^^ socks + sandals = bug/man protection at its finest ^^
^^ the happy couple ^^
^^ why do I look so creepy in all these photos? ^^
On the other side of Mt. Desert — the less crowded, less mountainous side — the park lands mingled easily with private property so that sometimes it was hard to tell what was what. We drove through tiny towns and past rows of cute houses, all offering tons of firewood for sale. Sometimes we felt as if we were on the main road and other times we felt lost and disoriented. We found Seawall Campground not long after spotting the ocean again, its coastline less dramatic on this side of the island with its shallow tidal pools and rocky fingers that stretched out to the sea.
Our home for the night was a nice quiet site surrounded by a semicircular grove of trees nearly hidden from view of the road. Finally we had found some privacy — a place away from traffic and tourists and tour buses…but unfortunately not away from the mosquitoes. After quickly setting up our tent we rushed down the street to the general store and picked up some firewood and a pack of mosquito coils which we used, along with a citronella candle and plenty of bug spray, to keep the mosquitoes at bay. When nightfall came we were at last prepared: a huge roaring campfire, a circle of bug repellent products, a guilty pleasure novel, and two pieces of locally made blueberry pie.
Seawall Campground / $20 drive up tent site, running water, flush toilets, no showers. Reservable online // Note upon check in: They take their policy of “only two people allowed to check in at a time” very seriously as we were very sternly asked by the park ranger to wait outside even though one of the two people currently inside was just about to leave. Never mind that less than a minute after we were told to wait outside, we were told it was okay for us to check in now. Ahem, where was I? We camped at site B8 which we were told was one of their most popular sites, and I can see why. Unlike D-loop, B-loop, the smallest of the loops, was a more laid back (read: quiet) with long private driveways and plenty of space between sites. TIP: Bring bug spray. The campsites are close to a lot of marshy spots which seemed to be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Our site felt completely enclosed by trees and shielded us from any neighboring noise. In fact, if we didn’t have to walk to the bathroom and pass other campsites we would have felt completely alone in the woods. In contrast, many of D-loop’s sites are hike-in only with a shared/crowded parking lot and less room between sites. Like Blackwoods Campground, there are no showers but just down the road is a camp store where you can pick up firewood, camp supplies and use their pay showers. Since camping here I have been asked which is the better campground: Blackwoods or Seawall. My answer: Duck Harbor (but we’ll get to that later). Honestly it’s apples and oranges and I think it really depends on what you like or want in a camping experience. Blackwoods is less private/noisier/more larger groups + kids but is also conveniently close to everything including the main park sites on Park Loop Road and the town of Bar Harbor. Seawall is definitely on the quieter/more residential/less touristy side of the island with larger, more private sites that give you more of a sense of being w/in nature.
Seawall Camping Supplies / About 5 min NE of Seawall Campground on 102A // Convenience store and restaurant (?) that sells pretty much everything you need, at a significantly marked up price, of course, though you almost don’t mind since the store keeper is so friendly. Also carries a random assortment of items like VHS tapes, books, and circa 1980s clothing. If you want a hot shower, this is the place to get it.
Common Good Cafe /A couple min NE of Seawall Campground on 102A // All-you-can-eat summer popover service from 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM that includes popovers, tea, oatmeal, coffee, hot chocolate, etc. All of the meals are donation-based, so you pay what you can, however, keep in mind that all donations fund the Common Good Soup Kitchen. You can read more about the program here. Good, easy (and tasty!) way to support a local community/cause.
UPDATE | I am frequently asked which is the best campground in Acadia National Park so I wrote a more detailed description on camping in Acadia National Park . For my take on Blackwoods, Seawall, and Duck Harbor campgrounds click here.