Pristine facilities, private camp sites and a beautiful area. Smuggler's Notch is close enough to Stowe to not be a hassle to drive to, but far enough away that it's quiet and remote. The staff was helpful and very good about controlling excessive noise from other sites. You are minutes from some amazing hiking, which is great when you don't feel like driving long distances after a day hike. Excellent showers (coin operated) and bathroom facility. Reserve early, as this place doesn't have a ton of sites and it folds up quickly!
It's exactly what you look for in a vacation, peace and tranquility, breath taking views of Vermont with a perfect lake at your feet! We will definitely stay here again our family loved it!
Very clean facilities. Friendly staff. I only explored sites 1-21, but all of those sites without hook ups are pretty private. Sites with hook ups are more open. There IS cell service, at least with Verizon. We didn’t spend any time on Lake Francis, but I highly recommend paddling at East Inlet (30min east of the campground).
This was a hidden away gem that I found thanks to this app, the cabins we're cozy and perfect just a short walk to the lake that's easily viewed from your cabin. We took our five year old son with us and he enjoyed himself the whole time he was there!
We just spent 5 days at this wonderful campground. They have paid attention to all of the finer details. Beautiful landscaping, well leveled sites, very clean and neat. The staff is wonderful. My only disappointment with the camp is that there are only a few sites with sewer hookup. However, the dumping station is conveniently located, so if you have a small tank, daily trips are not a problem. There is plenty to do in the area - Littleton is a beautiful little town. The old houses in are incredible. New Hampshire is not a dog friendly state, but a short Drive into Vermont gets you access to many fine restaurants where you can bring your dog. Be sure to visit Dog Mountain in Vermont- a truly touching memorial to departed pets.
This is an RV campground w a handful of tent spots. We stayed at T4, a site w electric right on the lake. I was initially very excited to be so close to the lake but my enthusiasm waned a little after a swim- the lake bottom was murky sticky mud which is fine it’s just not my favorite. My fiancé went swimming and got a leech or leech-like thing on his foot so swimming for him was pretty much over. Being at the lake meant a lot of noise from others including the campers that use the facility, I mean like actual camp, like groups of kids and counselors. I don’t mind kids but others might. It was the usual kid squealing and stuff. When we arrived a counselor was using our site and picnic table, spilling cheese-it’s all over the place which made us popular with the many many seagulls. She left when she saw us pulling in but left the mess behind so the birds were an issue. They continued to be an issue the whole 3 days we were there- every day we’d come back to our tent to find our stuff scattered a bit- not a huge problem but a present nuisance nonetheless. We tried to keep our things contained but still they tried to carry some stuff away. On the lake shore was a lot of seagull feathers and goose presence, poop, it’s not my favorite way to swim. The bathrooms were ok, pretty basic, very much reminiscent of when you get sent to camp as a child, bare bones. The stalls in the bathroom are uncomfortably short so when you stand up your head is poking out over the door, you can make eye contact w everyone else in the room which is just weird! We went two days without paper towels being restocked to dry your hands, I finally had to call the office. (Everyone in the office was super awesomely nice, always!) Sunday morning there is a group that makes breakfast in the pavilion I guess for donations which they use to beautify the campground. This is a lovely gesture. However the pavilion is right next to the tent sites and the group started setting up about 6:30 AM, which included honking their car horn, and talking very loudly with complete disregard for quiet hours or the full row of tent sleepers. My fiancé finally approached them and told them they must be unaware of how much their voices are carrying but that everyone was still sleeping. They didn’t apologize or say anything and honestly I don’t think they cared or lowered their voices at all. Our site was comfortable, water and electric worked fine, clean fire ring, we didn’t use it. The group next to us talked late past quiet hours (I didn’t not approach the campground about it we just dealt w it), and used a drone which was extremely uncomfortable, loud, and disruptive. I did call the office about that the next day and asked if there was a drone policy, she said there was not but that she would address it if they used it again, they ended up leaving so it wasn’t a problem but there should definitely be a policy about it. All in all, people were nice but the lake location meant a LOT of additional noise from other users and there did not seem to be any reminders about quiet time. Don’t come here if you’re looking for solitude but do come here if you’re looking for a great location in northern Vermont close to a cute town and amenities. Just set your mindset that it’s not a secluded or quiet spot but a spot w stuff to do and lots of people to interact w. We did not use the boat rentals or tennis courts or other stuff.
If you couldn’t already tell, we absolutely loved this campground! The one owner we did meet was very pleasant and told us all about the local events within the area and where to go for groceries/dining. He then hopped onto his bike and had us follow him to our camp spot. Once there, he proceeded to direct us as we backed up into the spot. Our camp spot had an amazing view of the lake which we didn’t ask for specifically which made it even better. While the campground itself doesn’t have a lot to do, we managed to find little things here and there to keep us busy. There’s a fish hatchery nearby, the ferry to NY, Seb’s snack shack, the farmers market and a winery/vineyard. The campground also has private access to the water so we spent a lot of time down at the beach with our dog. If you’re looking for a quiet, relaxing campground filled with friendly people, I cannot recommend this place enough! I would just suggest wearing shoes into the water as the rocks are very slippery on bare feet!
This is a short and sweet hike to one of the higher points in Vermont. It is a beautiful scenic (somewhat strenuous) hike to the summit. The views are pretty epic though. The designated primitive camping area is about 1.5 miles into the hike. If I recall it had about 10-12 sites. The area had a host who was there 24/7 and a shared area for eating and food storage (I guess Bear’s are a problem there). We hiked all day, so we didn’t have a fire and to be honest I can’t remember if there was a shared spot for them or not. Either way, this hike was gorgeous and so was the camping. I would love to go back!
Very quiet and peaceful place. Facilities were cleaned twice a day. Kayak and paddle boat rentals available. Keep your eyes out for loons and bald eagles on Little Diamond Pond. There is no cell service (at least for Verizon users), but that’s exactly what we wanted. There will be ATVs cruising around, so avoid sites along the main road if that noise would bother you (it’s really not bad, though). Note that many of the sites will fit much larger vehicles than what is stated on Reserve America, especially if you have a trailer and can unhook.
Older campground, friendly staff with lots of older seasonal sites. We paid $35 for a full hook up and had no problems. Rest rooms could use some updating, the large one was clean, the smaller one not so much and had no TP that day. The fire pits were full of ashes so maybe he only cleans it once a week and we were there on a Wednesday. For that price I would stay there again if I was in the area.
This was a great campground that we stayed at in July 2019. The staff was very friendly and accommodating. Over the weekend, they organized various activities including a pancake breakfast. The whole campground was very well maintained and the bathrooms were very clean.
Before staying at this campground, consider the following:
1. The campsite is directly on route 302, the traffic noise, particularly the long-haul trucks, is constant and makes it impossible to sleep(you are that close to the road and there is no woods, trees or sound a barrier of any kind, to absorb the sound)
2. There are no woods, no place to collect kindling, no way to start a campfire
3. Campfire grates are available, for rent
4. The sites are separated by a single thin line of trees, so minimal privacy
5. The campsite ground is uneven
6. The sites are not raked, so there are small rocks and pebbles everywhere
7. There are street lights on route 302 directly across the road from the campground, so it never gets totally dark
7. You may feel like you are tenting at a truck stop rather than camping at a campground
We reserved site R04 and when we arrived realized it was too small for three adults, two tents, and two dogs, so we rented R05 upon when we arrived. We left the next morning because of the noise and lack of"camping atmosphere." When we talked with the woman in charge, and said we would be leaving, she said"sorry". When i asked if she could compensate us, even for one of the six nights, she said"sorry you already checked in." I could have had a better experience camping in my background. However, we were lucky enough to get a campsite at Lost River Campground in Woodstock, NH. A beautiful, peaceful, campground, that cares about is guests and their overall experience.
If you can't snag a site along Gale River Rd or you are looking to hike the Twin Mountains, then continue a little farther north on US 3 near Twin Mountain (a little north of the Beaver Brook Picnic Area) and try your luck on Haystack Rd. This road is closed in winter and will open in late spring after the road has dried out and any repairs have been made. In 2019, it opened in mid-June. Check the the White Mountain National Forest FB page or website (FB is usually more up-to-date) for road status, including closures in the autumn.
When open, you can drive in to one of 11 numbered, wooded sites and camp up to 14 nights for free. You may have up to 3 vehicles and 15 people on a site. The only amenity is a fire pit, but the road ends at the Little River, offering fishing and swimming options. The parking lot at the end of Haystack Rd serves as the Twin Mountain trail head. You may see moose or bears in the area.
Franconia Notch State Park is just south of here, with its hikes, recreation trail, echo lake, and the Flume. Head east on 302 and you'll find yourself in Crawford Notch State Park with waterfalls and hikes.
Forgot something? Fosters Corners just a few miles north has an eclectic selection of essentials as well as gas. Or take I-93 north to Littleton to a wider variety of shops.
Pulled up and the woman at the gatehouse was on the phone with a lady trying to make a reservation. The lady didn't acknowledge ua at all for about 5 mins! We sat there for about 15-20 mins before we were helped. She ended up putting the lady on speakerphone so she could input her information easier. The lady gave her name, address, phone number, and credit card number to her as we sat there and could hear everything! It blew my mind! If I was that lady I would not want to share that info via speakerphone! We got a great campsite though, right on the water. Not very busy there. We rented a canoe for halfday $30 for 4hrs. We ended up returning it early because we paddled the whole lake in about an hour and a half, and we weren't trying to. Thought the boat rental was a bit pricey for the size of the lake/places to explore. We also looked forward to going up to Owl's Head for sunset. We went up during the day and decided it would be beautiful at sunset so we planned to come back. We came back nearly an hour before sunset and found the gate was locked at the bottom of the drive. The signs said it was open until dusk, but apparently someone didn't know what dusk meant. Very disappointed!!! If you want to go to Owl's Head for sunset plan to hike up from the campground because you won't be able to drive up to the parking lot anytime close to sunset.
The campground isn’t bad however there’s not much to do in the area unless you want to take a 20-30 minute drive. Campground probably isn’t suitable for kids as they have zero activities. It was a good campground for a quick weekend getaway but not a place I’d want to spend more than a couple days at.
My family loves this camp ground right on the CT River. It has RV sights and cabins they keep the campers busy with fun activities for kids and grown ups. This is what I would call a Glamping campground then a roughing it campground but it’s still amazing.
We have been coming here for the last 14 years together, and my husband since he was a baby. Lovely small quaint town and beautiful campground. The beach is the best! Not overcrowded. Great place to go kayaking, jump off the dock, or go search for the log! Best camping out there!
We did the yurt for 2 nights. Man was it amazing. The north country and wandering back roads to find cool waterfalls and lakes. Everyone at the campground was super nice, from John the park manager to other campers, spent one night hanging with another yurt group checking out the views from their spot over cold beers. The fire tower at the top allows perfect views of the area
On the far side of the parking lot at Echo Lake Beach/Cannon Mountain you'll find 7 RV, full-hookup sites. Reservations are recommended in the summer, but from Columbus Day to mid May you may have a chance with walk-up. Be sure to check the entry station for any reservations so you don't have to move later when someone shows up to claim their spot. The rates drop after Columbus Day and the water is turned off.
There is a grassy area behind the RV sites. You'll enjoy more privacy farther from the beach entry. There are coin-operated showers at the Lafayette Place campground a few miles south.
During the summer there is a beach at Echo Lake offering boat rentals. A public boat launch is on the far end of the lake. There's a small lakeside store open when the beach is open. Just across the street is the short but rewarding hike up Artists Bluff, giving you a view into Franconia Notch; continue along the ridge and you'll enjoy the western views from from Bald Mountain. The 8.8 mile multi-use (bike/pedestrian) recreation trail runs on the far side of Echo Lake through Franconia Notch State Park. In the winter, there's skiing at Cannon Mountain. The tram offers a quick route to the summit for different views of the autumn colors.
If you aim to hike Franconia Ridge, on the weekend you can catch a shuttle from the Cannon skier parking lot. With a family, explore the Flume gorge, the Pemi trail, the Basin, and the New England Ski Museum. Within easy driving distance are tourist spots in Woodstock and Lincoln to the south, the Cog Railway up Mt Washington to the northeast, and Santa's Village 35 minutes north.
Polly's Pancake Parlor is a few minutes up the road in Sugar Hill if you'd like a robust breakfast, but call ahead to shorten your wait times. If you've forgotten something, Littleton offersa wide selection of shopping only 15 minutes away.
This campground is the perfect location for those wanting to explore the Franconia Notch State Park in New Hampshire. The bathrooms and showers were clean and the staff very helpful and friendly. I would like to point out that one of the park’s trails (Lonesome Lake Trail) cuts through this campground, so when making reservations to camp here you will want to avoid campsites near this trail. In some cases, the trail was within 3 feet of certain campsites and it is a somewhat active trail. We loved our stay and hiked both the Flume and the Basin trails.
This is a roadside campground with several large, grassy sites that wasn’t my first choice, but it was late at night and my other option hadn’t panned out. It is located right beside US302 and you’ll hear vehicles and see their lights driving by all night. Zealand Rd, which takes you to the 2 Sugarloaf campgrounds as well as the Zealand Trailhead, cross the Ammonoosuc River here and there is a picnic area on the other side of Zealand.
When I pulled up at night, there were fireflies lighting up the grass and woods. There are water faucets and vault toilets. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring. Some of the sites are more secluded, particularly 4-10. They’re all first-come, first-served, so you can choose your site upon arrival. Be prepared to carry your tent and other gear a short distance from your car for several of the sites. I was surprised to see how the sites with wooded parking areas opened up to the grassy expanse near the river. Access to the river isn’t great. It’s not a place where you’ll be swimming.
Stay here because you couldn’t get a site at one of the Sugarloafs and you want to hike in on the Zealand Trail or you want to head south into Crawford Notch explore there. The Cog Railway station isn’t far away. If you need any last minute items, stop by Foster’s Crossroads in Twin Mountain. For a quick hike with nice views, drive up Zealand Rd to the Sugarloaf trailhead. It will take you to a saddle between two peaks on the 52-with-a-view list.
I was looking for an inexpensive(i.e. free) place to crash on a Thursday night, so I headed toward Gale River Loop Rd to see if I could snag one of the 11 dispersed camping sites in the White Mountain National Forest. It was nearly dark when I arrived after my 3+ hour drive from Boston, so it was hard to identify the sites and determine whether they were occupied. Turned out they were all occupied, though not all had vehicles. You may have better luck midweek.
I returned in the morning to get a better sense of the area. I’ve driven along this road a few times because the trailheads for Garfield and Gale River, along the northern edge of the Pemi Wilderness, leave from here. The Gale River Trailhead is also an AMC Shuttle Stop. These sites are free and offer no amenities beyond a fire ring; there is water from the Gale River.
They are heavily wooded, though some of these open into open fields. It has been a very wet spring(2019), so some of the sites were quite wet. Please either bury your waste or use a portable toilet! You must stay in a numbered site (there is a numbered pole by each pull-out/site), may stay up to 14 days, and may have up to 15 people and 3 vehicles at each site. Some of the sites are better suited to larger vehicles (one was more open and had a bus parked in it). Other sites require you to park near the road and walk a bit to the site. Rangers patrol the area.
The Gale River Loop Rd is also known as FR 25& FR 92, leaving from the east side of US3, between I-93& US302. This road is closed in the winter, will open after mud season, usually in mid to late May, and close in the fall generally in October. The White Mountain National Forest Facebook page will generally provide more up-to-date status lists than the website, so check there before heading out. There are moose in this area, so if you are traveling around dawn or dusk, stay alert! You don’t want to hit a moose. I’ve seen them in the wet areas beside the road.
If you’ve forgotten something, you may be able to pick it up at Fosters Crossroads in Twin Mountain, just north of the loop road. The Walmart in Littleton, NH is about 20 miles away for larger purchases.
In addition to the hikes to Galehead and Garfield, this is a central location for family friendly hikes such as Artist’s Bluff and Bald Mountain or the Sugarloafs as well as exploring all the treats in Franconia Notch and other peaks in the Pemi Wilderness.
Remote campsite #9 was a bit wet this spring but in truth everything has been wet here in Vermont this year. 3 night get away with son, and first time on Kettle pond. The gnats were bearable with our head netting and weather was cooperative for us during the day. Site #9 had plenty of places to hang our hammocks, we chose the nearest location to the lean-to. The trail around the pond went around the lean-to but hikers were only noticeable visually. We canoed around to look at other sites and # 10 was without a lean-to but a pretty nice spot at the very end of the pond. The other remote sites were mostly occupied so did not get a great view. The ones at the entrance would be good for group camping.
Greenleaf Hut Review:
It had been a while since I had stayed in an Appalachian Mountain Club hut in the White Mountains, so decided I’d book a stay at one I had not visited before. It was the summer solstice and I was hoping for a chance to catch a sunrise or sunset from Franconia Ridge. The AMC huts are spaced in such a way that you can make multi-day hut-to-hut hikes or, do what I did, and just make it an overnight. A stay in the hut during full service season is pricey,$120-171/night, depending on membership status, the season and day of the week; it’s lower for children. For that, you’ll get a full dinner with soup, salad, entrée and desert as well as breakfast with some entertainment by the hut Croo. Meals are served family style, so you’ll get to know your fellow hikers, or, like me, you may even run into someone you know from home! Your bunk will be in a co-ed dorm room shared with 5 other hikers, but earplugs are provided just in case your roommates snore. The rooms are assigned, but you choose your bunk from what’s available when you check in; they’re triple deckers and feature a reading light, 3 wool blankets, a pillow and a thin mattress. Pack a sleeping bag liner or light sheet for comfort. Pegs for your packs and jackets plus a bench complete the room furnishings. Plan a trip in May and you’ll be on your own for meals and bedding, though a caretaker is available in the evenings and morning; you’ll also save a lot of money! You can fill your water bottle at the hut. Restrooms feature cold running water and composting toilets. A smoall shop offers t-shirts, hats, and a few camping essentials you may have forgotten. There are small porches overlooking a small pond/bog below the hut and Mt Lafayette rising another 1000’ above the hut. Cell service on Verizon was 1-2 bars. Naturalist may offer a program before dinner. There are a few direct ways to reach the hut. Old Bridle Path climbs, sometimes steeply,>2400’ over a little less than 3 miles; on a weekend you’ll want to use the Cannon Hiker shuttle for the driver. The Greenleaf Trail provides a slightly gentler path and departs from the Cannon tram lot. Many will hike the popular loop hike steeply ascending Falling Waters Trail past several beautiful falls before joining the Franconia Ridge trail to Mts. Lincoln and Lafayette. This is stunning in fine weather with views into the Pemigewassett Wilderness and across Franconia Notch to the Cannon-Kinsman ridge, but can be miserable and dangerous in foul weather. Plan accordingly! From Lafayette, you’ll descend 1000’ over a mile to the hut.
Product Review: Morsel Spork: strong, not flimsy
As a ranger with The Dyrt, I sometimes get to review equipment. On this trip I was able to review the Morsel Spork in the Mini and XL sizes as well as the Spoon. My original plan had been to hike up to the ridge and eat a re-hydrated lunch along the way and test out the Morsel; the forecast for rain and high winds had me re-thinking my plans. I hiked directly to the hut and then hiked the ridge in reverse the next morning. Before leaving the hut, I added hot water to my dehydrated meal so it would be ready when I hit the summit. It was cold enough that I was eating with gloved hands; the extra length of the Morsel Spork meant the gloves stayed clean. The spatula edge let me scrape the edges clean so I didn’t waste any of the calories. There’s a nice bowl on the Spork spoon end. I tried breaking the Morsel without success. It’s stiff, yet flexible. The‘knife’ edge is on both sides of the fork, so it works for righties or lefties, though it’s not ideal if you have a steak to cut. That said, I’ve cut chicken without much effort, though I did need a second tool or finger to keep the meet from flying away.
If I were buying just one, I’d go for the Morsel Spork XL. I can’t quite figure out why you would want just the Morsel XL Spoon, unless you knew you were eating just a soup. The spatula is nice for cleaning out a jar, though! The asymmetric form will get you into almost any corner and the sturdy structure means you can scrape even the stickiest of peanut butter from jar. This is not a flimsy tool. I like the colors that help you find your new favorite tool in your backpack.
A group of us went here 2 years back and loved the facilities. Clean showers, camp sites where beautiful and maintained. Could not say enough about the beauty of the place and where it is situated in reference to trails and other outdoor activities. The one downside is they police the quiet time. My friend and I where chatting around the fire, not loudly mind you and where told that we needed to keep it down. Would have given this a five star for sure if it wasn’t for having to go to bed early because we couldn’t talk around the fire.