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View Full Version : Suggest a nice place to car-camp, halfway from VT to Baxter SP?



mirabela
06-15-2011, 09:27 AM
Our family of four (kids are 6 and 8) will be driving in August from the Northeast Kingdom of VT to Baxter SP. We can either use the route from Conway across to to I-95 (is this rt 26?) or the more northern US 2 route through Bethel; it's all about the same from here.

We'd like to break up the trip so we're not driving for eight or nine solid hours.

Ideally, then, we're looking for something somewhere in the interval within an hour or so of Augusta.

Just somewhere quiet, pleasant, inexpensive ... a lake would be nice ...

Anyone know anything good?

Thanks --

Matt

stu
06-15-2011, 05:20 PM
Might be a little too far but what about Acadia? Real nice!...Cheers Stu

TEO
06-15-2011, 05:42 PM
Eight or nine hours? It's no more than five and an half from St. Johnsbury to Millinocket, according to Google Maps. I was around eight when my family of six drove from Brattleboro to Baxter in a day. Long? Yes. Unbearable? No. (As always, YMMV.)

Here's (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=campgrounds+augusta+maine&aq=&sll=44.355278,-70.543213&sspn=5.03492,13.392334&ie=UTF8&hq=campgrounds&hnear=Augusta,+Kennebec,+Maine&t=h&z=10) what Google suggests for campgrounds near Augusta. You could also check w/AAA and in the Delorme Maine Atlas & Gazetteer.

mirabela
06-15-2011, 05:57 PM
Huh. Mapquest had it closer to 8 hours. I drove Millinocket to Burlington once years ago, and it was nine or so.

Anyway ...

Still taking suggestions ...

TEO
06-15-2011, 08:42 PM
I don't know where in the Kingdom you're from, but Mapquest is showing 5:55 - 6:19 from St. Johnsbury to Millinocket. Admittedly, it's another 18 miles from Millinocket to the park's gatehouse.

They're slightly out of the way, but if you were to consider adding a day to your trip you could stay at Sebago Lake State Park--nice beach--or one of several campgrounds around Freeport, if you want to visit L.L. Bean, et alia.

But, if you're going to make it a two day trip, I'd recommend just checking out the resources that I suggested earlier.

peakbagger
06-16-2011, 06:25 AM
The fastest way by far from Gorham NH is via RT 2 to Norrigewock, then turn off RT 2 (straight at the lights) and head to Waterville on RT 139 and get on I 95. Its counterintuitive as it is longer on a map but it does save 20 minutes. I do the trip from Gorham to Millinocket in 3.5 hours. You can save about 10 minutes by taking the shortcut in Rumford via RT 108, go straight onto Rt 108 immediately after crossing the Androscoggin, drive a mile with the mill to your left and then take a left down to a bridge back over the river and right onto RT2.

From Barton VT via the lyndonville shortcut to skip St Johnsbury, I used to hit Gorham in about 1 hr and 10 minutes. So the total is about 5 hours plus stops. Add about 1 hour from Millinocket to Katahdin Stream.

una_dogger
06-16-2011, 07:49 AM
I'm sure Mapquest doesn't have a kid factor feature that multiplies the drive time on long trips when young kids are in the car!!;)

You asked for campgrounds, so this may not work for you, but we like to stay at the Sleepy Time Motel in Auburn, its very well run, clean and affordable, and usually our last chance for a shower before Baxter!

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g29484-d583904-Reviews-Sleepy_Time_Motel-Auburn_Maine.html

Have a wonderful vacation!

mirabela
06-16-2011, 03:14 PM
I don't mean to sound grumpy, and I thank everyone for attempts to help ... but I'm looking for something like personal experience in a campground.

As in, does anyone have any first-hand knowledge.

Thank you, Sabrina, for the motel rec.

TEO, we don't really want to add travel and go down to the coast, but thank you.

eddie
06-16-2011, 06:20 PM
Great driving tip, peakbagger. I will be driving from BSP to Lake Placid on Friday 7/1. Is US-2 in ME between Bethel and the NH border still messed up with construction?

An off-topic question I was hoping someone could help with: I have camping reservations in BSP but is there any time that I need to be there? On the first day we are climbing N Brother, etc. and we want to get there early although we are camping at Katahdin Stream that evening. The next day we are driving over to Roaring Brook and we have reservations at Chimney Pond for three nights. Anything I need to know?

As usual, the advice is appreciated.

Andrew
06-17-2011, 05:39 AM
If your travel route winds up bringing you near, Sebago Lake State Park has some nice sites near the lake. We stayed there last summer while enroute and found it to be ok, although the staff misinterpreted the type of site we were looking for and stuck us in the middle of a cramped neighborhood. They didn't let us drive around and pick an empty site before registering (I hate that), and saw other nicer sites empty the next morning. Facilities were good and appeared family friendly.

Almost already near Baxter, but a good '10th hour' option if you want to go a bit farther on the way and oh so worth it- Peaks Kenny State Park near Dover Foxcroft. Excellent campground, stunning views across the oh so nice lake, the finest new toilet/shower building I have seen. The older shower/toilets in the loops were a bit rough, but out towards the day use area was this building that had 4 each rooms down each side, each with private shower/toilet/sink inside, a family could all go into one room to take care of thing without having to mix operations with the rest of the campground.

And in town, an A+ pizza joint, don't remember the name but it was in an old downtown building block. The guy had a letter from Bob Marley (the comedien) on his counter that praised him as the pizza guru.

MichaelJ
06-17-2011, 09:09 AM
I brought one of VFTT's intrepid AT through-hikers to Stony Brook Recreation (http://www.stonybrookrec.com/) just east of Bethel & Grafton Notch. I believe she had a good experience there; certainly, the tentsites T1-T5 were very nice, smooth & level, secluded together in a pine grove away from the RV's, and just a dozen-footstep walk from parking. I think the higher-numbered tentsites are more separate from each other and individually drive-to.

--M.
06-17-2011, 10:15 AM
...

An off-topic question I was hoping someone could help with: I have camping reservations in BSP but is there any time that I need to be there? ... Anything I need to know?

As usual, the advice is appreciated.


It's been a while (like about 25 years), but I believe BSP has lots of rules you need to be aware of. The one that mattered to us, as we got there, was that they have gates that they closed at cut-off times (back then, 8:30pm, iirc). As it happened, we arrived 30 seconds early, but... good to know!

BSP is well-known (aka 'notorious'?) for its menu of regulations, I'd definitely recommend making sure before you go.

Also on the list from that memory: auto maintenance (long drive), auto clearance (dirt roads), looong hikes & bring the camera (moose und squirrel)!

MadRiver
06-17-2011, 10:44 AM
http://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com/miscPages/rules.html

A group of us are heading there in August.