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Cobscook Bay State Park

>> Monday, July 26, 2010

I am not particularly gifted with the ability to sit still, so we spent a lot of our vacation away from our campground, exploring other parks, hiking, poking around nearby villages, and driving to explore the coastline.  However, I don't want to give short shrift to the amazing Cobscook Bay State Park where we camped.

I originally chose Cobscook Bay State Park last year because I wanted to get away from tourists.  While being a tourist I don't want to be near other tourists.  I wanted to be in Maine, and on the coast, but not in the lovely but way too popular Acadia.

The pictures of the campground on the Maine State Parks website were very appealing, and the description of nicely secluded camp sites even more attractive.  Downeast Maine in general, and Cobscook Bay State Park particularly, certainly didn't let us down.  It's worth every minute of the 10+ hour drive to get there.  Cobscook Bay is two hours north of Acadia, over rough roads and through some towns so remote they are numbered rather than named.  Once you get there, though, it's a wonderful area, with some very nice picturesque towns near enough for easy access to supplies, including a very good grocery store and some other nice amenities in the college town of Machias.

Possibly the best feature?  Extremely limited blackberry/cell phone service.  Work would just have to make do without us for a week.  :)

Our favorite site at the Park is actually a non-reservable site.  First come, first served.  So we reserved another site and crossed our fingers that we'd get there at just the right time, which we did.  We were on the same site last year, and it has about 1/8 mile walk in from the car over a bridge and rugged trail.

You can't see other sites from it, which makes me ridiculously happy.  It also keeps our annoying dogs from barking at the neighbors.  Speaking of our annoying dogs, clearly they just hate camping:

Canine Paradise.  Woods, infinite things to whuffle, fresh air, exercise, and sleeping in a tent cave with their humans.  It doesn't get much better than that.

To me, Cobscook Bay State Park is sort of cheater camping.  Being only 1/8 mile from our car means we get to take the big LL Bean tent with its attached screen room, the squishy futon bed rolls, the nice cook stove, and other lovely amenities that we don't get to take when we're backpacking in the Adirondacks.  There's a potable water spigot only about 1/4 mile away, pit toilets, and luxury of luxuries: hot showers.  All told, it makes for a very pleasurable camping experience.

The views from our site are just gorgeous.  It's right on the water.  Here are a few random shots I liked, taken at all different times and lights and tides:

I have an ongoing love affair with this tree.  For some reason I think it's just aesthetically perfect:

My husband gets credit for this great sunset shot:

There are a few trails through the woods,

one of which leads to a nice scenic overlook.

There is a dock and boat launch, too.

There are more than 100 camp sites, for everything from tents to large campers, and there are a whole bunch of very appealing picnic sites as well.

The park rangers are incredibly nice and helpful.  They actually remembered us from last year, which is really saying something.  Either there aren't too many visitors to Cobscook Bay State Park, or my husband and I are memorable.  The other natives are friendly, too, if somewhat difficult to keep out of the food:

All in all, I highly recommend Cobscook Bay State Park for anyone who's looking for a Maine camping experience!


Ellen Rathbone July 26, 2010 at 1:06 PM  

Lovely pics! I've just applied for a job in ME, and this is inspiring.

Woodswoman Extraordinaire July 26, 2010 at 1:12 PM  

Ooh, Ellen, whereabouts in Maine? I do love Maine - all sorts of different areas of the state are wonderful!

PenobscotPaddles September 1, 2010 at 7:21 PM  

I love your pictures, I've just started recording our paddling adventures in Maine; something to look over during the long winter months.
I have a lot to learn, and find your work inspiring!

Anonymous September 12, 2010 at 10:10 PM  

Site 101! Glad you loved it too. I just walked through it yesterday. Cobscook has been my "summer home" for 17 years - I'm lucky enough to live a little over 2 hours away. Your photos really capture the place!

Cameron Chapman April 21, 2011 at 10:50 PM  

I'm so glad I came across your post! I'm working on a novel that has some scenes set in Cobscook Bay State Park, and I'd already picked out this exact campsite as the one my characters would be camping at based on the maps! Seeing the photos really helps to visualize the setting, especially since things like the bridge on the trail in aren't shown on the maps.

Anonymous April 26, 2011 at 2:36 PM  

Thanks so much for the photos. It is everything I expected. I am going next month, very early in the season. I am starting a backpacking trip down the down east rail trail. this will be my jumping off point! How far is the nearest store/gas station/town?

Woodswoman Extraordinaire April 26, 2011 at 3:57 PM  

Cameron, how cool! I hope I get to read your novel - it would be a delight to read a book set in one of my all-time favorite spots!

Anonymous, the nearest gas station/tiny general store is only maybe a 5 minute drive south on Route 1, in a hamlet called Whiting. We tend to not find a whole lot there, so typically head all the way down to Machias for groceries. It's a 15-20 minute drive, but since it is a nice little college town, there is an excellent Hannaford grocery store there, right on Route 1. There's even a nice little natural foods store in Machias, if you're into that kind of thing.

Best of luck with your trip - I find I am jealous! After just a few months away, I start to feel "homesick" for the Cobscook area!

Chris July 10, 2012 at 8:49 PM  

I am ridiculously late in finding this post, but it really does a great job of capturing everything that I have come to love about Cobscook Bay State Park and extreme Downeast Maine. Beautiful photos too!

Chris July 10, 2012 at 9:14 PM  

By the way, is it site 101?

Anonymous July 13, 2012 at 2:04 PM  

Heading there for the first time on Tuesday. Can't wait.

Woodswoman Extraordinaire July 13, 2012 at 2:19 PM  

Yes, I believe it is site 101.

Anonymous August 8, 2012 at 1:42 PM  

Looks like a great place to camp we are from Maine but never camped at cobscook we will be staying for 5 days cant wait to explore.

Theo Borgerding November 27, 2013 at 12:21 PM  

i am a 5yh grader living in Saudi arabia. i like your blog but i think it might be more exiting if you put some facts into it too.

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