This campground gets a lot of things right, but the price and associated policies are way out of proportion to the sites.
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Overall Rating: 3.8/5
Price per night / Discounts: $52 / We got 20% off the base price because we had a Thousand Trails membership. The normal price for a regular site is over $70 per night.
Campground website: Narrows Too Campground
Our Site #: 855 - FHU
Privacy Rating (how spacious and private do the sites feel):
3/5: This is a very typical commercial campground as far as space between sites goes. It wasn't the worst we've seen, but it wasn't great. There are only a handful of sites that have any trees and those are the very expensive ($120 per night) premium waterfront sites. Everything else is out in the open. We did like the fact that our row of sites were pull-in sites rather than back-in sites, so the view from our front window was of trees, rather than other RVs across the way. We noted, however, that the high priced waterfront sites (not the premium ones, but the regular ones which cost $100 per night) were so close together, people could barely open their awnings (photos below). We would be ticked if we paid that much for a waterfront site, only to be sandwiched in between our neighbors.
Location Rating (accessibility to points of interest or to major highways):
5/5: The location is really pretty great. Trenton is on the mainland while Acadia National Park is located on Mount Desert Island, but the trip takes all of 15 minutes. In the opposite direction are all the normal stores you could need, and plenty of restaurant options can be found throughout the area. There's a small IGA grocery store about a quarter mile from the campground which came in handy several times. Additionally, the campground is serviced by the Island Express bus service - a free shuttle bus that goes to Bar Harbor and various sites throughout the National Park. While we did not make use of it, it is certainly a huge benefit for guests of the campground who don't want to drive every day. (Note: the shuttle stops at most of the campgrounds in the area, so this is not a unique feature of Narrows Too).
Site Quality and Big Rig Accessibility Rating (utilities and accessibility of campground hook ups):
4/5: This rating very much depends on your site. Ours was level, easy to get into, and the utilities worked fine. We also liked that the site was designed so we would drive into it rather than back into it. However, some other sites were oriented in weird ways that didn't make a whole lot of sense. For example, the waterfront sites are back-in sites - so rather than your windshield facing out, giving you a view of the water, you are looking at the campground, which makes no sense at all.
Technology and Customer Service Rating (online resources, reservations, and staff):
2/5: Online reservations are available. As for customer service, there seems to be a divide between the corporate chain that owns all these campgrounds and the campgrounds themselves. The corporate owner has tough, inflexible policies and they charge absolute top dollar for the sites. However, the local staff at the campground are absolutely wonderful. So, you have to be careful and weigh the risk of booking a site here.
The first time we were going to visit, I broke my leg a couple weeks before. When I called to cancel the reservation, the customer service agent said I would lose my $250 deposit because I was calling within their 14 day cancellation policy. The only way to not lose that money would be to reschedule our visit, which is what we did. The agent was very friendly and helpful, but her hands were tied by the company. Here is the campground's policies page which shows their deposit requirements and cancellation policies: http://barharborcampingresorts.com/maine/narrows-too-camping-resort/policies As you can see, they charge the full cost of your stay up front, up to a max of $250 - so, our 14 night stay was going to cost over $700 ($52 per night x 14 nights = $728), so they charged my card $250. Because I broke my leg inside the 14 day window, they were going to forfeit my deposit - unless I could postpone our trip, which luckily, we could. By way of comparison, other local campgrounds have MUCH friendlier cancellation policies. For example, Timberland RV Park has a 7 day policy and, at worst, you only forfeit one night's fee ($48). Hadley's Point Campground gives you until 48 hours before the beginning of your reservation before charging, at most, $100.
We encountered this same corporate inflexibility and lack of consumer-oriented policies at the campground itself. The front desk folks at Narrows Too were incredibly kind and helpful. They went out of their way to try to help us when we wanted to extend our stay, but the corporate computer system would not allow them to give us any discounts, leaving us looking at a nightly price of well over $70. Instead of paying that outrageous price, we just left. And we noted that, when we did, the campground was half empty. If the company wasn't so inflexible, we would have stayed another two weeks, but instead, we took our money elsewhere.
The bottom line is, while the local people are great, the owner company is not, and folks should read the fine print, and realize what risks they're taking, before booking here.
Internet Availability Rating (Verizon coverage or campground wifi):
5/5: A rare occasion where the campground wifi didn't suck. Plus, Verizon worked well! (Note: once in the National Park, we rarely had service, so make sure you download any hiking maps you need before heading to the park)
There's no question this is a convenient base for exploring Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor. The local customer service was excellent, the location was convenient, and overall, we had what we needed to have an enjoyable visit. The main issue is simply price. Without our Thousand Trails discount, the price would have been upwards of $70 per night. That is just insane. While all of the campgrounds near Bar Harbor are expensive, there are several that charge much less than Narrows Too (for example, Timberland Acres charges $54 per night in season (with Good Sam it would be 48.60), Hadley's Point is $48 per night, $41 is you stay for a week), and I don't see how Narrows Too is offering much more than these other campgrounds. While the campground is oceanfront, only people paying for those very high priced sites have a good view of the water. Additionally, if you book there for more than a couple days, expect to pay a $250 deposit up front. And if anything goes wrong and you need to cancel your reservation within 14 days before your reservation starts, expect to kiss that money goodbye, Finally, if the company that owns the campground would have been a little more flexible and customer oriented, we would have stayed an additional two weeks. But because their system is so unforgiving, we took our business elsewhere and left behind a half empty campground. In short, when we return to the area, we will stay elsewhere....