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Marblehead, MASSACHUSETTS

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Most Recent Marblehead Camping Reviews
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

Good campground

Stayed here visiting Cape Cod and Boston.

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.

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

Great Local Campground

Great campsite. I used to come here all the time when I was a kid and was so excited when it opened back up. We were located in the no electric no water area and even though every site was taken, it was surprisingly more private than you'd expect. The comfort stations (indoor bathroom and shower and outdoor sink area) were clean and well maintained and close to all the sites. The sites had both a firepit with a flip grill as well as an upright grill. Both were clean and ready to use when we arrived.  The boys had a blast swimming and kayaking at the pond and there was another comfort station right at the water. Leashed pets are welcome and we brought our pup for his first camping experience and he loved it too.

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 Provincetown

We spent one night here in our RV and rode bikes into Provincetown. This campground is pretty tight if you have a big rig, but our 24ft was just fine. It’s a big hill with a tight squeeze to enter the campground, but overall our stay was enjoyable. If you’re looking to camp at the end of the cape, this is your spot. Make reservations well in advance!

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.

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.

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!

Decent campground

The staff are very friendly and the campground is clean. The just remodeled one of two playgrounds in the camp. There is a lot to do for kids including a pool, jumping pillow, miniature golf and a train ride. There a lot of popular events such as an ice cream social and tie dying. Most weekends have themes. The only issue I have are some of the campers. They were filthy and rude. After the Friday night movie they left all their trash on the ground. The kids were riding their bikes on the bathroom handicap ramp. The kids were screaming at the pool and all over. One got hurt at the pool and an adult with the group told them no more horsing around even though he was the one who started it. It’s right off a major highway so you have noise including sirens. There are many places to visit around the area if you enjoy “doing the tourist thing”. Some tent sites are on the smaller side but most are good size. I’ll be honest, I only go to KOA for my son but I find this is one of the better ones. We were in T9 and T8 but we have also camped in T17 ( my favorite).

Great family campground.

Nice and clean campground with friendly staff. There are Plenty of activities offered like miniature golf, basketball, horseshoes, a game room, and more.

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.

One of my worst camping experiences

Pros - the campground is lovely to drive through and the sites are fairly nicely design with some privacy between sites (some sites have more some have less).  It's also nice to have access to the multitude of hiking trails and ponds.

Cons - the works.  We stayed around Charge Pond on a Friday and Saturday night, and even though the park has clearly stated quiet hours of 10 pm to 7 am (which includes generators), it was one of the loudest camps I've ever been to.  Several camp neighbors in our loop were up well past 1am loud as hell - talking loudly, screaming and yelling - even their kids!  And one site had their trailer generator running all night - there was absolutely no patrol of this campground at all, which is unacceptable on weekends in my opinion.  This place attracts some really awful people - there were several spots of vomit in the road Saturday morning, and on Sunday morning a neighbor could be heard at 6 am puking his guts out in surround-sound.  That plus the general noisiness, disrespect of other campers, and lack of patrol would keep me away alone, but the state of the facilities topped it off.  The women's room in Charge Pond loop A was filthy - it wasn't super outdated, but just not clean at all.  Every surface was absolutely disgusting, they had a 5-gallon plastic bucket to serve as the bathroom trash, and the entire place smelled like urine.  To top it off, when using it Sunday morning every single stall was out of toilet paper, and the whole place had very clearly had not been cleaned since Friday night.  I know campground bathrooms are usually not the best, but this was definitely one of the worst - I've used vault toilets that were cleaner!

I will never stay here again.

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.

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.

Biggest KOA we have ever stayed at!

We wanted to explore the Cape and are members of the KOA rewards program so we chose here to stay. The staff were very nice and helpful. They had a big store and plenty of supplies and souvenirs, from sweatshirts to stickers. We then followed the map to get to our site. As we pulled around the office we saw all kinds of activities for kids. Bouncy "pillow", pool, bounce pad, sluice, miniature golf, and a playground. All the sites we saw had trees for shade. It was a very busy place but everyone seemed happy to be there. As the weekend went on we drove thru the whole campground just to check out the rest. They had many cabins, 2 dumps sites for campers, another huge playground. If I'm ever back in the area I will stay here again!

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.