There`s a lot to be said about a campground that has been in operation since 1969 and spans three family generations. For the Worcester’s – the proprietors of Smuggler`s Den Campground in Southwest Harbor on Mount Desert Island in Maine – it’s all about maintaining family tradition.
Located on the “quiet side” of the island, Smuggler’s Den lies on 50 acres and is surrounded by natural beauty where visitors can enjoy countless attractions, while still take in an afternoon of quiet “me time” at a moment’s notice. After all, since its inception nearly five decades ago, the full-service RV park has changed with the times, providing contemporary amenities to make life on the road even more enjoyable.
“There has always been a strong family element here,” said Rain Holbrook (Worcester) who shares the General Manager role with her husband Todd. “We have families that have been coming here since the 1970s. They started off as tenters, now they stay in our cabins or have moved up to larger RVs. Their adult children also come with their children, so I believe it’s the history here that RVers find attractive.”
When it comes to standard amenities, Smuggler’s Den goes beyond the call of duty. A pet friendly RV park, there’s a three-acre recreation field, which highlights a horseshoe pit, and offers half-court basketball, volleyball and badminton. A new playground has also been added for younger campers. To cool off, the 22 x 44-foot heated in-ground pool (with a slide and kiddie pool) is also popular. Of course, Smuggler’s Den pays homage to Maine’s top culinary delight, Lobster. No traps required as the seafaring shell fish can be hand-picked right at the park`s store. Melted butter and boiling water not included (pots, Lobster Crackers and picks to borrow are also available). More groceries are available at a full super market just minutes away.
Other Smuggler`s Den Highlights:
- 106 diverse sites that accommodate tents, small pop-ups, RVs up to 45 feet and Cabins.
- Back-in and pull-through sites offer 50-, 30-, 20-amp power, electric, water, sewer, cable TV and WiFi. Select sites have cement pads.
- Sites are wooded or shaded with picnic tables, fire rings.
- Customer Appreciation Nights: Hawaiian and Ho-Down Nights.
- Trailheads from the park to attractions such as Beach Mountain, Western Mountain, Acadia Mountain, Long Pond and Echo Lake Sand Beach.
- Easy Access to gravel Fire Roads within Acadia National Park for biking and walking.
- Clean bath houses
- Coin laundry
No RV? No Problem
Smuggler`s Den rents Rustic and newly-built Deluxe Cabins. As the Rustic Cabins have a twin-over full bunks and a twin over twin bunks, as well as mini refrigerators, the recently-developed Deluxe Camp Cabins highlight bathrooms, kitchens, screened porches, ample sleeping space, flat screen TVs and propane heaters. Both can sleep five and offer a picnic tables, fire rings and gas grills. Some have Mountain Views of Beach and Western Mountains.
Explore the Area
While the park can keep visitors busy whether they stay for a week or month, additional excitement is offered off grounds. Smuggler`s Den borders the acclaimed Acadia National Park, the second most visited park in the United States, where activities are endless. Biking and hiking opportunities abound and swimming can be enjoyed at Acadia’s Echo Lake. Anglers can drop a line in the lake or Long Pond (a boat is recommended in peak season), and golfers can play their game at two nearby golf courses.
“To make it easier for our customers, we have the Free Island Explorer Bus Shuttle that comes to the campground, twice an hour, every hour throughout the day in July and August. It conveniently drives visitors to wherever want to go in Acadia National Park,” added Rain.
If city sights are more your game, Bar Harbor – one of the more popular areas in Maine – has many attractions including Cadillac Mountain, Agamont Park, Frenchman Bay, and Shore Path, to name but a few. Shopping, dining, and entertainment are other popular pastimes.
Or, plan your visit around some of the exciting events including The Annual Garlic Festival in September, which is hosted at Smuggler’s Den; The Acadia October Fest in Acadia National Park; and Southwest Harbor’s Quiet Side Falmingo Festival in July.
“We enjoy our campers and we understand they are here on their vacation,” says Rain. “Often times, in an area such as this where it gets extremely busy and a little overwhelming. It’s easy to lose sight of what the real business is of it all. We are here to cater to RVers and families who want to enjoy their time in the area.”
More Sights In and Around the Area
(photos courtesy of Maine Office of Tourism)