Okay so. My friend and I were desperately looking for a place to spend the weekend, and with Covid making it a little more difficult to rely on walking in and finding a campsite, we made a blind reservation for site 8 on Grout pond. Here's what we wish we knew before hand:
Although BEAUTIFUL, the first campsites are a bit of a haul. Getting to the campground alone was crazy- dirt roads and very deep potholes that you can just barely avoid. Our site was a half a mile away from the lot, and while this wasn't a problem, we would have packed completely different if we had known we would have to be hauling all our stuff that far in. the alternative is to boat in which wasn't an option for us but seems like the least strenuous way to go!
The path is VERY muddy. I cannot imagine traversing it in the rain without full on boots. totally trashed my sneakers(no biggie) but just a good thing to keep in mind! Although boasting food lockers (To keep the bears away) There were none at any sites. this increased the amount of trips to the car to ensure everyones safety against (And for) those pesky (And adorable) black bears. Again, no biggie, just good to know.
The bathroom(Yes, one bathroom) was horrendous. it went days without any attempt of cleaning or restocking. There were two days where we just had to bring in our own TP. Highly suggest bringing your own TP just in case and also making sure you don't skip leg day(Squats for days, you don't want to be touching that toilet seat in this climate!)
BRING BUG SPRAY. We were there in late May and the bugs ate us alive. It was miserable. Smoke seemed to work the best, so we just kept a smoke fire going while we were at the campsite and bathed in OFF when we weren't.
Despite these things, the campground was breathtakingly beautiful, peaceful and private! we loved our site so much, it was HUGE! My dog had an absolute blast swimming and playing catch at the site. We didn't need to leave because it was exactly where we wanted to be, could have looked at those views all day.
(Check out Sticky Fingers cafe about thirty minutes away for the best baked goods, coffee and friendly faces!!)
This was a delightful experience. The man who owns the grounds lives on property and is very attentive and helpful. All of the amenities were shut down due to Covid- so you have to be self contained at this point. Close drive to the lake and beach passes are provided with the stay. Nice wooded spaces, perfect for hammocks. Quiet and pushed back into the woods- would for sure recommend!
Be sure to check our lone wolf brewery for a dog friendly, safe outdoor experience!
This was a very nice campground. Our particular site was a little on the small side, without much greenery to separate from the other sites but the weather was horrible so we spent most of our time inside playing games anyway. The restrooms and showers were very clean! The people who run this spot are nothing but friendly and helpful. There was a short but very nice nature trail within the grounds. There are also full hookups for those with RVs. The tent sites looked very nice and more private, but not sure about hookups in those spots.
There are many things to do close by- a lot of bay side beaches, coffee shops and a wonderful bike trail. Nickerson is right down the street as well which opens up a lot of recreation options.
Would totally recommend and would stay here again.
Review for Blackwoods campground.
We trekked up from Rhode Island to Acadia and had every intent on staying at seawall. However, once we made the 7 hour drive, we decided to stay somewhere a little closer to where we intended on hiking. Blackwoods campground is a wonderful option for those of you interested in hanging around bar harbor or hiking the Beehive trail. The campground itself is wonderfully cared for and we were very pleased to be able to come right in without a reservation. It gets super busy on weekends and in season so a reservation is suggested. Bathrooms are clean, there is a dish water dump station, potable water sources throughout and dumpsters to keep trash out of your site. You also cant beat that public transportation (thanks LL Bean!) It allows you to keep the car at the site if you want and pick up a bus at pretty much all trailheads. The rangers at Blackwoods were very knowledgable and friendly. Thanks for a perfect couple of days, Acadia!
Gear Review of Morsel at Blackwoods Campground
If you guys have read my other reviews, generally i get gear that i never really would have gotten otherwise. Dont get me wrong, its always amazing stuff, but this was the first practical review i have conducted where i have truly felt like “where the heck has this been my whole life??”
These hyper-utensils are not just a spork. They are a fork, spoon, knife and serving spoon, or chili stirrer, or package opener. This was truly the only thing we needed as far as utensils went, and all four of us were very happy. My husband is a chef and makes some pretty elaborate camping meals. These morsels held up and threw down. And (perhaps most importantly) they were a breeze to clean!! I will be getting more in the future, i am five star pleased with this wonderful product. Get your own here- available in two sizes! https://morselspork.com
Ranger review: GCI at Brookside Campground
CAMPGROUND REVIEW We ended up at this campground because the family we were traveling with needed to accommodate their 50 foot camper. As a rule of thumb- I try to visit as little RV parks as I can, but we were trying to find somewhere that would accommodate both of our needs.
While it is true that this campground does specialize in large groups and is one of the only places in the area that will host a rig as big as my uncles, that was about the only thing it had going for it.
Grounds were dilapidated. It was like they had too much to handle. The lawn was overgrown at our site, the bathrooms were always in need of something… it was just a glorified trailer park.
I will say that the spots were spacious, particularly pertaining to tent sites. However- the brook that the campground is named after is mostly stagnant. So prepare for an abundance of mosquitos!
Another perk is the location. It was really nice to be right near The Catskills. However, I will most definitely be taking advantage of the smaller and quieter campgrounds around.
Would recommend for: people with big rigs. Large groups with children. The sports “complex” and pool actually looked very nice and well maintained. There were kids everywhere.
RANGER REVIEW ON… GCI OUTDOOR CHAIRS
So if you’ve been keeping up with my ranger reviews, you know I am always very pleasantly surprised by the things I’ve gotten the opportunity to test out that I never knew I needed. Camping Chairs were actually on my list of things to acquire this year for our trips, so I was psyched (as usual) when I found out GCI Outdoors would be what I got to check out.
I purchased the “Eazy” chair and the Roadtrip Rocker.
So first, the Eazy chair. It’s a good looking chair that comes packed away in a pouch that slings over your shoulder. It’s pretty heavy, but we happened to be car camping this time around so that wasn’t a big deal. The arm rests are sturdy, the chair is comfortable to sit in.
The Roadtrip rocker I was really excited about. And the thing is pretty awesome. The patented hydrolics is pretty nifty and it’s really neat how it works. I was surprised to find that it packed so easily into its sack, and has a sling so that you can carry it where you need to go.
Grab your own here:
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!
This spot is an absolute gem of a campground. Not only does it have hot showers (that are free!), clean bathrooms, and spacious sites, but the owner is the nicest lady who is extremely knowledgeable about the area. The spots were all affordable and set up as first come first serve, and they have some awesome hammock trees (which is how we like to spend our nights.) There was an adorable sitting area outside of the shower house with a fire place and a horseshoe pit for entertainment. My dog was welcomed and she enjoied the giant site we were at. There is a small store at the check-in desk and a ton of wood to choose from for the campfires at night. We were so happy and felt safe and got a great night sleep for our 4kfooter in the morning!
-Campground review- What can i say about this lovely state park campground? Totally beautiful, private spots, pit toilets and a night sky to die for! The rangers are extremely helpful and very friendly. The sites are pretty well priced- all they had left for us were Lean-to sites which were 27/night. No complaints here! We set our tent right up in the Lean-to and enjoyed the quiet. We stayed in the group site because everything else was packed. They ask that you limit your driving on the path to the site- so we were sure to go into town to get all we needed before we settled into camp- which wasnt hard to do. A 40 minute drive brings you to Stowe, which has breweries, places to grab food and some awesome rock climbing spots! A short walk from the group campsite takes you straight to various (amazing!) hiking trails.
This place had everything we could have wanted for our weekend spent in Vermont. Highly recommend it!!
-MOUNTAIN HOUSE RANGER REVIEW- So, as with all my Gear reviews, I have a disclaimer.
I don’t like weird food. I just recently stopped ordering “chicken fingers” from restaurants my husband and I visit. I like predictable camp food- hot dogs, burgers, frito pie. So getting “turkey casserole” in a ziplock bag wasn’t exactly something I was thrilled about.
However- we do a lot of backpacking. And honestly, I’m tired of eating snicker bars for dinner, so I though this review might broaden my horizons for some delicious, lightweight, easy to make backpacking food.
THANK YOU mountain house for making this oddly delicious space food that with a cup to boiling water (and about 7 minutes) turns into thanksgiving dinner!! The process is so easy and quick, the food itself is virtually weightless (so perfect for lightweight backpacking) and I would never be able to tell it had been rehydrated. The stuffing was delicious, the turkey was moist… just wow.
Backpackers and campers— get your hands on this magic stuff here:
-CAMPGROUND REVIEW- I was pleasantly surprised when we pulled into this campground. It accomadates to all, without being too showy. There are cabins you can rent and full RV hookup sites as well if that’s what you’re interested in. I was particularly interested in the primitive tent site. This is only a 45 second walk from the provided parking area- and well worth it for the privacy and seclusion. There is one bathroom in the campground- one men’s shower and one woman’s shower. I wouldn’t say it was stellar in cleanliness- but it wasn’t disgusting by any means either. For the tent and primitive sites there are two portable bathrooms- one was better than the other. The guy who runs it is super nice and accommodating- even letting us have a fire with our family in one of the easier to get to camp sitesp so that my grandparents could enjoy a nice campfire.
The campsites were as a whole pretty close together- we went midweek and before their peak season so there wasn’t really anyone else around, but could see it being less than desirable to stay here in the on season. It gets pretty busy in the on season. Would highly recommend the primitive tentsite or site 17 for optimal privacy (especially in the on season.)
-GEAR REVIEW- Being a Ranger for the Dyrt, I get to test out some killer equipment from the best guys out there. This time was no exception. The Renogy Water Filturation system is probably not something I would have ever thought I needed. I’m one of those people who carelessly drinks out of any body of water as long as it seems to be moving fast enough. While I’ve never had any problems in the past- it’s always a stress in the back of my mind. What if I have some kind of parasite living inside me just waiting to come out and kill me? What if on my backpacking trip I drink stream water and end up pooping myself because of contracting giardia? Real worries.
Renogy has changed all this though- because now- I know I’m only getting purified water. This filter easy to use and put together, very minimalistic, and light as a feather. It for sure will simplify my backpacking trips from now on (I usually pack two or three gallons- which as you can imagine gets pretty heavy.) It comes with the purification system, two tubes, a suringe for cleaning out the filter and a few replacement parts. It all fits in its little pouch.
Going to go ahead and give this a 5 star rating. Thanks Renogy! Grab your own here- https://www.renogy.com/renogy-portable-outdoor-water-filter/
Came to Nickerson with the knowledge that it's not like the places I usually like to stay. Family friendly, accessible sites, grounds bigger than the town I live in… not exactly what I look for in a Campground. I was pleasantly surprised! Because I came later in the season (the Campground is closed after September 30) and midweek, I was treated to quiet seclusion in a very nice little walk in site down by the pond.
I am told that this place place fills up FAST in the summer-- so a reservation is usually smart.
The bathrooms were not what I would call clean (thus the missing star), but they were functional. Unlimited (and FREE) hot showers can be found in area 2 of the park. The bike system in this Campground is truly awesome and allows access to the whole park- great place for a good ride!
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get to test out some pretty sweet gear on my camping adventures. This time did not fail. If I'm being honest-- I'm the girl who only uses the flashlight that can be found swiping up on my phone. I never really understood the need for a legit flashlight. The LEDlenser M10 may have rocked my world a little bit- here's why:
First of all-- the thing is the perfect size. Not cumbersome at all. I especially appreciated the clips on it-- they held tight on my shorts and i didn't loose it the whole trip, which gives it two thumbs up in my book. I lose everything.
Second of all-- It has three adjustable illumination levels. I'm talking a reading light, a looking for your dog in the dark without blinding your neighbors light and even a extremely bright trying to find the next trail marker in the pitch dark light. (As a backpacker, I find all of these extremely useful!)
Third, it holds its batteries very well. I never had to worry about it dying on me, and with the rechargeable battery, it's an easy plug in to ensure it never runs out.
I never thought I'd be so excited about a flashlight-- but the M10 is pretty sweet.
The cool part about visiting Shenandoah is nobody has really caught on to how neat the park really is. It sees the least amount of tourists per year, which is a shame, but also allows you to pretty much own the park while you're here!
I've stayed in every Campground at least once here- and I can now honestly say that Loft is the one I will exclusively be setting up at from now on. They have the mountain views, the option of total seclusion or more accessible spots, and some really clean showers and bathrooms. The sites are cheap enough along with being pretty large.
The only negative thing I would have to say is the picnic tables were totally rotted out- but we brought a table cloth to hide it and there were rangers inspecting the tables while we were there to replace them- so this shouldn't be a problem for long.
Our site backed right up to the apalachian trail. There were some extremely breathtaking places to watch the sunset (west facing makes for less impressive sunrises, but we take what we can get.) and you could also walk to quite a few hikes without much trouble!
Showers are hot and steamy- and will only cost you 1.75. The wood is freakishly expensive at 7 bucks a bundle- but you're not allowed to bring wood from other places so it's just one of those things.
Loved my stay at the park as usual- even got to see a few bears lumber through our campsite!
Campground Review: So I would like to start by saying that camping here was not the original plan. We had a backcountry trip that we sadly underprepared for (ran into about three feet of snow right at the beginning of the trail and finally decided to come back when either it's a little warmer or we're a little more prepared. Whatever comes first.)
So we trucked our old, three season boots back to the car and hit the dilemma of where to set up for the night. Luckily -- we were only about ten minutes from one of our favorite campgrounds in New Hampshire. Let me tell you why we like it so much.
First of all- it's first come first serve and only open to the tenting community. This weeds out most screaming children, humming generators, and loud TVs. It's also a pack in- you have to carry your stuff to whatever spot you choose. Generally it's not that much of a hike. We prefer to go as far away from the lot as possible for maximum seclusion, but that didn't happen for us this time around because of all the hardcore early spring campers.
The best part of this camping ground is its views. On a clear night, you can see a ton of stars encompassing around you- the only light pollution coming from you and your fellow campers fire. The river flows right through the campground and makes for some excellent ambiance. Five star for about 12 of the camp spots. The other ones have access to the river but are not directly on top of it.
There are only pit toilets, but there is potable water just at the top of the campground. The fee per night is 24- which it worth it in my opinion because of the spectacular surroundings.
If you want to be close to a ton of great hiking trails, right on the Kancamagus highway for pretty cheap- this is your spot. The friendly campers are just extra.
GRAND TRUNK REVIEW:
As an official Dyrt ranger, I get to test out some awesome gear. So now let's talk about this amazing hammock. The only problem I had with the thing was committing to a color. They've got color combos, patterns and even state flags, which is pretty cool. I went with the turquoise with the Bright orange Trunk straps- and I was extremely pleased with how brilliant the colors look together.
I was a little confused with picking out the tent because I've only ever had ones that come with pretty much everything- but the Grand Trunks are a little different. They come with two carabiners- and the Trunk Straps you can add on (and I would totally recommend this unless you can magaiver something yourself.) each strap can withstand 200 pounds. I got the open double hammock.
This hammock is more than likely intended for warm day use- the fabric is very breathable, which makes it a great choice for hanging out at the beach or at your camp after a nice day. But I wanted to test its limits a little further- so I decided I would spend the 30 degree New England night in the hammock to see how it held up.
Best night sleep of my life! I put a buffer blanket under my sleeping bag just for some extra protection from the cool air coming up, but me and my Dog Sadie slept soundly, warmly and comfortably in our big bright Grand Trunk hammock. Not to mention safely- those trunk straps are so secure! My friend has a four season sleeper hammock and had to go inside the car at 2:30 AM because she was too cold- and her hammock is MADE for that purpose! I was definitely proud of my gear- which is very important to me.
It's also pretty packable. The straps come in a different package- but There's enough room to consolidate into the hammocks main stuffer pouch (especially for backpacking like we were planning). If I had one criticism it would be that the hammock is kind of heavy compared to the ones I've had before. But they also don't have the hardware that Grand Trunk offers or the weight capacity- so I guess it's just a trade off. Totally fair.
All in all- I'm so happy to have been given the opportunity to test this company out and give it a 5 out of 5 ranger review. The hammock did great in below freezing weather, is easy to set up, jazzes my campsite right up and most importantly- My dog loves it. Will most certainly be recommending it to my Friends. Grab your own Hammock Here:
This place wasn't as bad as we thought it was going to be. The guy running the place was so nice!! But… There were a few really hilariously creepy things that happened. Like a naked homeless guy getting chased out of the pool. And a bunch of wild raccoons wrestling outside our tent and eventually being chased off by a very enthusiastic RV guy. It wasn't like we felt unsafe or unclean… Just a lot of interesting people around to make our overnight stay amusing!
We were looking for a place to camp for the night before we did dix mountain. It was a really pretty area but hard to find anything. Ended up finding it and it was closed for the season which was disappointing.
Very dog friendly-- I found the trails pretty confusing- we went in circles a lot which was confusing and frustrating. But it was a beautiful park!
Loved this campground! It was clean, great views, close to trails and easy bus system! The hoodoos are so neat- it was nice to see them at all times of the day and against the brilliant night sky!
Let me first say that I am not an all the frills camper. In fact the less amenities, humans, post markers the better for me. I like solitude, feeling like you're in the wild. I like to be close to nature. This place-- it did not look appealing. It looked like an old RV resort with people who had been there for months. And honestly-- that's exactly what it is. I live in Rhode Island. I have been to this campground 4 times and will continue to come back. Gail (the owner) is awesome. She always sets us up with the grassiest knoll she has. And she always reminds us that for only 5extra Bucks we can switch to a cabin. And she always leaves the cabin open at night just in case a storm rolls through. The hot tub and community fire pit/grill is a great place to meet up with your neighbors for the night and talk about their travels. We have met some pretty amazing people at this little pit. There are even showers- which after being in the backcountry for four nights we welcomed. But the BEST part of this place is its within walking distance to Kanarraville Falls. Trust me. Look it up.
This was a very pleasant stay with beautiful views and privacy. We especially enjoied seeing the wolves-- it was really neat and definetly a draw to the area (you can hike from the campsite to the preserve).
We really loved this little spot! It appealed to all of what we were looking for, our camp host was awesome. There was even a dog park within walking distance- a lot of trails to explore too. No showers and the Porto potties weren't the cleanest… But they were functional. Very hospitable locals- we were invited to a square dancing party that evening in the park! Very comfy and safe.
We are never really looking for much out of a campground on the way back home after being out west for a month. Just a place to set up, preferably with enough space between other campers. We love when we can hang our hammocks and when there's a place for our pups to cool off and swim around. This place had all of that-- plus showers! Very private, camp hosts were sweet and helpful and there were a ton of little produce carts around (mostly veggies- corn, tomatoes, cukes ect) which was really awesome to add a local feel to our dinner that night. Would totally recommend this place!