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5 Spectacular Campgrounds in Maine and New Hampshire

My first stop after Lily Bay was Mount Blue State Park.


It is the largest campground in Maine with over 8000 acres of land split into two areas. The campground is at Webb Beach while the majority of the land is across the lake encompassing Mount Blue and Center Hill with miles of great hiking trails.

The campground has 136 sites. Some of my favorites were numbers 57, 58, and 59 set at the edge of the middle loop.

Mount-Blue_057 Mount-Blue_058 Mount-Blue_059

I was in site 77 and another large site was 84 nearby.

Mount-Blue_077 Mount-Blue_084

A short trail leads down to a delightful beach.

Mount-Blue-Beach Mount-Blue-Boat-Rentals Webb-Lake-2

The morning fog was just starting to burn off out over the lake.


So of course I took some pics.

Webb-Lake-5 Webb-Lake-3 Mount-Blue-Dock

Followed up by a decadent early lunch. I have not had bacon in a long time and a neighbor offered me few strips so I figured that a cheeseburger was in order.


I couldn't move for several hours afterward...

I arrived at my final stop in Maine last Thursday.

Rangeley Lake State Park.


The weather is consistently inconsistent. A sunny day or two will be followed by days of rain, which was falling when I walked the park's 50 sites.

Numbers 13, 17, 19, and 21 are close to the shore.

Rangeley-Lake_013 Rangeley-Lake_017 Rangeley-Lake_019 Rangeley-Lake_021

Tarps are everywhere up here in the North Woods since you are allowed to tie ropes to trees to support them. Shade from the sun, protection from the rain.

I was in site 2, across from the showers.


And yes, my tarp is up as well.

I mad some tacos for dinner and hoped for a sunny Friday.


Guess what? It was sunny. Yippee!

I checked out more of Rangeley before I left.

Rangeley-Lake-Beach Rangeley-Lake-Docks Rangeley-Lake

The historic town of Rangeley is less than 10 miles away with neat shops and restaurants. Book early if you plan to camp here.

I continued on, driving past giant christmas trees and crossed into the state with the best motto.

Road New-Hampshire-Sign

Live Free or Die.

Maybe that is why there is no helmet law for motorcyclists and seatbelts are only required for people under the age of eighteen.

And I was no longer in just the North Woods.


I have been travelling near the Canadian border for a while and I wonder if they have signs there that say "Welcome to the Great South Woods."

Food for thought. (Tacos, naturally.)

My first time camping in New Hampshire was at Umbagog Lake State Park.


There are over 60 sites here but half of them require that you arrive by boat.

More on that in a minute.

The campground was beautiful, with a choice of shaded or open spots.

Numbers 1D and 4 bordered a grassy field.

Umbagog_001D Umbagog_004

Number 2 was a large site just off the lake.


But the best site was mine, 42.


Private and just steps to my own little beach.

Campsite-View-1 Umbagog-Lake

The sites are $30 but guess what? They all have electricity.

This has been my favorite campground so far, almost like a summer camp.

There are several cabins, a nice beach, boat rentals, marina, even a small store.

Umbagog-Cabin Umbagog-Beach Umbagog-Canoe-Rentals Umbagog-Marina Umbagog-Store

There are even laundry facilities.


I stayed here for three nights. Had to. Because this was considered part of the holiday weekend, even though the real one is upcoming, there was a minimum of a three night stay when making reservations like I did back in February.


I did not mind one bit. It was sunny the whole time and no humidity.

Saturday night I stepped out into the lake to watch the sunset.


I observed a fisherman while waiting for the sun to hide behind the hills.

Fisherman Sunset-3 Sunset-4 Sunset-5

I waded back to camp to read for a while.


Sunday morning I used the last of the bacon I was given for breakfast.



Back to the boat-in campsites. There are several ways to get to them.

You can have a buddy tow you there.

Campers-1 Campers-2

You can have the campground boats take all your gear along with your own boat onboard or a rental.

Campers-3 Campers-4

Or take the minimalist approach.

Campers-5 Campers-6

That is an awfully small cooler. Unlike how this gentleman has outfitted himself.


He said it was mostly beer and ice. Catch fish for food.

This lady packed along a side table and a leather recliner.


When I asked her about it she said she has a private camp on the shore about 10 miles away. When the furniture is replaced at home, the old stuff goes to the camp. She was getting set up for the upcoming long weekend.

I finished off Sunday by making a fresh batch of taco meat and toasting the sunset.

New-Salsa Sunset-Tacos

I want to come back here someday with a canoe and camp on the lake somewhere. As folks were being ferried back on Sunday I kept hearing, "See you next year". A lot of repeat campers.

Monday was a drive to Moose Brook State Park for just one night. I did not make reservations and the state has a few non-reservable sites at most campgrounds.


$25 was the price for site 16, one of the 46 spots here.


Many of the spots on the inside of the first loop border a nice field, like numbers 23, 28, and 33.

Moose-Brook_023 Moose-Brook_028 Moose-Brook_033

The brook flows past the north side of the campground.

Moose-Brook-View-1 Moose-Brook-View-2

It crosses under Jimtown Road and forms two swimming areas in the day use section of the park, within walking distance of the campground.

Also nearby is White Mountain Highway and Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeast at a shade under 6300 feet of elevation.

I followed it to my next stop on Tuesday morning.

There is a road you can drive to the top or there is the option of a shuttle.

Mount-Washington-Sign Mount-Washington

They discourage RV's from the road so I did not make the climb.

My Dad says he climbed the mountain back when he camped at Sebago Lake as an eleven year old. He didn't say up or down, so I assume he climbed down it after a ride to the top.

I continued on.




And arrived at White Lake State Park, the most popular one in New Hampshire.


There is a ton of stuff do do in this area, known as the Mount Washington Valley. The towns of Conway and North Conway are less than 20 minutes away. The Saco River offers a variety of paddling options.

The Kancamagus National Scenic Byway is just up the road and passes through the heart of the White Mountains. I will be driving it tomorrow, Friday, to my next campground.

White Lake has 199 sites broken up into 4 areas.

In Campground One I liked 24 and 69.

Campground-1_024 Campground-1_069

Again, more tarps. Maybe a change in the weather?

In Campground Two numbers 4 and 24 caught my eye.

Campground-2_004 Campground-2_024

That is one big tarp.

Campground Three yielded 9, 18, and 21 as good bets.

Campground-3_009 Campground-3_018 Campground-3_021

Finally there are 13 sites called Waterview. 5 and 7 are good examples.

Water-View_005 Water-View_007

There is a hurricane brewing on the NE coast and I felt it effects on Tuesday. The temp was about 85 with 90% humidity. I walked 100 sites and called it quits after the drive here. Wednesday I finished up the other 99 sites and was sweating profusely again.

Wednesday afternoon we campers started hearing thunder in the distance.

I rigged up another tarp over my cooking area and bike.


Not perfect, but it worked. But nothing could stop the water from flowing under it. See how my carpet is finally nice and dry in the pic above?

Not anymore.

Flood-1 Flood-2

A muddy river.


I ducked into the trailer for the worst of it and swore I heard strange noises underneath. When the rain slackened I went outside and found the cause.


Momma duck and her young had taken refuge under the trailer but got caught in the mud.

The picture below might look blurry, but it's because the babies were shaking and cleaning themselves so vigorously.


Trying so hard to get the mud off. They wandered under the picnic table and then my car as the rain started back up.

Ducks-3 Ducks-4

I made a quick dinner and then covered up my table. I tried a different salsa this time to keep the skeeters at bay.

Rainy-Tacos Stove-Cover

This morning I walked down to beach area.


Campers were already claiming tables early in the morning.


The beach is large and sandy and there are bathrooms as well as a store.

White-Lake-Store White-Lake

That was this morning. The skies cleared around 9am and I can hear people having a ball at the beach.

I also just heard the first crack of thunder at 4:15pm while writing this.

But I wanted to share one last tidbit before the rain (hopefully not) starts to fall.

You overhear lots of conversations in a campground. I heard a great one last Sunday at Lake Umbagog.

Two boys were walking by my site on the way to the dock to do some fishing. They looked about the age of my nephews, Riley, 14, and Jake, 11.

So I will use them for the conversation.

Riley. "Did you bring any bait?"

Jake. "Yep. I got worms."

"Worms don't always work."

"These are special worms."

"What are you talking about?"

"These", and then with a quick glance at his brother, "are Canadian worms."

True story.

Regards, Park Ranger


Thank you, Park Ranger, for your excellent narrative and photos. I am in trip planning mode... yours was very helpful. Steve Raymond, Maine

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