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Even with all the fun things there are to do in the city, though, it’s good to escape every so often, and Massachusetts’ campgrounds present an idyllic getaway.
Central Massachusetts, which features campgrounds in close proximity to the Commonwealth’s three largest population hubs, has some particularly appealing spots, all of which are now open for the season.
Here’s a quick rundown of where you can set yourself up for some time outside and away from it all in Central MA.
Erving State Forest in Erving, MA
Situated at the eastern edge of the Mohawk Trail, Erving State Forest is symbolic of the surrounding region’s natural beauty. Laurel Lake’s tranquil waters offer a broad swath of recreational pursuits, including swimming, boating and fishing. For those who prefer to keep their feet dry, the campgrounds also have plenty of room for walking, hiking and horseback riding. Eight miles of forest roads and trails also lead to scenic lookout points in Erving, ensuring a nice reward for folks who are willing to do a little exploring.
Photo: Entering Erving State Forest by Rusty Clark
Lake Dennison Recreation Area in Winchendon, MA
Just a half hour’s drive east of Erving, travelers will encounter Lake Dennison Recreation Area and more than 4,000 acres of prime outdoor space. Lake Dennison is one of the larger camp spots in the area, with room to accommodate more than 150 campsites and no shortage of outdoor activity choices, either. Swimming is an option in Lake Dennison, while the trails provide ample room to amble around. Fireplaces and flush toilets are available, too, so campers need not completely rough it, unless, of course, they elect to do so.
Wells State Park in Sturbridge, MA
Closer to the eastern part of the state, Wells State Park encompasses 1,400 acres and, like any campsite worth its salt, has something for everyone in the great outdoors. Walker Pond, located right on the premises, makes for a great fishing, canoeing and swimming spot during the summer, at which time interpretive programs, including guided walks and evening campfire programs, are also in season. As a great perk for families, Wells State Park is also just five miles from Old Sturbridge Village, New England’s largest living history museum, and a place that also happens to have its own variety of family-friendly summer events.
Photo: Old Sturbridge Village during summer
Lamb City Campground in Phillipston, MA
Wells State Park isn’t the only Central Mass camp spot that’s pitch-perfect for families. Lamb City Campground, the self-dubbed “best little city in New England,” holds events during each summer weekend, with Carnival Weekend, Fourth of July Weekend and Vegas Weekend being just a few examples. In addition to the entertaining events, Lamb City has more than 150 full hook up sites, a kiddie pool and a multitude of trails that lead the way to picturesque scenic lookouts. To see rental options, click here.
Photo: Lamb City Campground
Pearl Hill State Park in Townsend, MA
North of Fitchburg and just south of the New Hampshire border, campers can find Pearl Hill State Park and some of the most removed camp spots in the Commonwealth. Stately pines dot the grounds, which contain 51 campsites and a new bathhouse. Inside Pearl Hill, the seasonal damming of Park Hill Brook creates a vernal five-acre pond, which has its own small beach, as well as a wide variety of hiking and swimming activities. Returning campers seeking an adventure might also check out a new trail that connects the park to Damon Pond in Willard Brook State Forest; it spans four miles and takes a few hours to hike, even in good conditions, so plan accordingly!
For more information on campsites in Central Massachusetts, click here. For a rundown of all the places to camp across Massachusetts, just click here.
When you’re keen on a little camping, where you like to go? Tell us below in the comments!
Photo at the top courtesy of Rusty Clark on Flickr