It is usually easy to find a vacant campsite on weekdays in late spring and early autumn (when schools are in session), but weekends in these seasons may be as crowded as summer.
Fees for using public campsites range from $18 to $35 per site.
Reservations can be made at some public and virtually all private campsites; usually you must send a deposit to secure the reservation.
If you don't (or can't) reserve in advance, plan to arrive early on a weekday to find and hold a spot. For weekends, arrive by mid-morning Friday or, even better, Thursday afternoon.
One strategy, used by frequent campers, is to send one or two people to claim a campsite early in the day, with others following later. This may work at some sites, but others, such as the extraordinarily popular Nicholson State Park on Cape Cod, are fully booked weeks or months in advance.
Campsites in public parks are usually basic and simple, consisting of a place to park your car, a picnic table, a stone fireplace (if fires are permitted), and flat ground upon which to pitch a tent. Some public campsites have facilities for hot showers; most have at least sinks with hot and cold water, and flush toilets.
Some forest campsites are very basic, with just parking places, tent sites, a drinking water tap, and chemical or composting toilets.
Often there are commercial campgrounds near popular public (government-supported) ones; for example, there may be several commercial campgrounds just outside a state or national park which offers camping.
Commercial campgrounds tend to have less open space, fewer shade trees, more facilities, and higher fees.
Some commercial "resort" campgrounds have elaborate facilities such as children's playgrounds, swimming pools, game rooms, cable television and VCR movie rooms, lake swimming and boating facilities.
Virtually all commercial campgrounds provide hot showers and hook-ups (connections fo electrical, sewage & water services) for recreational vehicles and trailers (caravans). Fees can range from $25 to $50 or more, depending upon the number of people in your party, and the facilities used.
Among the ranks of hook-up-equipped parking slots at private campgrounds, there is usually a small grassy area set aside for the few tent campers who arrive by car, motorcycle or bicycle and who prefer to camp simply.
Beware of Ticks!
Whenever you're camping in forests, in meadows or fields, be aware of tick-borne illness.
Find Your Campground
Each New England state has both public campgrounds in state parks and forests, and private for-profit campgrounds.
The Association publishes a directory listing the locations and facilities of its member campgrounds. You can order a printed copy, or download a PDF version online. More...
Blackwoods Campground (306 campsites) and Seawall Campground (214 campsites) have basic facilities within the park. Several private campgrounds are outside the camp boundaries on Mount Desert Island.
The Bureau operates a dozen state-park campgrounds around the State of Maine, from Bradbury Mountain and Sebago Lake in the south to Aroostook far in the north. More...
The Department oversees 26 state-park and forest campgrounds all over Massachusetts, including the Berkshire Hills and Cape Cod—and even Boston. More...
New Hampshire has 19 state parks, detailed on the Division's useful website. More...
There are five state parks with campgrounds. Some have facilities, including hook-ups, for campervans, trailer campers, and motorhomes. More...
Association members operate nine campgrounds around the state. More...
The Green Mountain National Forest is divided into a North Half and a South Half, both of which have camping possibilities, and also cabins to rent.
Vermont State Parks operates nearly 50 campgrounds around the state, including developed sites for RVs, tent sites, remote campsites with limited facilities, and primitive sites with no facilities. They also rent cabins and cottages. More...
Representing over 100 campgrounds all around Vermont, the Association's website is the place to start to find a private campground in the state. More...