Camping can be a great activity for young and old alike. It is a great way to get outdoors and up close and personal with Mother Nature. It is also a wonderful way to bring families together for shared activities and adventures.
Camping spans a broad spectrum from rustic wilderness and back-country camping, to camping in tents, huts or yurts, to camping in trailers, to camping in luxury motor homes. Whatever your choice, New England has a lot to offer for your next camping adventure. There are over 400 private campgrounds and over 150 campgrounds on public land in the six New England states. These campgrounds offer everything from tent sites to sites with full hookups.
Activities While Camping
- Horseback riding
- Canoeing, kayaking, and rafting
- Hunting and trapping
- Mountain Biking
- Rock & mineral collecting
- Wildlife viewing, photography
The websites for the state parks, National Forests, and National Parks are usually pretty good about letting you know which activities are available. See the “Camping Resources” section below for links to state park, National Forest, and National Park websites.
For those of you who like canoeing and kayaking remember that a great portion of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail runs through New England (Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine). If you are into sea kayaking, don’t forget the Maine Island Trail.
For hiking fans there are many wonderful long distance hiking trails in New England including over 700 miles of the Appalachian trail running through Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, and the 272 mile Long Trail in Vermont that is the nation’s oldest marked long distance trail. For more on New England’s long distance hiking trails see “Some Long Distance Hikes in New England“. These are, of course, in addition to the miles upon miles of hiking tails on state, federal, and private conservation land.
- With Pets
- Dump Stations
New England Campgrounds
Following find links to campgrounds in each of the six New England states. Included in each are private campgrounds, campgrounds within state parks, and campgrounds on Federal land such as National Parks and National Forests.
While there are campgrounds that are first come first-served, many can be reserved in advance and advanced reservations are highly recommended where available during the popular summer months. Below find links to reservations systems for campgrounds in New England.
- Maine Campground Reservations
- Recreation.gov may be used to reserve many campgrounds on Federal land (National Parks and National Forests).
- Reserve America can be used to reserve campgrounds in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, as well as Federal land, and many private campgrounds.
- Vermont State Parks Reservations
Camping With Pets
One of the great things about camping is that many campgrounds allow you to bring along your pets. Rules and restrictions do apply. Most require leashes of a certain length. Cleaning up after your pet is a must. Keeping your pet quiet so that they do not bother fellow campers is also important.
Following are the rules for pets in New England state parks:
- Connecticut State Parks
- Pets are not allowed in state park camping areas
- Pets are allowed in state forest campgrounds, 1 per site
- Pets are allowed in the Salt Rock Campground, 2 per site
- Maine State Parks
- Massachusetts State Parks
- While some Massachusetts State Parks allow pets, it is unclear if they are allowed in campgrounds.
- New Hampshire State Parks
- Rhode Island State Parks
- Pets (cats and dogs) are allowed in Rhode Island overnight campgrounds
- For more information see RI DEM Pet Policy
- Vermont State Parks
- Pets are allowed in all state park campgrounds except in day-use areas
- Pets must be on a leash of no more than 10 feet
- There is a pet fee
- For more information see pets
Pets in Acadia National Park
With some restrictions, pets are allowed in Acadia National Park. For Acadia’s rules for pets see Pets.
Pets in the Green Mountain National Forest
Pets are allowed with restrictions. See “Pets and Animals” in Law Enforcement – General Rules for more information.
Pets in the White Mountain National Forest
Dogs are allowed in White Mountain National Forest campgrounds. See their FAQ for more information.
Pets in Private Campgrounds
For private campgrounds you should consult the campground’s website or call them to find out what their pet policies are.
Following are some links to camping resources to help you plan your next New England camping adventure.
Trailers and RVs have grey water and black water waste water tanks. The grey water tanks collect the water from faucets and the shower. The black water tanks collect from the toilet. When trailer and RV camping you need to periodically empty these tanks. That is what a dump station is for. Following are links to dump stations in the six New England states:
Picture credits: The motorhome picture is used with the permission of El Monte RV Rentals.