Smuggler’s Den Campground – Southwest Harbor, ME
We were looking forward to spending ten nights at this campground that describes itself as “a comfortable and relaxed camping experience on the quiet side of Mount Desert Island.” We have been to Acadia before and looked forward to returning. The brochure describes “over 25 miles of ANP hiking trails can be accessed from” the campground. We are two adults (no kids) who love campgrounds that provide peace and quiet and a relaxing time. We HATED this campground!
Although we requested a “secluded” site, our hook-ups were within 2 ft of the next site’s firepit. We had two different neighbors during our stay. Both were loud and enjoyed staying up very late. Quiet hours are NOT enforced. Our last night there, our neighbors returned very drunk, very loud and peering in our windows. They kept us up (even though we closed our windows tight and turned up our radio) until 2AM. The owners, however, like to mow at 8AM sharp. They will mow your site while you are there. They also repaired their roads with new hard pack before 9AM.
The hiking trails are a joke. You need to traverse about 500 ft of newly forested wood lots to access them. The wood lots are left with deep ruts, stumps and downed trees. Do not follow the orange blaze! That dead ends you into a swamp.
The Free Island Explorer bus service does not start until late June. The swimming pool does not open until late June. A LP gas refill will cost you $24.50.
The positives? The seasonal sites look nice. The campground is within a 30 minute drive of ANP visitor’s center and the park loop road. Making reservations was a snap. Our site had W/E/S.
Bottom line: If you are looking for a quiet getaway that will allow you to rest and unwind in a peaceful setting – DO NOT STAY HERE!! However, if you enjoy partying with like-minded individuals and do not give a hoot about nature, neighbors or peace & quiet – have at it!
We would NEVER stay here again.