Acadia campers fired up over Schoodic Woods Campground

At the new Schoodic Woods Campground in Acadia National Park, Bill Mulvey paused to admire his site as he and his son, Pat, set up their tent last week.

Bill Mulvey of Phoenixville, Pa. and his son, Pat Mulvey, pitch their tent at the Schoodic Woods Campground.

Bill Mulvey of Phoenixville, Pa., left, and his son, Pat Mulvey of Philadelphia, right, begin pitching their tent at the Schoodic Woods Campground at Acadia National Park after arriving on the day of the 100th anniversary of Acadia.

Mulvey, a retired assistant manager for a supermarket company, said he reserved the site about a month before arriving on a Friday for the weekend and it was the only spot available at the “very popular” campground. Mulvey, of Phoenixville, Pa., and his son, a middle school teacher in Philadelphia public schools, are among people camping at the Schoodic Woods Campground during its first full season of operation.

“It’s beautiful,” he said, pointing to the greenery that buffers sites. “Look at these trees. This is great.”

Located on the dramatic Schoodic Peninsula, the only part of Acadia on the mainland, the 94-site campground opened on Sept. 1 of 2015.

Schoodic Woods Campground

From left to right, Eleanor Goldberg and Malcolm Burson, both of Portland, Jon Luoma and Cathy Johnson, both of Alna, stand in their site at the Schoodic Woods Campground at Acadia National Park after a bike ride together on the 100th anniversary of Acadia National Park.

The campground was made possible by an anonymous donation of 1,400 acres south of Route 186 to the park in 2011, preventing it from being developed into a possible resort.  The anonymous donor also paid for planning and design, construction and furnishing of the beautiful Schoodic Woods Campground, 100-seat amphitheater, ranger station and visitor center, maintenance building,  multipurpose paths, new hiking trails, an underground utility line along the main road and a causeway bike lane and bridge.

During a visit on the actual 100th anniversary of Acadia National Park, July 8 in 2016, campers lauded the new campground which includes 4.7 miles of new hiking trails and 8.3 miles of new bike paths styled after the park’s carriage roads on Mount Desert Island.

“The bike paths are great,” said Eleanor Goldberg of Portland, who teaches English as a second language in adult education. “They are wide.”

Goldberg joined Malcolm Burson, public policy advisor for the Conservation Law Foundation, Cathy Johnson, a project director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine, and Jon Luoma, a watercolor painter, for a planned two nights at the Schoodic Woods Campground.

Happy campers at Schoodic Woods Campground – even if no showers

Schoodic Woods Campground at Acadia National Park

From left to right, Trevor Hillman with his parents, Beverly Rhode-Hillman and Brian Hillman, of Mukwonago, Wisc., relax at their site in the Schoodic Woods Campground at Acadia. During their first visit to Maine, they loved “everything” about the state.

Beverly Rhode-Hillman, retired as a police officer from East Troy, Wisc., her husband, Brian Hillman, a retired chief of staff for Citicorp, and their son, Trevor, traveled from their home in Mukwonago, Wisc., and were enjoying five days at the Schoodic Woods Campground.

They drove to Maine in a Chevrolet truck with a hard shell camper in tow. They rode bikes, took the Miss Lizzie ferry (which used to service Isle au Haut) to Bar Harbor and back, and traveled on the fare-free Island Explorer.

Brian Hillman said a lot of effort and thought was put into designing the Schoodic Woods Campground. He noted the woods that buffer the camp sites and provide privacy.

Schoodic woods

Campers, hikers and bicyclists can find out more information about Schoodic Woods at this new Ranger Station.

The campground is remarkable for its clean bathrooms, new Ranger Station to register campers and provide information, 100-seat amphitheater with regular events. It has 33 RV sites with water and power, including 20 pull-through; 50 car tent sites with electric, including 26 listed as for only tents; 9 private hike-in sites with no electric and no open fires allowed; and two group sites.

Showers are practically the only amenity missing at the Schoodic Woods Campground.

“The restrooms are awesome,” said Rhode-Hillman. “Unfortunately, there are no showers for people who stay longer.”

Showers and other camper needs to be met by area businesses

Men's bathroom at the Schoodic Woods Campground in Acadia National Park.

This photo shows the men’s bathroom near the Ranger Station at the Schoodic Woods Campground in Acadia National Park. Campers said they enjoy the clean bathrooms at the new campground.

Campers can pay for showers at the Winter Harbor Inn about 3 miles away in Winter Harbor, or at the Mainayr Campground, about 15 miles away in Steuben.

The Winter Harbor Inn charges $20 for up to three people and 45 minutes including towels, shampoo, soap, face cloth and bottled water, while the Mainayr charges $5 per person, according to information at the Ranger Station. People should call for an appointment at the Winter Harbor Inn at 1-207-LOBSTER and the Mainayr is at 1-207-546-2690.

Peter Drinkwater, a real estate broker and also chairman of the Winter Harbor Utilities District, said showers are definitely needed to serve campers. “Everybody knows it is what we need, but no one has pulled the trigger to do it,” he said, adding that he has listed for sale a building at 159 Main St. that he said would be ideal for converting into showers and a laundromat.

Peter Drinkwater

Peter Drinkwater, owner of the Winter Harbor 5 & 10 and a real estate broker, is shown standing inside his store. Drinkwater said he has listed for sale a building at 159 Main St. that is ideal for converting into showers and a laundromat that could help fill a need for residents and campers at the Schoodic Woods Campground.

Drinkwater, also owner of the Winter Harbor 5 & 10, said the new campground is positive and that everybody loves it.

The history of the campground includes the Lyme Timber Co. acquiring the property in December 2011 and developing the campground under Schoodic Woods LLC in 2013-2015.

In 2013, Schoodic Woods, LLC donated a conservation easement over 1,400 of the 1,600 acres south of Rte.186 to the federal government, allowing the park service to operate the new facilities and manage the land as part of Acadia National Park, according to a press release.

“Schoodic Woods, LLC held several public meetings in Winter Harbor to help develop the plan for the campground and other recreational facilities,” said John T. Kelly, management assistant for Acadia National Park, in a email.

“While I cannot speak for Schoodic Woods, LLC, my understanding is that it wanted to give neighboring towns the opportunity to offer services to campers as a way of stimulating the local economy. Schoodic Woods, LLC also wanted to have the campground offer similar services as Blackwoods and Seawall campgrounds in the park. Along with showers, we expect the demand for laundry facilities, camping supplies, bike rentals, food, etc. to be met by the private sector.”

On Mount Desert Island, the 198-site Seawall Campground and the 275-site Blackwoods Campground don’t have shower facilities and point campers to nearby businesses for fee showers and supplies.

schoodic woods campground

Schoodic Woods Campground features this amphitheater.

Dave Sampson, a retired fire department captain from Peabody, MA, and his wife, Dale, a children’s librarian for Peabody, said they enjoyed their stay at a pull-through site with their 30-foot Jayco travel trailer and Chevrolet truck. They said they had plenty of space and unlike Blackwoods and Seawall, which have no hookups, the Schoodic Woods Campground includes water and electric on site for RVs.

“It’s all brand new, very clean, very nice,” said Dave Sampson.

“We’ve been here a week,” said Dale Sampson. “It’s great.”

Ranger Bill Jones stands inside the Schoodic Woods Ranger Station at Acadia National Park.

Standing inside the Schoodic Woods Ranger Station, Ranger Bill Jones says the new campground is experiencing an “outstanding” first full season with high occupancy and good reviews from campers.

Ranger Bill Jones said sites should be reserved through Sites can be offered at the Ranger Station on a limited walk-in basis, if there are openings within 48 hours.

Jones, former owner of a campground in Lakeland, Florida, said the Schoodic Woods Campground has had “high occupancy” this year and very good reviews from campers.

“This is the nicest campground I’ve ever seen and I used to own a campground,” Jones said.

Information to help plan your visit to Schoodic Woods Campground

Other Schoodic Woods Campground reviews: Campbase

schoodic woods campground

Map of new Schoodic Woods campground run by Acadia National Park (NPS image)

Campsite A-13

This photo shows tent site A-13 at Schoodic Woods.

Site A-13 at Schoodic Woods Campground is for tents only and includes electric hookup and a picnic table.

Campsite A-16

schoodic woods campground

Campsite A-16 at Schoodic Woods Campground is for just tents and is equipped with electric hookup..

Campsite A-18

schoodic woods campground

Camspite A-18 at Schoodic Woods Campground is for tent only and comes with electric hookup and solitude.

Campsite A-32

schoodic woods campground

Campsite A-32 at Schoodic Woods is for tents only and has electric hookup.

Camspite A-33

schoodic woods campground

Campsite A-33 at Schoodic Woods Campground. It can accommodate an RV and comes with electric.

Campsite A-34

schoodic woods campground

Campsite A-34 at Schoodic Woods Campground is for tent only and is located across the road from A-33.

Campsite A-35

Camp site A-35 at Schoodic Woods in Acadia National Park.

A tent sits under a canopy in site A-35 at Schoodic Woods Campground. The site is for tents only and comes with electric hookup and a picnic table.

 Campsite A-40

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Campsite A-40 at Schoodic Woods Campground.

Campsite B-12

schoodic woods campground

US Sen. Angus King stayed at campsite B-12 with his RV in September 2015, to attend the Schoodic Woods Campground ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Campsite H-1

schoodic woods campground

All hike-in sites feature a secure container to store food in, as seen in this photo of H-1.

Campsite H-2

schoodic woods campground

It’s nearly a half mile hike into campsite H-2, but the view of Frenchman Bay and Cadillac is worth it. The only other waterview campsite is H-8.

Campsite H-3

The H-3 hike-in camp site at the Schoodic Woods Campground at Acadia National Park.

H-3, a hike-in site at the Schoodic Woods Campground, includes a picnic table and tent pad. There is no view but an abundance of solitude. Like with all hike-in sites, there is no electricity, water or fire ring. Open fires are banned, and restrooms are a short hike away.

Campsite H-4

Hike-in camp site H-4 at Schoodic Woods Campground in Acadia National Park.

Hike-in camp site H-4 does not have a view but comes with a tent pad, picnic table and plenty of privacy. Like all hike in sites, there is no electricity and no fire ring and open fires are banned.

Pull-through RV site

The Schoodic Woods Campground at Acadia National Park offers "pull-through" sites for RVs.

A recreational vehicle parked at one of 20 “pull-through” sites at the Schoodic Woods Campground. The sites are coveted for the big vehicles because an RV can go in and out without having to back up.

Bike paths outside your campsite

schoodic woods campground

You can bike from your campsite along well-graded paths at Schoodic Woods Campground.

schoodic woods campground

The 8.3 miles of bicycle paths of Schoodic Woods are modeled after the carriage roads of Mount Desert Island. They are also open in the winter for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, conditions permitting.


schoodic woods campground

Sink attached to outside of campground bathroom is for washing dishes only.

schoodic woods campground

Spanking new bathroom building for Loops A and B of Schoodic Woods Campground.

schoodic woods campground

Toilet for hike-in campsites is a bit of a walk from the tent, so be prepared.

Things to see and do in Schoodic section of Acadia

sundew trail

Sundew Trail offers spectacular views, seaside benches and solitude. Located on the Schoodic Institute campus and featured in “Hiking Acadia National Park.”

schoodic institute

Welcome sign off the Schoodic Loop Road.

schoodic woods campground

View from the new Lower Harbor Trail at Schoodic Woods, which begins across the road from the Ranger Station driveway.

buck cove mountain trail

Limited views from Buck Cove Mountain, accessed from a 3.2 mile trail that starts at the Schoodic Woods group camping area.

buck cove mountain trail

Spruce grouse on Buck Cove Mountain Trail, which leads from Schoodic Woods Campground to Schoodic Head. Reports of wildlife sightings posted on bulletin board at Ranger Station.

Know the rules of the campground

schoodic woods campground

Schoodic Woods Campground rules.

schoodic woods campground

Schoodic Woods Campground rates.

schoodic woods campground

Hike-in campsite rules for Schoodic Woods Campground.

8 thoughts on “Acadia campers fired up over Schoodic Woods Campground

  1. Esther W

    I think that the failure to have regular bathhouses in the Schoodic Campground has really given local businesses the opportunity to FLEECE campers for showers. If we go, we intend to periodically move our RV to the dump station to empty the Gray Tanks, we will wash our dishes at the dishwashing station, and we also are going to be using the same waterless bath that NASA Astronauts use in space to save both money and water. I’m sure that many experienced boondockers will do the same.
    $20.00 for a shower is an OUTRAGEOUS PRICE. Just think! A family of 4 people would have to pay $40.00 just to take a shower! OUTRAGEOUS!! And even $5.00 is exorbitant when other National Parks that do use private vendors are charging a lot less. For example, the Bathhouses at Shenandoah National Park are operated by a private vendor who only charges $1.75 for a shower, and the Bathhouses are clean and modern. These high prices will cause some people to use dishpans to take “bird baths” in the restroom stalls; it is almost dead certain that the dishwashing sinks will be used to bathe children and babies. Very few will pay $20.00 plus the cost of gasoline to take a shower.

    Other than the “NO BATHHOUSE AVAILABLE” issue, I believe that a visit to Acadia will be worthwhile as long as one considers it to be a boondocking sort of place.

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    1. Acadia on my mind Post author

      Hi Tom, thanks for the comment! Good to know there are other camping options nearby, especially if Schoodic Woods is full Good luck on the new campground.

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