Camping in the woods on a New England island only gets better when you make this site your base for day trips to parks, kayaking tours, and nearby hikes. And you could experience it for free if you win the #SaveASpot sweepstakes.
The sweepstakes is a partnership between GearJunkie, REI, and Hipcamp. The grand-prize winner will receive bundles of gear, a $1,000 travel stipend, and a two-night stay at one of Hipcamp’s 500,000 U.S. campsites. And we’ll award 25 additional winners with daily gear prizes.
Enter to win today, and a free stay at Four Acre Woods in Maine could be yours.
Four Acre Woods
Caleb Scott, owner of the Four Acre Woods Hipcamp site, was living in Boston and working as a public accountant when he met a guy named Wolf on a bus. Wolf was busking with a dog, had less than $100 in his pocket, and seemed quite happy. Scott had been wanting to change his life, and meeting this character inspired him. So he began shopping around for rural land where he could make a new home.
When he saw this property in Deer Isle, Maine, for sale, he felt drawn to it. He had visited the area in his youth as it was where his grandmother and mother grew up. “Essentially, I wanted to have this space for people to come out and disconnect and be in the woods,” Scott said, “And camping has been a savior for a lot of people, including myself.”
He moved there and built his “forever home,” a 20-foot yurt where he lives with his 155-pound Newfoundland. He had help, though. He’d reached out to Wolf, who he hadn’t heard from in nearly a year, and the two cut their way through downed trees from a spring storm to start setting up the place for campers.
By 2020, many public campgrounds and nearby Acadia National Park were closed to campers due to the pandemic. That spiked demand for campsites hosted through Hipcamp, and Four Acre Woods soon became a top destination in Maine.
Originally, Four Acre Woods was part of a combined property with two other local spots and was called Sunshine Campground. It was sold to a couple who used it as a second home and left the land alone. That hands-off caretaking allowed the woods to fill in between campsites, which led to more wildlife and a richer ecosystem.
Now, Four Acre Woods consists of 12 campsites, eight of which are primitive sites and four of which are established canvas tents. The whole place includes two bathhouses, laundry facilities, and a community cabin for guests to socialize, cook, or play games. Scott also set aside one spot for drop-ins and surprise visitors.
Located on Sunshine Island, Scott encourages guests to enjoy the drive there and around the island, with oceanfront views just a five-minute drive in either direction.
Scott is a certified sea kayaking guide and offers private tours exploring the 60 islands within the Deer Isle archipelago. He also works with neighbors to provide unique experiences and a slice of local life. There’s a lobsterman living next door so an elevated camping meal is a possibility and so is getting farm-fresh eggs from a chicken ranch on the island.
He lists a $70 Guided Sunset Kayak Tour for guests which includes 2 hours on the water exploring nearby coves and learning a bit about the island’s history. The views should be great as sunset nears and there’s plenty of wildlife on the isles. Boats, paddles, and lifejackets are provided.
He’s also curating more community events with local entertainers included and at the end of the traditional camping season he invites locals over to enjoy live music at the campground.
A Hipcamp Hit
Scott credits having a larger campground with 12 sites available for his quick rise to attention on Hipcamp. Since 2020, he’s had roughly 2,500 visitors and has encouraged them to share their experiences and tag the site on social media. As always, the location helped, too.
“Acadia National Park is the only national park in Maine, and, as the crow flies, it’s only 12 miles away. But it takes just over an hour to get there over the scenic causeways and bridges,” said Scott.
“A lot of people come out to do the Cadillac Mountain hike. There’s also six or seven nature preserves right on the island, some of which are just a three- to five-minute walk.”
He also tailors recommendations to dog-friendly destinations or hiking distances depending on guests’ desires, and he knows some local spots off the beaten path that we won’t spoil here.
Visitors can stay at Four Acre Woods and drive into the park within an hour. The site also acts as a launching point for day-trippers attracted to popular spots in Bar Harbour who want to avoid crowds at night.
He also credits Hipcamp for its strong web presence and communication with hosts. For instance, he learned how important the first 10 photos are for hosts to show off their land, camp-specific details, and local destinations.
Advice for Guests
Social interaction with hosts and other campers is always up to the guests. “It can be anything that you want it to be. As I make my nightly rounds, I can tell the people who just want to camp and be by themselves,” Scott said.
Conversely, others will want to talk, and he’ll offer them ideas on what to do or where to visit.
Beyond his own property, Scott has used campsites with more amenities as “splurge” days while on a road trip and mostly primitive camping. He sees Hipcamp as meeting the needs of camping newbies and devotees alike.
“If you’re new to camping, maybe stay in an A-frame or cabin — you can still get that same experience. If you’re a more raw, rustic person, you can have that same experience as well. I don’t see any limitations.”
Remember: Through our #SaveASpot sweepstakes, you can win a free Hipcamp stay at one of the hundreds of thousands of sites around the country.
Even if you don’t win the grand prize, which includes big bundles of gear from REI and a $1,000 travel stipend, you may still be one of 25 daily prize winners.
This article is sponsored by REI, Hipcamp, and GearJunkie. Check out the sweepstakes for ways to win gear and a camping stay.