Acadia National Park
The first night in Acadia, we stayed at the Quality Inn in Bar Harbor (which we highly recommend!). But we were excited about staying in a more rustic spot: Blackwoods Campground. Blackwoods is one of four campgrounds in Acadia, and it’s the only one on the east side of Mt. Desert Island. Thankfully, it was easy to find as we drove on Park Loop Road, and it’s only 5 miles from Bar Harbor. On our drive to the campground, we noted that Acadia is interspersed with private property and towns on MDI, which is a unique feature of the park.
Prior to our trip, we made a 2-night reservation at Blackwoods. You can’t specify which campsite you want though, you’re assigned one when you arrive. According to the map, the campground’s two loops, A and B, have very similar layouts. It costs $30 per night, from May through October. If you’re camping off-season, the campsites are cheaper and facilities are limited. Check out the NPS website for more info. Advanced reservations are highly recommended during peak season, as the campgrounds are often full.
When we arrived at the campground, we checked in with the ranger on-site and got our campsite assignment. Site A137 would be our home for the next 2 days. We were hoping for some privacy, but weren’t really expecting it.
On the journey to our campsite, we passed a multitude of other campsites. Blackwoods is the most crowded campground in the park, and it’s huge with 290 sites. Makes sense, since it’s on the popular east side of MDI. It’s also a great starting point for a variety of hikes and other attractions. The campground was relatively clean and quiet. Our site was simple, with a picnic table and fire ring. Our neighbors were close, but not as close as we feared they might be.
A few sites down from us was the bathroom and potable water source. One odd thing was that the campground bathrooms were equipped with hand sanitizer instead of hand soap. Sanitizer is fine if you don’t have running water, but with it, sanitizer is kind of useless. Campgrounds in our home park, Shenandoah, have soap. Everywhere should have soap! Anyway, moving on…
After setting up our tent and checking our gear, we were ready to head out for a hike. But first we stopped at Otter Creek Market about 0.6 miles away, the closest camp store to get ice and snacks. Shower and laundry facilities are located north on Route 3, though we didn’t end up using them.
All in all, Blackwoods is a nice place to stay for a couple nights. And the location is so great that we were willing to sacrifice a bit of privacy for convenience. One additional benefit is that there are trails that connect to or go through the campground. Specifically the Quarry Trail on the east side, and the Cadillac Ridge on the west side of the campground. So you can just wake up and go without driving to a trailhead.
We thought we’d dislike Blackwoods because it’s so large, but we rather liked it. Mainly because of its proximity to hikes and attractions. I would definitely stay at Blackwoods again, and even though we were close to our neighbors, we were still farther away than we were at Seawall (see our post about that).
Blackwoods Campground | 290 campsites
Location: Mt. Desert Island, 5 miles south of Bar Harbor (Google Maps Directions)
Amenities: Potable Water | Fire ring | Picnic Table | Flushable Toilet
Dates Open: May 15 to October 15
Prices: $30 / night (May – October) | $15 / night (April & November) | Free (December – March)
Highlights: Campground right in the middle of a lot of hikes and things to see/do in Acadia
Notes: Check-out: 10am | Advance reservations recommended
NPS Website – Acadia Camping
Recreation.gov – Blackwoods Reservations
Blackwoods Campground Map