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Saturday, May 2, 2020

Places in Maine where it's Free to Go Camping

Camping Gear

Maine is full of spectacular campgrounds with postcard-like scenery. While most require a fee, there are many free places to go camping across the state!  Free campsites don’t have all of the amenities that campgrounds have, but they do offer seclusion and oftentimes incredible views!

So, if you don't want to pay to pitch a tent? Here is a list of places where it's free to set up camp this summer without having to empty your pockets.

  • Chain of Ponds- Eustis, Maine


Maine 27
Eustis, Maine
GPS: 45.335733, -70.659587
Elevation: 1280'
Get Directions

Chain of Ponds, Eustis, Maine

The Chain of Ponds Public Reserved Lands unit includes Natanis, Long, Bag, and Lower Ponds joined by short thoroughfares to form the "chain." The unit includes frontage on each of the ponds and offers lake shore camping at primitive remote sites, or a commercial campground with amenities.

  • Hay Brook- Brownville, Maine


Katahdin Iron Works Road
Brownville, Maine
GPS: 45.483942, -69.27507
Elevation: 719'
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Hallbrook Falls, Maine

  • Jewett Cove- Greenville, Maine


45.687199, -69.551319
Greenville, Maine
GPS: 45.687199, -69.551319
Elevation: 1040'
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Getting there:

The road in is Gravel and 5.2 miles from a paved road. Jewett Cove is open Year Round. There are 1-5 campsites at this location.

Along the Eastern shoreline of Moosehead Lake sits Jewett Cove, a boat launch site and beach area with a few primitive campsites. The area has several fire rings in a wide open clearing and a well-maintained outhouse nearby. The beach faces West/Southwest and offers a great access point for other sites along the lake by canoe like Fox and Salmon Islands. The sites are first come, first serve.

Jewett Cove- Greenville, Maine

  • Machais River Corridor- Machais, Maine


State Route 9
Wesley, Maine
GPS: 44.905921, -67.836207
Elevation: 190'
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The Machias River, one of Maine's wildest and most cherished waterways, flows for 76 miles from Fifth Machias Lake to tidewater in downtown Machias. The State oversees stewardship and recreational use along its nearly unbroken shoreline, thanks to a remarkable effort that has protected more than 60,000 acres in the Machias River watershed-the country's largest, self-sustaining wild Atlantic salmon run. This landscape-scale conservation project, which spanned more than a decade, successfully preserved 252 miles of river and shore frontage from development and subdivision, while ensuring that the region's working forests can keep contributing to the local economy. Recreational access is guaranteed for all time, helping to maintain a scenic and popular backcountry canoe route (considered by paddlers to be more accessible than the St. John and less heavily traveled than the Allagash).

Machais River Corridor- Machais, Maine

  • Peabody Mountain- Bethel, Maine


Little Larry Road, Batchelders Grant, Maine
Bethel, Maine
GPS: 44.356623, -70.958912
Elevation: 1611'
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The road in is Gravel and 6 miles from a paved road. Peabody Mountain is open Always, road not maintained in winter. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 35 feet. You may stay 14 days at Peabody Mountain.

Five large well spaced sites with fire rings in the White Mountain National Forest. Very quiet, on a dead-end, gravel mountain road. No amenities. Going South, take the first left after Hastings Campground on Route 113.

  • Scoodic Beach- Sullivan, Maine


Sullivan, Maine
GPS: 44.565119, -68.12768
Elevation: 367'
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From Coastal Route 1 take Route 183 (north) until the highway ends and the name of the road changes to Tunk Lake Rd. Turn left onto Schoodic Beach Rd. This is a gravel road. At the first Y in the road keep left and at subsequent Y's  keep right. You will come to a trail head and parking lot with a dump toilet. Take the .5 mile easy hike to the lake.

You can camp up to 14 days. There are fire rings, two dump toilets, dogs on leash permitted, boat access.

These campsites are all are on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Be aware that trapping is allowed on some properties so dogs should be kept on a leash.  It is prohibited to cut down live trees at these sites.  Instead, look for dead, fallen limbs and trees in the woods, or purchase local firewood (firewood from other states is illegal) and bring it with you.  Fire permits are required at most locations, contact the property manager for more information.

When boating make sure your boat and equipment do not have plants from other water bodies on them.  As always, carry in-carry out to keep these open and free for many others to use in the future!

Many of these sites are first come first served and have limited spots, with no reservations taken. Remember to follow the 'leave no trace' rule and try to keep these spots beautiful and free for years to come!

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