Abbot, Maine has an area of less than 35.7 square miles. It seems like a small town, but it’s actually larger than Bangor by a little over a mile. It is scenic and peaceful. The businesses on the main road in Abbot are easy to spot, and wonderful to shop at. Then, there are those hidden places you would never know exist if someone didn’t tell you about them. I am passionate about uncovering those hidden businesses and special places within the borders of Piscataquis County.
One such place is Balsam Woods Campground; located on Pond Rd., far enough from the main road to make you feel like you are a million miles away from the rest of the world; you will hear only the sounds of nature and families connecting. The campground is located on a beautiful piece of property, about one hundred fifteen acres, and it is obvious the owners take great pride in keeping the grounds clean, safe, and welcoming for families.
As a child, I went camping often with my Uncle, and enjoyed it immensely. We stayed in tents and truly “roughed it”. We ate only what we caught or what we could warm over a fire from a can, and we loved every minute of it. Sunny or storming, it did not matter one iota; it was wonderful. It has been years since I have gone camping, I’m sad to say, but I still remember those weekends fondly. It is amazing how time spent with family in the outdoors can become the fabric of our greatest childhood memories. Because of this, I was anxious to see this campground after meeting the owners, the Snyders. This is a young, dynamic couple; they operate in excellence, truly. I was impressed by their desire to make their campground the best that it can be, and their heart for our region in general. I visited earlier in the summer during Memorial Day weekend, and the place was bustling with activity. I also took my teenage daughters with me; I always like their opinion when I visit a place made for families.
Prior to that day, I mentioned to several people that I would be visiting the camp ground. Some of them had never heard of it, but those that had all had similar reactions: wide eyes and a smile; each saying things like “that is an awesome campground”, “might be the best in the state”, “they sure are friendly”. Needless to say, I was very anxious to check it out.
Balsam Woods Campground is one of the few campgrounds in Maine with direct access to 1,000 miles of ATV trails. There also are walking/biking trails throughout the grounds. Those staying at the campground have a short drive to some commonly visited places in Maine, such as Baxter State Park, Mount Katahdin and Moosehead Lake. If you don’t plan to travel once you’ve arrived, that’s o.k., too; there is plenty to do! Swim with your family in the heated in-ground pool or go kayaking (kayaks available for rent), play on the basketball court or volleyball court, or play a game of horseshoes with your family. There is a beautiful playground, and a large covered area with picnic tables, making it easy to enjoy meals with family and friends even on rainy days. The day I visited, I arrived just in time to see ten or so kids leaving on a hay ride. Everywhere I looked, smiles!
Besides a ton of fun, this campground offers full hook-ups: water, 30/50 amp. electric, and sewer. Cable T.V./wifi is standard at each site (for those rainy days). There is an efficiently stocked camp store, a snack bar (food, drink, and Gifford’s Ice Cream, what more do you need?), and laundry facilities (I have NEVER gone home from camping with clean clothes!). There’s a game room, which my girls thought was great. In the game room is a comfortable sitting area , perfect for reading a good book from the camp bookcase; or choose from a nice selection of DVDs to watch on a flat screen T.V. There is a pool table, arcade games, and video games. I loved the huge selection of board games! There is something for everyone.
There are three cabins AND campers available for rent. I thought this was really convenient, especially for families who own a camper and want to vacation with a family that does not. The campground is open from Memorial Day to Columbus Day, and from what I understand, they have been booked all summer, with a nice mix of repeat customers and new families who have been referred by their friends.
What did my girls think? I got two enthusiastic “thumbs up”, and a plea to begin a new tradition in our family, camping for a weekend at the end of the summer, before school begins again. Sounds like a great way to end the summer, doesn’t it?
For more information on the Balsam Woods Campground, please see the contact information below. I am confident you will leave happy. Make your reservation now, the season is almost over, and please, don’t forget to tell Matt the Chamber sent you.
Until next time, thank you for taking A Peek Into Piscataquis!
Balsam Woods Campground
112 Pond Rd, Abbot Maine 04406