New England offers a variety of recreation opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Couples and families seeking outdoor adventure often spend their free time camping at one of the region’s many campgrounds. Whether you prefer to rough it in a tent or take it easy in an RV, New England’s campgrounds provide an array of activities including hiking trails through the state's breathtaking mountains, a seaside respite in Connecticut or Rhode Island, and a taste of history in Massachusetts.
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Connecticut: Hammonasset Beach State Park
Hammonasset Beach State Park, one of Connecticut’s most popular summertime recreations areas, boasts more than two miles of rustic New England shoreline. Enjoy a day at the beach, or take advantage of the park’s 550 grassy campsites or eight rustic log cabins and spend a weekend. Tents, RVs and small campers are welcome from Memorial Day through Columbus Day with advance reservations. Amenities include an on-site camp store, dumping station, bathrooms, and showers. The campgrounds do not provide fireplaces and do not allow pets.
The park offers miles of hiking, biking and walking trails, a nature center at Meig’s Point, beachside concession stands and bathrooms, showers, a boardwalk, boat launch, picnic areas with picnic tables and shelters, sandy beaches, swimming, lifeguards, and fishing. In case of inclement weather, take advantage of one of the area’s restaurants located just outside the park.
Hammonasset Beach State Park William F. Miller Campground 1288 Boston Post Rd. Madison, CT 203-245-1817 ct.gov
Massachusetts: Cape Ann Camp Site
Immerse yourself in both nature and history with a camping vacation in the historic seaport of Gloucester. Cape Ann Camp Site, family-owned since 1949, prides itself on establishing its 200 campsites around nature rather than in it. The camp welcomes tents, campers, RVs, and big rigs to its grounds. Choose from a shade-loving spot in the woods or a sunny spot overlooking the water. All camp sites come fully equipped with a rock fireplace, picnic table and Wi-Fi Internet access. It also features six toilet and shower buildings, as well as a small camp store stocked with ice and wood.
Venture out of the campgrounds to enjoy a whale-watching tour or day at the beach in Gloucester or shopping and dining in nearby Rockport. Learn the history of the witch trials in Salem, or make the 30-mile drive to historic Boston.
Advance reservations are recommended. Cape Ann Camp Site is pet-friendly, although restrictions may apply.
Cape Ann Camp Site 80 Atlantic St. Gloucester, MA 01930 978-283-8683 capeanncampsite.com
Rhode Island: Worden Pond Family Campground
Worden Pond Family Campground offers wooded nature trails as well as plenty of fresh- and salt-water activities. Many campers spend their days at nearby Misquamicut Beach State Park, known for its large, crashing waves, before taking a refreshing dip in Worden Pond, Rhode Island’s largest freshwater pond.
The campground offers 200 wooded sites that can accommodate everything from family tents to large RVs. Camping sites are equipped with stone fire rings, picnic tables and running water. Property amenities include a camp store, shower and toilet facilities, covered central picnic area, large barn with game room, basketball courts, playgrounds, horseshoe pits, and volleyball courts.
Worden Pond Family Campground 416A Worden Pond Rd. Wakefield, RI 02879 401-789-9113 wordenpondcampground.com
New Hampshire: Pillsbury State Park
When Lafe Low, author of “The Best in Tent Camping: New England,” visited Pillsbury State Park, his first thought was “Do I really want to tell anyone else about this place?” Pillsbury is one of the lesser-known parks in New Hampshire’s state park system, but visitors consider it a gem. The site is heavily wooded and filled with sparkling ponds and nature-filled wetlands. A large network of walking, hiking and biking trails, including the 51-mile hiking trail connecting Mount Monadnock with Mount Sunapee, makes this a nature-lover’s paradise.
The park offers 35 camping sites, of which some are restricted to tents only. Sites are rustic with no electricity in the office, and water spigots and pit toilets or out houses are available for guests. Each site is supplied with a fire ring, and first aid supplies are available at the camp office or the nearby Ranger Station. The facility offers boating, fishing and hiking, with picnic and playground areas available. Pets are permitted. Reservations are recommended.
Pillsbury State Park Off Route 31 Washington, NH 03280 603-863-2860 nhstateparks.org