Thursday, August 14, 2014

Maine’s Sebago Lake State Park – Lakeside Camping at its Best


Sebago Lake State Park is one of Maine's premier state parks.  It sits on the north shore of Maine’s largest fresh water lake.  Only 30 miles from Portland, Sebago Lake covers over 45 square miles and has over 100 miles of shore line.

The state park is also huge.  It consists of 1,400 acres on the northern shore of the lake right outside the town of Naples.  It has a day use area for picnicking and swimming, a boat ramp, and two camping areas.
I’ve been camping at Sebago Lake State Park for 5 years now.  In my opinion, it’s the best lakeside camping that I’ve experienced.   The park has trails for hiking and mountain biking but the big draw is the lake.  The water is clean, clear, wonderful for swimming, boating, or just sitting by the water and enjoying the big views.

Naples Beach
The state park has two camping sections.  Like most state or national parks, the camping is rustic. There’s no camp store for supplies, so you need to bring what you need.  Both camping areas are set in flat wooded areas on the lake share.  Each has two bath houses with flush toilets and showers.  Both have nice long sandy beaches with sandy bottoms clear of rocks and debris.  The town of Naples is 5 miles away and has a grocery store and several restaurants.  Also, firewood is only sold outside the park, so you need to buy some before you enter the park.  

Witch Cove Beach
The Naples Beach camping section is the smaller of the two areas. The sites at Naples Beach have good spacing, there are no hookups for RV’s, but the beach is wider.  The Witch Cove Section is larger, has water and electric hook-ups at about 2/3’s of the sites.  The sites are a little closer together and it tends to be noisier.  

The Naples Beach section tends to attract mostly tenters because of the lack of hookups.  The Witch Cove area attracts popups and trailers.  Neither area can accommodate rigs larger than 30 ft so there’s few motor homes.  All sites and roads are gravel.  All sites are shaded and are equipped with a fire rings and tables.  

The campground is very popular for families on a camping vacation and with boaters.  Most of the sites can be reserved but there are some non-reserved sites for walk-ups.  The sites are in high demand during the peak summer months.  Reservations for the upcoming year open up on 9:00 am February 1st each year.  To get a site for a week in the summer, you’ve got to get online at 9:00 am because by 10:0am most have been taken.

Here's a short video of the Witch Cove camping section.



Here are some pictures of my stay.

J. Dawg's Campsite at Sebago Lake State Park


J. Dawg relaxing by the lake
I really like camping at Sebago Lake.  Camping in general is a great way to check out of our electrified, internet connected, car based lifestyles and do some living outside.  I usually reserve my stay for 10+ days so I can get a good dose of relaxation.  I like camping in a wooded setting especially during the late summer when there’s no bugs.  Spending a sunny day sitting on the lake shore with a good book and a light warm breeze can’t be beat.  Swimming in the lake is so pleasant. It’s warm and inviting.  It’s perfect for floating on an inner tube.  Kids stay in the water for hours on end.  And, it’s much better than trying to swim in Maine’s frigid ocean water.  In the morning, I love the smell of someone cooking bacon at their campsite.  Wood smoke predominates throughout the campground all day.  Cooking and eating outside under a shade tree canopy is a pleasant change of pace.  And, ending the day by a crackling fire as the air cools is a great elixir for a good night’s sleep.  It’s all these things that make camping at Sebago Lake so great.




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