Home Destinations Camping in Seboomook, Maine – Where to Stay

Camping in Seboomook, Maine – Where to Stay

by Derrick Grant
Seboomook Dam
The view from below Seboomook Dam.

A trip to Seboomook, Maine is not the quickest (or easiest) one to make. Few tourists visit the area, and most people (Mainers included) have never even heard of it. There is good reason for this. There’s virtually nothing there – and that’s precisely what makes it so wonderful.

Seboomook is an unorganized township in northern Maine. It is known primarily for Seboomook Lake, a lake formed by Seboomook Dam and fed by the North and South Branches of the Penobscot River. Much of the township (and the entire lake) is protected under Maine Public Reserved Land. The lake itself covers nearly 6,900 acres and includes 69 miles of shoreline.

Interesting History

Beyond the long history of timber harvesting in the region, there was once a farm located in the area, aptly named Seboomook Farm. In 1944, during World War II, the farm was converted into a prison facility. The horse barn became a living quarters and the grounds were surrounded by fencing and watchtowers. Around 250 German prisoners of war were transported to the farm to work in the woods cutting and hauling pulpwood. The prisoners worked there until 1946 and then sent back to Germany. (Source.)

What to Do in Seboomook

People visit Seboomook for fishing, hunting, boating, snowmobiling, and other outdoor activities. If you’re not into the outdoors, there’s not going to be much for you to do in Seboomook. There is no cellphone reception and no access to Netflix (Pittston Farm exception).

I’ve visited Seboomook only during the months of October and November, but many times during those two months. My interest has always been in bird and deer hunting, though deer hunting seems to have become more difficult than when I first started going. Fewer deer are being harvested in the region.

Whitewater paddlers visit the region in the spring when waters flowing below the dam create a few miles of Class III and IV rapids. They do this either with a guided trip or they strike out on their own for a (long) day trip or camp in the area.

Getting There

Visitors generally approach Seboomook from one of two directions: heading south from the Golden Road or north from Rockwood. Another option could be arriving by boat up Moosehead Lake, which would mean docking at Seboomook Wilderness Campground (more on that in a bit).

If you’re unfamiliar with traveling in this region, know that it’s nothing like traveling in other places. The roads are all dirt, often have potholes, and there are few (sometimes no) road signs. You won’t find any roadmaps specific to the region either. The best you can do is buy a copy of the Maine DeLorme Atlas and use that as a guide. Coupled with a GPS you should be okay.

Delorme Maine Atlas & Gazetteer
  • Amazingly detailed and beautifully crafted, large-format paper maps for all 50 states
  • Topographic maps with elevation contours, major highways and roads, dirt roads, trails and land use data
  • Gazetteer section contains information essential for any outdoor enthusiast, such as points of interest, landmarks, campgrounds, golf courses, historic sites, scenic drive recommendations and more (Note: available information varies by state)
  • Perfect for sightseeing, exploring back roads, outdoor recreation and trip planning
  • Delorme (Author)

If you want to get a picture of what driving these roads looks like, I’d suggest reading my article on visiting the Abandoned Trains of Maine. The roads there are similar.

Approaching from Rockwood

I would venture a guess that most visitors arrive in Seboomook by going through Rockwood (approached either from Jackman or Greenville). You cross the bridge over Moose River and drive north on Northern Road. Northern Road merges with 20 Mile Road and continues all the way north until it reaches a fork where you can either go left (continue on Northern/20 Mile toward Pittston Farm) or take a right on Seboomook Road. This fork is at the eastern end of Seboomook Lake.

The savvy driver who is coming from Jackman might take what some would consider to be a shortcut, a left off Route 15 onto Demo Road. Demo Road then converges with Northern/20 Mile Road. I’m not convinced this saves much time. It might, but you have more dirt road time versus more paved road time.

road map of Seboomook region
Not entirely legible in this pic, but you can get an idea of the roads via Google Maps.

Approaching from Golden Road

The Golden Road, which can be reached from various points in northern Maine, crosses the northern side of Seboomook Lake. Depending on where you’re staying, you’re either going to head south toward Pittston Farm on the western side of Seboomook Lake or you’re going to head south toward Seboomook Wilderness Campground on the eastern side of the lake. Travelling on the Golden Road requires registering and paying a day use fee.

Camping in Seboomook

There’s very little information on camping in Seboomook, which is what prompted me to write this article. You can do all the online research you want, but you don’t fully grasp what the region, or camping there, is like until you actually go. That said, I hope this article gives you some indication of what it’s like and helps you plan a trip.

You are limited to three choices of lodging in the Seboomook area: Seboomook Wilderness Campground, Pittston Farm, and primitive campsites.

Seboomook Wilderness Campground

Seboomook Wilderness Campground is located at the northwest corner of Moosehead Lake and near the eastern end of Seboomook Lake. I’ve stayed there several times, spanning two different owners and staying in at least three different cabins. We stayed here while hunting in November as the region’s temperatures plummet that time of the year. Having heat and roof over your head become a necessity. I have friends that make an annual trip to the campground during the summer months, when the area gets the most visitors. The campground is closed during the winter.

The campground offers lean-to shelters that face the water (they’re in rough condition), “rustic” cabin rentals, and various camper/RV hookup sites.

Airstream camper along Moosehead Lake
I photographed this small Airstream at the campground in October.
Lakeview Cabin at Seboomook Wilderness Campground
Lakeview Cabin had an interior makeover by the new owners.

The campground has a shower/bathroom facility for campers (cabins may/may not have bathrooms) and a campground store that has just the basics: cheap beer, a few automotive supplies, and gasoline. Power to the campground is run off the campground generator. Due to costs, it is only turned on a few times a day, which is enough to keep the lights on in evening hours and to keep food in the fridge cool. Cabin heat runs off propane.

Pittston Farm

Pittston Farm is a larger version of Seboomook Wilderness Campground on the other end of the lake. They too have a long history.

Accommodations here vary. You can choose from a room rental, cabin rental, camper/RV site, or a tent site. I have never stayed here, but I have eaten several meals there. Whether you are staying or not, you can arrive for dinner and get a hot, homecooked meal. It’s the only place in the area where that can happen – plan your groceries accordingly!

Primitive Campsites

Unless it’s spring (buggy) or late fall (cold), I would opt to stay in the various primitive campsites that dot the Seboomook area. There are more than what I’ve identified below, but these are (in my opinion) the best choices as they’re the most picturesque and put you in close proximity to the lake, dam, and river.

Seboomook camping map
This map identifies the different campsites around the eastern end of Seboomook Lake. You can also note Seboomook Wilderness Campground’s location near the tip of Moosehead Lake.

What does “primitive” mean? It means you have a fire ring, an outhouse, a picnic table, and space to park a vehicle. You may or may not have a lean-to (most do). You should not expect anything more: no electricity, no trash pickup, etc. Pack in and pack out.

These campsites are reserved on a first-come first-served basis. This can be problematic if you’re counting on one particular spot, but there are usually enough sites that you can safely plan a trip and find a site, even if it’s not the site you prefer. Everyone has different preferences, so you can “tour” the sites and decide which (open) site serves you best and camp there.

There are fees associated with camping there. Fill out the form and place your money in the pipe next to the board that lists camping rules. Rangers DO come around to check.

Here’s a brief rundown of the campsites I identified on the map (as I remember them).

Seboomook Ledge

This is a great campsite, probably the most picturesque. You drive down, off the side of Seboomook Road not far from the dam. There is no lean-to, but there is a covered picnic table, outhouse, and fire pit. You can view the dam from this campsite.

Seboomook Ledge campsite
The fire ring at Seboomook Ledge campsite.

The biggest problem with this campsite is the wind! If it’s windy when you go, you will get hammered by the wind whipping across the lake. If you’re camping here in late fall, expect that wind to be very cold. I would not camp here in late fall unless I had a camper and plenty of propane to keep the heat running.

Campsites by Seboomook Dam

There are 3-4 campsites located on the north side of Seboomook Dam. A few are on the right just after crossing the dam from the south. These are great sites if you plan on whitewater kayaking below the dam or fishing. The other few campsites are directly across the road near the boat launch, ideal for boating on the lake.

Roll Dam Campground

Labeled as a “campground” on most maps, it’s really just 3-4 primitive campsites. These are beautiful sites as you can access the river directly from them. You will have less privacy at these sites as they’re in close proximity to each other, but not as close as what you’d find in most campgrounds. There is at least one lean-to at this location, possibly two (I can’t remember).

Roll Dam rapids
Roll Dam rapids downstream from Seboomook Dam near the campsites.

Burbank Campsites

There are two sites located further down the road from Roll Dam. This is where I’ve stayed. They’re just as picturesque as Roll Dam, only a bit further off the road (not that many people travel the road).

Burbank camping area sign
The sign identifying the Burbank campsites.
lean-to shelter
This lean-to at Burbank is the type of lean-to you will find at the primitive campsites in the area.

Fire and Water


There is really no need to pack firewood with you. Rules in the area allow you to use dead wood for fires (only in fire rings). There’s a lot of it around!

My advice, particularly if you’re staying for several days, is to take your vehicle down a logging road and look for an area that has been cut in the past few years (like the one pictured below). These are gold mines for finding plentiful, dry firewood.

chainsaw used for gathering firewood

I took my battery-powered DeWalt chainsaw with me and within 30 minutes we’d cut enough firewood to last 4 days!

DEWALT 20V MAX* XR Chainsaw, 12-Inch, Tool Only (DCCS620B)
  • Cordless chainsaw comes with low kick back 12-inch bar and chain for construction and outdoor cutting applications
  • Compact, lightweight design (just 9 lbs. with battery) of the battery chainsaw for maximum user control
  • High-efficiency brushless motor of the battery powered chainsaw maximizes runtime and motor life
  • Up to 90 cuts per charge on 4x4 pressure treated wood (using a 20V MAX* 5Ah battery)
  • Tool-free chain tensioning and bar tightening knob for proper bar clamping force

Be ultra-safe with your fire, particularly in dry conditions. Emergency services are – literally – hours away, and you’re not going to be able to easily call in an emergency. Visit Seboomook Wilderness Campground or Pittston Farm for emergencies. They have satellite phones.


In the map picture above I placed an X next to the location of a spring. This is good information to have! If you didn’t pack enough water or want to save yourself from the process of filtering and purifying water, this spring is your go-to spot for great water that’s ready to drink.

It’s not far from Seboomook Wilderness Campground heading north toward the dam on the right. It’s even closer to The Ledge campsite heading south on the left.

a spring available for gathering water
This spring pump will fill your water jugs.

The spring is marked and (usually) has a few jugs of water next to it. These are not for drinking! Use these jugs of water to prime the pump. It may take a moment and a few pours, but keep it going and water will soon flow from the pump. Don’t forget to refill the priming jugs!

Enjoy Your Stay

Have you been to Seboomook? What do you have to add? Are you going and have questions? Sound off in the comments section. It’s a wonderful place.

setting sun selfie pic
Setting sun selfie (no filter) along the West Branch Penobscot River.

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