Jean C.

Pro

West Roxbury, MA

Joined September 2018

Lifelong tent camper, now in a teardrop. Love hiking, photography, exploring in New England & beyond! Visited all 50 states,more than 70 countries.

Scenic location along the river, moose viewing

Rachel P has given a great review of the individual campsites; i have nothing to add to that! It's a rustic/no frills campground with vault toilets. This area is definitely a great spot to view moose or go fishing. It is also near Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge where you can view moose and loons galore! I've enjoyed kayaking and photography there. 

There are a mixture of sunny and shady sites, most along the river itself. The more open ones are better suited to RV/trailers. Scout out the ones at the very end before you drive down to 42. Kayaks and canoes are available for rental.

Beware! Google will direct you to a closed entrance to the park! If you're coming from Errol, you'll be fine, you'll see the main entrance before the closed one; If you're coming from the south, then continue past the first entrance and you'll reach the main one. i was here in October and it was COLD, so be prepared for all kinds of weather.

Clean, family-friendly campground

This KOA is located in Woodstock, south of the Tripoli Rd exit. It's convenient for heading out to do some popular hikes such as the Osceolas and Mt Moosilauke as well as exploring Franconia Notch and the Kancamagus. if you prefer sites suitable for large RVs, full hook-ups and activities for the kids, you'll like this campground. If you don't have a tent or RV, there are small cabins available for rent as well. It can be hard to get reservations, particularly around popular events and holiday weekends.

I had a 30A site in their wilderness loop, I went hiking during the day, so didn't get to fully explore the campground and only upon looking at the campground map did I realize there was a trail to a nearby pond! The kids seemed to enjoy the bounce pad and other activities that are located in the center of the campground. These pictures were taken on an autumn weekday afternoon, but on the weekend it was much busier.

If you're coming from the south, I usually stop at the Market Basket and/or Wal-Mart in Tilton for anything I've forgotten, and Lincoln has a small grocery store and other shops where you'll be able to pick up items.

Unique views

This was my introduction to a BLM campground and what a great introduction. Situated on an old lava flow, Valley of Fires campsites offer an introduction to a desert landscape. There's a small nature hike and a slight rise in the middle of the campground that offers a nice view.

Site have a grill, trash, water, and a shelter; with no natural shade, you'll appreciate the sun shelter in the heat! There are vault toilets throughout the campground, but there is a central bathroom that offers flush toilets and showers. A couple of the sites are accessible with a concrete pad extending from the parking area to the shelter/picnic table/grill. The tent sites have a raised gravel pad.

If I were choosing a campsite, I'd see if the RV site on the back side of the hill is available. It is separate and therefore quieter than the others and offers a broad view of the monument and the tent loop below.

If you're here in the winter, I'd recommend a trip to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (1hr away) to see the sandhill cranes. 90 minutes south you'll reach White Sands National Park. Both are worth your time, though for White Sands, check before you go; it is sometimes closed in the morning for missile testing.

Dusty park against the red rocks

This city-operated campground is bordered by highway on one side and red rocks on the other. There are events at the open arena, featuring rodeos, Native American celebrations, and an annual balloon festival in early December. It's beautiful to watch the balloons float about the red rocks in the park and there are a lot of places to scramble on the rocks yourself. 

The campground itself is dusty and relatively open; you will hear road traffic. I was there in early December and most of the campground was reserved for the balloon festival. There are electric and water hook-ups, but not sewer. Arrive before 4:30 to obtain the key to the rest room if needed.

They don't provide much information at all on the website, you need to call to get it or just stop by. If you need a place to park overnight, this is a reasonable option. The Petrified Forest is another 90 minutes down the road; El Morro National Monument, Acoma Pueblo, and El Malpais National Monument are a few of the interesting places to visit.  We enjoyed dinner/take-out at Dickey's BBQ just 4 miles away. And Jerry's Cafe is popular Mexican restaurant, may require a wait, but it's the sort of place where the locals eat and the waitresses know them by name.

Rustic campground in a great national monument

Before I visited here in December I had not heard of Bandelier NM; it's a wonderful place for exploring outside Santa Fe and Juniper Campground provides rustic sites without hookups (dump station and water available, though the dump station is closed in winter). Because it was December, we could drive into the park; in peak season there are shuttle buses that take you to the visitors center. There are no reservations except for the group sites. You'll need to pay with a credit card at the campground or pay cash at the visitor's center. You'll also need to pay an entrance fee for Bandelier NM unless you have or purchase a National Parks Pass. With a senior or an Access pass, you'll get a 50% discount on the already low fees.

Sites are sunny and open with scrub trees providing an element of privacy between sites. Parking pads have been recently paved. Bearboxes are provided. Bathrooms provide flush toilets, sinks, and hand dryers, but no showers. Although pets are allowed, if you plan to do any hiking, you'll want to leave them home. High elevation, so it's cold in winter and may have snow.

I would stock up on supplies on my way out of Santa Fe (about an hour away) or Albuquerque; or in Los Alamos from the North. There are a number of other national monuments in the area and Santa Fe is a nice small city to explore.

Woods, ponds, and proximity to beaches at an affordable price

This park is huge! The 418 mostly wooded sites are divided into 7 sections and even more loops. You can find walk-in sites, tent sites, RV sites or yurts. The only thing missing is hook-ups. Water is readily available and there's a dump station, but you won't find electric. I liked some of the sites on the top and backs of the loops in the Section 6 area.

The attraction for me is the central location on the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Additionally, a number of beaches on Cape Cod Bay are only a couple of miles away, so you can easily bike over and avoid the parking struggle. There are bike trails in the park as well, but hillier than those outside the park. You can fill many hours hiking, geocaching, fishing, boating, and swimming. If you don't have a bike or a boat, they'are available to rent in or near the park. If you are seeking the dunes and expansive coastal beaches, you will need to leave the park and contend with traffic, but there's plenty to keep you busy without ever leaving the park.

Of note, the rates are quite reasonable for MA residents, but significantly higher for out of state campers. Even so, it's a bargain for the prime location!

Newer rustic state campground for tents and small trailers

Formerly Paine's campground, this is now under the Massachusetts DCR. It offers inexpensive, rustic camping on the Cape, though rates are much higher for out-of-state guests than for instate. Many sites are small, some require walk-in, and parking may be separate from the site; in some instances it is across or near the site, and for others it is closer to the park entrance. Under the new ownership they've paved some of the roads, but the roads are narrow and with curves. All of the conditions have led them to limit campers to tents and short trailers/campers only, with length <15' and only 1 unit/vehicle per site. There is 20A electric on a number of the sites. When you read site descriptions, it will indicate 'compact loop' or 'petite site' and those are accurate!

Sites are largely shaded. Some of the sites back up to neighboring yards (9-12 area). Walk-in distance to some sites can be substantial (see sites 49, 59, 61, etc.) so be sure to read site descriptions carefully, but 61 in particular offers greater privacy. The sites aren't always level. There are no photos on the reservation website, so I've tried to capture most, but not all, here.

No alcohol or pets allowed. 

The are nearby beaches, hikes, Cape Cod Rail Trail and other biking opportunities are nearby. If you don't have a bike, you can easily rent one from nearby shops.

It won't be for everyone, but if you want a campground that is less expensive, caters to tents and trailers rather than the big rigs, this may be for you!

Unexpected surprise near Boston

Less than 25 miles north of Boston and <5 miles from the interstate, Lorraine Park campground at Harold Parker State Forest provides ample on-site activities and also serves as a jumping off point for exploring the Massachusetts coast north of Boston or a stop en route to NH and Maine.

Every site seems to have its own water spigot, though it's not necessarily conveniently located if you want to hook up a trailer/RV. There are 11 sites with water/electric. Sites are large, often with good separation from neighbors, some have a hilly approach. The reservation website doesn't provide pictures, so I've tried to capture most here. Some of the sites are large enough that if you have a small camper or van you may be able to pull through. They've designated more than half the sites as tent only. There's a great playground area and also basketball and volleyball courts, but in this COVID-19 era, don't expect them to be open in 2020. I heard a little road traffic around the perimeter, but not much.

Bring a bike, pack some sneakers or hiking boots, toss in a swimsuit or a fishing pole, and explore! There are miles of trails and logging roads for hiking and biking. A small beach is within walking distance from the campground (wildflowers bloom in the area in late May). 

Nearby national park sites include Lowell, Minute Man, and  Boston where you'll learn about the industrial revolution or the American revolution respectively. Concord will introduce you to some early American authors; Salem Maritime, Saugus Iron Works, Essex National Heritage explore other aspects of the area. Head to Gloucester for a whale watch or wander the coastal towns.

Great base for a Katahdin ascent

This campground offers large sites, many with lean-tos and along the stream. a nice base for a morning ascent of Mt Katahdin. Black flies can be unbearable in May/June, so prepare accordingly. There are pit toilets. Bring either drinking water or a water filter for water from the stream. You'll need to bring all your supplies; there are no stores in the park, so stock up in Millinocket. Also, beware that you need to arrive no later than 8:30pm your first night! No cell phone coverage.

Baxter State Park is no frills, but great beauty. There are a few of New England's 4000-footers here, but the goal for most is Mt Katahdin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.  If you stay here the night before, you can get an early start without having to wait at the park entrance. If you're not interested in the high peaks, there are trails along waterfalls and ponds, places to launch a canoe or kayak, ample opportunity to see moose.

2020, won't open until at least July. in 2019, it didn't open until late May because of a wet spring and trails were closed until mid-June because of snow cover on the trails.

Lakeside campground caters to ATV riders

This campground is located in a northern NH state park that is known as host to the Jericho ATV festival in August.  The park offers miles of ATV trails including an offroad 4x4 trail as well as a lake for swimming, canoeing/kayaking, and fishing. There's a large sandy beach with swings and a volleyball net.There are only 20 sites, including 5 cabins and 2 lean-tos.  The cost of a cabin with bunks and mattresses is a good bargain if you prefer a little more comfort. Sites 5 & 6 are slightly removed from the other sites, will require a slight walk from your car, and you're rewarded with a beautiful view. 

Facilities include flush toilets and coin-operated showers, though they're closer to the beach than to the campground loop; there are a couple of pit toilets in the campground itself. Pets are allowed, but not in the cabins. Most of the sites are large enough to accommodate your ATV/trailer, but there is also a large parking lot. The campground was closing down for the season when I was there, but I suspect that in the summer, esp. around the time of the ATV festival, it'll be a busy place.

WMNF campground with hookups - great location for outdoor recreation

This large national forest campground is in the midst of extensive renovations that are expected to continue until 2021. You'll find new bathrooms with showers, roadways, and sites with and without electric hookups. Many of the sites are in open fields, but others provide shelter in the woods. The wooded sites are definitely more popular. Because of the renovations, as of April 2020 they are not accepting reservations. If the campground opens summer 2020, you'll want to arrive early on holiday weekends to be sure of a campsite.

This is a prime location for adventure in the mountains, with multiple routes up Mt Washington (trail, auto road, or cog railway). If it's hiking you're after, you're conveniently located for the northern Presidentials and the Carter-Moriah range. Family friendly hikes to Glen Ellis Falls and Diana's Baths are nearby. Less than 40 minutes in either direction are Story Land and Santa's Village, NH family destinations for generations. Some of the nearby ski areas offer a variety of activities, including zip lines and mountain biking.

Rustic with road noise, but great location for hiking, climbing, exploring

White Ledge Campground is in the White Mountain National Forest and should not be confused with nearby White Lake State Park. Located a few miles south of the Kancamagus and Conway, you have ready access to the Carter Ledge trail up Mt Chocurua or shorter loop trails. 

The sites are generally large and wooded. Designated tent sites are not suitable for RVs/trailers because the site may require a short walk or steps. Facilities include potable water and vault toilets. There are no hookups and no dump station. The lack of amenities contributes to the low fee of$20/night, though online reservation fees will add somewhat to that. If you want a shower, they are available at Jigger Johnson campground along the Kancamagus Hwy, about 20 minutes away.

If you head up on a holiday weekend, get an early start or be ready for traffic. The loop for sites 14-28 parallels NH16; you WILL hear and even see road traffic and Rte 16 is busy.  Sites 2-5 are more open, larger, and suitable for RV or tent. Site 10 is a nicely wooded, level site for tent or RV. About half the sites are reservable. The campground is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

Watefront sites are nicest

I missed the turnoff a few times, as it's down a side street. They have a boat ramp and slips. The sites away from the water are very close together. Prime sites along the water offer nice views. Bathrooms clean, laundry available. There are tiki huts and lounge chairs along the water.

Grassy lots among the palms in wilderness area

I was here in January and there were very few campers. Sites are level with varying degrees of shade from the palms.

These are primitive sites with vault toilets, so bring what you need! There are food storage boxes available. There's access to off-road trails from this area if you have a vehicle and the necessary permits. Hunting and birdwatching are just a couple of the activities in the area.

Great base for fishing and boating

There won't be much space between you and your neighbors, but let's be honest: if you're staying at this small island park, you're probably spending most of your time on the water. You can rent boat slips or launch a kayak; rent one if you don't have your own. Pick up your fishing supplies at the office. The historic Smallwood store is just a little farther down the road. There's 1 designated tent site, several RV sites, and a number of permanent residents. If you don't have your own RV, they have RVs and cabins for rent.

The park has bathrooms, a small playground, chickee for lounging outdoors, with a fire pit nearby, and  a pavilion for gathering with friends and family. 

Explore the mangroves, take an airboat tour our of Everglades City, or explore other areas of the Everglades. Naples is your best shopping source. There are restaurants in Everglades City.

Remote island campground with beautiful seas and skies

It will take some planning to get here, but it’s worth it. You’ll need a boat, your own or the ferry service, and as a result it will be one of the most expensive camping trips you’ll ever take. There’s even more expensive flight service to the island, but not for campers. If you’re camping, you’ll check in earlier than other guests and load your gear on the back of the ferry. Put your gear in tubs to protect from water on the ferry and rats on the island! Be sure to refer to the NPS rules for weight, cooking(match-light charcoal ok; compressed and liquid fuels are not), Bring plenty of water for each person, more when it’s hot. If you stay multiple nights, you’ll be able to refill water when the boat is at the dock on subsequent days.

Upon arrival, you’ll receive an orientation from the ranger. There is an open, grassy area reserved primarily for groups. Individual campsites are in the shelter of the trees to the left of the dock, near the beach and outside the fort walls. There are carts to help you take your gear to your site. If the individual sites are full, you may camp in the group area. Clean composting toilets are available except when the boat is at the dock; then you’ll use facilities on board. Breakfast and lunch are included on your arrival day; food’s available for purchase while the ferry’s in port.

Swim, snorkel, birdwatch, explore the fort, watch sunrises and sunsets. If you have a kayak and snagged one of the limited(3) spots for it on the ferry, you can make a trip to Loggerhead Key. I visited in January and had brought a shorty wetsuit so that I was comfortable snorkeling in the cooler temperatures.

Compact campground with pull thru sites

Stopped by this KOA to see what it offered for possible future stays. It's a compact campground that provides pull through sites as well as back-in and tent sites. They offer everything from 50 amp electric to cable TV. Sites are clean and neat. There's a dog park for your pets. Bathrooms are clean with hot showers. They have cabins available as well.

Great location for exploring Sandra Fe, Bandelier, and other national monuments.

Gravel parking lot, great location

If you have a big rig and need a place to stay while exploring Santa Fe and the many national monuments in the area, this is a great location! It's not much more than a gravel parking lot, but it can accommodate your large RV and extra vehicle. Try to get a spot as far from the highway as possible.

Owned by the pueblo, it provides large pull-through sites with 20/30/50A hookups, sewer and water, plus free wifi. There are shops and restaurants across the way. 

Bandelier, Kasha-Katuwe, Pecos National Monuments are all nearby as is downtown Santa Fe.

Beautiful location

El Morro National Monument features some amazing petroglyphs and the remains of a pueblo, offering fun hikes. Nearby is a free campground, first-come, first-served. There's water available except in winter (and then you can fill containers at the visitor's center) and vault toilets.

Sites offer picnic tables, fire rings, and tent pads. Some, because of their set-up, are better suited to tents than RVs, but because you can't reserve in advance, you'll get to choose what works best for you…assuming there's vacancy. In December it was cold and largely unoccupied, but in warmer months I'm guessing it fills quickly. Sit 5 is handicap accessible and located across from the bathroom.

Primitive camping with offroad access

This is a small, primitive campground offering access to a number of backcountry trails. If you're bringing a swamp buggy or ATV, you'll need to be sure to complete the required training and obtain your permits. There were a few swamp buggies heading to the trail when i was there. Following a large rainstorm, there was some puddling on the RV pull-through sites. The back side of the campground was drier and quieter. Access to the trails is at the far end of the pond, so ORVs will be coming past your site either on their way in or out. 

Insects are somewhat more tolerable in the dry season (Jan-Apr), but but expect them anyway! The only facilities here are vault toilets. Be sure to bring plenty of water and stock up on supplies before you get into the Preserve! 

You may be visited by gators or panthers, so there are food boxes available. Ample opportunity for birdwatching and looking for alligators throughout the preserve. You're also not far from the Everglades.

You may stay 10 days Jan -Apr; 14 days the rest of the year. If you have a senior or access pass, your fees are discounted 50%.