Scenic Places to Go Camping in New England

Enjoy fall foliage and blissful solitude in New England
Enjoy fall foliage and blissful solitude in New England | © Rasvan ILIESCU / Alamy Stock Photo
Christopher Crosby

Channel your inner Thoreau and go off-grid – or at least out of the city – with a New England camping trip. Summer is nice, but fall – when the temperature stays warm during the day but the air clears and the forests become a painter’s palette – is the best time to go. These New England camping sites will help you forget work and the daily grind for a while.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

Recompence Shore

One of the best seaside campgrounds anywhere, this shoreline site is part of the Wolfe’s Neck Farm foundation. An eco-friendly, casual campground with 646 acres of tidal shorefront on Casco Bay, this area caters to tenters, although a few sites have hookups. Bicycles and kayaks are available for rent.

Stephen Phillips Memorial Preserve

Wilderness camping at its finest, watch wildlife or wade in the waters at this 6,000-acre (2,428ha) preserve on Mooselookmeguntic Lake in Rangeley. Swimming and paddling abound at the wooded campground, which features 67 mainland and island tent-only sites, each with picnic tables, fireplaces, and toilets.

Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land

© Jerry and Marcy Monkman/ / Alamy Stock Photo

Solitude. Cutler, the heart of Maine’s Bold Coast, is known for its miles of deserted, pine-carpeted rocky shores. Campers along here can pick between three permitted sites, which are reachable after a four- to five-mile hike. The sites are located near Fairy Head along the Coastal Trail, along a 12,234-acre (4,951ha) expanse of blueberry barrens, woodlands, and peatlands, with views of Grand Mahan Island and the Bay of Fundy. Be aware that no campfires are allowed.

Northern Waters Outfitters

Set near the untamed splendor of Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, Northern Waters Outfitters offers canoe trips and tent sets along two wild rivers. While the weather holds, the outfitters will take on canoeing, whitewater kayaking, and fishing trips, while hiking and snowshoeing dominate the winter activities.

George Washington Memorial Camping Area

© George Ostertag / Alamy Stock Photo

This primitive overnight campground, located on the shores of the Bowdish Reservoir, is never-crowded, but offers 45 tent sites over 100 wooded acres. The quiet, laid-back atmosphere extends to the beach but kayakers and canoeists are welcome.

Smugglers’ Notch State Park

© Rasvan ILIESCU / Alamy Stock Photo

Wedged in a cleft between 1,000ft (305m) cliffs in the Green Mountains, Vermont’s Smugglers’ Notch State Park is one of the state’s most popular campsites. Don’t let the scenic highway and daytrippers strolling to the spectacular Bingham Falls fool you: the New England campsite offers 20 overnight spots, three-quarters of which are lean-to sites. The Long Trail crosses the road here, and other trails wind to the summit at Sterling Pond, one of the state’s highest.

Riga Lean-to Campsite

© George Ostertag / Alamy Stock Photo

Itching to be alone? This Appalachian Trail lean-to shelter is set in an old growth Hemlock grove along a high plateau overlooking a valley bordering Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. Available by reservation only, the site can hold six people inside the cabin and another four on the platform. In June the mountain laurel bloom is spectacular and the site booked by through hikers. A nearby pump well and stream will provide water.

Martha’s Vineyard Family Campground

© Clarence Holmes Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

As though quaint charm and miles of secluded, idyllic beaches weren’t enough, this is the only campground on Martha’s Vineyard and caters to tenters and motorhomes alike. The campground has full amenities, and a few one- and two-bedroom cabins are available to rent. Cycle along 75mi (121km) of sun-splashed paths (there are rentals), take the car on a bucolic drive, or island-hop on the ferry.

Savoy Mountain State Forest Campground

© Yakoniva / Alamy Stock Photo

Orchard or woods, tent campers are in paradise at this private spot in the Berkshires. Hikers are spoilt with 50mi (80km) of trails, including a 3.5mi (5km) roundtrip to the top of Tannery Falls. Dogs are allowed, and if you want a solid footing beneath your back at night there are cabins for rent.

Woods Island State Park

Stay on your own island. This is where everything disappears and you can really get away (so leave your phone, or at least take a good Instagram shot). One mile long and a quarter-mile wide, the 125-acre (51ha) Woods Island in Lake Champlain has five private campsites spread out along the shore. There’s no ferry service to the island, so visitors have to make their own arrangements or hire from two local water taxi providers (note, there are no docks either). Facilities are minimal, and bring water. Camping by reservation only.

Haven’t found your ideal camping spot in New England yet? Book one of the best campsites in New Hampshire now, via Culture Trip.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article