|Tent & RV Camping in New England|
|New England has many campgrounds in local, state, and national parks and forests, and on private land. Some are primitive, some verge on the luxurious.|
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.
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—by Tom Brosnahan