2014  HIKING, CYCLING,

& RV TRAVEL ADVENTURES

 

   
 
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   CAMPING AT HADLEY'S POINT CAMPGROUND
ON MOUNT DESERT ISLAND NEAR
BAR HARBOR & ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3

 
"Situated in a quiet location . . . Hadley's Point is a camper's haven. Take a quiet   
five-minute walk to a public saltwater beach. Acadia National Park Visitor Center and
entrance is just four miles, and downtown Bar Harbor is just an eight-mile drive."
 
~ from the Hadley's Point Campground website
 
 
And that's why we stayed here for a week -- it is quiet, scenic, very convenient to Acadia National Park, and reasonably priced.

We were lucky to get in. We didn't make an advanced reservation, unless you count calling half an hour before our arrival to see if any sites were available! We figured since it was after Labor Day that most tourists would be gone and we'd have a campground and the park pretty much to ourselves.

Boy, was that ever wrong!! This is a prime vacation season for people without school-age kids.


First site = full hookups but more crowded

The only inconvenience, however, was having to change campsites during our stay.

We initially paid for four days because we didn't know how much there would be to do nearby. We found plenty, and asked to extend three more days so we could see and do more things and also qualify for the less-expensive weekly rate.

We couldn't keep our full hookup site (shown above) beyond four days but that turned out to be A Good Thing -- we got the lower weekly rate after the fact (i.e., a deduction for what we'd already paid), and we liked our new partial hookup site so much more that we moved into it a day early:


Second site = no sewer but more room and some other advantages

The owners and staff are great to work with and we highly recommend this place. More about the campground, the nearby beach, and a surprise we enjoyed in a little bit . . .

GETTING HERE

The drive on Wednesday morning along the Atlantic coast from Calais to Hadley's Point was so much nicer weather-wise than the drive from Prince Edward Island to Calais the day before.

Early fog and light rain along the coast soon burned off and we could enjoy the views during our relatively short 139-mile drive:

We were on US 1 most of the way except for a tangent on US 1A between Harrington and Millbridge, and then ME 3 from Ellsworth to Mount Desert Island and our campground.

This is a scenic drive with lots of views of the St. Croix River, several large bays and channels, and the Atlantic Ocean.


The tide was low as we passed this bay but we could see blue water in the distance.

You need to be patient if you take this coastal route. US 1 is slow because it goes through lots of small towns and road conditions were only fair to good. Traffic was light until we got to ME 3 on the way to Mount Desert Island, location of popular Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.

We saw some changing foliage, reddish fields, and lots of wildflowers on this drive but I didn't get any good photos of them. (I made it up in Acadia National Park with about a gazillion pictures.)

HADLEY'S POINT CAMPGROUND

Here's a map section from the Acadia National Park website that shows the location of our campground (red dot):

Hadley's Point juts out into Mt. Desert Narrows and Eastern Bay on the north (mainland) side of Mount Desert Island. The campground is named for the point.

The green areas that are highlighted are various units of the national park. We loved being so close to the park because it was the focus of our week in this area. There are at least three other private campgrounds within a few miles of Hadley's Point.

Our campground has about 200 sites to accommodate everything from tents to big rigs:

I marked our two sites with black dots but they're hard to see on the map. You can see a larger site map on the Hadley's Point CG website. Sites range in size from small to large, wooded or open, pull-thrus and back-ins, with or without hookups.

Our first site (yellow row in map above) was pull-thru on gravel with grass. It had full hookups and 30-amp electricity; some sites have 50 amps.

Our second spot (black dot in blue area next to dotted lines on map above) was a back-in site up a large grassy field; it had 30-amp electricity and water but no sewer:

We liked the four days we spent in that site better -- more room, lots of grass for the dogs, places closer to walk them to potty, better TV and WiFi reception, closer to the office and laundry. No sewer was OK for us. We weren't there long enough to have to dump our gray and black water until we left.

The campground has restrooms, showers, and a dump station for those who need them. It also offers optional Honey Wagon service for folks who don't have sewer hookups, a Blue Boy, or the inclination to move their RV to the dump station. I don't think I've seen Honey Wagon service anywhere else we've stayed but it's a great idea. The other options are a lot more work and absolutely no fun.

Hadley's Point Campground also has 16 rather new cabins, a laundry room, camp store, office, swimming pool, games, and free shuttle service to Acadia National Park.


Cabins under very tall trees

The RV sites were mostly full the whole week we were there. I already mentioned how surprised we were that so many visitors were in the area after Labor Day.

We'd advise advanced reservations here, if possible, any time the campground is open since this is such a popular tourist destination. We checked out another nearby RV park that was our second choice and it was also pretty full.

WALK, NO, RUN THIS WAY

The nice surprise at the campground that I mentioned near the beginning of the entry was the dog agility competition we learned about when we first called to see if the campground had any space for us.

The information came more as a warning to us re: all the dogs until we said we had dogs, too, and being able to watch the competition would be fun!

So in addition to all the other people in our campground who wanted to visit Acadia NP, Bar Harbor, and other places on the island, dozens of dog owners and trainers from the Eastern Maine Agility Club had one large section of the campground reserved several days for their agility competition. (It's the light green area denoting a huge field surrounded by 50+ sites, shown at the bottom of the map above.)


Setting up

We really enjoyed watching the club members set up all the equipment on Thursday, practice with their dogs on Friday, and compete on Saturday and Sunday. Even though we spent quite a bit of time touring the island and hiking/cycling in Acadia National Park, we wandered down to the field at least once a day to see what was going on.

The dog owners were happy to explain some of the procedures and judging standards to us and talk about training their dogs for competition. It's a lot of work but mostly fun and the physical activity is great for both the owners and their dogs.

Although the event was organized and structured it was more informal than the agility competitions we've seen on TV -- but not so informal that we could let our dogs use the equipment when it was being set up or taken down. We didn't even ask since we were just spectators. Cody and Casey love the agility tunnels and jumps we sometimes find at dog parks.


A dog gores through its paces during the competition.

One day I spotted an older man at the agility event who was wearing the same t-shirt from Prince Edward Island that I showed in a previous entry -- same color, same striking design. I had mine on, too. I walked up to him when he wasn't busy, said "Nice shirt!" and watched his reaction. He smiled and said thank you, then noticed I had on the same shirt.

We both got a good chuckle and began reminiscing about the things we loved about that island and talking about our dogs.

SUNSETS AT HADLEY'S POINT

One reason we'd return to this campground if we ever visit Acadia NP again is its proximity to Hadley's Point Beach, which faces the mainland beyond Mt. Desert Narrows and Eastern Bay. The beach is half a mile or less down a little road next to the campground. The final descent is steep but manageable walking back up if you're relatively fit.

We walked or drove down several times while we were here so we could let the dogs play in the water. Like other folks, we enjoyed going down to watch sunsets in the evening:

I took these photos on two different evenings:

Above and below:  Boats are tied up a couple hundred feet from shore, perhaps to accommodate tides?

Since this is a public beach anyone can use it. We were glad it was so convenient to our campground because we might not have known about it otherwise.

Next entrylots more places everyone can enjoy on Mount Desert Island -- scenes from our sightseeing tours

Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup

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2014 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

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