Our Favorite Campgrounds in New England

Camping is a great way to spend a weekend or a vacation.  There is certainly no shortage of campgrounds to choose from in New England, and with a range from rustic to luxurious, there is something to meet the needs of every family or group.  The end of summer / early fall is a great time to get some time outside, enjoy a day of recreation and an evening around a campfire, before we bundle up for winter.

Pawtuckaway State Park

Nottingham, NH

This NH state park, located just 40 minutes from Portsmouth on a 5,000 acre preserve is the perfect getaway for a classic camping experience.  The state park offers private, wooded sites, many of which are along the lake. 

The best thing about a camping trip at Pawtuckaway is there are plenty of activities in the park.  Once you arrive, there is no reason to leaving during your stay. 

The lake has a playground, picnic and BBQ area, along with a roped off swimming section that is staffed by a lifeguard.  There are kayak and canoe rentals and opportunities to fish.

The extensive trail network offers terrain that can be enjoyed by novice and expert hikers and bikers.  A 2.4 mile hike will lead you to the Mountaintop Fire Tower, which offers sweeping views, or a walk on the Fundy Trail will lead you through marshes where you are likely to spot deer, beavers, or blue herons. You can also walk in to Boulder Field and explore the glacier erratics (huge boulders) deposited during the last Ice Age.

Check out the park features at https://www.nhstateparks.org/visit/state-parks/pawtuckaway-state-park.aspx and visit Reserve America to book a campsite https://www.reserveamerica.com/welcome.do.

Stephen Philips Memorial Preserve Wilderness Camping

Oquossoc, ME

The 60+ campsites located on the 6000+ acre preserve on Mooselookmeguntic Lake are all waterfront campsites, including mainland and island sites.  This is primitive camping; there are no RV’s allowed and there is no electricity.  This serene location offers you and your friends / family a true opportunity to unplug. 

There are many nearby attractions to enjoy during your stay.  A stop on your travels at the height of land overlook between Rangeley and Mooselookmeguntic Lake offers sweeping views.  The area has many waterfalls, including the most popular Angel and Small Falls.  Head out and hike Bald Mountain, which will reward you with more incredible views.  On hot days, a visit to Coos Canyon is a great option as there are plenty of places to go for a swim.  Of course, there is plenty of boating to be done on the lake as well.

Visit http://www.stephenphillipswildernesscamping.com/campsites.html for more information on the campsites and http://mainelakesandmountains.com/story/rangeley-lakes/vtm2567C5A47A29C7E31 for more information on activities in the area.

Bear Creek Campground

Bristol, CT

Bear Creek Campground, which is part of Lake Compounce, is in its 4th season of operation.  They offer modern facilities and plenty of camping amenities, including a variety of lodging options such as tent sites, RV sites, cub huts, teepees, and cabins.  There are activities at the campground surrounding the weekly theme, such as Christmas in July, Olympics, or Luau. 

Lake Compounce is a theme park destination for all ages.  It has plenty of rollercoasters and thrill rides, such as the Phobia Phear Coaster, New England’s first triple launch coaster.  There are also water rides and a kiddie zone featuring a carousel, bumper cars, and a kiddie coaster.  A visit to Lake Compounce is not complete without seeing a show.  Check out Funky Fairytales or Crank up the Cove with DJ Scratch That.  The town of Bristol also has museums to visit such as the American Clock and Watch Museum, NE Carousel Museum, and Imagine Nation (children’s museum). 

For campground information, visit https://www.lakecompounce.com/bearcreek and area information, visit https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g33728-Activities-Bristol_Connecticut.html.

These three campgrounds don’t even scratch the surface of camping opportunities in NE.  There is so much out there in our own background, so go online and find out what is available near you!