Tag Archives: camping

2018 – Moody Beach Thousand Trails – Wells, ME

The timing of our August stay at Moody Beach Thousand Trails put us in a popular area at its most popular time. Traffic up and down Highway 1 was more often than not backed up. The campground, too, was filled to capacity nightly. This campground is tight. There are many “parallel parking” spots that were laid out before rigs got as large as they are today. Some would work but many would be a challenge for the average big rig. In the “back” of the campground there are several pull-through “back to back” sites. The camper on the driver’s side is very close. You then share a front yard with the camper on the passenger side of the camper.

Depending on how people park their rigs this setup works fairly well. One complicating factor is that many sites have been rented out to long-term campers. Those folks tend to spread out to the very limit of their campsites. If you happen to have permanents on both sides of you it can feel even more packed in that it is already.

Because of the narrow roads and placement of trees I couldn’t get into the first site we tried. I moved to a different one and got in okay. Getting out was a bit of a challenge because of how the permanent site next to us was set up, keeping me from making the left hand exit I should have been able to make.

Getting satellite TV anywhere in the campground is a challenge. Some people manage it, but you shouldn’t arrive expecting to get satellite TV. My Verizon signal was marginal but generally usable. We paid for campground WiFi. I would give it a B- grade. Weekend evenings were pretty sluggish. I think all the sites are FHU – many are 50 amp.

Aside from the above, here are a couple of things you might want to know. First, the campground is behind a large miniature golf course and not visible from Highway 1. Look for the big Wonder Mountain Fun Park sign. Next to that sign is, indeed, the Moody Beach Campground sign. You turn there, as though you are going to the miniature golf course. Second, the campground offers shuttle van service to Footbridge Beach. The price is nominal and parking at the beach is high and packed.

Honestly, we thought our stay at Moody Beach was the least of our four campground stays in Maine on this trip. We didn’t enjoy Wells and Kennebunkport because of the traffic congestion. The campground continued the “congested” theme and by the end of the week we were ready to move on.

See individual photos with captions here.

2018 – Schoodic Woods Campground – Acadia National Park, Maine

As we began thinking about our 2018 Adventure we decided that Maine’s Acadia National Park would be our primary destination. I started researching the area and began seeing rave reviews of the NPS Schoodic Woods Campground, located on the Schoodic Peninsula section of the National Park. This is considered the “quiet side” of the park with Mt Desert Island containing all the famous landmarks and Schoodic being more laid back. The campground receives universally high marks. Ultimately, we decided to spend a week in the middle of the action on Mt Desert and then spend a week enjoying the serenity of the Peninsula. The booking window is 6 months and I got online the earliest day I could book for the dates of our stay. At that time there were only a few remaining available sites.

It was a great choice. We certainly wouldn’t have wanted to miss the famous side of the park, but this campground is just great. It is located just outside the small town of Winter Harbor. The pull-through sites of Loop B are some of the longest we’ve ever seen. Spacing between the sites is also more than generous. We can see our neighbors through the trees but there’s a great feeling of privacy throughout the campground. The sites in this loop all offer 50 amp electric and water. There’s even free campground WiFi. Here’s a tip for WiFi – book sites nearer the restrooms for the strongest WiFi signals. My Verizon worked okay, ranging from 1 to 3 bars of 4G and I had no problem getting satellite TV.

The campground has a “dark skies” policy. That means there are no strings of LED lights, bug zappers, etc. It also means that you can sit out at night and count the shooting stars and watch satellites gliding across the sky with the backdrop of the Milky Way clearly visible.

The roads are paved and the sites are gravel. The restrooms were always clean. You want to know that there are no showers at the campground. A few businesses in town offer showers for a price.

There’s a NPS shuttle bus that serves the Peninsula, including stops in the two nearby small communities where there are restaurants, a small grocery, and a few shops – all can be visited without starting your own vehicle.

If the campsites here were full hookup, or if, at least, showers were offered, I’d give Schoodic Woods a perfect score. As it is, though, it ranks as one of our favorite campgrounds of all time.

See individual photos with captions here.

2018 – Mt Desert Narrows Camping – Bar Harbor, ME

This was our first visit to Bar Harbor, Maine and Acadia National Park. The area has three Thousand Trails – Trails Collection campgrounds. My first choice was Narrows Too because it has full hookup sites and is known for its larger campsites. From my earliest booking window it was full for the time we wanted to be there. Another option was Patten Pond which is a bit farther out from the National Park. I could have gone there, but really wanted to be able to ride the shuttle and avoid some of the traffic that makes driving anywhere sluggish in this popular tourist area. That left me with Mt Desert Narrows which is the closest to Bar Harbor.

This campground has a variety of campsites, including an impressive tent camping area right on the bay. There are also back-in water/electric sites on the water but they are packed in with neighbors right on top of each other. Up away from the water there’s a large section of full hookup sites, some 30 and some 50 amp. Unfortunately for us, none of these sites were currently available to people who come in on the Trails Collection program.

However, we were given a nice, grassy water/electric 50 amp “parallel parking” site near the activity center and pool. Really, no complaints. We had neighbors in front and behind us but there was room for parking, etc. Our front lawn was somewhat narrow with the road passing by. Again, no complaints. The pool is heated, making it nice even on cooler days. The staff was always friendly and helpful. We enjoyed free ice cream one afternoon and when I asked someone if my fire pit could be cleaned the fellow cheerfully stopped right then and took care of it for me.

We really enjoyed having the Island Explorer Shuttle stopping right at the campground. Using the shuttles we could make connections to downtown Bar Harbor and most of the famous spots in the park. We had to drive up to the summit of Cadillac Mountain because the shuttles don’t go there. Aside from that the pickup was left parked except for a couple of trips to the grocery and for church on Sunday.

The campground WiFi was decent and several sites have cable TV. We happily used their WiFi but I sat up the satellite dish so we could watch the Astros games (for some reason the local channels fail to air our Houston team, what’s up with that?). I had a weaker but usable 4G Verizon signal.

I think on a future trip I would again try to get a spot at Narrows Too just to have FHU but otherwise I would return to Mt Desert Narrows, no complaints.

See individual photos with captions here.