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Ipswich, MASSACHUSETTS

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Fun family campground

A little of everything at this campground, 2 pools 2 hot tubes, a giant water slide that is even fun for the adults!!! Campsites are level and site is fairly easy to maneuver with bigger rigs. Have great activities daily for the kids a nice store onsite. If I have one issue it would be that it went to a KOA which isn’t bad but the transition year seemed a bit wanky and hopefully this year will be better as my kids love it there and we’ll continue to go back often

Family friendly with plenty to keep you busy!

I hadn’t camped here in the past 8 years, so decided it was time to revisit; it helped that it was one of the campgrounds still open after Columbus Day weekend. Although reservations are available online, I didn’t need them for closing weekend; 3 sites were occupied when I arrived, about 15 by the end of the weekend. During the peak season, I’m sure it’s a different story given it’s proximity to Concord and Manchester and the variety of activities available. 

Mostly level sites sit under towering pines and vary greatly in size. Many of the sites are separated from their neighbors by large, downed pine trees. I was in site 38 and found that the little loop to my campsite was tight to exit(I was towing a 14’ teardrop, not a big trailer) and I had to be careful to swing wide at the corner. This site backed onto an open field with a backstop for baseball/softball. It meant that I could enjoy the the sunny warmth on an otherwise cool morning. Last time I was here I stayed in site 45, a small tent/pop-up site along that same loop, but in the shade. If you are tenting and don’t mind a short walk, reserve site R1 for a raised site overlooking the pond. Sites 13-25 back up against a hill. Site 91 is near the entrance, but large and set back from the camp road, so it offers some extra seclusion. It’s across the street from the playground. I’d avoid site 93 because it is so close to the playground and the fire ring placement makes it seem like families enjoying the playground will be tempted to walk through your site. If you want to be close to the play area, site 90 or the ones on the loop behind it are better options. 

There are no hookups, but there is running water and a dump station is available. Bathhouses offer coin-operated showers; I noticed a price difference between the two of them, so went with the less expensive option! It was the final weekend of the season, so that may explain the lack of attention to cleaning and upkeep of the restrooms. Several of the stalls were lacking toilet paper and, although it was nearly empty when I arrived, the bathrooms had little bits of debris scattered on floors and around sinks. The bottom of one of the dishwashing sinks was coated with something that resembled dried coffee grounds. 

I was here with a 5-year-old the last time and she enjoyed the playgrounds both at the campground and at the Catamount Pond beach. There’s another beach in the campground itself. Numerous trails call out of exploration, around ponds and up and down hills, with geocaches to be found (if you can, download the info and maps before you get to the park to be sure you have the necessary info). The mountain biking trails are busy even on late October afternoons; some trails allow horses. Canoes and kayaks let you explore and fish. There are two archery ranges and wheelchair accessible docks for fishing. For history, check out the antique snowmobile museum and the Civilian Conservation Corp(CCC) museum. The CCC built much of the infrastructure here and elsewhere in the country. 

The camp store offer a few basics and a selection of Bear Brook attire. Cell phone coverage varies from 1-2 bars, not always 4G, on Verizon.

Very nice beach campground

Good sites, with water and 30 amp electric. Easy walk to the beach. Dog friendly, big dump site, and good prices.

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

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

Beautiful campground in a great location

We camped in tents and loved this campground. The restrooms were very clean and being cleaned constantly. The beach was beautiful and enjoyed walking on the larger rocks. Also there's a beautiful lighthouse and some history plaques there.

Good

Working hard. Wifi is spotty and slow.

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.

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

Ranger Review: Banner & Oak Traveler Shirt at Boston Harbor Islands

Campground review: Camping at Boston Harbor Islands requires some planning, but you get the benefit of a remote island with minimal company. Unless you book one of the 12 yurts on Peddocks island, the camping is rustic; you’ll need to bring everything, including water. Reservations open 6 months in advance and sites fill quickly, so plan ahead if you’re counting on a particulate day. I only visited the campsites on Peddocks Island, so I can’t speak to the ones on Lovell, Grape, and Bumpkin. 

Getting there: Unless you have your own boat(check regulations on the website; you’ll need to anchor offshore overnight), you’ll want to catch a ride on the ferries to the Boston Harbor Islands. Figuring out the schedule is the trickiest part, not least because they don’t make the inter-island ferry schedule as readily accessible. Here’s the scoop: 

  1. Check the ferry schedule. Figure out which departure makes the most sense for you. You may choose to leave from Long Wharf, near the Aquarium T stop on the Blue line, or from Hingham, with overnight parking available. For Bumpkin and Grape Islands, you’ll want to leave from Hingham; Peddocks and Lovells are available from either departure point
  2. Buy your ticket online in advance. Some town libraries have passes offering 2-for-1 ferry rides, so if you’re a MA resident in the greater Boston area, it’s worth checking that out first. Otherwise, you’ll be looking at an extra$20 for the ferry, but that fee covers your round trip as well as the use of the interisland ferries so you can explore other islands. If you’re traveling as a family, look at the family pack for another discount. You can show the ticket on your phone when you board. 
  3. Pack as lightly as possible and plan to carry or wheel it to your site. If you have a folding wagon, you may appreciate having it to carry items on and off the ferry and to your site on the island. There may or may not be carts available on the island. Peddocks has running water available, but otherwise you’ll need to bring gallon of water/person. If you want to grill, bring your own charcoal; otherwise bring a stove or bring food that doesn’t need to be cooked. You may scavenge wood to build fires below the high tide line only. No alcohol and no pets. 

The yurts on Peddocks are great, providing shelter from the elements, bunks with mattresses, electricity, a ceiling fan, table with benches, and a grill. There are 6 yurts up a small hill, with a composting toilet and water from a tap nearby. The 6 tent sites are also in this area. An additional 6 yurt sites are below the hill and in the woods, so it’s a slightly longer walk to the toilet. at the top of another hill there is an open, grassy area, also with a composting toilet, that provides group campsited.

While you’re out on the islands, take time to explore one of the others…look for sea glass on Spectacle Island and climb the hill for a view of the Boston skyline, explore the old forts and visitors centers, earn a Junior Ranger badge from the National Park Service, fly a kite, or go for a swim or kayak. In mid-August we collected handfuls of blackberries as we explored Peddocks. 

Ranger Product Review: Banner& Oak Traveler Shirt 

As a Ranger with the Dyrt, I sometimes get to test items; in this case I ordered the Banner& Oak Traveler long-sleeve t-shirt  in indigo. It’s long sleeved and super soft, but the first time I went to put it on, I realized the Banner& Oak tag along the hemline was sewn through both the front and back, so I couldn’t put t on until I removed the tag. I didn’t have scissors with me, so it was tough to get it off and ultimately I ended up with a hole in both the front and back. I’ve worn this on strolls through the woods when the weather was nice, but cool and on the foggy morning ferry ride to the island. The sleeves are not constricting and when I pushed them up to my elbows, they stayed in place while I hiked. I will say that it is a unisex t-shirt and the sleeves and body of the shirt tend to run long. I like that, but if you're petite, it may be annoying.

Nice but not my style

This is glamping campground. It has a pool, game rooms, and everyone is packed in pretty close.

I personally like state parks, lots of room and trees. I didn't feel that at Normandy farms but you might love it

Spaced out sites, electric hook up

Stayed in Section 2 on M Rd which has the the electrical hook ups.  M road is nice because you're backed up to the woods on the odd numbered side.  These sites are also spaced fairly well far apart and private, some more than others - on M13 which stayed, it was at least 50ft on either side.  There are no water hook ups but plenty of water spigots every several sites so easy enough to fill up water jugs.  

Drawbacks of M13 in particular is that it was probably the most slopped on the rd but still pretty minimal.  We also found a lot of trash on the site - we poked around other sites on the rd as people came/went and they didn't seem to have this problem.  Seems like we may have just caught M13 at an unlucky time ( we did pick up a lot of the trash around the site that others left behind to help clean it up and makes us not feel we were sitting among trash)

Firewood was $5/bundle so pretty reasonable.  I didn't personally use the bathrooms but other said they seemed new.

Because of the trash issue I would have given 4.5 but so we value private, spaced out sites I leaned on the 5 star side.

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

Perfect for RVing Boston

We spent two nights at this campground- the closest camping to Boston. The campground is right on the ocean with incredible harbor views. It was an easy bike ride to the Salem Ferry to get access into Boston for the day. The bathrooms facilities were standard. Book in advance here because it fills up quickly and there are very few RV sites!

Luxury camping

We stayed in a lean to for the Cotopaxi Questival In April. It ended up raining and in the mid 60s the entire time so it was great and kept us dry!

Driving around this place is definitely not a typical campground but more of a luxury camp because of all of the amenities.

That being said it was very nice and felt safe. The only reason I didn’t give it 5 star is because you can hear the highway nearby so it didn’t really feel like a campground. That’s a preference though.

Check out some of our videos from the competition! We found a little skeleton in our lean to so we made a short video, haha!

Great for families

Winters island is a beautiful campground in Salem,ma. We stayed 2times in the month of June and 1 time each in July and august.we invited our friends to camp as well and it turned out wonder ful.the kids had a great time by the sea and the playground.their are wildlife like skunks, racoons do put food in car . Each site has a grill and shade.you can bring your pets and campfires need to be off the ground. There was 2 weddings while we where their. It a great feelings sleeping under the stars and waking up to the crisp air. 1 of my daughters favorite summer activities this year.

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

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!

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.

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.

Beautiful camping

Very easy to get into Boston by train. Level sites, quiet, and very clean restrooms make this a perfect spot for touring historic Boston, Concord, & Lexington.

Great time

The park is a great place. Friendly people and close to the beach and tons to do year round.

LOTS of people but lovely campground

This is an extremely large campground.  It seems that most of them on the coast of Maine are.  We didn't get a very good sight, but the person who answered the phone basically told us that when we called and it was all they had, so I can't say too much about that either (#17).  The sight was small and between the two driveways.  All of the sights seem to have rocky ground, so I recommend a sleep pad and a footprint for your tent so you don't rip the bottom.  

Now, on to the other stuff.  There is a small playground that is weathered but in decent shape.  The pool is lovely and meticulously kept.  The grounds, bathrooms and showers are spotless.  It's 50 cents for 5 minutes to take a shower (unheard of) with hot water.  There is even hot water to wash your dishes next to the bathrooms.

They sell ice, wood ($7) and many "I forgots" in the store (bacon, milk, etc…).  They give you a security card to get into the grounds ($10 deposit).  The campground was SUPER quiet and quiet hours go to 8am (thank you)!  Only an RV about to leave made a ton of noise at 7.

I would go there again.  It was a safe place close to so many things.  The beach and everything else is VERY close but not so close as to be annoying…. 5 minutes at most.

Awesome welcome

Employees are very welcoming and the place is clean. Quite big but secluded spots at the same time. Nice and clean toilets and showers(paid). A very good option if you go to Hampton Beach.

Nice facility but some staff are rude

We won’t be staying again (after many visits over the years). The facility is nice but I’ve witnessed staff belittle, talk down to, and be extremely rude to guests. The lady tried it with me but she didn’t get very far. They also charged an amazing amount of money ($30 total) for two guests and their car to visit for 30 minutes before we went to dinner. The lady was also rude to our friends in the process. I think the employee in question should consider doing something else with her time

Quaint Island get a way

Small camp. Have very few campsites, you definitely need to reserve a spot before you come. The manager, David, is super friendly and helped me out BIG because I didn’t have a reservation and they were filled up. Very close to down town Salem!

A true RV resort

Family friendly. Staff is nice. Campsites are big and we'll spaced. Bathrooms are best of any campground. Highly recommend.