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Foster Lake, MASSACHUSETTS
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Terrible park

So noisy we only stayed one night. No privacy. Tents parked a few feet apart. We had smokers on both sides and our camper was blue with their smoke. Heavy drinking and loud voices all afternoon and evening. Many had their car radios blaring, all on different stations. Outdoor bingo game was done on a loudspeaker that penetrated every inch of the grounds. Drunken campers were banging on our door after midnight thinking we were the camper they were looking for. Nightmare!

One of our favorite places to stay

Beautiful clean campground! Great for kids and pets. We love taking the dog to the dog beach for a swim.

Camp store is great, fun fishing on the lake and tons of activities for the kids.

Princess of the Pines

The campground was large enough to tire out the dogs walking around, staff was friendly, helpful and welcoming!

We spent the weekend of the 4th and although there were no fireworks it ended up being a better weekend for one of our dogs who fears them.

The sites are level and a decent size with a picnic table, fire pit, shaded by the tall pines.

There was a rain event the second to last evening we were there but the staff was quick to be sure the roads were repaired for check out!

The “Olympic size pool” was not filled at the time but it did not effect our stay at all, there was a smaller pool for those who wanted to cool off. (We’re more of the swim in the river/pond kind anyway)

The bathrooms were clean and showers had nice hot water if you wanted it. No coin operation here!

Had we had more time I would have ventured into the adjacent wildlife management areas as well.

First Time Camping

We were lucky to select a very private site. Several more private sites seemed available. Pleasant swimming area, hiking trails, playground. Tiny store. Bathrooms were not super clean, but this seemed expected. No electricity at sites.

Beautiful lake

First time staying there. Two tents allowed per site, no alcohol although no one checked. No water or electricity at the sites. You park & walk in but they provide carts. You have to buy firewood from them. Canoe, kayak & padddleboard rental available. Showers & bathrooms by the parking area. Lots of islands & places to explore on the lake. Buggy in June so bring your repellent. Dogs allowed…that’s all I got for now :)

Awesome Time

My family go every year and ALWAYS have fun! Whenever there is any problems, the owners are always there to help! They always have have something for everyone. I highly recommend!

Quiet, friendly campground

Just stopped for one night, small kids playground, friendly staff, very quiet (except birds chirping in the morning). Friendly seasonal guest helped us with our campfire. We heard the lake was full of mercury and not to go swimming there, but since it was a quick stopover for us we didn’t see the lake.

Large, quiet camp ground

Very large campground with lots of woods to block you from other campers. Dog friendly 🐶

Don’t waist your time.

I give it a 2 star because the Staff was nice. The camp ground itself is terrible. It looks like a camper / RV bone yard. Lots of what must be seasonal sites that have accumulated years of scrap metal and trash. Yep there is a golf course but trust me this place does not seem to be fitting for a golf course. The electric plug ins are so far away you have to have about 20yard of extension cord. Of course they conveniently have extension cords for you to barrow for a deposit fee. Long store short I don’t recommend this place at all. I didn’t even stay long enough to take a picture. I backed into my spot got out looked around and got back in my truck and drove north to a much better camp ground.

Nice resort

The good…..nice level site w gravel base, pea stone around camp, friendly staff, lots to do, clean all around. The not so good….A lot of sites are tight to get in. The lake beach could use a dredge so there is more sand (weedy). Mini golf course needs some upkeep. Overall a nice campground.

Quiet family friendly

Our family loves this campground. We come here for softball and they are so accommodating. Plus the have an amazing Ice cream stand. I will post a video of their back field. My daughters always make me hit softballs to them here. Here is a brief fly over and a couple photos. Plus one of me chasing my son with my drone.

Nice place!

People are real nice here. Pretty place. But very remote. Ok place for overnight stay but wouldn’t stay longer.

Ranger Review: Gregory Octal 55 at Gilson Pond Campground

Gilson Pond Campground is small— just 37 sites nestled into the woods near a swampy, but beautiful pond in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. Most people stay here because it is located in Monadnock State Park at the base of Mount Monadnock. Have you heard of it? 

Mount Monadnock is 3,165 feet tall and is best known because of its cameos in writings by both Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. It’s quite a prominent peak in southern New Hampshire, and I’ve heard tell that it’s the second most hiked mountain in the world, after Mount Fuji in Japan. Mount Monadnock may not be the tallest mountain in New Hampshire, but it’s rocky and bald, and provides 365-degree views of the surrounding valley and distant mountains. 

We chose Gilson Pond Campground because of its proximity to Keene State College, where we were headed for a college orientation, but we figured since we were camping near the base of a famous mountain, we might as well hike it. First tip, camp at Gilson Pond Campground the night before so you can get up early to beat the heat, if that applies, and the crowds. 

This is one of the quietest and most peaceful campgrounds I’ve ever stayed at. The sites are super private, the rangers are friendly, and the mosquitoes are ferocious, but I can’t give a campground a bad review because of the mosquitoes. Just a warning to be prepared. There’s a decent bathhouse with pay showers, a small playground, and a loop trail around Gilson Pond that leads right from the campground. No matter which site you choose you’ll be happy. They’re all really nice. 

A few words of caution- don’t bring a large RV- the sites are not meant for big rigs. Also, dogs aren’t allowed anywhere in Monadnock State Park, and while we were sad to leave our goodest boy at home, he would have hated the hike up the mountain anyway- too many rock scrambles. 

A Quick Overview of the Hike up Mount Monadnock 

The ranger at the trailhead office recommended that we hike up the White Dot Trail (2 miles) and down the White Cross Trail( 2.5 miles) so that we could do the steepest route on the way up and take it easy on the way down. This was a great suggestion. 

The White Dot Trail starts off flat, but that’s very short-lived. The trail begins to climb steeply pretty early on. The second half of the trail is very steep with lots of rock scrambles. You definitely have to watch your footing most of the hike because the rocks can be wet in places and very slippery. Once you get above the treeline, follow the rock cairns across the ridge. On a nice day, you will be able to see for miles in every direction. 

The White Cross Trail is not as steep, but my knees were still pretty sore after all was said and done. We started the hike at 8 am and finished up at 12 pm. We saw about 15 people in total, but when we got to the trailhead, the parking area was full and many people were starting their hike. I’m a middle-aged woman who does more walking than hiking, and I would consider this a strenuous hike that is totally worth the huffing and puffing.

 Gregory Octal 55 Review 

As a ranger for The Dyrt, I occasionally get to test out products and gear. For this particular trip, I received a discount on the Gregory Octal 55 Ultralight Backpacking Pack. It’s meant for short treks and can carry a maximum of 35 pounds. I used it for day hiking, and found to my surprise, that it was lighter and more comfortable than any of my day-hiking packs. 

This pack has oodles of awesome features, including three external pockets, large hipbelt pockets, an Aerospan ventilated suspension system that wicks away moisture and keeps the pack off of your back, and a quick stow system for your sunglasses. 

The Octal 55 is hydration bladder compatible, comes with a custom rain cover, and an ultralight aluminum frame. Oh, and I almost forgot the most important part— it’s designed specifically for a woman’s frame. Not to sound cliché or anything, but this pack was so comfy, I hardly knew it was there. 

I had a small issue early on in my hike that I will mention. My water bottles, which were stowed in the two mesh side pockets, fell out on the rock scrambles. Because they weren’t held in securely, they would just slide out whenever I bent over. I realized after the fact that there are small straps that can be tightened around them within the pockets. This solved the problem after I scrambled down several rock faces after my runaway bottles. 

All-in-all I’m really happy with this pack and can’t wait to take it on some longer adventures.

Nice, yet cramped and no cell reception

I really wanted to like this place. It's in a very cool area that I didn't expect to be so awesome. First main issue was how bad the cell reception is. Normally, I'd day that's a perk for camping but we're full-timers and work on the road so it is important for us. Next, the place is massive and they are more about make money than making people comfortable. What could easily be a very nice and spacious pull-thru spot are 2 back to back back-ins. Unless you're lucky enough to get an end spot, those are pull-thru. Pros: awesome dog park, great office with laundry, activities, arcades, adult only room, community campfire, indoor pool with lifeguard, the staff is nice, there's a lake for swimming, boating, catch and release fishing. Their basketball court is on a shuffleboard court, playground is nice though. Close to Old Sturbridge Village and many cool hikes and MA cities.

I absolutely love this place

I’ve gone here 3 times in 2 years and my kids love it can’t wait to go bAck I hear they built a mini golf course

Delightful

This place is pretty awesome. They have an ice cream shop attached to their office/store, mini golf just outside of it too. There is an amphitheater for concerts and shows throughout the summer. RV Spots, tent camping spots, a dog park, badminton, basketball, horseshoe, shuffleboard, the works. The bathrooms are beautifully redone and clean. The laundry room is pretty good too. Its close to Brattleboro and Putney and just across the border to New Hampshire. I'd most definitely stay again when I'm in the area. The other guest were very nice and we could also have packages delivered.

Pools!

Great campground. The pools are amazing. Kid pools. Adult pools! Adult hot tub.

Nice and clean, friendly staff.

I was here 2 nights. Wasn’t able to make the check in time, wasn’t a problem. They left a envelope on the office door with directions that led right to my site. Bathrooms are clean and nice with hot water. Our site was nice and big and shaded. Overall great campground.

Nicely maintained

Sites are nice and the campground is nice and clean.

Nice spot for a quick relaxing weekend

First time coming back here in 20 years. Got a great site by the pond.

Would Do Again

We stayed a week. No issues with water, sewer, electric, and cable. I was on site 87 and was able to level on the first try. The campground is a little tight with a big rig (40’ motorhome pulling a vehicle on a dolly). The sites are a decent size and consist mainly of gravel and grass. Not all sites have a fire pit so be sure to book one if you want a fire pit. The WiFi was better than most places we have camped at.

Electric scooters, golf carts, Segways, etc., are not allowed. That was disappointing but fully understood because of a liability factor. The campground is pretty big which would have been nice to explore on a Segway.

There are two pools. One is for 55 and older. At least there are no kids dive bombing you if you want an enjoyable swim.

They mowed around our campsite yesterday. The employee used a bagged mower to keep the grass off of our motorhome. He did a good job and was very careful with the weed eater.

I will definitely stay here again the next time I am in the area. The owner(s) put the money back into improving the campground. Most campgrounds we have visited in the northeast rarely make improvements - they only want the money because it is a relatively short camping season.

MA State Park - Great Choice

There are some wonderful sites in this campground, but not all of them have privacy.  We really lucked out with getting one of a few sites left on Memorial Day weekend - after walking the campground, I think we would have chosen the same one again!  #18 is right next to a ravine, so it was wooded on one side, and the two adjacent camps were visible but not on top of us.  The trees are primarily pine, which made for pretty comfy tenting.  Was a short walk to the facilities, but not close enough for the foot traffic to be annoying.  

I loved that there were trails to hike from right in the park; you could do a short one, or a slightly longer loop (2.5 hours depending on your pace) with some inclines and boulders to scramble up and over.  We were on foot, but it would be challenging for mt. bikers in some spots.

Ranger Review: Beaver Pines Campground

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).

Georgous, private camping along pristine Aldrich Mill Pond

We were delighted when we learned we had the little peninsula of site P1 all to ourselves. Stunning views across the large pond, and serving as a wonderful halfway rest/respite on the journey from NYC to Belfast, ME. We felt like we were on top of the world, discovering this perfect quiet nook and basking in nature’s splendor.

I can only speak for the camping on this peninsula/land, but the rest of the sites looked cozy, family-friendly, and fun. Cabins and RV sites across the lake, along with beaches for swimming. Bathrooms located on P1 peninsula. Canoe rentals on-site. Lovely picnic dining area alongside covered bridge and waterfall. Completely picturesque and, mostly, totally peaceful!

Dated

My husband I camped here for a weekend getaway and we wanted hookups being it was Columbus Day Weekend. This is a parking lot with grass. The Men’s room was so disgusting that my husband refused to use it, actually he couldn’t ( there is a camper who is a dirty bird) which is not a good first impression. This is a residential park with older travel trailer residences. There was a nice back field area. The shower houses and toilets are very dated. I like to proximity to the city of North Hampton. We had great meals in town. The staff here is great, the other campers were nice. They had a Halloween/trick or treat night, fire truck rides it’s very kid friendly. We didn’t like being right on top the other rvs, our sewer pipe was in front of my neighbors picnic table. There was 30/50 amps, water and electric and WiFi! This campground is “in the country” plenty is sightseeing and hiking opportunities in the area.

Deep in the beautiful woods

Camped here two nights in 2015 en route to Maine.  Located in a 10000 acre forest preserve, the campground is heavily forested and very secluded from civilization.  We stayed on site 22, which was spacious and private from the other sites on either side. 

We were there in the fall but the swimming area at the pond was very  inviting.  I also liked the sites across from ours near the ball field and thought they would make a nice place for a large group of friends to pitch their tents  (Sites 31, 32, 33, 34) 

The bath and shower house was well maintained and a short walk from 22. 

The camp store carried some great souvenirs, snacks, ice cream and even had a coffee machine for those traveling light and in need of a hot cup of coffee.

Lean-to camping

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!

No longer in existence.

Wyman’s Beach closed in 2006. It has now been developed as private, seasonal holiday condos.

99 % Seasonable Sites

All everyone does here is ride around in Golf carts with cases of beer and get drunk. Not my scene! It’s a underfunded trailer park.

Great family campground. Very friendly

Nice sites. Very friendly staff, owners are true campers at heart. Very clean restrooms no matter what time of day they were always clean and look newer. Pool area was very nice, kids spent hours there.  Will defiantly go back