Camping at Duck Harbor Campground
Overview of Duck Harbor Campground
Duck Harbor Campground is one of the more remote and spectacular camping experiences within Acadia National Park, located on the rugged, isolated Isle au Haut off the coast of Maine. This campground offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty and serenity of Acadia National Park away from the more frequented areas of the park such as Mount Desert Island.
Getting to Duck Harbor Campground
To reach Duck Harbor Campground, campers must take a mailboat ferry from the village of Stonington, Maine, to Isle au Haut. Reservations for the ferry are highly recommended, especially during the busy summer months, as space is limited. Once on the island, campers can hike or bike to the campground, which is about 5 miles from the town landing.
Camping Facilities and Regulations
Duck Harbor Campground is open seasonally, typically from May 15 to October 15, depending on the year and weather conditions. The campground has five primitive sites, each equipped with a lean-to shelter, which is a three-sided wooden structure that provides protection from the elements.
- Composting toilets
- A hand pump for potable water
- Picnic tables
- Fire rings (where fires are allowed; depending on conditions)
Because of the campground's remoteness and limited facilities, it is essential to practice Leave No Trace principles and pack out all trash.
Reservations and Permits
Reservations for Duck Harbor Campground are required and can be competitive due to the limited number of sites available. Campers need to secure a permit, which they can obtain through a reservation system operated by Acadia National Park.
While camping at Duck Harbor, visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, such as:
- Hiking: There are several trails on Isle au Haut that offer stunning views of the rugged coastline and the Atlantic Ocean.
- Wildlife watching: The island is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including marine birds, seals, and occasionally deer.
- Fishing: Visitors can go fishing, but they should check for Maine state regulations and obtain any necessary licenses.
- Kayaking and Boating: These are popular ways to explore the island's coastline; however, equipment rentals are not available on the island, so visitors must bring their own gear.
- Photography and Art: The natural scenic beauty of the island provides ample opportunities for photographers and artists.
- Check weather conditions: Weather can change rapidly on Isle au Haut, so be prepared for various conditions.
- Bring insect repellent: Mosquitoes and black flies can be prevalent during certain seasons.
- Plan ahead: Resources on the island are very limited, so bring all necessary supplies, including food, water, and camping gear.
- Conserve water: Fresh water is precious; use it sparingly.
- Be aware of tide changes: For those interested in coastal activities, it's crucial to be mindful of the tides.
For the most current information on Duck Harbor Campground, including reservations, rules, and seasonal dates, contact Acadia National Park directly through their website or by phone.
To ensure a successful and enjoyable camping trip to Duck Harbor, always confirm all details and prepare adequately for the remote and rustic nature of the camping experience.