Acadia National Park and Cape Cod

Discussion in 'Campground / Trip Planning & Suggestions ?' started by StarSeven7, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    . This I think is the matter of personal preference. I don't mind roughing it and I knew most of the activities I wanted were near Blackwood. I stayed on the B loop which I found quieter than the A loop despite the campground being packed. B loop I found was mainly for tenters and popup campers vrs A loop which had a lot more RVs. My site was a bit of a walk to the bath house but I had a portable toilet so didn't bother me. From the campground there was a short walk to the cliff side which I found very pleasant. I found myself purposely wanting to get up at 4am just to catch the sunrise over the water. So beautiful and peacefull. Although chilly. There are no showers in the campground but there were pay showers a short drive away. I only went to mt. Desert once on my trip just to see the lighthouse and never had a chance to check the campground out but it looked fun from my vantage point. Best part about that park was the bus system. I hardly had to drive anywhere as the bus took me to all the popular stops.
     
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  2. StarSeven7

    StarSeven7 Member

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    Thanks, that's a good review! We don't usually mind no electricity (the only thing I really miss is my electric kettle for my oatmeal every morning!) but the availability of showers is nice after a few days so it's nice to know there are some available. I prefer being near tents and pop ups as well!
     
  3. JunkyBurrittos

    JunkyBurrittos Active Member

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    I have spent July 4th both in Acadia and on the Cape and I definitely recommend Acadia for the 4th as well. Bar Harbor and I think Bristol RI duke it out over who had the first July 4th celebration, but either way July 4th is an institution there and an old timey good time. Pancake breakfast, parade with floats throwing candy and giving away Statue of Liberty crowns, lobster bake, lobster races (you have to experience just once!), arts, crafts, music and of course fireworks. We haaatttee crowds but slip into Bar Harbor kind of the side way from maybe Eagle Lake side and when everyone goes to fight over their little patch of grass for the fireworks we go get take out lobster or sandwiches outside of Bar Harbor and go to one of the lookouts in the park to watch the fireworks from above.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
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  4. JunkyBurrittos

    JunkyBurrittos Active Member

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    I am a big fan of Mt Desert Campground on Somes Sound, particularly if you can get reasonably close to the sound and if you like kayaking. My sons and I kayaked around the sound and seals were hanging out with us watching our progress. The sound of the loons is haunting and beautiful. Just know their pop up sites are limited and they allow nothing larger than a pup.

    Black woods is very nice too. At least when we stayed you couldn’t pick your site, I’m not sure if that has changed. This is definitely closer to the action if you want to hang out in Bar Harbor, but it is still nicely peaceful at the campground. Pay Showers are privately owned down the road.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
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  5. JunkyBurrittos

    JunkyBurrittos Active Member

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    Don’t let people scare you off from the Cape. Here in New England we have some Cape haters. Usually people love either the Cape OR Maine and they violently hate the one they don’t favor.

    Traffic CAN be atrocious but that’s where you just be smart about it. You’ve got an expanse of time so you can plan appropriately. Don’t decide to cross the bridges onto the Cape on a Friday night or Saturday morning. Maybe arrive on a Tuesday or Wednesday. On the weekends visit a beach local to where you’re staying. Eat local, shop local. Ride the bike path instead of driving and hit Chocolate Sparrow in Orleans or Arnolds Seafood in Eastham, directly on the path. Drive the bay side and stop at General stores and farm stands. Life could be worse than summer on the Cape, I assure you.

    Nickerson is peaceful and nice. The bubble ponds are clear and beautiful and a nice alternative to the ocean. And you’re right on the rail trail (bike path) where you could go I believe as far as P Town if you’re so inclined.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
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  6. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    You can camp at an old coast guard base in Salem MA. It is called Winter Island, it has a light house and old fort. It is next door to the Salem Willows park. Salem is a great town and is only about 30 minutes from Boston.
     
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  7. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    We spent three nights at Blackwood back in 2016 and explored Acadia. Blackwood is quite quiet, free campfire wood when we were there. One of the nice things about it, is that you can walk, or take the bus from there to almost all of the sought after sites on the Island and most of those are relatively close to Blackwood. We actually hiked from there up Cadillac Mountain and a few other places also. It doesn't have showers as noted. We actually swam in the only pond that you can swim in with a beach on the other side of the Island. You can also swim at sand beach, but it is pretty cold. We like to hike, so Blackwoods worked out well for us and it is very easy to get into and out of Bar Harbor from there.
     
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  8. StarSeven7

    StarSeven7 Member

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    Thanks for some great responses! This gives me a lot to think about!

    @JunkyBurrittos - Mount Desert Campground sounds really nice and we have kayaks that we could bring along so that sounds pretty cool!! And thanks for giving me some helpful tips about Cape Cod! I’m trying to decide between there and the White Mountains area (we don’t really have time to do both) so it’s good to have lots of info! We did a trip to the Smoky Mtns this year so I was thinking more of a coastal trip next year would be fun. Would Cape Cod be warm enough for swimming at the end of June?

    And I definitely want to go whale watching somewhere - anyone have a preference where? Looks like you can whale watch from Bar Harbor, Cape Cod and Gloucester.
     
  9. mdcamping

    mdcamping Member

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    We've driven through Nickerson State Park, dry sites, wooded, sites broken up, not our cup of tea. I would recommend Atlantic Oaks in Eastham, has W/E/S hookups, CLEAN bathrooms/showers, well maintained family campground. Cape Cod National Seashore beaches and Bay side beaches minutes away. Cape Cod Rail Trail behind campground and famous Arnolds Restaurant next door. You will not need to travel far to keep busy which will be a good thing if you plan a "July" Cape visit.

    Mike
     
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  10. StarSeven7

    StarSeven7 Member

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    Thanks for your input!
     
  11. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    Just ran across this thread.

    Traffic is the #1 reason people hate the Cape. As others have said, if you plan appropriately, it can be mitigated.
    But to give you some context. There are only two ways onto the cape. And route 6 is really the only way to reach any destination.

    [​IMG]

    Nickerson State Park is great! (I like primitive camping, and State Parks).

    If you want Beach, we also have:
    • Scusset State Park (Show on the map above, if you notice, not *actually* on the cape, the Canel is the dividing line). Scusset is a parking lot, no fires are permitted, and the beach while beautiful, is very gentle. (Not much in the way of waves due to the entire cape protecting it). Borders the Canal, so you get to watch the ships pass. For Biking, it has the Cape Cod Canal Bike Path. Pretty sure this is a full hookup site.
    • Horseneck State Park. Primitive, Also a parking lot, but lots of sand dunes separating you from other sites. You literally camp about 30 feet from the water. Has a decent biking trail. It's Atlantic Ocean facing, so you get some decent waves. Horseneck beach ranks on those lists of *Best beach campgrounds* and Best beaches every once and awhile.
      Horseneck is my family's favorite campground.
    • Salisbury State Beach. Nice full electric /water/sewer campground. Beach has HUGE waves. (Not sure why, but the 4 times we've been there, HUGE waves) Salisbury Boardwalk is next to the campground, and provides lots of summer enjoyment. I the local camber of commerce has fireworks every friday or saturday night. (Forget which night)
    Boston Fireworks is something to see. I've never done the Hatchshell dash, (People wait 12 hours to get a seat https://cbsloc.al/2KURt1a)
    But it's pretty amazing when they do the 1812 overture with howitzer and fireworks going off in time to the music is pretty special.
     
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  12. StarSeven7

    StarSeven7 Member

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    Thanks for some great suggestions and reviews! While I prefer to have electricity, water and sewer are unnecessary for us and we prefer wooded, private sites. So given the option, we would typically choose primitive sites over parking lot type sites! I picked up a New England book last week and instead of making it easier to narrow down what I want to do, it only gave me more great options! Lol! But if we take a 2 week trip to NE then we have to give up another longer trip to Michigan's UP that I had in mind so we'll have to make some decisions!
     
  13. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    It's my experience that Beach does not equal Wooded.

    I'm at work so I can't post any photos, but I'll post some tonight of a few of the campgrounds.

    What are you looking for?
    Who's coming with you, and what are the ages if any kids.
    • Swimming (Pool)
    • Swimming (Pond/Lake)
    • Swimming (Ocean)
    • Biking
    • Hiking
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Mountain Hiking
    • To use the cruise ship vocabulary, any Shore Excursion (Things you go do and pay money for)?
      • Zipline
      • Ropes courses
      • Go-karting (We have the largest indoor gokart track in the world right now)
      • Whale Watching
      • Deep Sea Fishing
      • CODZILLA
      • Sunset Sailboat
      • Dinner Cruise
    • Site Seeing?
      • USS Constitution
      • Boston
      • White Mountains (LOVE the North Conway Area)
    Personally, I love fireworks, but all towns have varying sizes of them. (Boston is one of the biggest however)
     
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  14. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    Had a few others that jumped to mind AFTER I posted (Mostly in the Shore Excursion area)
    • Mountain biking
    • water parks
    • amusement parks
    • Mountain coasters
    • Alpine Slides
    • Sitting on the Beach and just watching the water
    • DUCK BOATS
     
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  15. StarSeven7

    StarSeven7 Member

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    Wow, thanks! There are 4 of us, 2 adults, 2 kids (they will be 10 and 7). We like being active, but also relaxing on the beach. We prefer beaches over pools. So a typical day for us when we camp is to go hiking or biking in the morning and hang out by the beach in the afternoon, maybe doing some kayaking or paddle boarding while we're there. For our trip to New England, Acadia National Park is a must for me. We'll do all of our typical things there. We also like to add in some sightseeing for things that are special to that region. We would like to spend at least 1 day in Boston sightseeing. I want to go whale watching somewhere but not sure where would be best. When I was a kid we took a similar camping trip to NE (But we covered a LOT of ground so we only spent about 1 day in each place) and we went whale watching from Gloucester and it was one of my and my sisters' most favorite thing we ever did! I see some of the boat tours near Acadia look for puffins as well which would be pretty cool! We love ziplining but it's not always easy for find ones that my son (age 7) can go on. So we're open to that but it's not necessary. We probably wouldn't go to any amusement parks or water parks. If we go to Cape Cod, I imagine biking around in the morning and just relaxing by a beach in the afternoon. One of our favorite places is Hilton Head Island (we don't camp there, we rent a condo) and we do that pretty much every day for a week and throw in a bit of mini golf and maybe a boat tour. We just spent 6 days in Gatlinburg and we mixed in hiking, ziplining, white water rafting, a ropes course, touring a cave, Dollywood, swimming in the river at the campground, climbing rocks at a picnic area, biking at Cades Cove, and a little bit of walking around Gatlinburg. We don't like anything gimmicky or tacky! That should give you some ideas of the kinds of things we like! :)
     
  16. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    . You might want to look into Loon mountain in New Hampshire white mountains. I actually stayed at Franconia State Park as a perfect half way mark between loon mountain, flume gorge and mount Washington. In the three nights I stayed there I managed to cover all three areas. Did a lot of hiking and Loon mountain was so much fun. For me I chose NH instead of the beach because I can visit the beach at any time.
    I was going to do a whale watching trip in Bar Harbour area but sadly on my trip up I underestimated how much gas it was going to take to get there and had to use the budget for the "fun" stuff. So can't comment on that.
     
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  17. StarSeven7

    StarSeven7 Member

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    Thanks I'll check it out! I saw something about Flume Gorge and thought that looked really cool! Did you happen to go to Lost River Gorge? That was another place I went to as a kid and I loved it!
     
  18. StarSeven7

    StarSeven7 Member

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    I'm not sure this is helping me narrow down my choices!! [LOL] I want to go everywhere!
     
  19. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    No, I did not have time sadly. Some year I was going to drive to VT and wanted to add A few of the things I missed.
     
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  20. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    If you are doing the White Mountains, Attitash is a great place. They have zip lines and the longest Alpine slide on the east coast. Just don't go full speed, I flipped the sled on the track two years ago. We stay at Green Meadow Camping Area, next door to Storyland. Attitash and the Mt Washington auto road are right down the street. I like that area better than Maine.
     
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