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Sanford, MAINE

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Ranger Review: Red Ledge Rebel Shell Rain Pants at Pawtuckaway State Park

*CAMPGROUND REVIEW*

This campground is definitely a dazzler and I was fortunate to visit on a quieter weekend. I was able to enjoy an especially picturesque sunset over the lake and I would definitely visit this spot again, especially with how accessible the campground is. There is a nice stretch of sandy beach at the campground as well as canoes and kayaks for rent. The convenience store at the campground had essentially everything you would need for a good camping trip. Definitely do your research on the different site numbers because some sites are much more private and scenic than others. Each site is equipped with a picnic table and fire pit as an added bonus.

Pros: 

-Within a short driving distance from the Boston area 

-Lakefront sites available 

-Canoe and kayak rentals available 

-Well stocked convenience store 

-Reasonable cell reception

Cons: 

 -Can get busy during peak camping times 

 -Some sites have a lack of privacy

*PRODUCT REVIEW*

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time. During this trip, I took out a pair of Red Ledge Rain Pants. While it didn’t rain during my camping stay (great from a camper perspective, not so great from a reviewer perspective), I was able to try out the general fit of the pants. They have a nice stretch fit to them and a certainly one of the more stylish options as far as rain pants go. As is true for most waterproof gear, they run on the warmer side and don’t have a ton of ventilation so they may not be the best choice for hotter weather. Although I didn’t get to test out the pants in a camping setting, I did wear them a few days ago while making the 1.5 km evacuation route trek from my apartment to the flood shelter during one of the biggest typhoons to make landfall in Japan. After about 25-30 mins of walking in record breaking-ly heavy rain, the pants started to saturate around the knees and the upper thigh area started to get a bit soggy. That being said, this is probably the most extreme possible test setting and they did hold up reasonably well. Due to the aforementioned, I would recommend using these pants as a waterproof option when skiing/snowboarding in warmer weather where you still want a snow barrier but may not necessarily need the insulative warmth offered by actual snow pants.

Pros: 

-Stylish look 

 -Stretch fit 

 -Waterproof 

 Cons: 

 -Trap heat 

 -Not typhoon proof

Best swimming view from a lake

Site wise it’s more of a rv camp but they do have some tent sites. I would recommend mosquito repellent.

Been here twice now.

Some of the sites are a bit too close to each other but there are some that are nice and private. Mountain biking is awesome here, can ride right off the campground and onto the trails! Will def be coming back

Some sites are awesome and somewhat private others are on top of each other

Some sites are awesome and somewhat private others are on top of each other. We hammock camp so we took a chance and the employees were able to give us an okay site. We drove around and checked other sites out (huge campground!) and are excited to go back

Big Family Campground

Spent the weekend here for their Halloween weekend. So much to do at this campground! The only issue was Saturday night. Golf carts are available to rent but there was a lot that went buzzing by after quiet hours & kept us awake.

The perfect oasis in the woods

When planning this trip, I was perusing The Dyrt (as usual) and came across this place. Previously unreviewed, my curiosity was piqued so I clicked on this glamping site and was directed to Tentrr. I had no knowledge of or experience with Tentrr but was intrigued enough to give this place a try as part of our 34th wedding anniversary celebration, which was two days before our arrival. Like Air BnB, you submit a request for your preferred dates and wait to hear back. It did not take very long for us to be accepted. Pre-payment is required and there is a 72-hour cancellation policy. We arrived around 5:30 pm (check-in is much earlier, I believe noon) and we were met by George and Lucy, our hosts. They were very welcoming, obviously taking great pride in their property and making sure they showed and explained everything to us. The site is VERY private and is accessed via a path through the woods. The canvas tent is set up on a wooden platform and there was a picnic table, all the pots and pans you would need to cook, a dishwashing station, four jugs of well water, paper towels, dish soap, hand sanitizer. Basically, EVERYTHING you could possibly need for your stay, all set up under a huge tarp. There is also a solar shower, a camping loo, and plenty of firewood, including birch bark which burns even when wet, and kindling. We enjoyed a fire at night and again the next morning and there was still wood left over. We were also welcomed with a basket with all the supplies needed to make s'mores. It poured during the night, but we stayed cozy and dry in the canvas tent (and everything under the tarp stayed dry as well).

There was some confusion regarding e-mails sent to us from Tentrr. I’m thinking they are standard boilerplate correspondence, but they told us that bedding and firewood were not provided. This was no problem as we travel with sleeping bags, but it was a nice surprise to find these things were, indeed, provided (I’m guessing these are not standard). 

The season runs from May to mid-October but the best months to visit are July– beginning of October. We were there toward the end of September and the rain notwithstanding, the weather was ideal temperature-wise. You would contend with black flies in May and ticks in June. 

The only two (minor) things to note are that the steps to the platform are steep and you need to be careful to watch your footing and the platform is on a slight downward slope so that our heads were higher than our feet. Staying here was an indulgence but we are so glad we did. We left feeling like we had two new friends in George and Lucy and would highly recommend you give this place a try if you are in eastern New Hampshire!

Amazing spot!

This place was absolutely amazing! The campground is on the same land as an organic dairy farm! You get to be a part of the farm experience and see how a farm operates. We saw them milking the cows and feeding the other animals. There are also greenhouses and plants everywhere. A lot of the spots are right on the water, which is beautiful. There are trails to the shore along the campground. Showers and bathrooms were great!

Had a lovely visit

I loved the camp ground. Friendly and helpful staff, fun activities, beautiful pool. Everything was clean and worked. Lots to do in the area. Just one sour note at the campground: the noise. There was a lot of it. Worst was our neighbors who were unaware of the many children with them. The kids would step on our sewer hose. They were riding bikes on our hose. The entirety of the 2 families were still up at 2 am blaring music. The camp owners were great though. They came buy at 8 am and kicked them out. Had to wake them to do it, hehe…

Good

Working hard. Wifi is spotty and slow.

And it IS a resort!

Very nice campground, on the lake. We were just passing through and didn’t explore much, but this place is definitely going on the “return” list. Staff is great, sites are spacious and great.

Nice spot!

This is a nice campground with access to the Swift river! Short hike will take you to the river from the campground. There are a lot of spots! We went on a slow day so we had it to ourselves with a few more campers! Bathrooms available with running water and trash cans!

Mixed bag...nice pool and river, but bathrooms could be better

I was looking for a campground near the Suncook Valley Rotary ballooon festival in August and the fact that the Lazy River was just a short drive away and offered a river for tubing and swimming, too, made this my choice. I really wanted to love this place (I've been on a quest for a campground with tubing this summer), but the downsides keep me from giving it 4 stars.

The good: 

  1. location in the middle of the state, so it is a relatively quick getaway from the city or southern NH
  2. a newly built store and game room with a friendly welcome from staff
  3. the river offers a beach and tubing without having to drive anywhere; the water was on the low side late in the season, but there were still people tubing
  4. beautiful pool, very popular with families; there's a kiddie pool, too
  5. All the sites include electric
  6. nice playground with an open field
  7. riverfront sites
  8. Fields and equipment for volleyball, horseshoes, etc.
  9. Laundry

The opportunities:

Folks will tell you that a bathroom makes or breaks a campground and, here, the bathrooms hurt. One of the 3 bathhouses was out of order with a sign directing you to the one in the playground field. That one was clean, but there were no latches on any of the doors on the women's side. To get a shower, you have to journey over to the seasonal loop, which may be a bit of a walk depending on your campsite location. Once there, there's no guarantee a shower will work. The first day I found a shower that worked (coin operated), but the next day none of the 3 seemed to be working (one with an error on the meter, others wouldn't turn). Another camper was there and she couldn't get anything to work, either. Ventilation isn't great in that bathroom, so the ceiling is a bit mildewy. It does have a nice long counter with sinks.

Camp roads would benefit from grading, but they're navigable.

If you're on the river, you may hear some traffic noise from 28 on the other side of the Suncook River. It didn't bother me, but I can sleep through anything!

Some of the seasonal sites look cluttered.

Would be nice if you could make reservations online, but had no problem getting through on the phone.

All in all, great place to hang out on the water, whether the river or the pool, but would be even better with bathroom improvements.

Beautiful campground that the security ruins

We have stayed at Danforth Bay for several years now. At least two long weekends every year. One of these weekends we have a large group of friends that come every year. This is the only time we see each other during the year. We enjoy sitting out by the fire after the kids go to bed catching up. The campground has a rule that fires have to be out at 11:30. We are quiet and no one is around us because we all rent the sites around us. The security people have been extremely aggressive to us. I could understand if they asked us respectfully not to add to it but the woman got right in our face yelling at us and telling us that she wasn’t leaving until the fire is out including the coals. The thing that sucks is this campground have everything else we could ever look for except that rule and the security’s attitude. Apparently we are not the only people to have issues with them. The other campers not with us said they had the same problem with the attitudes but for things. I am giving the campground 1 more chance because we love the campground minus the security but if it doesn’t go well we won’t be back again.

Great campround for water activities

This a a fantastic little camp for if you want to go canoeing or kayaking or boating of any kind! It's set up of three islands and a large majority of the campsites are right on the water

First time

The first time my wife had gone camping. We have a bell tent and fit perfectly.

Great spot to camp and bike!

Great camping here!!! Campground host was wonderful and so considerate. The sites are a little close together but some are set back. Campground was not full when we stayed. Dog friendly, toilets, SHOWERS, and the most adorable communal outdoor covered kitchen that had a sink, microwave, free library, and donation boxes with beverages, snacks and veggies. All around great place to stay. Everything was so clean and the staff was more than friendly. We will be going back for sure!

Lots and LOTS of trails surrounding the campground. Great for biking and trail running.

First time

The first time my wife had gone camping. We have a bell tent and fit perfectly.

Nice family campground with good amenities

Pros: this was a seemingly nice family-oriented campground with lots of nice amenities - the restrooms were in decent shape, there was a dish-washing sink available, and they even do movies in the amphitheater.  The lake is also very nice as well. And even though there was an extreme lack of privacy, it was one of the quietest campgrounds I've ever been to, which surprised me a lot.  

Cons: virtually no privacy between sites.

There are a handful of sites right on the beach by the lake.  If I could get one of those sites, or one a little more private than what we had, I would go again in a heartbeat.

Great for the Saco

This is a nice little campground if you're doing the Saco, has a nice bath house, has a bunch of campsites, a good store that has everything that you might have forgotten! The river is right there and you can splash around in it

Great little family campground

Family oriented can ground, has a nice playground. There's a beautiful waterfront with a swimming area and boat rentals. One of our favorite things was an archery walk through the woods and a little pond for fishing! Definitely worth the stay

Nice spot for a lakefront vacation

Westward Shores is an expansive resort located on Ossipee Lake. It caters primarily to seasonal campers and those with RVs, but can accommodate tenters as well. There are a couple of camping cabins starting at $70/night shoulder season and cottages that sleep 8-20 (at significantly higher prices).

The campground is so large that many people get around on golf carts. There are ongoing renovations and new areas, so it still looks a little rough around the edges in places. Lots are large and level with pea gravel and hookups; if you are in a tent, you’ll want to be sure to have adequate padding for sleeping. Additionally, you’ll want one of the more basic campsites located near a bathroom. Some of the loops do not yet have facilities (Aug 2019). The bathrooms are basic and clean.

The primary appeal is the location on beautiful Ossipee Lake with beaches, a marina, and kayak and SUP rentals. There is plenty to entertain the children, with playgrounds, bounce pillows, gaga pit, basketball, and tennis to name just a few. Kids were everywhere on their bicycles.

They didn’t offer up prices when we stopped at the office, so I was dreading the worst, but when I checked online, the RV sites range from $50-56 with hookups, picnic table, and fire ring and there are special rates/deals for extended stays. These rates are a significantly lower than a nearby resort campground that starts at $65/night… but then I discovered this is only true during the shoulder season. My fears have been realized… peak season will set you back $87-95/ night and the camping cabin is $117. These are slightly more expensive than a nearby resort that offers a few more/ different amenities, albeit not on Ossipee Lake.

It's not the campsite really but lack of technology

I usually use #reserveamerica to book camp sites ahead of time and I mean months in advance. Which is great you can see the campsites but more importantly if they are taken already or not especially if you want to camp next to friends and family. My problem is you need to call into this campsite Everytime you find something you might want to book just to see if the sites are open or not.everytime!!! If one is open and the others are taken you now need to find all the other families and see if they want another spot. It's just a hassle that you cannot book online when you are coming from several dates away  to meet up with friends or family

Seasonal or RVs only

We made reservations to hammock camp at a site here. Received confirmation of everything and was told I didn’t need to put money down. We drove all the way from Massachusetts and arrived to find out that our reservation was canceled! The lady at the counter was nice and trying to figure out and had the owner come down who turned out to be awful. He said that he was the one that canceled it because I didn’t return his phone call and didn’t put money down. When I tried to explain to him that I talked to someone on the phone two different times about the reservation he claimed I was lying! The site was open so he gave it to us but then sold us wet wood. Got to the campsite and the couple next to us said they had to sleep on the ground because the owner wouldn’t fix the electrical box that night and wouldn’t let them move to the next site over that was free. Def a campground for RVS and seasonal people only

Tucked-Away

We camped for a weekend here in a group of 6 people on Horse Island spread out over 2 sites. Checking in at the park office was easy and we received our parking pass. Each campsite can hold two vehicles.

There are several bathrooms placed all over the campground with toilets, sinks, and showers (no quarters needed). There are also water spigots placed around which is nice to refill containers.

I only give 4 stars due to two issues: One of the showers was unusable as it was FILLED with insects. After scoping out a few other bathrooms the problem seemed to be isolated to just that one.

Secondly, the park office seemed to be out of firewood the whole weekend. We were able to find some at the grocery store ($18 for 3 small bundles), and a random house selling some ($10 for the equivalent of 4 small bundles).

Nonetheless, we had a great time, undisturbed by all around us, and we did a 5 mile round trip hike to the the Pawtuckaway Fire Tower (view from the top attached).

Thank You!

Less than average

The family and I stayed at Poland Spring Campground for 8 days this August. It’s a family campground with activities for kids but make siblings share arts and crafts materials if the activities director doesn’t plan ahead. (Lots of crying from my youngest because she wanted to make one herself and showed up to the activity 15 minutes early, yet, got her materials yanked out of her hands when another child showed up 15 minutes late). Very strict 4 adult, 4 child per site rule so forget about having even paying visitors. Quiet time is 11 (even talking!) they will force you to go to sleep by 11 if you’re not COMPLETELY silent! Practically destroyed my camper getting in and out of the campground thanks to the way they tell you to get to your site (unnecessarily making me loop through the whole damn place instead of taking the straight shot in) Trees and roots everywhere making it impossible to take turns and forget about kids on bikes! I cleaned so many wounds during our stay from my kids falling off their bikes thanks to the landscape. Really weird dirt there also, it’s like a clay of some sort and caked to the bottom of your shoes and made a mess all through the camper no matter what I did. A couple of us went barefoot a lot and they are still treating a weird rash that developed on the bottom of their feet. We will not be going back. The only reason I gave them a star at all is because of Riley in the front office. Long walk to the “beach” no matter which campsite you book. No place to lay out so leave your beach chair at home. Bathroom on my side of the campground was disgusting! So many bugs and spiders and the clay dirt was all over the floors even right after they cleaned.

I liked, family not so much

Stayed here while visiting Salem in Oct 2017. Campground was empty due to the time of year which creeped out my family but I personally liked the peacefulness. Owner was very nice.

Great location

Nice beach area with boat docks, family works hard to keep campground in nice clean condition. They have good children’s activities and a nice indoor pool

Quiet getaway

This is an all adult RV park run by a very friendly veteran. They can accommodate tents to full hook ups. The prices are reasonable and the park is peaceful, covered with trees, and extremely quiet!!

Nice, clean, friendly staff, small sites.

Great campground, though spaces are small, place is clean, nice pool and staff is very friendly, helpful and responsive! It's only about a mile from the beach. We rode bikes to Salisbury Beach and my young adult son rode his longboard to the beach. We thought the small campsites would bother us, but after one day we got used to it and it was fine. Neighboring campers were all very friendly. We'd definitely go back again!

Nice Place

We stayed here for a week, our site was large with full hookups and the area was very clean, some sites in other sections are closer together. There are lots of seasonal campers so if you don’t like that atmosphere this is probably not the place for you. It’s a great base for sightseeing. This is a Thousand Trails Campground and we have had a wide range of experiences with these campgrounds. This is one of the nicer ones.