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Edward MacDowell Lake, NEW HAMPSHIRE
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Camping New Hampshire Edward MacDowell Lake
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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.

Beautiful campground

Loved this place. Campsites had nice spacing in between. Perfect sized lake to swim and kayak

Excellent state camp ground

I only spent 1 night, but I wish I could have stayed longer! Checked in late, at 7:45pm (15 minutes before the cutoff) and found the ranger to be SUPER helpful in regards to picking a walk-on site. The lake is beautiful, my site (#4) had plenty of available tinder as well as trees for my hammock and a fair amount of shade. The sites don’t feel super close to each other, but you can easily see and visit neighbors. Unfortunately my fire was too Smokey for nighttime pics. Hopefully I’ll come back to dyrt in the morning to post some that are honestly useful! :/

Good kids campground

Great campground for kids newer pool, with slides. Had issues with 30 amp service at site was not providing enough power, could not run all my campers amenities While my 20 amp designated outlet at home runs my entire camper with no issue.

Great campground to boat on

Went there this past weekend. Brought our kayaks. I reserved a water front site for that reason. Well worth it. Amazing lake for kayaking, swimming, fishing and exploring. So many little islands and shallow spots to swim around or jump off rocks.

The public beach area is a nightmare, super busy. And we found that there were a few people who didnt respect the quiet hours.  Plus people would drive their cars to the bathrooms at night, in my opinion if you cant walk there, dont go camping. That was a nuisance. A big reason for me only giving 3 stars. Otherwise it's easily a 4 or 5 star.

State park

Great state park campground! Some of the sites are close together but there are lakes to swim and places to rent kayaks/canoes/etc. if you need it.

Family friendly

A great atmosphere for everyone in our family. If we make it back out there we definitely will be staying again!

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 :)

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.

Awesome, fun, clean

Great spot run by a gentleman named Keith, he’s been running it for years. Such a nice guy. Spot has great sites. I use tent sites, usually by the river. Spots are clean & roomy. Bathrooms are alway clean & showers hot. There are trails you can hike and explore. Just a really fun place to stay.

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.

Wednesday camping

Awesome park. It was a quiet night and bathrooms where clean. Has spacious showers. Park rangers drive around campground often.

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.

Total Gem!

In a last minute attempt to get some camping in we ended up at this little spot. First of all, as we were driving we were passing all these other campgrounds that looked pretty run down and trashed. Enter Epsom Valley. What an awesome spot!! The owners were so relaxed and friendly, the spots were pretty spacious and the rules were very relaxed.

My friend and I wanted to do a sunrise hike up in the Whites, but due to work schedules could only get a start up after 6pm. My parents were able to set up the RV and we came in around 9pm, no problems and no extra charge for me, my friend or my dog.

Our campsite was nice and level, right next to a river (with free canoe use!) and even had hammock trees.

The facilities were beautiful and clean. The only thing I would have to say is their “playground” needs a little work. I don’t have kids but I don’t think I’d let them go there if I did. It looked a little sketchy.

But my FAVORITE part was what was called the “wilderness area”. AMAZING little tent sites! They were secluded but still had full hookups. This campground truly has something for everyone and we will be back!

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.

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 looked very  inviting for summer time campers.  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.

No longer in existence.

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

Beautiful Location on the Lake!

Lots to do, Kayak, Swim, Hike and more. Very friendly staff, very scenic location many sites are on the water. Only drawback is you can’t bring your dog 😪.

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