Jean C.


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.

Busy, but that lake and the loons!

Most of the campsites at Fish Creek Pond are along the waterfront, offering easy access to the pond. Some campers even build temporary docks that they leave behind for subsequent campers. Most of these sites are huge and provide areas that are relatively flat, even if some parts slope toward the pond. Sites in the low 130s tend to be narrower. The sites ring the pond; at night you can see the lights of campers on the opposite bank and listen to the call of the loons. At 10pm, Taps will ring out to mark the beginning of quiet hours. The firepits are deteriorating and do not have grates. Mine was half filled with debris, ash, and the previous campers discarded food.

Bathrooms throughout the campground provide toilets and running water in old CCC constructed buildings that have been renovated somewhat and are clean, but small with a single sink. They also come with a warning not to leave items plugged in because of risk of fire or theft. A newer, large, centrally located bathroom provides showers. 

The day use area and beach were closed for the summer of’20 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

There are two entrances to the campground, but one of them is closed in the evening. Depending on the direction of your arrival, you may need to continue past the first entrance you reach. Signs will direct you even if Google doesn't!

There’s a trading post just over the bridge from the campground where you can buy gas, necessities, order a sandwich, pizza, or barbecue(daily menu posted in back by the deli). In the parking lot out front, there’s an ice cream truck that’s open in the afternoon. If you’re looking for paddling maps, check behind the counter at the trading post or at nearby Hickock Livery.

There's a bike trail in the campground and you'll see lots of kids on bikes. In addition to the numerous paddling opportunities in the area, several of the surrounding towns have created hiking challenges featuring 3-9 easy to moderate peaks in their vicinity. Tupper Lake offers not only a hiking triad, but a paddling triad. The reward for completing each series is a patch. Occasionally a single bar of coverage on Verizon, very spotty and random, so I left my phone on airplane mode most of the time.

On my last morning, I finally spotted through the mist the loons that had entertained me with their calls throughout my stay - 6 of them!

large campground on a beautiful lake

Located at the northern end of Lake George and about 7 miles south of Ticonderoga, Rogers Rock is a boater’s paradise. I was here midweek, so it wasn't packed, but I image when it's full that it may be noisy - and not just from the people. Look carefully at the map when choosing your site. Many of them are near the main road. Sites aren't particularly level or large. Cell phone coverage is spotty, I was getting 1-2 bars with Verizon.

There's a boat inspection station, boat ramp, and mooring as well as a beach. Ticonderoga offers some history and is worth a half-day visit. Lake Champlain isn't far away, either.

Nice location, could use some refreshment

This campground is just south of Lake Placid. Located near a main road, street noise is a problem, but it’s hard to beat the low cost proximity to Lake Placid and Saranac Lake if you want to explore the towns. The sites in the center of the loop are more open; if I had a larger rig, I’d stick to that area. Some areas get a little tight and the website doesn’t provide vehicle length information. I tried to take pictures of as many of the sites as possible. It needs an overhaul…the bathrooms were on the grungy and worn side. 

There’s a trail to Scarface that leaves from the campground. Like many of the towns in the area, Saranac has a hiking challenge. Complete 6 hikes in the area and earn a patch; Scarface is one of the 6. The first part of the trail also takes you to a river for fishing. In addition to the Olympic sites in and around Lake Placid and Whiteface, I found some geocaches and discovered the John Brown Farm State Historic Site, which was open for exploration. It was interesting to learn a little more about the man behind the raid on Harper’s Ferry. 

Hikes abound. There are numerous boating opportunities in the area. Next door is a barbecue place that seemed to be busy. 

I’d probably limit myself to a day or two here and then head to some of the other campgrounds in the area that offer more direct access to the water or trails, but as I said, it’s a nice base for Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, just understand the trade-offs and you won't be disappointed.

Small pondside campground - swimming, fishing, canoeing/kayaking

This state campground offers a variety of wooded sites, some drive in and others remote boat-in (29R-31R). The main campground offers full service bathrooms with showers; remote sites (including several drive-in sites) have an outhouse, but no potable water. If you want easy access to the beach and facilities, look to a site in the main loop, but if you want a little more solitude, check out the remote sites. That said, all waterfront sites fill quickly and for 2021 you'll be running into reservations that were moved from 2020 Sites 18-22 are on a dead-end, but there is enough space for a small trailer to turn around (I was able to negotiate it with a teardrop, but I wouldn't want something much longer). It was quiet midweek, but it was also the pandemic summer. That said, it's a smaller campground than a place like Fish Creek or Rollins Pond, so fewer people to make noise!

There's  a large beach and boat rentals are available. If you plan to fish, purchase your license before you arrive as phone signals are weak.

Not looking for new campers

Saw a sign in the parking lot at the Trading Post at Fish Creek Pond. The office is hidden behind the Trading Post - go all the way to the back, past the gate, around the corner. This is an established campground that has a lot of returning campers, so they don't advertise, don't have a website or a brochure. They do not have freestanding bathroom facilities; you must have a self-contained unit to stay there. I was there midweek in August and it looked like there were some empty sites, but this was a Covid season. If you want to camp in the Saranac Lake area and want hookups, it may be worth giving them a call. It's on the lake and offers both a boat launch and a beach.

The deli in the trading post sells barbecue and there's an ice cream stand out front, too. The trading post carries basics and sells gas.

Clean and neat RV park

This  RV park on the outskirts of Ticonderoga offers full hookups and can also accommodate tents. Seasonal sites are largely separate from short-term campers and they are clean and well-kept. Short term sites, however, are near the road;  a few of them (S1-S4) are behind the office, closer to the dumpsters and workshop and I'd probably avoid those. Sites are generally level and close together. I was there mid-week and most of the short-term sites were empty. There was limited wi-fi. 

With COVID-19 restrictions this year, the bathrooms are closed to those who have facilities in their RV. There's also a drought and they're on a well, so water conservation is essential. Coin-operated shower.

There aren't a lot of amenities onsite; there's a a small playground and basketball court, but summer of 20 those were closed. Rogers Rock State Park is nearby, however, with boat access and a beach. Ft Ticonderoga is a few miles to the north where you can explore history with re-enactors.

Lovely wooded sites, hiking, boating, swimming

It's quite a trek to Aroostock State Park, nearly to the Canadian border, but it's worth the journey. I came here to attend the Crown of Maine Balloon Festival, which occupied my early mornings and evenings. During the day I would explore on foot or take the car through the countryside and enjoy the Amish farmlands.

Sites the sites are more or less level and wooded with some privacy, but there's less privacy if you are located in the middle of the loop and people take trails to the latrine in the middle. There is also a bathroom/showerhouse near the beginning of the campground loop, near the divide between the loop and the uphill section. 

Near the back of the loop a trail heads up south peak for a short scrabble and nice loop hike. There's a rickety tent platform with great views of the valley at that end and a lean-to on the other end of the ridge. Threre's a playground for kids.  Bring your kayak or canoe or they have some available to rent.

Group campsites serves as a good hiking base

This is a no frills National Forest campground with pit toilets and running water that offers several group sites. Some are large, open, and grassy (with nice sky views), while others are much more compact spaces. The group nature means it can be loud, particularly on weekends, but it was nearly empty when I visited in June 2019. Consider it as an alternative to roadside camping along Tripoli Rd. 

This is a great base for the several of the 4000-footers (Tecumseh, Osceola, Tripyramid),, the Sandwich range, or more family friendly hikes such as the Welch Dickey loop. Waterville valley offers biking. And if you want ice cream after a long day on the trail, head to the Bear's Den in Campton. 

Note that Tripoli Rd is closed during winter through mud season, until the road has dried out and necessary repairs have been made. It may not open until late May, so be sure to check the White Mountai. National Forest FB page and website for updates early in the season.

Clean, quiet wooded sites.

One nice thing about being part of the Dyrt community is discovering spots you'd never thought about exploring and this is one of those places.Jacobs brook is a small family owned campground with about 50 wooded sites. The seasonal campsites are separate from the short term campers and their sites are nicely maintained. There's a book that runs through the campground, providing a shady respite and swimming hole in a hot summer day. Only one of the sites is located along the brook (45), but there's an easy path down a hill. 

In the middle of the campground near the entrance there's a swimming pool, playground, horseshoes, and basketball. There's a large fire pit with chairs surrounding it in front of the office.  Nice view of the sky on a clear night.

Sites vary in size. The ones on the 50s have a sloped approach. The lower numbers offer pull-through access. Call to make your reservations and tell assign the site. Tee tent only sites tent tho fill sooner than trailer sites. Oh, and they have a couple of unique sites with boats! There is a large group site as well.

It's quiet and people are friendly. Bathrooms are clean;in 2020 their use is restricted to use by short term tent/pop-up/teardrop campers; seasonal campers and short termers with larger rigs must use their own facilities.

You're near the Vermont border and Connecticut river with boating and hiking opportunities nearby, or you could just stay put and enjoy the brook and amenities the campground has to offer.

Verizon coverage varies 1-3 bars

Quiet riverside campground

I've stayed here 3 times now, once for just a quick overnight and twice for full weekends. It tends to be quiet due to restrictions against playing music outside your tent/trailer. There are also few, if any, seasonal campers - I think those are probably in the field around the pool as the site numbers do not appear on the campground map. It is now open year round, but I don't know what the facilities are like in the off-season.

Many of the sites offer water and electric, but a number of them do not. A few offer sewer. The campground is located along the river, but not all sites have easy access to the river, making it something pretty to look at, but harder to get to. Sites are generally level with easy access. You do need to call to make reservations, which in this day and age drives me crazy. If you have more than one vehicle, the second one needs to park in a separate lot and there is a daily fee.

The pool and large playground offer entertainment options for the kids; there's also a volleyball net. There is cell phone coverage at the campground (Verizon), but if you are going very far afield, consider downloading necessary maps and information before you go. When you get into the Notches, cell phone coverage is poor to absent.

The camp store has souvenirs, clothing, and a variety of food and camp supplies. There's a restaurant on site with picnic tables out front or you can get it to go and take it to your campsite. If you need something else, Fosters' Crossroads is just around the corner and offers an even greater variety as well as gas. Yayas Market and Deli is another option a short distance north on Rt 3. 

Activities abound in the area, offering everything from hiking, biking, wildlife watching, or a cog railway trip up Mt Washington. Franconia Notch is 15 minutes south, where you can do a family friendly hike to Artists Bluff or Lonesome Lake or something more rigorous and classic (if well equipped) to Franconia or Kinsman Ridges. The Sugarloafs and hikes to Zealand Hut are also family friendly and just up the road. Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge offers access to the Presidential Rail Trail and wildlife watching. Catch a sunset or a brilliant night sky from the scenic view pull-off on 115 (near Sunset Paradise Rd), just a 10 minute drive from the campground.

Beautiful beach for those hot summer days

Friends told me about this little gem in north central Massachusetts, not far from Rt 2. The big draw here is the pond, with the public beach on one side and lined with private cabins on the other.  Swimming, boating, fishing, and hiking will keep you busy. There's a separate boat launch at the far end of the road from the beach.

There are only 27 sites, but in 2020 many of the ones served by composting toilets are closed. You need reservations in advance. Fees in 2020 are only $17 for MA residents, but $55 for out-of-staters.

Campsites are laid out in a linear fashion along a one-way road that leaves from the parking area. It's a bit of an uphill hike from the beach to the campsites. Sites are large, wooded, generally level. It was quiet with a lot of families. I took site pictures, but for the closed sites, the numbers were not posted.

Download your maps for offline use! Cell connection was horrible heading up here.

sunny or wooded sites, quiet with ponds and trails

This state forest campground offers large sites, some of them on a grassy open area or tucked into the woods. They also offer 4 cabins, though under 2020 coronavirus precautions, these are unavailable. They do offer views of ponds. 

Bathrooms, including showers, are clean and checked a couple of times/day. I was here on a holiday weekend and it was quiet with a few vacant sites, unlike nearby Mohawk Trail that was packed. It has a small pond with swimming beach and a couple was just pulling their kayak out when I arrived. 

Bear boxes are provided, but I question how serious they are about the bear problem because the dumpster was not at all secure. Fires are allowed and firewood is for sale at the office. No hookups, but a dumping station. 

I was in site 34, which is straight ahead at the entrance. It's a large, grassy site with trees separating you from the road and dumping station, The trees block the morning sun. The sites on the outside of the loop are shaded, but most of the ones toward the middle are open and grassy

I had a flicking bar of coverage at the high point of the campground on Verizon, but all you MIGHT be able to do is text. Head toward Florida, MA on Rt 2 and at the height of land(shortly before you reach the Elk monument), you'll have good coverage. If you forgot anything, run into North Adams for grocery stores or Walmart.

Google Maps will often take you down a bumpy dirt road….stick to Rt 2 as long as possible if you're coming from that direction! This campground provides a nice base if  you're in the area for a while and want to explore North Adams, Mt. Greylock, or rafting/tubing out of Charlemont. Each of these places is 20-45 minutes away.

Note: with 2020 coronavirus restrictions, reservations must be made in advance. Out of state guests will pay a significantly higher fee.

Beautiful hike-in campground in a busy state park

First - this is closed for the 2020 camping season due to Covid 19.  Also, NOT to be confused with Mt Greylock Campsite Park, which is a private campground with hook-ups outside the park.

The Sperry Road campground offers a mixture of group and individual campsites as a reward for a short hike from the campers parking lot or down Sperry Rd. During the winter you can access it via snowmobile or skis. Sites are large and generally secluded, each offering a bear box set apart from the campsite itself as black bears live in the park. There are a one or more clean, centrally located composting toilets in each section.  The Chimney Group site provides a large lean-to, a nice respite if you're caught on a rainy weekend! Upper Group and Stoney Ledge also have lean-tos. The group sites accommodate 5-12 people. There's a large picnic pavilion midway through the campground, too. 

The campsite numbers are on the bear boxes. 

Depending on the time of year, there are a couple of nearby waterfalls a short hike from the campground. Trails also leave here and head to the summit of Greylock or to the Stony Ledge Overlook.

Small quiet campground near a lake & Mt Greylock

Finally ventured out for a camping trip in this curious season and was delighted to find Bonnie Brae Campground in the Berkshires. It's a compact,clean campground tucked at the end of a quiet neighborhood street, within walking distance to a lake. Many of the RV site are occupied by seasonal campers, and the sites are well-kept. Some of the sites have platforms. This side of the campground was quiet most of the time. The tent and cabin loop circle around the pool area and although you could hear more conversation and noise from this section, everyone was respectful of quiet hours. They also offer a number of cabins for rent with AC and small refrigerator, but no bathrooms. The bathrooms are small, but very clean. They wouldn't meet ADA standards, but there are no drips, stains, or dirt and they seem to check in a couple of times a day to clean up if needed. The pool is now open (delayed this year due to COVID-19) and the kids in particular enjoyed it. You can add a firewood purchase to your reservation and they'll deliver it to your site. 

I was in site 28 with a teardrop camper. I could have used leveling blocks because it was hard to find a great spot that was level side to side. Sites 27 & 29 each seemed a little more level and 29 was larger.

Pontoosuc Lake is a short walk away; there are boat rentals available and I saw a number of people fishing from Pontoosuc Park just above the dam. There's a rail trail nearby and Mt Greylock State Reservation offers numerous hiking opportunities 11 miles to the north.

Rustic, urban campground on the water, near Boston

This campground offers basic campsites, with electric available on RV sites. Many of the RV sites are located in the main parking lot; others are in a field just to the right of the entrance. Tent sites tend to be grassy, but not all offer parking on site, so choose carefully. They do not permit tents on RV sites and vice versa. None of the sites offer much privacy. You can explore the beach, launch a boat (paddle or motor), catch a sunrise, or explore the remnants of Fort Pickering. There's a trail around the park with markers, but they're not well maintained. Stay here if you want to be near the water or explore the region. FYI - the dump station is not on site; ask at the office about arrangements for this.

I'm often asked about the best place to camp when visiting Boston and options are limited close to the city. This is one of two campgrounds located <25 miles from Boston with good commute options into the city. If you choose to drive, beware that traffic is a nightmare and parking expensive, but if you have a group that may price out to be less expensive than the commuter rail. The commuter rail is 2 miles from the campground and during peak season a shuttle runs between the campground and Salem.There's a high speed catamaran that runs to and from Boston (though stopped due to CoviD-19 in 2020), but it's expensive. The MBTA offers a special weekend commuter rail pass with their online app. 

Salem offers plenty of sightseeing options, including the National Park Service Salem Maritime NHS, the House of 7 Gables, Peabody Essex Museum, and the Salem Witch Museum. Farther afield, the seacoast towns are worth exploring and you can catch a whale watch out of Gloucester.

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.