Spending a night — or five — under the stars is one of the best ways to experience Acadia National Park. You’ll just have to plan ahead: Camping is only allowed in the park’s five designated campgrounds. Three have standard car-camping, tent, and RV sites; of the remaining two, Duck Harbor is only accessible only by boat, and Wildwood Stables Campground is open only to travelers with stock animals.

Though there is no backcountry camping in the park, there are a number of privately owned campgrounds in Bar Harbor and scattered throughout Mount Desert Island outside of park boundaries. These can be a good back-up plan if the park’s sites are full, and we list two below. To get a spot at one of the more centrally located park campgrounds during peak season, book well in advance through recreation.gov.

Blackwoods Campground in Acadia National Park

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Blackwoods Campground — With its location in the heart of Acadia, just minutes from Bar Harbor and walking distance to Thunder Hole and Sand Beach, Blackwoods is one of the most popular campgrounds on Mount Desert Island. Because of this, it is often fully booked from mid-May through mid-October, so reserving a site in advance is the only way to ensure you have a place to pitch your tent.

The campground is typically open from May 1 through October 18 and has 306 sites. While RVs are permitted, there are no hookups or utilities in the campground. Fees are $30 for tent and camper sites and $60 for group sites, which can accommodate up to 20 campers, depending on the site.

Seawall Campground in Acadia National Park

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Seawall Campground — The Seawall Campground is located on the island’s west side, which tends to be much quieter than the area around Bar Harbor. All sites in this forested campground are within a ten-minute walk from the ocean and a short drive from Southwest Harbor, which has a number of galleries, shops, and restaurants.

Of the campground’s more than 200 sites, about half are walk-in only. This is good news for late planners, but early arrivals tend to snag those spots well before dusk during busy periods and on weekends. While some sites can accommodate RVs, it can be difficult to navigate them through the park’s tight roads. The campground does not have showers or RV hookups, but you’ll find fee-based showers about a mile away. Sites range from $22 to $60, depending on whether they are walk-in, drive-up, or group sites; they’re available from May 20 through October 11.

Camping with a fire at Acadia National Park, Maine

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Schoodic Woods Campground — Located on the Schoodic Peninsula, about an hour from Bar Harbor by car, the Schoodic Woods Campground is in a less-visited, but no less impressive, part of the park. The Schoodic Peninsula features a shorter loop road with views of nearby islands, the rocky coastline, and lighthouses, as well as plenty of hiking and biking trails.

Of the campground’s 94 sites, just over a third are RV accessible. Fees start at $22 for walk-in tent sites and can go up to $60 for a group site. Like the Seawall Campground, Schoodic Woods is typically open from May 20 through October 11.

Duck Harbor Isle au Haut in Acadia National Park, Maine

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Duck Harbor Campground — Duck Harbor Campground, about five miles south of Stonington, Maine, on Isle au Haut, is the most remote and primitive place to camp in the park. The island is accessible only by a mailboat that departs from Stonington and serves travelers on a first-come, first-serve basis. The campground has five primitive lean-to shelter sites that are available by reservation only from May 15 through October 15. Amenities are limited, so comfort in the backcountry is necessary.

Belgian draft horse

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Wildwood Stables Campground — Wildwood Stables is located next to Park Loop Road on the Southeast side of Mount Desert Island and is open only to those who are bringing their own horses to ride around the park. The campground, which is open from Memorial Day through mid-October, has 10 tent- and RV- accessible sites. Primitive sites start at $15 per night and horse stalls are an additional $25 per night.

Privately-owned campgrounds

Mount Desert Campground — Reserved campsites start at $31 at Mount Desert Campground, which offers sites both on the water and tucked into the woods of Mount Desert Island. This large campground right on Somes Sound has water and electric as well as designated spots for RVs and larger camping vehicles. The onsite cafe sells coffee and snacks.

Somes Sound View Campground — Similar to Mount Desert Campground but smaller, SSVC offers private campsites starting at $30 per night. Electricity and water are available at some sites, with larger sites for RVs starting at $56 per night. The campground has an onsite pool and playground for families and a general store with basic camp supplies.