REVIEW: Smuggler’s Den Campground Acadia, Southwest Harbor ME
June 13 – 17, 2016
Cabin 306 – Deluxe Camp Cabin
I highly recommend Smuggler’s Den Campground. It was one of the cleanest campgrounds I’ve ever been and had plenty of amenities.
Amenities and facilities
Tent sites with water and electric hook-ups
Inconsistent hot water
No curtain on window above sink in cabin 306
- While the deluxe camp cabin had a ton of kitchen amenities, there was no sink sponge so bring one if you don’t want to buy there.
- If you like to hike, I suggest booking off-season. The weather is cooler, smaller crowd and the cabin rates were cheaper.
We booked our cabin at Smuggler’s Den Campground’s website for $100/night for the off season. Cabin reservations were non-refundable, unlike the RV and tent sites.
The campground was located on the more quiet western side of Mt. Desert Island. It was not very close to Bar Harbor (about a 20-minute drive), but if you’re driving, it will not be a problem. There is also the free Island Explorer shuttles (Southwest Harbor line) that stop right in front of the campground office. There were chairs and benches outside the office to sit on while you wait. Just make sure to check the Island Explorer website for schedule, as the shuttles do not operate all year.
Echo Lake beach was about a 20-minute walk. You can drive there too. Southwest Food Mart (supermarket) was about a 10-minute walk heading south on the main road (ME-102).
I got about 2-3 bars for signal on my cellphone via AT&T at the campground. T-Mobile didn’t have service in the area and used AT&T signal. US roaming with T-Mobile only included 50 Mb of data which is almost negligible. After I used up the 50 Mb, I didn’t have any cell data access.
The campground was big, beautiful and well-kept. It had a playground, heated pool, laundromat, small basketball court, volleyball and badminton nets, picnic areas, and a huge manicured recreation field. The common bathroom was one of the cleanest I have seen in a campground.
The RV and cabin areas didn’t have very much of a privacy. There were barely any trees. The tent areas closer to the campground office had some trees, but still pretty much open. The southern tent areas around the recreation field had more trees.
The place was quiet when we were there. especially late at night. It was a relief as we have our dog with us, and he barks at almost every noise he was not familiar with.
Cabin 306 was spacious and very clean. Its location in the campground was ideal, it was close to everything including trail head to Echo lake. The cabin had no view, but we didn’t find a view that important. There were deluxe camp cabins that had mountain views for $20 more per night, but we didn’t think it was worth it.
Swipe image below for a 360 degree view of the cabin interior
The screened porch was a nice feature of the cabin. It had a table and 2 chairs. We got to enjoy the fresh air without fear of mosquito bites.
I brought a full mattress cover, but the mattresses in the cabin already had full cover on them which was great. Unfortunately, because it was a full cover, there were some air trapped inside that it felt somewhat like sleeping on a water bed. We just unzipped the cover a little and it was okay. However, the mattress was too soft. The mattress dipped too low when we are on it, but it sprang back up when we get off. Surprisingly, we slept fine and didn’t have back problems.
The cabin had a propane heater with electronic thermostat. It heat up the cabin very efficiently. The heater looked like a wood burner and it was perfect if you want to heat up your hands (or anything) quickly, just put your hands in front of it.
The bathroom was very clean. Plenty of toilet paper were supplied. The shower head was also hand held and had two settings. The shower pressure was not that great and it took a while to get hot water or the proper temperature. A couple of times, the water from the shower was inconsistent and went from warm/hot to cold to warm/hot again.
The kitchen was fully equipped. The amenities were listed on the campground’s website. In addition, there were ice trays, disinfectant wipes, Pledge, glass cleaner, dish rack, and Bounty paper towel. There was dish soap, but there was no sponge in our cabin. The knives were a bit dull. Refrigerator made some noises, but it wasn’t much of a bother. The curtain on the window above the sink is the typical short kitchen curtain, which didn’t allow much privacy. The other cabins did have longer curtains that covered the whole window. Water was potable.
There was skylight in the main cabin and in the bathroom, that allowed abundant light into the cabin. For people who like total darkness when sleeping, it might be difficult to stay in bed late in the morning as the sun rises early in the summer.
There was a good selection of channels on TV, see photo.
FEATURES & AMENITIES
Internet was complimentary, but slow and intermittent. I got disconnected from time to time.
Pets stayed free and were allowed everywhere except the pool. Pets were not allowed to be left unattended.
Washers and dryers were available by the common bathrooms. Washers cost $2.50 per load and dryers cost $1 per half hour.
GAMES / SPORTS
The campground had a huge grassy recreation area, a small basketball court, playground, volleyball and badminton nets. There were basketballs, soccer balls, volleyballs, footballs, bats, badminton rackets, etc.
The main pool was a good size and depth ranged from 3 to 6 feet. It had a small slide. There was a shallower pool with jets that was 1 foot deep.
COMMON TOILET AND BATH
The common toilet and bathroom was very clean. Each side of the bathroom had 3 toilets, 3 shower stalls each with changing areas, and 4 sinks.
Bar Harbor was beautiful, a must-visit. There were free wi-fi all over the town including at Agamont Park. Bar Harbor is a tourist spot, hence the expensive restaurants; but I highly recommend trying breakfast/brunch/lunch at 2 Cats. I loved the lobster omelette! Our dog was able to join us for breakfast at their outdoor table.
For avid hikers, I suggest visiting Joe’s Guide to Acadia. It had important details about each hiking trail and gorgeous photos!
For easy trails with good photo opportunities, I suggest the Ocean Path, Jordan Pond Path, and Bass Harbor Head Light. If you are willing to wake up very early, you can catch the sunrise at the highest peak in Acadia, Cadillac Mountain. If you are brave, have good balance and not afraid of heights, try the Beehive trail.
For more details on our pet-friendly itinerary, please go to Jaws’ Maine Road Trip 2016 post.
This review was cross-posted on TripAdvisor.com. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.