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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mobile device showing map of camping locations

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Recent Maine Free Campsite Reviews

Falmouth, ME

Walmart

Sep 23, 2021

"Super Quiet"

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Quietest Walmart parking lot we have ever camped in. Level parking lot. 👍🏻

Cristi
2 reviews
Sep 21, 2021

"Great spot to stop. "

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Got to the parking lot a bit after dark. About 10 campers already set up. I like when there are a few in a spot, safety in numbers. Lol But it is in a great spot in town. Within walking distance to lots of great places.

Cristi
1 review
Greenville, ME

Spencer Bay Campground

Sep 10, 2021

"Not for everyone"

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Scouted here to check whether we wanted to move our 24 ft TT from nearby Lily Bay SP. First thing we saw was a large political flag with an obscene slogan flying above a sign with instructions to check in with camp hosts. Ugh. About 6 other campers there, most with cluttered sites and appeared to have been there for more than the 2 week limit....
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Gary Gagnon
4 reviews
Oxford, ME

Oxford Casino

Sep 04, 2021

"Perfect stop over"

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We stopped here on our way to Acadia. Nice quiet and free. Definitely will be stopping through on our way back 👍🏼

Austin Ray
26 reviews
Ellsworth, ME

Walmart

Sep 02, 2021

"Great Location in Nice, Large Superstore (6a - 11p)"

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Park in "upper" portion of large parking lot (customer service direction). Fast WiFi & Dunkin Donuts in store. Clean, newer store with flexible, friendly staff, extensive outdoor section & auto center. Safe, open area with police & security drive through overnight. 12 RVs & vans overnight (all sizes). 18 miles from Bar Harbor.

Patrick Walsh
1 review