New England is known for small, quaint towns tucked into lush foliage and rolling hills of small, quaint states. There are large and energetic cities that defy this image, but for those of us that live to explore the rugged, rural beauty, camping in Massachusetts has long been a hotspot for adventure seekers and laid-back vacationers alike.
For beach lovers, pitching a tent amongst the white sand dunes of Massachusetts’ Cape Cod is truly an experience of a lifetime. The shrubby black oak, stunted pitch pine, and delicate dune rose of this region offer the perfect backdrop to the roughly 400 miles of pristine shoreline. Bike along the Cape Cod Rail Trail for 22 miles of easy riding, as it weaves in and out of six Cape Cod towns along the Atlantic.
A few hours north, Boston awaits with its iconic history and big city vibes. For a fresh way to see Boston, head downtown and kayak along the Charles River, an 80 mile waterway that meanders in and out of Boston’s neighborhoods and riverside parks. After exploring Boston and the Charles River, hop on a shuttle ferry to the Boston Harbor Islands, where you can set up your tent and watch as the city skyline lights up the night sky above your campsite.
Craving a woodland camping adventure? Head inland to Western Massachusetts, where the Berkshires welcome you with rich, dense forests, exhilarating waterfalls, and a number of fantastic hikes along the Appalachian Trail. For this area, camping in Massachusetts’ State Parks is your best bet. Hike to the highest point in Massachusetts, Mount Greylock, where you’ll be rewarded with outstanding views of four other New England states. There is a campground on the mountain, but you’ll have to carry in your gear.
For further inspiration on camping in Massachusetts, as well as campground ratings and more, The Dyrt has all the information you’ll need to start planning your next adventure.
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Massasoit State Park just reopened for camping in 2018 after years of being closed.
There are rustic sites, and standard electric sites. There is no sewer hookup at Massasoit. The dumping station is also closed for the 2020 season.
The rangers are friendly, and conscientious. They do a great job of maintaining quiet hours while still being kind and friendly.
The sites are clean and large. The beach is well maintained. No flotation devices are allowed, and the rangers do keep people accountable to this.
The pond is wonderful for kayaking. There is a great playground for the kids.
Curlew pond, K loop
This beautiful, shady state park has a variety of sites. Because the map is deceptive when it comes to the locations and spacing of sites, I definitely recommend driving around and looking at the different areas if you have the opportunity.
Several years we were able to have a site right near the beach at Curlew pond, and had wonderful experiences. Other times on the kayloop we felt like we were squished in like sardines.
your experience also depends on the people that are camping around you. We have had amazing, restful experiences with friendly neighbors, and times when we were surrounded by partiers.
because it is a very large state park campground, the DCR rangers do not come around as frequently and are not as strict as we've experienced them to be at other state campgrounds. This means that there was very little regulation of partying and noise.
No electric or water hookups at Curlew pond.
I personally love this location. VERY close to an amazing swimming area. The area where the sites are is a great location. Of course, certain spots are better than others but nicely spread apart. I prefer Fairings Pond to Charge Pond. This is a no brainer for me and my family. (NOTE: It's a shame but since COVID-19 Fairings Pond camping sites will not be opening up until 2021)
Great campground on the outer cape, CC Rail trail goes right behind it so you can hop on your bike and ride. Showers and bathrooms were clean and the tent sites were good size. Office staff was very friendly and they have a store at the beginning of the camp ground so you can get whatever you need.
Will be going back!
First - this is closed for the 2020 camping season due to Covid 19. Also, NOT to be confused with Mt Greylock Campsite Park, which is a private campground with hook-ups outside the park.
The Sperry Road campground offers a mixture of group and individual campsites as a reward for a short hike from the campers parking lot or down Sperry Rd. During the winter you can access it via snowmobile or skis. Sites are large and generally secluded, each offering a bear box set apart from the campsite itself as black bears live in the park. There are a one or more clean, centrally located composting toilets in each section. The Chimney Group site provides a large lean-to, a nice respite if you're caught on a rainy weekend! Upper Group and Stoney Ledge also have lean-tos. The group sites accommodate 5-12 people. There's a large picnic pavilion midway through the campground, too.
The campsite numbers are on the bear boxes.
Depending on the time of year, there are a couple of nearby waterfalls a short hike from the campground. Trails also leave here and head to the summit of Greylock or to the Stony Ledge Overlook.
Finally ventured out for a camping trip in this curious season and was delighted to find Bonnie Brae Campground in the Berkshires. It's a compact,clean campground tucked at the end of a quiet neighborhood street, within walking distance to a lake. Many of the RV site are occupied by seasonal campers, and the sites are well-kept. Some of the sites have platforms. This side of the campground was quiet most of the time. The tent and cabin loop circle around the pool area and although you could hear more conversation and noise from this section, everyone was respectful of quiet hours. They also offer a number of cabins for rent with AC and small refrigerator, but no bathrooms. The bathrooms are small, but very clean. They wouldn't meet ADA standards, but there are no drips, stains, or dirt and they seem to check in a couple of times a day to clean up if needed. The pool is now open (delayed this year due to COVID-19) and the kids in particular enjoyed it. You can add a firewood purchase to your reservation and they'll deliver it to your site.
I was in site 28 with a teardrop camper. I could have used leveling blocks because it was hard to find a great spot that was level side to side. Sites 27 & 29 each seemed a little more level and 29 was larger.
Pontoosuc Lake is a short walk away; there are boat rentals available and I saw a number of people fishing from Pontoosuc Park just above the dam. There's a rail trail nearby and Mt Greylock State Reservation offers numerous hiking opportunities 11 miles to the north.
Nice campground. Minimal amenities, but clean with lots of shaded pull through spots.