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Photograph: Shutterstock

The best places for camping near Boston

Escape to the great outdoors and commune with nature at these beautiful camping spots near the Hub

By Eric Grossman

When it comes to the great outdoors, it’s easy to check out the best hiking spots around Boston, the best parks in Boston, and the best beaches near Boston. If you’re looking for something a little more involved, there are many great camping spots nearby. From forested parks not far from the city to New Hampshire’s White Mountains, Vermont’s Green Mountains, and further afield to Maine, New England has plenty of natural beauty to explore. When you’ve had your fill of roughing it, reconnect with the city by checking out these rooftop bars with gorgeous views of Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to travel options near Boston

Best places for camping near Boston

Great Blue Hills
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Aimee G.

1. Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, MA

Just a few minutes outside of the city proper is the 7,000-acre Blue Hills Reservation with 125 miles of resplendent hiking trails. Climb to the top of Great Blue Hill and enjoy an unmatched view of the city skyline. Camping is available at Ponkapoag Pond; campsites and cabins run by the Appalachian Mountain Club are available.

Tully Lake Campground
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Kaori M.

2. Tully Lake Campground in Royalston, MA

This Central Mass campground is about an hour and a half from Boston. The 200-acre Tully Lake features tent-only campsites and plenty of water activities to keep you busy. Canoes and kayaks are available for rent, a 7.5 mile loop at Long Pond is perfect for cyclers, and hikers can keep busy on the trails.

Nickerson State Park in Brewster, MA
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/K S.

3. Nickerson State Park in Brewster, MA

Looking for a weekend on the Cape without breaking the bank? Nickerson State Park is the ticket. Located on the Cape Cod Rail Trail, you can easily get around by bike during your stay. Enjoy swimming and fishing at nearby ponds or make your way to the beautiful beaches of the Cape.

Townshend State Park in Townshend, VT
Townshend State Park in Townshend, VT

4. Townshend State Park in Townshend, VT

Head to Vermont to Townshend State Park, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. Its history is still clear, as not much has changed since the 30s. Tent camping and lean-tos are available, as well as restrooms and showers. The campground offers direct access to Bald Mountain, with trails winding past waterfalls and pools up to a beautiful view from the top.

Sebago Lake State Park in Casco, ME
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Amanda B.

5. Sebago Lake State Park in Casco, ME

With more than 100 miles of shoreline and a 1400-acre campground, Sebago Lake has been a destination for families for decades. Hiking trails meander through the woods, but the lake is the big draw for swimming, fishing, and relaxing on the sandy beaches before retiring to a wooded campsite under the pines.

Boston Harbor Islands
Photograph: Unsplash

6. Boston Harbor Islands in Boston, MA

Get your gear together and hop on a ferry to get to one of these spots just minutes from the city. Of the thirty four islands and peninsulas that make up the Boston Harbor Islands, four allow camping: Grape, Bumpkin, Lovells, and Peddocks. Peddocks Island offers yurts for rent too. Sunrise over the Harbor is a must-see.

Mt. Washington Auto Road
Photograph: Courtesy Mt. Washington Auto Road

7. Dolly Copp Campground in Gorham, NH

The largest campground (with 177 sites) in the White Mountain National Forest, the Dolly Copp Campground is located right near the Presidential and Carter-Moriah ranges. Hikers can also reach the base of Mount Washington from here. It’s a perfect spot for those looking to explore the White Mountains.


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