Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Maine remains practically the same the way it was centuries ago when the Vikings ruled the land. The forests are still dense and the lakes have retained their pristine qualities. Of course, state parks, beautiful beaches, and historic landmarks have been eventually put up in several regions, but in general, the Maine landscape is still largely a wilderness area, which is actually ideal for outdoor exploration. For many RV-boarded travelers then, Maine is a virtual camping paradise.

The Maine Regions

A total of eight diverse regions constitute the entire "Pine Tree State". These include the Aroostook Region, the Maine Highlands Region, the Kennebec and Moose River Valley Region, the Maine Lakes and Mountains Region, the Mid-Coast Region, the Maine Beaches Region, the Greater Portland and Casco Bay Region, and the Downeast and Acadia Region.

The Aroostook Region

Local residents refer to the area as "The County" being the biggest county in Maine. Situated in the extreme northern corner of the "Pine Tree State", the region boasts of a vast wilderness area and though it generally exudes a rather undeveloped aura, there are rich farmlands, numerous public parks, and several historic sites waiting to be visited.

A great number of cities in the Aroostook Region offer innumerable outdoor attractions for interested RV-boarded visitors. Three specific cities though stand out from the pack for hosting at least two RV parks apart from the resident tourist destinations. These are the cities of Eagle Lake, Fort Kent, and Presque Isle, with the latter featuring at least three RV campgrounds.

The city happens to be the biggest in Maine and is the central industrial area. Attractions abound in these parts and tourists aboard their RVs can make use of Presque Isle as a good jump-off point to begin a tour of several nearby attractions like the Aroostook State Park where trout fishing in the waters of Echo Lake is a major outdoor activity. Hiking is likewise popular, particularly in the vicinity of the Quaggy Jo Mountain.

Neil E. Michaud Campground and Arndt's Aroostook River Lodge are two better-known RV parks found on Presque Isle. However, if the goal is to stay close to Aroostook State Park, there are about 30 RV sites located within the immediate park premises.

The Maine Highlands Region

The region features very few roads as the resident forest area occupies almost a third of the entire area. Accompanying these are majestic lakes and wild rivers from where the local folks spend time either swimming or fishing. RVers can likewise engage in these activities or otherwise take on other recreational pursuits like hunting, camping, boating, and skiing during winter.

Attractions-wise, the region features Baxter State Park where Mt. Katahdin can be found. Standing 5,268 feet tall, Mt. Katahdin is easily the tallest peak in Maine and quite naturally boasts of several scenic trails, easily attracting outdoor enthusiasts like hikers. RVers who are not into hiking, though, can try other pursuits like moose watching, hunting, fishing, skiing, and snow mobiling.

For RV-boarded travelers, the ideal city to settle in while in the Main Highlands Region is Greenville since there is an RV campground in its midst, the Moosehead Family Campground, which prides itself in being merely a mile away from another regional attraction, the Moosehead Lake, considered the biggest in the Pine Tree State.

TheKennebec and Moose River Valley Region

The region literally teems with a large selection of moose, which accounts for the area name. Because of this, moose watching is considered a principal pastime activity here, something that RV-boarded tourists will likewise find engaging.

Apart from the moose, however, this region has also become renowned for its many beautiful lakes and its accompanying fishing villages. Needless to say, paddling and fishing along the lakes are the other popular recreational activities here but RVers can test their luck by going on a white-water rafting adventure.

Augusta is the main city here because it happens to be the Maine capital. However, when it comes to RV campgrounds, RV riders should go to the cities of Norridgewock, Rockwood, Litchfield, and Madison. The latter plays host to three RV parks namely Sandy Beach Lakeside Campground, Smitty's BYOB and Campground, and Yonder Hill Campground.

Additionally, Lakewood Theater has made Madison its base of operations. A theater tour should prove to be quite eventful, especially for RV-boarded families, because programs geared for children apart from the traditional comedies, musicals, and dramas, are regularly staged here.

The Maine Lakes and Mountains Region

Quite obviously, the region conjures up an image of a mountain area complemented by several gorgeous lakes, and these provide countless opportunities for RVers who simply love the outdoors. They will definitely find their hands full trying to choose from such diverse activities as hiking and hunting to fishing and white-water rafting.

Three regional cities are worth exploring and these include Bethel, Fryeburg, and Naples. Of the three, Bethel should be the top choice simply because it is nestled in between two significant tourist attractions. On its southern edge lies the White Mountain National Forest whose peaks are often a great challenge for many climbers while to its north, the tall mountains of the Appalachians likewise engulf much of the city.

Below, Bethel sits along the Androsoggin River where RV riders can engage in various water-based activities like swimming, boating, and fishing. A suitable option during the cold winter months is skiing, specifically in the terrains of Sunday River, the second biggest ski resort in Maine.

Additionally, Bethel offers the Bethel Outdoor Adventure and Campground perched along Mayville Road for visitors who come into the city aboard their RVs. While situated near several city attractions, the RV campsite nevertheless boasts of its own share of exciting outdoor activities, including kayaking and mountain biking.

The Mid-Coast Region

The region can best be depicted as a generally busy area owing to the numerous beach coves that surround its landscape. Many tourists usually visit this particular Maine region not only because of its picturesque sheltered bays but also because of its many state parks offering various water-based pursuits like fishing. Two regional lakes, namely Lake St. George and Damariscotta Lake, are prominent fishing areas with the state piling up the lakes with such fish species as bass, salmon, trout, and many others.

Camden, Boothbay, Bath and Brunswick are the principal regional cities both in terms of outdoor attractions and campground facilities. Camden, in particular, is where Camden Hills State Park resides, offering hiking paths covering 30 miles that are accessible via five different trailheads. At the conclusion of the hike, one is afforded a spectacular view of the entire Mid-Coast area. Afterwards, one can take the RV and check in at nearby Sennebec Lake Campground.

The Maine Beaches Region

A heavily populated region, the Maine Beaches is dotted by small coastal villages that strangely carry an urban setting owing perhaps to the presence of many beautiful beaches in its midst. Complementing these are secluded harbors highlighted by classic lighthouses along with several local boutique stores lined up along the shorelines. Not to be missed as well are the many elegant restaurants where fresh-water lobsters are the specialty. These attractions are not actually of the totally outdoor type but should nonetheless offer most RV travelers a different kind of thrill.

RVers visiting the Main Beaches Region should particularly take note of two special cities, namely, Kennebunkport and Old Orchard. The former has numerous dining establishments that cater more to the financially well-off although there are several restaurants that carry moderately priced lobster menus. For RV enthusiasts, however, the area where excitement awaits is Ocean Avenue where a scenic drive from the Kennebunk River up to main ocean front is an adventure comparable to none. The drive involves a spectacular look at the mansions owned by wealthy Kennebunkport residents and of the stunning Maine coastline. Upon reaching the end line, RVers can relax in the comfort offered by three Kennebunkport RV parks namely the Salty Acres Campground, the Kennebunkport Camping and Park, and the Fran-Mort Campground.

The Greater Portland and Casco Bay Region

Situated south of Maine, this particular region is another heavily populated area as its coastline features a dramatic interaction between the crystal-clear waters of the bay and the sun-drenched sands of the beaches. Adding more color is the mild temperature that pervades here all year through.

The regional waters obviously provide endless outdoor opportunities like sailing and fishing, but Southern Maine visitors, particularly RV riders, have other options to choose from. In Portland, for instance, they can take a scenic drive across Cliff Walk and get to see first-hand the former studio of celebrated Maine artist Winslow Homer. Afterwards, they can opt for a small picnic activity at Two Lights State Park where hidden picnic areas are available for use by most day campers. Finally, to end the day, RVers can settle in nicely at either Sebasticook Lake Campground or at Christie's Camps.

The Downeast and Acadia Region

This region, set in southeastern Maine, is highlighted by oceanfront forest areas that are usually serene but occasionally interrupted by the thunderous crashing of waves against the shores. Aside from that, other attractions that should lead RVers to this area are the cool summer winds of the southwest and the many public parks scattered all around the region where one can observe in total awe wildlife animals like black bears, moose, woodcocks, porpoises, croons, and eagles. Of particular interest is the Acadia National Park where wildlife and coastline viewing are not only enjoyable but extremely soothing as well.

Numerous cities in the Down East and Acadia Region are ideal places to see for many RV-boarded trippers because they generally welcome RV-boarded guests. Specially worth mentioning are Eastport, Calais, and Bar Harbor. The latter is most specially significant because it is situated right next to the famed Acadia National Park aside from hosting five RV parks, including Mt. Desert Narrows Camping Resort where the park can be easily accessed.

A Visit to Maine Cities

Some little-known Maine cities should be considered by RVers who intend to pay the "Pine Tree State" a visit soon. The major Maine cities should definitely be on the list but an additional three or four more towns should make the visit even more fruitful.

Fort Kent

A small town in the Aroostook Region, Fort Kent was named in honor of former Maine Governor Edward Kent and boasts of the University of Maine as among its many attractions. Its primary feature though is the Fort Kent State Historic Site housing the Fort Kent Blockhouse, a military fortress constructed during the Aroostook War in 1839. It lies adjacent to two Maine rivers namely Fish River and St. John River, with campsites and picnic areas situated nearby where RVers can enjoy a great time with the family. Afterwards, the American Dream Resort is the ideal RV place to head off to for unwinding.


Jackman, set along the shorelines of Wood Pond, is a Maine City bursting with outdoor opportunities. For starters, it is located right next to the Old Canada Road Scenic Byway where RV-boarded travelers can take a leisure drive and trace back the path that Benedict Arnold treacherously took as he entered Quebec in the midst of the American Revolution. Thereafter, they can head southwards and stop by for a fun-filled picnic at the Attean View Rest Area. From here, the Attean Lake, along with the series of ponds that flow into the Moose River, offer breath-taking views. With these elegant water attractions, it comes as no surprise that Jackman has many fishing camps, some existing as early as the 19th century, where catching a trout, a togue, or a salmon is not really far-fetched.

Other outdoor activities that RV trippers can try while visiting Jackman are canoeing during summer and snowmobiling along the series of intertwined snow paths during the cold months. Meanwhile, over at Moose River, one can seriously enjoy the rapids that roar along the 34-mile long Moose River Bow Trip while the silence of the forest provides witness in the background. At the conclusion of the exhilarating adventure, camp sites are accessible in various river points although a better alternative would be to drop by at either John's Four Seasons Campground or at Moose River Campground. Either way, the stop-over should be quite restful.

Acadia National Park

Acknowledged as the only park in Maine that has been given the title national park, the Acadia National Park covers a vast 35,000 acres and boasts of hiking paths stretching to as long as 120 miles, apart from carriage trails covering around 27 extra miles. RVers who love to bask in the thrill of hiking will find the park forest a suitable spot especially with its canopy of pine trees providing ample cooling shades.

The park boasts of many significant places that most RV-boarded travelers will find quite interesting. These include Cadillac Mountain, the tallest park mountain standing at 1,530 feet at the top of which one can get to see Frenchman Bay and Porcupine Islands. To have access to these awesome views, there is a .3-mile long hiking trail that leads ultimately to the summit, portions of which are disabled-friendly.

Allagash Wilderness Waterway State Park

Perched in the Aroostook Region, the 92-mile long Allagash Wilderness Waterway State Park is composed of several man-made attractions that outdoor lovers like RVers will consider real gems. Topping the list is the Chamberlain Lake Public Reserved Land which is composed of land parcels that lend support to the lake. Canoeists will find the lake waters worth exploring as it is often the most common jump-off point for those touring the vastness of the waterways. A perfect alternative to this activity is a short hike across two relatively low mountains.

Another waterway attraction is the Telos Public Reserved Land where canoeing is likewise popular but is notoriously long as it involves a trip covering 98 miles starting from Telos Landing up to the nearest village along St. John River. A shorter canoe trip encompassing 92 miles ends at West Twin Brook.

Many waterway portions are controlled by the state where some 80 campsites are in operation and for RV riders who prefer a more quiet pursuit, fishing should be most suitable. Otherwise, they can always set up camp in these parts and make use of picnic tables that are readily available.

A Visit to Maine

Maine is a typical American state not prone to extreme weather disturbances. In general, only two seasons are experienced here namely warm and cold. May up to October are the warm months while December to April are the cold months characterized by abundant snowfall. Thus, deciding when to explore the "Pine Tree State" will depend primarily on the interests that one has. For example, if trout fishing is a passion, then doing so in Maine should best be done during the cold months as trouts, particularly brook trouts, are usually abundant in cold waters. Trying to catch a trout in summer may be a bit challenging as the warm waters tend to make trouts elusive catches.

Paul Bunyan Campground

Situated in the historic town of Bangor in Maine, Paul Bunyan Campground provides RVers to several major Bangor points, including the Bangor International Airport and the Herman Meadow Golf Course, both of which are accessible in just five minutes. A campground that is centered on family entertainment, the RV park features several interesting amenities like a heated bathhouse and pull-through areas that can accommodate all known sizes of trailer vans. Additionally, the RV sites come in both open type and shaded version.

For RV-boarded visitors who prefer to explore nearby attractions, the Acadia National Park is a mere 45-minute driving time away. For shorter distances, one needs only a maximum of 15 minutes to reach such places as the Bangor State Fair, the Bangor Waterfront, and the Cole Transportation Museum.

Stony Brook Recreation and Camping

Its location is already an attraction by itself, being perched along the sides of majestic Androscoggin River while the mighty White Mountains standing guard from behind. Yet, Stony Brook Recreation and Camping offers several other attractions that will definitely entice even the most delicate of RV-boarded travelers. For one, it sits quite close to Grafton Notch State Park where the Appalachian Trail is visible and one will find hiking quite pleasurable in these parts since it welcomes hikers regardless of ability level.

Stony Brook also happens to be quite near the historic town of Bethel with RVers easily reaching the city proper in minutes and stroll across its village streets, enjoy a golf game at the Bethel Inn Golf Course, or simply indulge in dining pleasure at any of the many city restaurants.

Skiing is an activity that should likewise prove to be enjoyable when done at the Sunday River Resort because it involves a mere seven-minute drive time from Stony Brook. However, if one prefers to stay within the campground premises, there are numerous activities that one can do here as well. This includes canoeing across the Androscoggin River. Nearby Grafton Notch State Park has several roadways where moose sighting is quite common though with enough patience, one can also get to sight a bear, a goose, a deer, a cormorant, and even an American bald eagle.

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