campground because of the hook-ups.
Feb 15 2006, 03:53 PM
There are a number of campgrounds on and off the island. The Bar Harbor Campground is the closest to the village of Bar Harbor, and to the entrances to Acadia National Park. There is just one problem, they do not accept advance reservations, it is first come, first served, but they let you pick your site. Another campground is Hadley's Point, but at Hadley Point the sites are pretty close together with little privacy. Please note: that there are two cgs on the island, and one off that you should avoid at all costs. They are: Narrows Too Camping Resort in Trenton, and The Narrows Camping Resort, just west of Bar Harbor. The off island one is named Patten Pond Campground. They should be avoided. These three are owned by the same business and are not customer oriented, they are there just for your money. These campgrounds are all located on route 3, and route 1 enroute to Bar Harbor. Another off island campground, Hospitality Woods, is at Ellsworth, and is located on route 1 and 3 before entering the city of Ellsworth. The campground is fairly new, (4th season), and have long pull through sites with 30/50 amp & full hookups, but has little else to offer, as you have extensive driving to any and all points of interest. During July & August the traffic in and around Ellsworth can be very heavy and time consuming. On the other side of Ellsworth, on route 3 going toward Bar Harbor, is another campground named Timberland. Around this campground there are numerous points of interest for kids of all ages. Mini golf,a water park, go-karts, and a paint ball course, but are all off island, close to, but off island. At Bass Harbor, (on island), there is another campground, Bass Harbor Campground, but is a small older cg with full hookups, and 30/50 amp, but off the beaten path on what they call, "the quiet side of the island". If a lay back type camping experience is for you, this may also fit your needs. Their rate per night is on the pricey side for the amenities offered, but is okay for a few days. Ken and family, I hope this information has help somewhat. I feel that Bar Harbor campground, even if they do not take reservations, would more than likely be your best bet for your needs, because of it's location. Please look over all that's available to you, but above all, we hope you enjoy your visit to Mount Dessert Island, and Acadia. We have been returning to this very same area, every year for the last fifteen years. It gets into your blood.
Feb 15 2006, 05:24 PM
Did you ever consider a job with Woodall's or Trailer Life?
What a fantastic description! Thanks so much for the info.
I'm sure we'll have a great time. Can't wait to get on the road.
Feb 15 2006, 09:25 PM
Hi, We stayed at Narrows Too just this side of the bridge over to Mt. Desert Island. Site 328 (I think - last one on right on water) was great. A little rooty, but very private, good size and right on the water. Campground was very nice, not great. Looked at several others including Barcadia (I think now KOA, but not sure). Water front in Barcada were pretty, but was not impressed with overall campground IMHO. There was one near the near Bass Harbor Lighthouse
. Also The Narrows owned by same company as Narrows Too.... it was very nice, but seemed sites were smaller. You will not be disappointed in Acadia NP! Most beautiful scenery I have ever seen.
Feb 16 2006, 08:01 AM
Ken & Family,
Ken, you are more than welcome. We are glad we could share our experiences of the area with you. Most do not a lot enough time to really explore the area, and only scratch the surface. Like any other area there are tourist traps of every description. If you have the time, and is of your liking, most harbors on the island are working harbors and are interesting to visit. A few of interest are Northeast Harbor, Bass Harbor, Bar Harbor, and Southwest Harbor. Southwest Harbor holds the distinction of being the most expensive harbor, the reason being that "Hinckley Yachts" are built in Southwest and have at any one time, sixty to hundred one million plus dollar yachts at anchor. Quite impressive.
If you have your bikes, there are miles of bike trails, and if hiking is your thing there are many trails and low altitude mountains to test your abilities from easy to not so easy. Maps are available for both. The food in the area is something else, fresh seafood abounds at every turn. Restaurants from fancy to the not so fancy are located within the area. We personally hunt out the ones the locals use, and find they are definitely not fancy, but the food is good, and priced fairly. The area has a lot to offer no matter what your interests maybe. Enjoy
Feb 17 2006, 07:29 AM
I just wanted to add that if you are interested in a whale watching cruise to be sure and wear long pants and take a very warm jacket and a rain slicker. We went end July of 2003 and it was extremely cold out on the ocean. Acadia National Park is very beautiful! We stayed at the Bar Harbor Campground, very clean and nice people running it - you just have to hope something is available with the no reservations policy or maybe arrive during the week not the weekend.
Feb 17 2006, 07:48 AM
It sounds like Bar Harbor CG might be the best bet. Unfortunately the no reservation situation is going to make us look elsewhere. Thanks for the whale watching advice. We are probably going to try to do this.
Feb 17 2006, 09:33 AM
Ken just one more campground on the island. The name is: Smuggler's Den and is located at Southwest Harbor. We have stayed there, but was not one of our favorites. It is just okay. The free buses pickup at the campground, and we had a pull through site next to the entrance roadway. The roadway has speed bumps, one of which was opposite our site, and the buses squeak and rattle as they proceed over them, and they run until around midnight.
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