CAMPING TIPS FOR PETS
We understand and appreciate that pets are often an important part of camping families, these camping tips will help you avoid some of the pitfalls, and help you and your pet enjoy your camping vacation. Please call ahead to be sure the campground you choose has a pet policy that works for you. Many campgrounds in Maine allow pets. Management has to be sensitive to non-pet owners comfort levels when formulating their properties rules. Here are some examples of rules you might expect:
- Keep pets on a short leash at all times.
- Carry proof of vaccinations.
- If you leave take your pet with you.
- Pick up after your pet and properly dispose of all pet waste in trash receptacles.
- If your pet misbehaves, it is your fault and you may be asked to leave.
- For health and safety reasons pets are not allowed in pool and playground areas.
Your cooperation and understanding will help.
A GUIDE TO MAINE SIGNS
Maine’s “Billboard Law” is intended to preserve the state’s scenic resources, but it also affects the directional information available to travelers. You’ll probably need to look harder to find your way. To avoid confusion, we suggest these following camping tips:
- Get directions before you leave. Brochures usually include directions, and campground owners will be happy to tell you how to reach them.
- Be sure to carry a recent map.
- Use available information centers.
- Signs can only indicate changes in direction. Make next available turn in direction sign arrow is pointing.
- Number indicates distance from sign to destination after turn is complete.
- Sizes and layouts of signs are standardized; reflectorized signs will be blue with white lettering and standard symbols.
HUNTING AND FISHING INFORMATION
Visitors have traditionally enjoyed the wealth of hunting and fishing opportunities found in Maine. Licenses can be obtained at Maine’s Statewide Information Centers and at campground stores in locations where fishing and hunting are primary activities. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife can provide answers to your questions and will provide pamphlets containing official rules and regulations as well as license fees.
For more information write to:
MAINE DEPT OF INLAND FISHERIES & WILDLIFE
284 State St., Station #41
Augusta, ME 04333
NEW TO CAMPING?
A Few Camping Tips to Get Started Are you a first time camper unsure of just where and how to begin? Whatever your age, interests or level of experience, this Guide is designed to get you started on years of successful camping excursions. Use it to contact campgrounds and plan care-free camping vacations.
First, decide what kind of camping experience you want:
Back-to-nature, Outdoor sports oriented, Family oriented, Resort, Travel oriented, Long term/seasonal. Secondly, consider possible destinations, whether city, quiet solitude, tourist attractions, shopping, natural landmarks, recreation areas or special events. Third, use the Guide to locate campgrounds in the areas of your choice. Contact the individual campgrounds for details on their amenities, services and activities.
RESERVATIONS ARE IMPORTANT
Peak weeks in the summer are from the close of school until Labor Day. During this time most campgrounds encourage reservations and some have minimum requirements for holiday weekends and heavily booked vacation weeks. Although you may find a campsite available if you travel without reservations, we urge you to call ahead if you have certain dates and accommodations in mind. Be sure you understand reservation and refund policies for the campground. These are necessary so the campground can plan appropriately and facilitate other requests. We hope your visit will be pleasurable and that you will return again soon.
SPRING, SUMMER OR FALL MAINE CAMPING HAS IT ALL!
Camping in Maine during the summer months is a popular pastime for thousands of guests annually. Many campgrounds open early and close late, extending well beyond the reaches of the summer months. Why not enjoy Maine in the spring and fall? Many campgrounds and businesses alike are open for the season and anxious to welcome our state’s visitors. Numerous campgrounds offer reduced off-season rates! Popular tourist areas and attractions are less crowded.
The spring months offer fresh vitality not only to nature, but to seasonal businesses and travelers alike. These beautiful weeks preceding the official start of summer offer campers an excellent opportunity to enjoy each day to its fullest.
Many of our state’s guests leave for another year at the close of Labor Day weekend, missing the glorious fall months. When the crowds diminish, those who remain are at liberty to enjoy the sights and magnificent fall foliage. Barring local frosts, northern and northwestern portions of Maine are at their best during the last week in September. Eastern and central Maine follow suit during the first week in October; while the southern and coastal regions reach full color about the middle of October.
Maine is also home to over twenty Agricultural Fairs, the majority of which are held during the months of August and September, winding up with the famous Fryeburg Fair the first full week of October.
One of the most perplexing problems in the camping industry today is visitors. Most campers fail to understand why a campground owner requires their visitors to pay a fee for entering and using the facilities. It is not that the campground owner doesn’t want visitors, it is simply that the facilities can only handle so many people. Excess people cause strains on restrooms, pools, and other facilities. They cause extra utility expenses which have to be paid. Who’s to pay for all this? You the camper? No, the user, the visitor. Please be advised that visitors may be charged a fee for use of the facilities.
WILDERNESS CAMPING TIPS
Wilderness camping in Maine may mean different things to different folks. To some, tenting or camping at a smaller, more remote privately owned campground may mean “roughing it.” Campfires, lanterns, campfire cooking, and the surroundings may be the ideal. Perhaps combine this with a little hiking, fishing, boating or reading – and this is enjoying life “away from it all.” An advantage to this type of camping is that generally other people, some supplies and services, and a community may be available. If you do choose wilderness camping please follow these camping tips, and be sure that you are fully prepared.
To others, wilderness camping means driving, flying, or walking into a remote destination where supplies and services are either limited or not available. A few privately owned campgrounds do border on this type of camping experience.
However, planning and preparedness are advised to campers “going it on their own.” In the great North Maine Woods, thousands of acres of land are partially accessible by dirt roads used by logging trucks. The perimeters of Baxter State Park also generally abut undeveloped areas. Supplies and services are limited. Good supplies and a strong understanding of the challenges that may be encountered are mandatory. A true wilderness camping experience may be the ultimate, but only advised for the prepared.
The choices are unlimited; it is strongly recommended that you match your expectations and experience with your planning. Whatever your choices, the North Maine Woods – often considered the Alaska of the east coast – is a memorable, sought after challenge and experience. Perhaps being so tough to get to has its own rewards!
These firewood camping tips are important to protect you, Maine wildlife, and indigenous plant species. Insects and diseases can be in, on or under the bark of firewood, or even deep within the wood itself. You often cannot see it there. Hauling insect-infested firewood from home dramatically speeds up the spread of invasive insects that harm out forests. An invasive insect population might spread a few miles on its own in a single year; moving infested wood can spread the same pests hundreds of miles in a single day. Protect our forests by leaving your firewood at home and buying it where you burn it. For more information please click here.
MECOA: Maine Campground Owners Association
MECOA is the premier resource for supporting campground owners and promoting camping in Maine.
The Maine Camping Guide website and printed version of the Maine Camping Guide are products of the Maine Campground Owners Association (MECOA). MECOA represents over 200 of Maine's licensed campgrounds. The offices of MECOA are in Lewiston Maine and you may contact us here.
MECOA accomplishes their mission by providing marketing, advocacy and educational tools to its members. MECOA has built this website for the convenience of the camping public and all of our members are represented here on this site as well as in the printed version of the guide which is available here in a digital format. MECOA marketing program for members is extensive.