Where to go camping in Southern New England
May 31, 2011 7:05 AM   Subscribe

Where to go camping within a two hour drive of RI?

A group of five of us (4 humans, 1 dog) want to go camping one weekend this summer (Friday afternoon - Sunday evening). We'd like to stick within a two hour drive of the middle of RI. Three hours if the camping is really amazing..

We looked into Cape Cod at Nickerson State park - but it seems all booked up (next year!). We've done camping in the White Mountains and loved it - but it is too far of a drive for us this time. We'd like to be near some water (lake/pond or beach) and have some hiking/walking trails.

I've looked at previous New England camping posts, but they mostly focus on areas outside our driving range, it seems.
posted by quodlibet to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Do you really need to leave Rhode Island? Burlingame and Buck Hill are both nice.
posted by mkb at 7:13 AM on May 31, 2011

Response by poster: Yeah - should have added we've exhausted RI and are looking to get out of the state!
posted by quodlibet at 7:25 AM on May 31, 2011

I was going to suggest Nickerson but you already mentioned it.

You could look into Myles Standish State Forest. I camped there (well, in a cabin) once in high school and remember waking up among cranberry bogs. It was kind of neat.
posted by bondcliff at 7:35 AM on May 31, 2011

Have you looked at places in the Quiet Corner/ Last Green Valley? Here's a map and here's a list of outdoor recreation areas. I knew people who liked to camp at West Thompson Lake when I lived around there; I can't vouch for the camping personally, but I can say it's a beautiful area generally, with lots of places to hike.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 8:17 AM on May 31, 2011

I just stayed at Noble View Outdoor Center, an AMC lodge (with campground space as well). I would have thought it would be booked this past weekend, but there were open spots. There are lots of hiking trails on the grounds with waterfalls and vernal pools as well as good hiking nearby. A couple miles away there is a nice pond for swimming, boating and I imagine fishing.
posted by indigo4963 at 8:27 AM on May 31, 2011

FWIW Nickerson starts taking reservations 6 months in advance. At the canal end of the Cape is Shawme-Crowell State Forrest
posted by Gungho at 10:54 AM on May 31, 2011

Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, CT? Some friends stayed there last year and had a great time. Seems to be some weekend availability left.
posted by FreezBoy at 12:33 PM on May 31, 2011

Oh, seeing FreezBoy's answer, I realize I didnt even think of places on the Shoreline when I posted earlier. Hammonasset is great, and another SP with a similar kind of salt marshy environment and some nice features of its own, like the pavilion, is Rocky Neck. (It's also a little bit closer to RI.)
posted by DestinationUnknown at 1:27 PM on May 31, 2011

If you want to go to the Cape Cod area then I can tell you about two other campgrounds. (It's a shame Nickerson is booked - it's awesome.)

I would highly recommend Sippewisset Campgrounds & Cabins. We looked into this place for a future option ourselves. It is in the Falmouth area, seems quiet, is right along a more woodsy bike trail, and even had some teepees you could rent! I can't tell from their website if they have any openings.

Another option, though not as quaint, is Bourne Scenic Park a campground on the Cape Cod Canal. There is a whole section where people set up their RV's for the summer and a nice pool area and playground, but also some typical campsites for tents. It's right along the main road, though, so try to get a site not too close to Route 6. You can walk or bike along the canal or use your area as a step off to explore other areas of Cape Cod. I think they have some open spots left this summer.
posted by LilBit at 2:43 PM on May 31, 2011

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