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“Steadily in Decline throughout the years”

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Smuggler's Den Campground
Certificate of Excellence
Dracut, Massachusetts
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Steadily in Decline throughout the years”
Reviewed 7 September 2010

There's some great sites in this campground if you can get a site close to the only real bathroom in the campground, so I strongly suggest taking a look at the campsite map before booking a site here, but there are some not so great ones. You'd be OK with the premium sites; whereas the regular sites are close together. The owners have been getting more independent and the price for wood went from $2.50 to $4 a bundle in one year, which is enough for me to look outside the campground for wood because wood can easily be found for $2 or $2.50 outside. I know and heard from my friends that the owners track how many people they turn away. Seems like they adjust the price accordingly since the site pricing is now the 3rd highest on the island, even after AAA and weekly discounts, whereas they used to be among the lowest. Though, they do offer free showers. There is a pool that closes at dusk and they advertise it as being heated, but it isn't, but at least I'll give them credit for having one. They have a lame singer that comes in on Monday nights that I don't care too much for.

With the pricing increases they've been having lately, I'm beginning to question if its just more worthwhile to camp at Blackwoods, which is $20 per night, free wood occasionally provided, metered showers, and is closer to the main part of the island where there is much more stuff to do and where there is the majority of restaurants. Its hard to believe, but just a few years ago anyone could get a site for a week at Smugglers for the same price as Blackwoods.

  • Stayed August 2010
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank mlkrgr41530
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
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English first
belair, maryland
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2010

Wonderful place for a family. We camped for the first time with our 2 children (ages 8 and 10) and had a blast. There was a wonderful pool w/slide, basketball hoop, swingset, huge field to play,and a nice spot for tenting. The bathrooms/showers, campsites, and store were well kept and clean. The campground is easily located with buses to Bar Harbor and throughout Acadia. The staff and other campers were just wonderful in their kindness, helpfulness, and making me feel at home.
We would definately come back and stay for many years to come!
Thanks for a great time!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank allietiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Hampshire
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 July 2010

We have been going to smugglers den for 9 years now, sometimes twice in one year. This campground is away from the hustle and bustle of bar harbor however close enough to most of the major sites to make it a great place. Being only a few minutes from echo lake (the only lake to swm in on the island) makes it a must on a hot day.
The staff is always friendly and the campground is impeccably clean. We have stayed in all the different types of sites and while they are all nice we have come to enjoy any of those located on the field, which makes the camp ground extremely spacious. One of the benefits of smugglers den is the free hot showers, which after an active day hiking, biking, or doing and number of activities you can refresh before a comfy night in the tent. We have already booked our stay for labor day.
While they have RV and cabins available we have only tented.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank NHIrish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
leicester
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2009

We rented an RV and toured from Boston up through Maine then New Hampshire and then down to Cape Cod in Massachussetts. Spent three nights at an RV camp, Smugglers Den near South Harbor. The campsite was clean, spacious and well laid out with excellent facilities. We were a party of 4 all with bicycles to get around and explore the area. One thing that stood out as making the area so enjoyable and accessible were the regular free buses that circulate throughout the National Park and on which you can easily transport your bikes. They are sponsored by an outdoor clothing company, L.L. Bean and they are powered by Propane so as not to pollute the atmosphere in the park. Obviously, this also helps reduce one's own emissions through leaving your vehicle behind. The Acadia National Park area and Bar Harbor in particular are absolutely magnificent. Beautiful pristine lakes in which to swim and Kayak, stunning scenery and miles of traffic free trails to hike or cycle. From Bar Harbor you can take Whale Watching trips, Sea Kayaking or even a fast ferry to Nova Scotia. The town is largely unspoilt by commercial development retaining a small town feel although there is a staggering choice of shops and restaurants. Also, I must not forget to mention the people, so friendly, they really go out of their way to help you and always with a smile or a whimsical anecdote. I will definitely return to Bar Harbor and next time I plan to stay much longer. Could also recommend the RV experience, it's not as daunting to drive as you might expect and the flexibility which it provides is fantastic.

Helpful?
2 Thank Tilkobling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2009

This was my first camping experience and first trip to Bar Harbor. I was with my fiance and his family who are both seasoned campers and visitors to Maine. We stayed from July 1st to July 5th. We reserved a premium tent site which backed up to a heavily wooded area and in front was a large field which was taped off and two lovely horses were allowed to graze. The site seemed perfectly secluded especially in comparison to the non-premium sites which seemed to be on-top of each other. Except when the campground filled up on the 3rd of July! My future in-laws were both in campers and the loop they were on backed up to woods however there were campers in a loop in front of them and campers directly to the left and right of them. You honestly could hear your neighbors every move. Good things: clean pool with an awesomely fun slide!, very nice owners/staff who greeted us daily but were never pushy, very clean bathrooms, great store fully stocked with almost everything you could need or forgot to bring, only 20 minutes to pretty much all the activities that Acadia and the Island have to offer. Bad things: too close to neighboring sites, only 1 bathroom that wasn't as close as I would have liked it, creepy cemetery right in the middle of the campground, pool wasn't as heated as it should have been to boast that it was a heated pool. The premium sites were in a heavily wooded area with trees that were rotted/struck my lighting and tipping over. All in all I had a nice experience but I learned that I don't like tenting!

Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank audreymelo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2009

Nice campground, weather was crappy so we didn't have an opportunity to test the pool but looked VERY clean. A bit away from Acadia and Bar Harbor in relation to some of the other campgrounds, but never more than 20 minutes from anything on Desert Island.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank s987123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
massachusetts
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2009

I cannot believe the negative review I just read. I stayed here in 2007 with my wife and friends and had an amazing time. We stayed in the premium tent sites along the field. The sites were very prviate. You get what you pay for however. If you opt for their cheapest site you have a little less privacy. Our site was on the side of the field which was huge and had a great nights view for stargazing. We have camped at many campgrounds and were bothered for having fires to late and talking (TALKING not screaming or playing music and being rude). They let you camp here and do not act like parents or police. You are there to have fun right? The trading post is great and I had bout 2 jumbo lobsters, they even let us borrow pots to cook them in. !!!!!!!!!! How many campgrounds can say they have lobster. The campground is only about 15 min from bar harbor and is in the national park. The clost attraction we enjoyed was echo lake. This is a crystal clear lake (kinda small for a lake) with a huge cliff on one side. You can climb to the top for an awesome view. I though the staff was very nice and accomodating. I have found many campground hosts to be old bitter people however this was not the case here. The cost of the campground is also comparable to many other camprgrounds in the area. They also have a pool and basket ball court and horseshoe pit. They also let you borrow equipment. Again we stayed here in the summer of 2007 for 4 nights and we are going back very soon. Our reservations have been made for some time now and I cannot wait to get back and camp.

  • Stayed August 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank xavier1414
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Smuggler's Den Campground

Property: Smuggler's Den Campground
Address: Rte. 102, 20 Main Street, Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island, ME 04679-0787
Region: United States > Maine > DownEast and Acadia Maine > Mount Desert Island > Southwest Harbor
Amenities:
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Southwest Harbor
Number of rooms: 100
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Worcester family began Smuggler's Den Campground in 1969 and continues to operate it today. Our goal then and now is to provide our customers with a comfortable and relaxed camping experience on the quiet side of Mount Desert Island. Enjoy our 22' x 44' HEATED POOL with slide and kiddie pool or it is just a 20 minute walk to Echo Lake Sand Beach in Acadia National Park. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Smuggler`s Den Campground Hotel Southwest Harbor
Smuggler's Den Campground Southwest Harbor, Maine

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