Don’t discount this east-coast state because of its small stature. It may be New England’s second smallest state, but Connecticut’s 5,018 square miles are full of surprises, especially for outdoorists. From the forest to the shore there’s lots to explore – Connecticut offers 250-miles of Long Island Sound shoreline! This small but mighty state should be the next pin in your map, let’s go camping in Connecticut from the coast to the country!
If you’re looking for a truly outdoorsy experience, and a little taste of the Appalachian Trail, give backcountry camping in Connecticut a try and head to Sages Ravine. There are designated sites for campers to enjoy, and peak baggers will appreciate the ability to combine this camping trip with a trek to Connecticut’s tallest mountain, Bear Mountain. The climb up Bear Mountain isn’t terribly treacherous, or strenuous, but there is some scrambling involved to up the ante. The views from 2,323 ft. make the trek well worth it!
Not into backcountry camping? Camping in Connecticut can cater to the desires of just about any kind of camper – including those looking for an experience that brings back memories of summer camp. Club Getaway is the can’t-miss all-inclusive, all-things-fun, camp in Kent, Connecticut. Club Getaway’s ‘Camp For Adults’ (don’t worry, there’s one for families, too) offers everything from adrenaline pumping activities like rock climbing, SUP, and zip lining, to the more chilled-out vibes of yoga and massages, arts and crafts, and mixology classes, too. There are even flip cup competitions, and rounds of Cards Against Humanity.
Want a taste of that salty shore air? Head to the coast and camp at Rocky Neck State Park on the Long Island Sound in East Lyme, Connecticut. Be warned, though, this is a very popular spot. This 710-acre park offers half a mile of sandy shores, and a 5 month camping season from May to September—pro tip: heading out later in the season may make for smaller crowds. Also worth mentioning, you can’t camp on the beach, but you won’t be far from it!
From the country to the coast, camping in Connecticut offers a variety of opportunities for visitors to get outside and get exploring. With The Dyrt, you can be sure to find the best places to venture out whether you’re looking for an epic adventure or some outdoor R&R.
The hosts were very accommodating. We got a nice spot backing up to the river. Very secluded, clean sites. There was not sewer drains, but it’s ok, they have a nice dump station on your way out. The camp store has some fishing gear and tubes, so the kids could float down the river.
Very convenient if you want to go to the beach every day, but the campsite itself is very busy and crowded, usually with a lot of families and kids. Can’t use hammocks here, and you need to rent a fire pit. Nice if you want the location, but not the best for actual camping
This state park has a campground and a separate day use area for swimming and picnicking. The campground is family friendly and most of the sites are near the water. If you are looking for privacy and quiet, I recommend the F Loop. The other loops have sites close together and it is generally quite loud during the day. Quiet hours at night are not strictly enforced so you may hear people up and around until midnight or later.
We launched our kayaks from the day use area because the campground boat launch was extremely crowded. From here, we paddled south to the end of the pond and up the Pachaug River, eventually reaching the dam at Pachaug Pond. It's an 8 mile paddle with some tricky spots to navigate, but very pretty! This park also has plenty of trails for hiking and geocaching. The pond has some really big fish, but it's heavily covered with lily pads and there are a lot of submerged trees. If you're going fishing here, a weedless rig is the way to go.
Wife and I stopped here as our halfway point to Maine from Baltimore. We do not regret it! We got there late and couldn't check into a normal site but the park did let us use the emergency stop off area to set up a tent. The ESO area was located in the park and we had a nice shaded field right near the bathhouse to set up. Full access to the bathhouse and park facilities. It's $14 cash to use the ESO and well worth it if you need a place to stay on a extended trip. We can't wait to come back for a longer stay! We had to be packed up by 8am which was no problem because we went down to the beach in the morning and sat by the water. The park opens to public at 8 so we had almost an hour without any real crowds. The staff was nice and the facilities were clean, wish we could have stayed longer. Great place for families and don't forget your bikes! Very flat and plenty of riding!
We stayed for 4 nights during the week, and it was the quietest campground we've ever stayed in. We were told by a seasonal that its a whole different story on the weekend. There are 2 pools and lots of games that they provide the equipment for for free. Bathrooms were clean. Most sites are a good size. Fire pits are nice and big made with large rocks.
A lot of it is seasonal, but it didn't feel like it like others we've stayed in. People were friendly.
The owner and staff were very friendly and helpful. A branch fell on the camper, and the owners son came right down and checked it out.
Our only complaint would be the spot they put the 5th wheel our cousin brought. It was too close to the road, and they wouldn't let him pull in so we were facing each other even though it would have easily worked out.
Hawes is one of the few campgrounds in CT that's dog friendly. The sites are nice and large, with room for trailers, and they also have a few cabin sites as well.
There is access to the Farmington River from the campground for your fishing and paddling pleasure.
In the summer, this place is mosquito central, so bring lots of bug spray or be eaten alive!
The camp office only sells ice and firewood, but there's a Stop and Shop nearby, as well as a couple of general stores.
Last but not least - no cellphone service, which is either a good or bad thing, depending on how you feel about it.
We have camped here many times, seasonally and weekend. Typically it’s very peaceful, you can have a nice fire and some drinks, or even party if you’d like and not usually hassled to much, lots of shaded woody sites. Pool and playground for the kids but not much else going on.
The beach area is very user-friendly with several parking lots as well as pavilions to break from the sun. Large bathrooms with showers and dressing rooms complete the amenities and several vending machines for snacks are available. Lots of shells and rocks so bring shoes.
In addition to the beach, there is a beautiful area adjacent known as Meig's Point. It is here you can follow a short trail through a partially wooded area straddling the beach. The beach is littered with boulders deposited by the glaciers. The views are beautiful and the rocks and stony beach give a connection to the time of the glaciers. Two information kiosks help to explain the evolution of the area. Across from here is a bucolic salt march. Beyond that is the nature center, another area to investigate.
Plenty of amenities. Many types of sites to choose from. The showers could be more convenient. The first site they offered us has a tree growing in the middle of it, which really should be cut down to allow access. The site we moved to was better. However, Saturday night a large overnight party arrived, set up speakers and played loud music for most of the evening. So much for a peaceful camping trip.
We biked from the Chester ferry to Devils Hopyard campground, at the north part of the park. We reserved by phone, site number five which ended up being a good spot. There are no neighbors to the right of the site but the porter potty‘s are right there.
There is no running water or electricity but the campground still served its purpose. The waterfall was a quick walk away and you could hike down to the river for a quick dip. The river isn’t deep enough for a full swim but still was good enough on a hot day.
There is a general store in Hadlyme about 4 miles away. Other than that there are not many options for food or supplies. A woman at the general store mentioned the campground recently reopened. Based on the hike we did around the state park it appeared a storm had ripped right through the area.
All in all, this car camping or bike camping campground was a solid option.
I’m relatively new to the backyard camping experience but this was a pretty cool set up. There are 2 campsite options at the private residence and both are on the waterfront with picnic tables, chairs, fire pits and a spot for tents/hammocks. We really enjoyed unlimited use of all the water toys including stand up paddle board, canoe and kayaks. The home owners do also rent out a cabin on the property and some RV plots so you will have to share the beach with whoever else is staying there at the time. The beach was pretty lively with people throughout most of the day but everyone was respectful of quiet hours and we overall had a sense of privacy. The “campsite” has access to a toilet, shower, electric and WiFi. There is also a sauna available for use which was an added bonus. Town is about 10 minutes away and we recommend getting the eggplant pizza at the Town & Grill Pizzeria!
It should be noted that this is a backyard camping site and there are certain more social and less private components associated with this type of stay. On arrival, you'll pass RVs tucked off of the side of the long driveway cradled with green ferns. When you pull up to the parking lot (located directly in front of the host's home) you'll find a little beach stocked with kayaks and canoes. On the right hand side of the parking lot there is a wood burning sauna which takes about two hours to heat up. There is a nearby town within 10 minutes drive, should you require reinforcements.
Below are a few general facts/pointers about the campsite:
If you seek more privacy, you can kayak/canoe out to one of the islands at the center of the lake and pitch a hammock there for the afternoon.
There are 2 camping spots to choose from and the one to the left of the house (NOT the sauna one) is definitely the superior spot.
Reservation includes parking, potable water, showers, electricity, wifi, access to the sauna and unlimited use of the hosts' SUP, canoe and kayaks. Firewood is also available for an additional $3.
The wifi was spotty but it seemed to be device dependent (I didn't have connection issues but my partner did).
We were passing through Connecticut and needed a place to crash. Loved this campsite! Very chilled and secluded in your own site. I liked that it felt like a litrle community but still quotr private. They provide ice and firewood which is cool. Loved our camp site, lots of trees around too. Was very buggy so bring bug reppelant! Hot showers were fab and they have water and toikets too. Very easy to drive too as well snd friendly staff on site avail till 6pm. Great spot. Liked that the toilets were close from every site!
There is lots to do at the campground especially for kids. Each weekend has a big schedule of events- farmers’ market, themed activities and a band. In addition there is good fishing on the pond, mini- golf, pool and splash pad, etc. Kids are not bored here! Most sites are even and good sized.
Great off the beaten path place to camp. Sites are large but close together. Each contain a rock built fire ring. There are toilets but no showers. Good parking for camper but limited for guests. Reservations are required in advance. Stones throw to beach/pond area
This place, like most KOA’s, is very expensive and it seems that they do not spend much money on their sites. When you have to put 6 inches of leveling material under your front tires just to level your motorhome, that is unacceptable. The front and rear areas of sites are most important to be level. Add more dirt or grade the site so that they are level.
The WiFi was horrible even though the campground was mostly empty - might as well not even say you have it.
I cannot comment on cleanliness of the laundry room and bathrooms since our motorhome is self contained; however, it appears that it would be clean from the way the office was maintained. The staff were friendly. This place has fire-pits. They sell you 6 pieces of split wood for $7.00 ($$$$$). They offer quite a few cable channels.
Just ok. This is a small family run operation. We stayed 3 nights and that was plenty. We basically used this campground as a base to get out and explore the surrounding area, so in that sense, it was fine. They only had a couple spots open as the entire campground was basically full of long stay campers and cabins. The shower house was in the main home of the owner/operators, which was at times odd (you could hear them talking, cooking etc, so it kind of felt like you were intruding). No sewer hookups . At Check-in they said their son would come to our site and remotely pump our tanks before we left, but that never happened and we didn’t even bother to make a big deal about it. As we were pulling out they apologized saying he came by but we weren’t there 🤷🏻♀️ The cabin “resident” next to us had loud dogs that barked at anything that moved outside, so that didn’t make for a peaceful stay. The sites were set up a little weird with the hookups not where it made sense to park. If you had a big rig (40 ft+), I don’t think it would be easy to figure out a solution. We had to wiggle ours around to get in a position to hook our electric up. In a pinch this campground would work, but this is definitely not a campground that I’d recommend for a longer stay. Cell coverage was ok for us to work (att & Verizon).
We’ve been going to Hammonasset for years as a large family gathering. Most sites don’t have hook ups so you have to run off battery and water storage tanks if you have a RV. My biggest gripe is lack of any enforcement. No one enforces the parks rules so some groups tend to be rowdy later in the evening, children on bikes darting in front of moving cars. Nice thing is it is fairly inexpensive and there’s several beaches to choose from.
We stayed at one of their lean-to sites a few years ago with 3 other friends and had a good time. Very convenient to have the elevated space to sleep and store items in. The sites were not very secluded from each other, but there were not a lot of other campers when we went so it wasn’t a problem for us. They have bathrooms and showers close by that (if I remember correctly/things haven’t changed too much in the past couple of years) were in relatively decent shape compared to others I’ve been in at campgrounds. They also had plenty of firewood to purchase at the check-in. You can start hiking the trails around the lake right from campsite. We were slightly disappointed that the lake was not suitable for swimming (as was posted), but it wasn’t a big deal. I can imagine that it would still be a good place to go for kayaking and canoeing as well. Have fun!