Camping isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but there’s definitely something to be said for starry skies, cool nights by the campfire, and lots of ooey-gooey smores. In this list, we’ve included a mix of full-featured camping spots (i.e. places with showers and toilets) and rustic sites (i.e. you’re going in the woods). Check out these awesome places to camp out around Massachusetts.
1. Horseneck Beach State Reservation, West Point
With over 100 campsites and lots of amenities like running water, picnic areas, showers, toilets, fire pit areas and a playground, Horseneck Beach State Reservation is a great place to pitch your tent. The reservation is also only steps away from Horseneck Beach and a quick drive to Provincetown. To make reservations, call (508)-636-8817.
2. Shawme-Crowell State Forest, Sandwich
Lots of space (700 acres, to be exact) combined with 15 miles of bike and walking trails makes this forest the perfect place for a woodland escape. This might be one of the best equipped campgrounds on this list (read: you won't be roughing it quite as much). There are plenty of showers and restrooms to go around. Cyclists will also appreciate the access to the Cape Cod Rail trail. 42 Main Street, Sandwich, (508) 888-0351.
3. Myles Standish State Forest, South Carver
You'll never be bored while camping in this state forest. With plenty of biking and hiking (15 miles of trails), lots of swimming and fishing (16 ponds), plus equestrian trails and many campsites to choose from, Myles Standish is a local favorite and definitely popular with visitors as well. Campsites usually feature flush toilets, showers, fire pit areas, picnic areas and a dumping station.
4. Nickerson State Park, Brewster
This place is covered in tall pines and dotted with charming freshwater ponds. There's plenty of kayaking, fishing, swimming, canoeing, hiking and biking to be had. One of Nickerson's biggest draws has to be how many amazing campsites there are – you have 403 to choose from! Check out the park's website for seasonal events and wilderness classes, too. Call (508) 896-3491 to make reservations.
5. Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area, Boston
When you plan a trip to the Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area, you get thirty-four islands to explore. That's serious bang for your buck. Ferry service to the islands is available from Boston harbor, and there are concession area on Spectacle and Georges Islands. Spending a day on a few islands is an excellent way to get to know the harbor area. The islands that permit overnight camping are Bumpkin, Grap, Lovells and Peddocks.
6. Wompatuck State Park, Hingham
Check out this park and take advantage of its convenient location and beautiful woods. It's just a 35-minute drive from downtown Boston, and offers 260 forested campsites, 12 miles of paved paths for hiking and biking, and lots of fishing and boating opportunities. Mt. Blue Spring also is a great place to bottle up some fresh, delicious drinking water. Out-of-state visitors must pay $14 per night, while the fee for Massachusetts residents is only $12.
7. Savoy Mountain State Forest, Florida
Located in the scenic woodlands of Florida (pro-tip: reserve your campground for the early fall; the foliage is stunning), Savoy Mountain State Forest is the perfect spot to bring the whole family. You can camp in one of 45 apple orchards, or book a few nights in one of the park's rental cabins. Visitors are also free to go mountain biking or cross-country skiing.
8. Harold Parker State Forest, Andover
Head to this state forest to check out over 3,000 acres of hemlock and white pine woodland. It's just 20 miles north of Boston, which makes it a great place to camp for a night before heading into the city for some urban fun. Featuring 89 campsites that aren't packed together so closely that you feel like you're on top of your neighbor, the park offers picnic tables and grills at each site. There are no electric or water hookups, however, so you'll definitely be roughing it here.
9. Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Falmouth
This protected swathe of coastal land offers 2,700 acres of marshland and beach to explore. Camping is primitive, with few amenities, but the sites (ten total) are absolutely beautiful and many sit close to the water.
10. Otter River State Forest, Baldwinville
Otter River was actually the first campground to be opened in a Massachusetts state park. Most of the park's 85 sites sit under a shady canopy of pine forest, though four are actually Yurt sites and three surround Beaman Pond. The pond offers some great swimming, the waters warming up pretty early in the summer season.
Have you gone camping at any of these awesome spots? What was your experience like?