RV Campground Review – Shore Hills Campground, Boothbay, ME
A cozy private park with some great riverfront sites just a few miles from downtown Boothbay Harbor in Maine.
- Site quality = 3/5
Pretty decent sites here with just a few dings. All sites are hard dirt either back-in or pull-though, with nicely-sized “sitting areas” containing picnic table and fire pit. Plus EVERY site has their own personal trash bin (a very nice touch). The campground offers 50A FHU sites in an open/flat area near the top (nearest the entrance), 30A FHU forested sites on a large hill that drops down to the water and 30A/water sites at the bottom of the hill by the riverfront The different areas have very different feel & quality:
- Hillside Forested Section -> Sites #1-56 (30A FHU plus Cable TV, $45-$49/night) – These are all heavily forested campsites located on the main road that leads from the entrance down the hill to the water. All sites are 30A FHU (plus Cable TV) except for #44-50, #52-54 which are water/electric only (plus Cable TV). Sites in this area generally have lots of shade, good separation and feel very private. They can vary a bit in size and level with some very large and extremely spacious sites (e.g. #22/24, #35, #41 #53), especially towards the middle-upper section of the hill and some smaller or more unlevel sites especially towards the bottom of the hill. There were only a few sites in this section we weren’t keen on -> the “buddy-type sites” (#39/40, #49/51 and #44-47) which far too close together for our liking, plus the sites nearest the entrance (#1-17) which were more open (not great privacy) and got road noise. Other than these few sites this was #2 fav area of the park and where we would chose to stay if we couldn’t get a riverside site (see below).
- Peninsula Riverside Section -> Sites #57-75 (30A/Water, $53/night) – Located at the bottom of the hill to the right, these are lovely, quiet waterfront sites on a small little peninsula overlooking the river. Sites are SMALL in this section so they are only suitable for tents, trailers and smaller rigs (perhaps 20-foot max?). GREAT views and location however. If you’re a tent or small rig this would be my top recommended area to camp.
- Riverside Section -> Sites #75 1/2 – 91 (30A/Water plus Cable TV, $53/night) – By far our #1 preferred area to camp. Located at the bottom of the hill to the left, these are somewhat larger sites by the riverside, all of which are very quiet and offer lovely views overlooking the water. Technically these do not really accommodate 40-foot (I’d say 35 ft is probably the comfortable max), but a select few of the sites are on larger side (esp. #75 1/2, #76, #77, #78) and could fit a more “beastly” rig. We stayed in site #75 1/2 which was gorgeous, had superb river views and was more than large enough for us (although we did require several sets of leveling blocks to level).
- Tent Section -> Sites #01-013 ($30/night) – This is a small section of tent-only camping just a step up from the riverside sites. Lots of trees and privacy here, but no water views (the riverside peninsula section is much prettier)
- Top Level FHU Section -> Sites #100-149 (50A FHU plus Cable TV, $53/night) – This is a very open (non-tree’d) area near the top of the park (nearest the entrance) and the only section that offers 50A FHU so it’s where all the “beastly” folks typically stay. Sites are large, nicely flat and can accommodate any-sized rig (pull-throughs are especially long at ~100-feet!). Rigs are arranged side-by-side with no trees and limited privacy, so it feels more like a “regular” private park here compared to the 30A forested areas down the hill (which feel more “state park” like). Decent separation and nice “sitting areas”, some of which even have wooden decks. We felt so-so about this area and MUCH preferred the privacy of the forested & riverfront sites, but if we had to chose we’d select one of the enormous pull-throughs or one of the sites nearest the entrance of the loop (#144-149) since they back-up to a large, green field. The only sites we really didn’t like here were the ones nearest the main road as they do get consistent road noise.
- NOTE1 – BOOK AHEAD Summer in Maine is HIGH SEASON so if you are larger in size and want the best sites book well ahead! All the larger riverfront sites were solidly occupied while we were here (mid-Aug), although some of the smaller sites were open as well as a few of the larger 50A FHU sites. We booked 6 months ahead to get our riverfront site.
- NOTE2 – CASH/CHECK only. This camground only takes cash or check (no cards) and if you want to reserve a spot you’ll have to send in a $50 non-refundable check deposit by regular snail-mail. So, plan ahead for that!
- NOTE3 – CABINS. There are two small on-site cabins for rent ($129/night) which looked nice from the outside (although we didn’t get to check them out from the inside).
- Facilities = 2/5
Flush toilets and showers here. Main ding is that the facilities are on the older size, plus there was only one shower per facility building (two total) which were pay ($0.25 per 5-7 mins) and had plastic walk-in tubs and those fixed, spray-type shower heads. Showers/toilets were clean however. On-site dump station.
- Amenities = 3.5/5
Limited set of amenities here. There are two nice laundromats ($1.75 wash and dry), a small book swap, small on-site camp store and recreation hall. There is also on-site Free WiFi which worked actually worked decently well during the time we were here. No game-hall or swimming pool however. They do offer regular events in the recreation hall and a $2 shuttle service to Boothbay Harbor. Plus there is a kayak launch (by sites #66/67) for folks who want to paddle the river.
- Location = 5/5
This is the perfect location to explore Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, Wiscasset and the surrounding area. You are jut a few miles from downtown Boothbay (5 mins to the brewery!) and within easy drive of several excellent lighthouses and lots of outstanding restaurants & eateries. There is also nearby grocery store and gas. We loved the location!!
- Pet friendliness = 4.5/5
Excellent place for paws. Decent space in camp, plus there’s a fabulous little island by site #84/85 where you can walk doggie on a trail amongst the trees as well as a lovely, large green field up by 50A camping section. Only slight ding? No fenced off-leash area, and no poo bags.
Overall Rating = 3.6
BONUS ALERT: Camp by the river just a few miles from Boothbay Harbor ME!
Summary: We chose this campground because several of our friends have stayed here in the past, and it turned out to be a great choice. The campground itself offers a somewhat varied mix of sites from a very open 50A FHU section at the top of the campground (nearest the entrance) to very forested/private 30A FHU section on a hill that leads to a set of riverside 30A/water sites nearest the water. Sites are all hard dirt with picnic table, fire pit and individual trash cans (a lovely touch), but do vary quite a bit in size and levelness. We stayed in a riverfront site that we had booked many (many) months before and absolutely loved it! Great views, very quiet and very spacious & private although we did need leveling blocks to get level. Paul’s dad & stepmom stayed in the 50A area which felt more like a regular “private park” with side-by-side sites and no vegetation/trees (= no real privacy), but also had decent space. We loved the riverfront sites and also the very private 30A FHU sites (our #1 and #2 areas), but felt so-so about the upper, open 50A FHU section (we would only stay there if we could get one of the sites nearest the entrance of the loop #144-149 that backed-up to the large green field). The only sites we didn’t really like at all were the two sets of “buddy sites” and the 30 & 50A sites closest the road since they do get regular road noise. The amenities/faculties were limited but there were two on-site shower stalls (older, but clean), two good laundromat rooms and Free WiFi that worked decently most of the time we were here. The riverfront area was our fav area of the campground and absolutely what makes this park!! Great water views and very quiet here with a lovely area to site and enjoy the sunset, kayak launch and a gorgeous little private island (by site #84/85) with forested trails to walk doggie. We also loved the park location. It’s just a few miles from downtown Boothbay & BoothBay Harbor which are both super cute towns with a fabulous brewery (Boothbay Brewery), lots of eateries plus groceries and all the practical stuff you might need. Plus you’re a short drive from several excellent lighthouses as well as other quaint Maine towns. This was (once again) not an inexpensive campground, but we loved our riverfront site (we could spend all day just sitting by the river and enjoying the views!) and loved the location. If we could get a riverfront site again, we would come back here again in a heartbeat.
This park is very popular and gets fully booked in summer (we booked 6 months ahead for our riverfront site), plus they only take CASH/CHECK (no credit cards) and require $50 non-refundable check deposit (sent by snail mail) if you want to reserve a spot.
Extra Info: Stable, usable working cellphone signal (2 bars ATT 4G & 2 bars Verizon LTE. Zero T Mobile however). Free on-site WiFi, and it worked mostly well during the time we were here. Total ~150 sites. Sites cost $53/night (50A FHU plus 30A waterfront section), $45-49/night (30A forested hillside section), $30/night (tent area). Site prices are for 2 people only (additional $10/night per additional person). 10% discount Good Sams. On-site dump station.
Extra, Extra Info: OTHER CAMPING: There are not a ton of other camping options in this area, but there are a few other private parks which rate well including Gary Homestead Camp ($48-53/night, south of Shore Hills) and Chewonki Campground ($50-80/night, north of Shore Hills). See locations & reviews on Campendium). Lastly you CAN camp at Boothbay Brewery if you’re able to snag one of their 5 or so on-brewery sites ($30-50/night). No water views here, but you’ll be stumbling distance to some awesome beer!