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Bowdish Lake Camping Area is the worst campground we have ever been to and we travel fulltime! Their website states: $1,800-$3,600 per season (look for yourself on their website if you don’t believe me). We get there after reserving site Blue 65. They then charged us $3,900. Why? We have no idea! Then they charged us an additional $75.00 for our truck. Why I don’t know? Then they charged us an additional $50.00 for having our own kayak. Then they charged us an additional $50.00 for a small dog, $100.00 for large dogs (by the way they have no dog park). Then they charged us an additional $100.00 for cable. Then they charged us an additional .50 cents per kWh ( which cost us an average of$250.00 extra per month). The public facilities are filthy. They do not supply any toilet paper, hand soaps, hot water, etc. They charge you an additional charge by coin operated showers (cold water only) that are crawling with spiders, bugs and cobwebs.
It's hard to find much information about this equestrian, first come, first serve campground in Connecticut's Pachaug State Forest. The best source I could find was https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/State-Parks/Recreation-Information/Horseback-Riding---CT-State-Parks-and-Forests
Campsites are located around a loop with a couple of composting toilets near the entrance. Water is available. There's space your your camping gear as well as a trailer and horseline. About half the sites were occupied in late October.
Three horseback riding loops leave from the campground. There's also fishing and hiking available in the forest.
It's very hard to find information about this campground which is closed for 2020. When open, it's for walk-in only and you need to check in with Erving State Forest (about 15 miles away) first, but there is a phone number to contact them. The entrance road is marked with signs, but I accidentally drove past it the first time, but Google Maps took me directly to it. It's a long curvy road that ends with a small parking lot at a T junction. In Nov 2020 the road to the left is closed because a bridge is out; the road to the right leads to the campground and Gate 36. This was gated in Nov 2020 as the campground was closed due to Covid-19, so I'm not sure if they'll open it in the spring.
Some of the sites are definitely walk-in, with a narrow trail leading from the road. It's possible to park at other sites; I'm guessing the gate at the beginning of the road toward the campground is open when the campground is open. If so, high clearance vehicle is definitely preferred. There's no map on the website and the one I found online elsewhere was outdated/incorrect and the one painted on a campground board could be clearer. I didn't find all of the campsites. Bring your own water. There is a composting toilet located near the group site in the field.
If you continue past site 15, you'll head through Gate 36 out toward Soapstone Hill which offers a great view of Quabbin Reservoir and sunsets.
This website provides some general information about hikes and exploration in the area that surrounds the Quabbin Reservoir. https://quabbinvalley.wordpress.com/ You'll find cellar holes throughout, remnants of the towns lost in the 30s to create the reservoir.
Cell phone coverage is faint to nonexistent on Verizon. You may want to download offline maps before you head out here. If you're into geocaching, download those, too. There are several along the entrance rd and in teh area.
This small state park campground offers basic campsites with running water and showers, open Memorial Day to Columbus Day. This is NOT Wolf's Den Family Campground in E. Haddam, CT. Also, be aware there are 2 campgrounds at this State Park; the other one, Mashamoquet Brook, does not offer running water/showers, so if you want these amenities, be sure to select a campsite 1-35.
There's a small playground in the middle of the loop, a number of hiking trails throughout the park along with a few geocaches (download details for offline use a phone connection is spotty), a swimming pond, and a small brook with an old mill and blacksmith shop that is sometimes open on weekends for tours. It's a nice place to explore and have a picnic. In 2020 with Covid, there were restrictions on visitors to the campground, reservations required, and swimming was not allowed.
The parking pads are paved and a few have overhanging branches, but the trees provide separation and some shade on largely open sites that tend to open up toward the back with open areas for pitching tents. Sites have fire rings with grills and picnic tables. Site 20 is the only one with electric. The ones toward the back of the loop back up toward the woods and give you some more privacy.
They don't allow hammocks in the trees or pets. For some reason, silly string also makes the list of prohibitions.
It is a really fun place to spend a night, especially for a train enthusiast. The caboose is stationed on a big grassy field, near a real railroad. It sleeps 4 and you can set up tents outside too. You hear the trains running at night. Very clean and comfortable.
The campground was clean. They cleaned playground after each family used it. The pool area was well marked cleaned and open. This was all done for covid precautions. Wooded area was nice with fishing pond. Bass and pan fish. Will definitely go back