If you have your sights set on experiencing winter camping at its finest, it likely comes as no surprise that Maine is a fantastic state for the full experience. Few places in the continental United States get so cold or become so classically winter wonderland in appearance as the Pine Tree State.
Read on for a roundup of the best spots to go winter camping in Maine—from the frigid north to the picturesque south and everywhere in between.
Best Winter Camping in Maine’s Northern Region
Baxter State Park – Millinocket
There are lots of reasons to consider trying out some winter camping in Maine at Baxter State Park! One of the largest draws to this far northern state park is that it’s home to Mount Katahdin, the largest mountain in the state. Talk about a great spot to enjoy winter camping, snowshoeing, hiking, and more.
Baxter State Park is also a great spot for winter camping in Maine whether you prefer more classic winter tent camping or some cozier winter glamping. In addition to the many campgrounds with rustic campsites available at Baxter State Park, there are two campgrounds—those at Kidney Pond and Daicey Pond—which also feature camping cabins.
These cabins are all rustic, and you must bring your own gear and supplies for the duration of your stay. However, there are various options for these cabins in terms of their size and design layout, with Kidney Pond sporting 12 cabins and Daicey Pond housing 10.
Aroostook State Park – Presque Isle
As a state park ranked among the best in the United States, known for its friendly staff and gorgeous views, Aroostook State Park is an ideal location to enjoy some winter camping in Maine! This park is also fantastic for lots of outdoor winter activities.
One of the most popular snowy recreations you can indulge in at Aroostook State Park is cross country skiing on the 15 miles of groomed trails that wind their way throughout the state park. There are also opportunities for sliding, snowshoeing, and ice skating in the park.
Of course, all of these recreations—including winter camping at Aroostook State Park—are conditional based on the weather, snowpack, and ice thickness at any given point during the winter. It’s important to check the local conditions and also contact the state park before you trek out to Aroostook State Park for some winter camping in Maine’s northern region.
Best Winter Camping in Maine’s Central Region
Coos Canyon Campground – Byron
If you want a change of pace from your standard state park winter camping in Maine, Coos Canyon Campground is a fantastic option in the west-central area of the Pine Tree State. This is a much smaller, family-owned and -operated campground set in the mountains, and camping here in winter is an experience like no other.
Coos Canyon Campground leans heavily into cabin camping during the winter season. They have two dog-friendly cabins available year round that can sleep up to eight people and pooches each, and both cabins are equipped with a living room, dining room, kitchen, several bedrooms, and a bathroom.
These cabins make a great spot to lay your head in between ventures to behold the wintertime beauty of the nearby mountains. Be sure to brush up on your winter hiking skills before you hit the trails to see waterfalls, snow-covered pines, and even more of the stunning outdoors in the Byron area.
Papoose Pond – Waterford
Are you eager to lean into a classic camping experience while winter camping in Maine? Papoose Pond is a hidden gem for spacious rentals and sprawling campsites. This wonderful family campground is great for folks of all ages.
In addition to nearly 200 campsites you can reserve at Papoose Pond, there are also 60 cabins for rent for those more inclined for a cozy adventure when winter camping in Maine. There are a couple different types of cabins to choose from here.
Among the most popular rentals are the modern lakefront cottages with two, three, or four bedrooms and all of the amenities you could ask for. But if you want to go smaller, there are smaller cabins or hutnicks on site, which can sleep between four and six campers.
Papoose Pond is a great pick for families looking to do some winter camping in main. Cozy up together, enjoy on site activities for kiddos, and experience all the wonder of Maine in the wintertime.
Lily Bay State Park – Beaver Cove
If you want to try out some truly rustic winter camping in Maine, then you will be hard pressed to find a better spot in the Pine Tree State’s central region than at Lily Bay State Park.
Though it’s best known for its summertime recreations, Lily Bay State Park is a wonderful spot to enjoy some winter camping. Not only that, but it’s a highly popular area for cross country skiing as well! The groomed ski trails overlook the lake area and traverse the woodlands of the state park, making for a great way to view all the gorgeous scenery this state park has to offer,
There is also a cross country ski loop trail, which affords around five miles of moderate-intensity skiing. There are also places within the state park to snowshoe as well. The open campgrounds at Lily Bay are great for winter camping, but you should be aware that there is no water available in the cold months here. So you will need to bring your own to last the duration of your stay.
Best Winter Camping in Maine’s Southern Region
Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park and Oceanfront Camping – Freeport
If you have your heart set on some waterfront views while winter camping in Maine, then no doubt the cabins at Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park and Oceanfront Camping are calling your name!
The area of Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park and Wolfe’s Neck Oceanfront Camping is highly popular in the warmer months, but there are several options for winter camping in Maine here as well!
Oceanfront cabins make for some unbeatable views, with over a hundred oceanfront, inland, and wooded campsites and three oceanfront cottages.
You should be aware that off-season winter camping in Wolfe’s Neck is available by appointment only, so you will want to reach out ahead of time to make sure your accommodations are all set before you head out to the waterfront. But once you’re here, there’s so much to enjoy.
In addition to relaxing at your campsite or in your luxurious, fully outfitted cabin, you can go cross country skiing or winter hiking at Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park. This pet-friendly state park also allows leashed canine or feline companions to explore with you during your winter excursions.
Paradise Park Resort Campground – Old Orchard Beach
Another great spot near the beach for some fun winter camping in Maine is Paradise Park Resort Campground. This family-focused resort campground is perched just several hundred feet from the beating heart of Old Orchard Beach, offering scenic, majestic views in the wintertime. There’s a reason this is considered one of the Pine Tree State’s premier camping resorts!
The luxury cabins at Paradise Park Resort Campground are extremely popular in the summer during peak season, but many folks don’t know these cabins can also be rented during the off season. In fact, you may even find them more affordable for winter camping in Maine!
Though there is some variety to the cabins at Paradise Park Resort Campground, generally speaking, you will be looking at two bedroom cabins with some additional bedding that can sleep up to five people total.
This is a great spot to enjoy some winter glamping close to the water and near to the amenities of Old Orchard Beach and some popular nearby towns.
Bradbury Mountain State Park – Pownal
Some places for winter camping in Maine are just best enjoyed on foot. Bradbury Mountain State Park is one of them! This state park is an excellent pick if you are looking for a spot where you can walk in, ski in, or snowshoe into your campsite.
Bradbury Mountain State Park is particularly well-known and loved for its numerous hiking trails. These trails offer various levels of challenge as you take in the majesty of the state park up close and personal. And this popular method for seeing the state park is by no means diminished in the winter months!
Cross country skiing and snowshoeing are a couple of great ways to experience the beauty of Bradbury Mountain State Park after a snowfall. This is also a great spot for winter hiking—just be sure you have all your winter hiking gear on hand, since you never know what conditions might be like at a site you have to walk in, ski, or snowshoe in to reach.
Just be sure you come prepared for the challenges as well as the rewards of some really rustic winter camping in Maine. You want to ensure you have your winter camping essentials on hand for your visit to Bradbury Mountain State Park.
Searsport Shores Oceanfront Camping – Searsport
For a popular, resort-like getaway for winter camping in Maine, Searsport Shores Oceanfront Camping is hard to beat. In addition to being extremely popular among tent and RV campers, this campground has several cold-weather cabins for rental that will help you really enjoy your winter camping experience.
Perched on the shores of Penobscot Bay, this oceanfront campground boasts several cabin rentals that are perfect for the coldest months. The Bunkhouse Cabin can sleep up to ten people, while the Frog and Faerie Cabin sleeps five and the Artist’s Retreat Cabins can sleep two people on a loft bed.
These cabins can be found close to many amenities as well as to the stunning views of the bay in the wintertime. The Artist’s Retreat Cabins are particularly popular with the creatively inclined, as they are located not far from a local art studio.
Searsport Shores offers a great blend of glamorous camping opportunities and urban fun. This makes for the perfect spot to enjoy the best of all that Maine has to offer when it comes to winter camping.
Wrapping up the Best Winter Camping in Maine
Ready to head out on your adventure to the best spots for winter camping in Maine? Before you go, be sure to brush up on your knowledge of the best winter camping gear for cold weather.
Whether you are camping in a tent or glamping in a cabin, the days are sure to be cold in Maine in the wintertime—this handy guide will help ensure you have everything you need for a safe and enjoyable time while winter camping in Maine.
- About the Author
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Renee Dugan is a lifelong writer, professional editor, and lover of the great outdoors.
A Midwest girl born and raised, Renee has always enjoyed the deep, life-giving inspiration that connection with nature brings.
In addition to channeling the awe of outdoor life into her prolific novel-writing career, she currently enjoys sharing it with her son and spreading knowledge of safe, fun outdoor life with Beyond the Tent readers and anyone she can help face-to-face.
Renee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org