Our journey to Isle au Haut and Duck Harbor Campground finally came to a close. We had used up our maximum 3 nights to stay in the campground. So it was time to venture back to Mount Desert Island where we hadn’t yet visited the western half of the island and our next home, Seawall Campground. The weather had been great each day on Isle au Haut, but on the day we left the skies were grey and foggy. As we boarded the mail boat to return to the town of Stonington, the rain started pouring down in buckets. We huddled in the cabin, relaxing and watching the rain as the boat skimmed across the ocean. We missed Isle au Haut already.
Soon we were back in Stonington. And hungry. We got a recommendation from the mail boat captain to visit a nearby restaurant called Whale’s Rib Tavern. After driving about 15 minutes, we discovered that they didn’t open until 5 pm. So we headed back to Stonington. There aren’t a ton of options, so we thought we’d revisit Fisherman’s Friend. Which was also closed. So we ended up at Harbor Cafe, on Main Street in Stonington. We didn’t expect much, but it was just what we needed. It was cozy and simply decorated with a partial view of the harbor. For more details, check out our Stonington post. After lunch, we started the hour and a half drive back to MDI. And our next stop: Seawall Campground.
Seawall Campground would be our lodging for the next two nights. It’s located on the western half of MDI, which is slower paced, and there are fewer hikes and attractions. But there’s still plenty to see and do. As we drove along, we passed through Southwest Harbor on MDI, and then a residential area with firewood for sale, until we met the magnificent Maine coast again. And then we arrived at the campground. Like Blackwoods, this is a big campground with over 200 sites.
Unlike Blackwoods, we could reserve a specific site. Ours was D-015, which had a short hike in. We parked our car, grabbed our gear, and then headed to the site to set up our tent. It was a bit of a maze to find our site, with paths going in every direction. When researching Seawall, we had read that the sites there had more room and were more private than those of Blackwoods, so we were excited to have more peace and quiet. And we felt it fit with the relaxed atmosphere of MDI’s western side.
After turning around a few times, we found our site. We were again disappointed because our campsite didn’t have the privacy we were searching for. Compared to Blackwoods, we were even closer to our neighbors. We had made a mistake, one that clouded our view of Seawall a bit.
What had happened? There are four loops in Seawall: A, B, C, and D. Later on in our journey, we drove through the other loops to compare, and realized that if you want that private campsite, you want loops A or B. Avoid C and D, unless you’re okay not having much privacy.
During our research of Seawall, we had seen something about the A and B loops being the best. We had tried to reserve one there, but they booked up fast, so make sure you get your reservations early for those loops. We thought C and D wouldn’t be too bad, and they’re not, but at that point in our trip we almost wished we had just booked a hotel. At least it was relatively quiet, despite being crowded.
After setting up our tent, we went to take showers (we were overdue after spending 3 nights at Duck Harbor). Thankfully, we knew just where to go, since we had passed the Seawall Camp Store on the drive in. We were happy to arrive before closing…and to see the sign out front that read “Hot Showers.”
There are two shower rooms, separated by gender. While there’s no toilet in the shower room, there is a port-o-potty out front. Additionally there was a sink and a bench/sill area where you can put your things while getting ready. Each room had 3 shower stalls, with a “dry” area that you go into first and lock, so you can keep your things dry and secure. Be careful, it could be slippery since there was some water in that area. Also, we had brought flip flops and towels, which we would recommend. We’re not sure whether they had towels available at the camp store, but we figured we’d prefer to use our own regardless.
And I did have a gloriously hot shower… except that I had to stick three quarters in a machine every two minutes to extend my shower time. And no, you can’t insert more money ahead of time. Finally clean, we browsed the camp store, and bought oatmeal packets for breakfast the next day. It was late, so we grabbed some dinner in Southwest Harbor before heading back to our campsite for the night.
Overall, we liked Seawall Campground, and would come back – if we got loop A or B. Like Blackwoods, it’s a good home base to explore the surrounding area.
Seawall Campground | 212 Campsites | 5 Group Sites
Location: Mt. Desert Island, 4 miles south of Southwest Harbor (Google Maps Directions)
Amenities: Potable Water | Fire ring | Picnic Table | Flushable Toilet
Dates Open: Late May to the end of September
Prices: $22/night walk-in tent sites | $30/night drive-up tent, camper, and motor home sites | $60 group tent sites
Highlights: Close to attractions on MDI’s west side, clean and quiet
Notes: Check-out: 10am | Advance reservations recommended | Get loop A or B, avoid C and D
Seawall Campground Map