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“Amenities but room to experience nature.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Blackwoods Campground

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Blackwoods Campground
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Route 3, five miles south of Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park, ME   |  
Hotel amenities
Baltimore, Maryland
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Amenities but room to experience nature.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

We love to travel to Bar Harbor in the early Fall. The weather is perfect and there's enough activity to keep us busy all week since our stay is usually around 5-6 days. However, there's enough peace and quiet to enjoy what Maine really has to offer... getting away from the stress of life.

We love tent camping and Blackwoods is a wonderful place to go. We're repeat customers. The campground is always maintained by rangers to get in and out who stress the concept of "Leave No Trace". They offer lots of useful information about Acadia. You're far enough off the road not to see glaring lights down the main drive and if you like it dark at night... Blackwoods is definitely the perfect name for this spot.

They have amenities for campers, RVs and tents. There are clean bathrooms with sinks, outlets and toilet stalls within a brief walk from your spot. Reserving a spot is very easy online on the DNR site and is VERY inexpensive at $20/night. Right outside of Blackwoods' entrance is a nice bathhouse with coin operated showers run by a local who we met a few times and is very nice, courteous and keeps the men's and women's bathrooms clean. There's plenty of room to dress, hang towels, private shower stalls stepping outside of the showers and electrical outlets, mirrors and toilet. When we were there last it was $1 for 4 minutes for a shower. Just line up your quarters to toss them in for another 4 minutes since its within easy reach while you're still IN the shower. I never had a cold shower there either, although I recommend trying some "alternate" times to use it... early or later morning... skip the usual "rush hour" around 9am.

Blackwoods isn't far from town, although you definitely need a car to get anywhere. Once in town, there's places for wood and other camp supplies, so you don't have to worry about forgetting anything. Since it is a small town though, don't expect things to be open as they are further south in the crazy business corridor between NY and DC. ;)

We'll continue to reserve our spot to tent camp at Blackwoods in the future. It offers us everything camping these days should offer as far as comforts, but it also let's you experience nature.

And P.S. Do NOT leave food outside of your site. We did hear "running" of wildlife outside at 3am. We're still not sure what we heard, but we're glad the cooler was in the car. Respect Maine and the wildlife you're borrowing from those that live there year-round. Clean up and definitely "leave no trace" so the rest of us can continue to love it up there too.

Room Tip: Quiet, nature, amenities and an escape for a steal per night.
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  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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121 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Dover, New Hampshire
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2011

I camped for 3 nights in a small (14 foot) camper on site B62. This site had only 1 neighbor that wasn't all that close. You can't reserve a particular site and certain sites were a little closer than I would have been happy with but the place was SOOO quiet. Quiet hours start at 10pm but even by 9 we would see very few fires going and hear very little noise. They asked us to keep the fires low and contained and at one point we saw a small fire truck driving around checking as the danger was high when we visited. there were two bathrooms within a close walking distance and were the cleanest I have ever seen at a campground (just remember to bring your own soap).
This is a great campground for active families who want to enjoy the outdoor playground that Acadia has to offer but children who have come to expect pools, playgrounds, arts/crafts or such activities may be dissapointed. You can check out the nightly talks given by rangers on sight. Although you can walk to the ocean it is a little bit of a drive for a swim at Sand beach, and good luck with parking. Your best bet might be the free shuttle bus running every 30 min from the campground.
Check in was slow, once you pull your car up you have to fill out paperwork, would be nice if they handed out the form to the nexxt 3 or 4 people in line.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2011

We stayed here for 3 nights over July 4th weekend. The check-in process took a while - about 5 minutes for us, and about 10 minutes each for each of the three cars in front of us in the line! Other than that though, I couldn't really fault this place.

We were tent camping, and were assigned site A16. Loop A seems to be all tents, which is really nice because I know there are RVs at this campground. In fact, we never even saw the RVs except for at check-in - they must have been in a different loop.

The sites aren't huge, but there are trees between you and the next site which separates you a bit more. We were lucky and had very quiet neighbors. However, as in any campsite, if you had noisy neighbors, you could easily be disturbed.

The toilets were very clean - probably the cleanest of any campsite I've stayed in. There was also a good system for disposal of dish water, which was good because it is sometimes ambiguous as to what you are supposed to do with it in other campsites. The showers are right outside the entrance to the campground. However, they are expensive at $2 for 4 minutes. 4 minutes is really not very long for a shower, and I have no idea how that would work if you had kids. They were reasonably clean, but still I would recommend bringing flip flops. The water was hot. One time I had to wait 10 minutes or so as all the showers were occupied.

The campsite was very reasonably priced at $20/night. It's also in the heart of the park, so is quite convenient to most of the hiking trails and attractions. It is actually very close to the ocean, although the sites are not along the ocean. You can walk to the ocean though - there is a little path that leads there from the campground. I would recommend it, it was a nice view.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Maine
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
103 helpful votes 103 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2011

My fiance and I stayed at Blackwoods for the weekend back in August 2010. It was fairly quiet considering how popular it is in the summer. Reservations definitely need to be made well in advance, especially for a weekend stay. The sights were decent sized and private enough. You could see the sight next to you, but there were at least some trees to give a little bit of privacy. We had our 3 year old golden retriever and kept him on his lease at all times. Showers were off-sight, but easily accessible by car. The sight was nice, only a 1/2 mile or so from the trail head to Cadillac Mt. Overall, a great campground within the park. Definitely recommended!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2011

Loved it here, very cheap and reasonably priced. I would strong suggest booking VERY early for the summer, but all in all a great location. Showers are right outside and somewhat expensive, but Acadia is great. Check in/out was very smooth, sites are somewhat private, there are some woods between each site but its certainly a little cramped. Not a huge issue though. The price is certainly great in comparison to other lodging on MDI.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
81 hotel reviews
Reviews in 75 cities Reviews in 75 cities
166 helpful votes 166 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2010

Unfortunately we only got to stay one night here as it shut down due to Hurricane Earl. Evidently the trees have shallow roots in Acadia so are prone to falling on you in high winds. I found the rangers here to be adequately helpful, unlike other reviewers. They explained the refund process very clearly to me when asked. They were getting a little tetchy with people on the phone who were enquiring about the closures, which I found unusual as americans are normally very customer focussed. The campground has clean toilets and plenty of dumpsters. There is a handy drain for throwing away dishwater which many camps leave out. The pitch was quite large though not too private. I noticed they are planting more trees and shrubs to shield the pitches from each other. I would come back here and stay longer. (Note: the top of Cadillac Mountain and dawn is well worth the early start, it's stunning)

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phila, PA
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2010

I stayed here with a friend, one of my backpacking companions, the nights of September 19 and 20. We had no reservations and arrived just as the sun was going down. The ranger at the gate was a little stand-offish, but we chalked that up to the relative lateness of our arrival. We had been a bit fearful of arriving with no reservations, but were pleasantly surprised to see the campground relatively deserted. There were other campers, but we seemed to be spaced out, which gave us plenty of privacy. Had the campground been full, I could imagine there being an issue with noise, perhaps, but I would have expected that in a family campground setting. My friend and I are backpackers, and so we are used to backcountry camping. For us, this situation was pure luxury. The sites are flat, water and bathrooms were nearby. The campground was beautifully maintained and clean. At night, it was quiet enough for us to hear the surf in the distance as well as buoy bells. We enjoyed a great ranger program at the amphitheater presented by Ranger Eleanor. We stayed after the program to ask her for advice about trails and the best place to see the sunrise in the morning. She gave us fantastic advice, and the next morning we woke before dawn and made the short walk to a nearby spot overlooking the ocean. We shared the sunrise with a few others, and thoroughly enjoyed being some of the first people in the US to see the sunrise that day.

I have to agree with some other comments here about the park staff being less helpful and even downright rude, however. Ranger Eleanor was fantastic and was willing to stay past her presentation to share info with us. But in the morning when we checked in at the main gate, the two rangers on duty gave us short answers and laughed at us when we asked about hiking to the top of Cadillac Mtn. Eleanor had told us about a trail from the campground to the mountain summit, which we wanted to take. She also told us that we could hike down along another trail to get to an Island Express shuttle stop which would bring us back to the campground. In the morning, we wanted to make sure we had the route clearly in mind before starting the hike and wanted to purchase a map at the ranger station. We bought the map, opened it and asked for some details. We were flatly told, in fact laughed at, when we asked about getting a shuttle ride back to camp. "There's no way. If you hike up that trail to Cadillac Mountain, you have to hike it back down to the campground." I looked down at the map and clearly saw lines of several trails that led down the mountain toward shuttle stops indicated. I pointed them out to the rangers, who by the way, look like they hadn't taken a hike in years or even walked around the campground much. They then admitted that there were some trails and we could get down to the Abbe Museum and catch a shuttle. It's a good thing that we are experienced hikers and can read topo maps, but having good advice from rangers is usually an extra level of preparation that we like to have and have come to expect from rangers in our national parks. I've traveled to and hiked in many national parks, and Acadia has the least helpful, least enthusiastic rangers that I've ever met. Is this part of the Main "You cahn't get there from heyah" attitude? I'm not sure. We also had a very bad experience with the shuttle bus driver on our way back to the campground. Being unfamiliar with the shuttle system and this being our first trip to Acadia, we were unsure of our bus stop. Asking for help from the driver elicited sarcastic answers about reading signs, maps, and he even made remarks over the sound system in a very sarcastic manner as we came up to our stop.

In summary, I give the campground high marks. If you are used to lots of campground amenities, this may not be for you. I can imagine that when it is full at the height of the season or on weekends, it could be noisy. There are no hot showers within the campground, but the bathrooms are clean. For whatever reason, the rangers here, aside from the wonderfully friendly Ranger Eleanor, were less than friendly and not very helpful, and even projected an attitude that tourists are a bother. I'd stay here again, but I'd hope to run into friendlier staff next time.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blackwoods Campground

Address: Route 3, five miles south of Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park, ME
Location: United States > Maine > DownEast and Acadia Maine > Acadia National Park
Amenities:
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Acadia National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 306
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Year-round campgrounds at Acadia National Park. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Blackwoods Campground Hotel Acadia National Park
Blackwoods Campground Acadia National Park, Maine

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