The Best Places to Go Camping in Connecticut, USA

Some campsites in Connecticut sit on working farms, providing a unique experience
Some campsites in Connecticut sit on working farms, providing a unique experience | Courtesy of Your Huckleberry Farms Backwoods Edition / Tentrr
Doug ONeill

With its location between New York and Massachusetts, along the Long Island Sound, Connecticut offers heaps of culture and nature-based activities. Outdoorsy folks can go kayaking in the sound, explore the Mount Riga and Wadsworth Falls state parks and climb Mount Frissell in the Taconic Range. For an epic camping getaway, here’s our pick of the best places to pitch a tent – bookable on Culture Trip.

1. Litchfield

Architectural Landmark

Sign giving information about the history of the town of Litchfield, Connecticut, USA
© Susan Pease / Alamy Stock Photo

The 18th-century New England town of Litchfield doesn’t take itself too seriously, despite its connection to George Washington (the founding father stayed over at Sheldon’s Tavern) and being home to the first independent law school in the country. After all, in addition to hiking, biking, horseback riding and water sports, you can also sign up for a goat stroll at Bradley Mountain Farm in Southington.

2. Meadow Ridge Farm Woods

Camping

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Courtesy of Meadow Ridge Farm Woods / Tentrr

Get a taste of farm living at this secluded campsite on a dairy farm in Litchfield – reached via a gravel road through cornfields. Purchase milk, eggs and seasonal produce from the farm, and enjoy a breakfast of local ingredients outside your platform canvas tent (equipped with a firepit and a wood stove, among other perks). Fill your days by hiking, exploring the 4,000-acre White Memorial Foundation nature preserve and visiting wineries and distilleries.

3. Somers

Architectural Landmark

View from Soapstone Mountain, Shenipsit State Forest, Connecticut
© George Ostertag / Alamy Stock Photo

Somers claims some pretty decent bragging rights for a town of about 11,000 people. Topping the list is the annual Four Town Fair in September, one of the oldest fairs in the United States, where livestock almost outnumber people. There’s also Bald Mountain, the region’s highest point, and great hiking in the Shenipsit State Forest.

4. Beaver Pond Camping

Camping

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Courtesy of Beaver Pond Camping / Tentrr

Beaver Pond is your chance to immerse yourself in nature. Pitch your tent alongside a stream that leads to an 18-acre (7ha) beaver pond, and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife – including beavers – on the nature trails in the adjacent 150-acre (61ha) public forest. Rent a kayak or canoe to go fishing. If you’d rather do something less outdoorsy, check out the vineyard, model railroad or play a game of bocce while nursing a glass of wine or two.

5. Ashford

Architectural Landmark

Church Farm Ashford , Connecticut - PHJB7J
© Stan Tess / Alamy Stock Photo

Ashford is part of the Quiet Corner, a sparsely populated region known for its laid-back, pastoral vibe. You’ll find that calm at the 9,000-acre (3,642ha) Nipmuck State Forest on your doorstep. For more exuberant urban outings, the Rhode Island capital of Providence is only 40mi (64km) away.

6. Your Huckleberry Farms Backwoods Edition

Camping

Your Huckleberry Farms Backwoods Edition_7896a2b4-e76b-4467-b526-cf7d247ee4f3_SITE_PROFILE
Courtesy of Your Huckleberry Farms Backwoods Edition / Tentrr

Expect to see livestock on this campground – it’s on a farm, after all – along with roving owls, hawks, bats, deer, foxes and forest-dwelling fisher cats on occasion. You’re also only a few miles from the 2,100-acre (850ha) UConn Forest, offering hours of exploring. For a modest fee, you can learn how to hand-feed chickens, ducks and geese or sign up for Paint Nite with outdoor illustrator Josh Adams.

7. Salisbury

Architectural Landmark

Main Street Route 44 Salisbury, Connecticut - R7XC2P
© Stan Tess / Alamy Stock Photo

Affluent but affable Salisbury is where high-brow meets hiking. After all, this town birthed the country’s first free public library, and long-time residents have included Meryl Streep. Outside visitors come for the lush wooded countryside, lakes and hiking. The Appalachian Trail passes through Salisbury, which ticks off six of Connecticut’s 10 tallest peaks.

8. Glacial Erratic at Moore Brook

Camping

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Courtesy of Glacial Erratic at Moore Brook / Booking.com

Who wouldn’t want to camp alongside the famous Appalachian Trail? Location is everything for this campsite, which has a private swimming hole. A short walk on a dirt road will take you to the center of Salisbury. However, outdoor enthusiasts will likely focus on the local lakes and Housatonic River for kayaking and swimming. Kayaks, paddles and life jackets are available to rent. Taking a day trip to the small towns in the area is another option.

9. New Preston

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark

A view of Lake Waramaug from atop the pinnacle on the marcicpstas preserve in New Preston Connecticut in the summertime.
© Dan Hanscom / Alamy Stock Photo

Lake Waramaug is the focal point of New Preston, surrounded by steep hills, narrow valleys and rocky slopes. The small town is also home to well-preserved Georgian, Greek Revival and Italianate houses built in the 1700s and 1800s, as well as a handful of 19th-century mills along the East Aspetuck River.

10. Flirtation Farms Backcountry Site

Camping

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Courtesy of Flirtation Farms Backcountry Site / Tentrr

Liquid refreshments come thick and fast at this campsite, sitting on a 17-acre (7ha) farm, a short walk to Lake Waramaug, Hopkins Vineyard and Kent Falls Brewery. There are horses and trails on the property and a pond with a rowboat at your disposal. This is backcountry camping, so you’re expected to bring your tent and gear. A pop-up camper is available to rent for those hesitant about sleeping outdoors. Deer and great blue herons are occasionally spotted.

11. Quaker Hill

Architectural Landmark

The Quaker Hill Historic District runs along Old Norwich Road in northeastern Waterford. It’s mainly a residential village, started by religious non-conformists in the 17th century, with numerous buildings dating back to the 1700s. Droves of birders gravitate to Mamacoke Island, where hikers are also welcome.

12. The Granite Meadow

Camping

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Courtesy of The Granite Meadow / Tentrr

At the Granite Meadow, you get to camp on a family-run farm located on a secluded patch of Connecticut shoreline. You can also learn about sustainable farming from the Tyson clan by feeding their animals, joining a tour or learning about Icelandic sheep. Rest assured, you’re never more than an Uber ride from great beaches and restaurants. Kayak rentals are also available.

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