Best Free Camping in Maine

Free Camping in Maine

By Nathan Swartz

One of the last places in the Eastern United States to still boast bountiful endless wilderness, Maine is a paradise for those interested in getting away from established campgrounds in favor of exploring the forest and mountain terrain the state holds in abundance.

Free camping in Maine can be found near Acadia National Park and directly on other public lands, close to bodies of water of all shapes and sizes, and immediately within quaint little towns as well. Whether you're looking for the perfect hiking trail, a spot near the coast, somewhere to relax around the fire, or just a quick stop along your route, Campendium can help you discover the best spot for your particular camping style.

While most of the businesses that offer free spots are limited to RV camping, any of the campsites on public land are perfectly suitable for tent camping.

See a map of all free camping in Maine.

Maine's Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry

While you won't find free camping in a proper state park in Maine, the state does provide a variety of options via various other local resources. Indeed, some of the most remote camping you'll find in the Lower 48 still lives in Maine. Out of the way places like Fifth Stream Campsite and Jewett Cove–near Moosehead Lake–almost guarantee you solitude and ample access to outdoor activities such as fishing and hiking. Wilderness locations such as these are not for the faint of heart, though. They typically require travel for miles down dirt roads where you'll find dispersed camping with few amenities. Don't expect toilets, trash service, or even picnic tables. Do plan to discover plenty of new experiences, wide-open terrain and star-filled night skies once your search has come to an end.

Given the local climate, the roads to these locations may only be open in the summer, but for those who plan ahead and prepare, these spots promise campsites along rivers, lakes, and forest mountains alike. You may occasionally experience fellow campers, loggers, or hunters on the road during the day, but for the most part, it will be just you, your camper, and the local wildlife.

This type of camping on public land is first-come, first-served, and absolutely free! Just be sure to know your way around boondocking and always follow Leave No Trace principles.

Parking Lot Camping in Maine

For those interested in finding a free place to camp but don't necessarily want to venture down rutted dirt roads and deep into public lands, a handful of businesses across the state offer easy access camping in their parking lots.

Many Walmarts will allow you to park in their lot overnight, though it's always worth calling ahead to ensure any given establishment is okay with this. Just off of I-295, Freeport Village Station has been friendly to overnight RVers in the past, as has Reversing Falls City Park in Pembroke, Maine.

The Oxford Casino, near Thompson Lake, provides free camping in its parking lot, as does Kittery Trading Post, just off of I-95 as you enter the state from the south. But again, it is always a good idea to check with a local business before choosing to stay the night on their private property, if for no other reason than to avoid a loud knock and lights peering into your rig come nightfall.

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Recent Maine Free Campsite Reviews

Sep 23, 2023

"No overnight parking "

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This place has brand new sign that say: no overnight parking unless you are a service vehicle or a truck. 4 hour parking limit for regular vehicles.

1 review
Ellsworth, ME


Sep 06, 2023

"Great Resource"

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Lots of overnighters. Clean and quiet. Employee said they let you be here for a week before asking you to move on.

6 reviews
Oxford, ME

Oxford Casino

Jul 27, 2023


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Very disappointing. We have a tent that pops up in the bed of our truck. We set up by 4pm, went into the casino and played games/ate at their restaurant and finally after going to sleep at midnight was asked to pack up and leave. We were quiet and parked away from the crowd/building but security claimed that since it was not a camper it was not...
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2 reviews
Kittery, ME

Kittery Trading Post

Jul 24, 2023

"It's a parking lot next to a freeway"

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Very easy in/out with plenty of room. Decent crab shack within easy walking distance. It was perfect for us after a long day on the road.

45 reviews
Greenville, ME

Jewett Cove

Jul 05, 2023

"So peaceful and secluded."

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Make sure you use the google maps on Campendium to get here. It’s beautiful. When we arrived mid-day they were cutting the grass and taking care of the grounds. There are 5 established campsites and a vault toilet. Most have a picnic table. 3 have gravel areas. All have a fire ring. Right on the water. Mosquitos were horrible at dark. Next time...
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1 review