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Camping/tenting on north east US campgrounds

Boxtel, The...
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Camping/tenting on north east US campgrounds

Family of 4 from Europe is going to travel through the north east of the US this summer. Travelling with 2 small tents, so we love campgrounds that can accomodate tenters and not put us between RVs. Grassy sites please!

Is there a site/list/map that shows all or a fair amount of all campground in the north east of the US?

Preferably by selecting from a map and a link to a details of the selected campground.

I noticed that there are a lot of organisations, all providing only ther own campgrounds (KOA, state parks, USFA etc).

Any pointers appreciated

Whiting, Vermont
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1. Re: Camping/tenting on north east US campgrounds

Suggest you look at State campgrounds. For example, for camping in Vermont, go the the Vermont State Parks website (find it by googling).

I have used State campgrounds many times. As a public service, they may not be so profit-oriented as privately owned campgrounds. But I don't use private campgrounds, so you will have to make the empirical comparison yourself.

Edited: 17 April 2013, 17:38
Whiting, Vermont
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2. Re: Camping/tenting on north east US campgrounds

Also, there are campgrounds run by the federal government (more than one agency).

The National Parks have some campgrounds; apparently the Bureau of Land Management and even the Army Corps of Engineers may have campgrounds, according to this informative website:

www.rv-dreams.com/choosing-campgrounds.html

I have also used this site which has some good information.

http://www.forestcamping.com/

Unfortunately, finding information about federal campgrounds on the web can be a bit of a crapshoot, but the above links should help.

Boxtel, The...
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3. Re: Camping/tenting on north east US campgrounds

I'm not too fond of private campgrounds either, but sometimes a suitable campground is hard to find. Also IMHO private campground tend to concentrate on RVs instead of tents (and probably make more dollars of their land).

Thanks for the pointers, I can continue my search with those.

U.S. expats
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for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
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4. Re: Camping/tenting on north east US campgrounds

This book might be handy...

amazon.com/Best-Tent-Camping-Maryland-Concre…

Unfortunately the author has written separate books for each state.

I am like you; I don't like RVs, loud noise, small sites or concrete slabs.

I would look to the National Parks, and see where camping is available, then the State parks. I would never recommend private.

One place you might enjoy is Assateague--camp on the beach on a large site and swim in the ocean--complete with wild ponies. You would want to Oceanside walk-in, which is tents only.

http://www.nps.gov/asis/index.htm

Edited: 18 April 2013, 00:49
Florida - Alaska...
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for Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Province, Outdoors / Adventure Travel
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5. Re: Camping/tenting on north east US campgrounds

You may find yourself at odds with your desires. Most quiet state parks and national park campgrounds are designed to be "natural", so tend to be open spaces in the trees and no grass. Campgrounds with grass tend to be commercial camps which target RVs.

Camping in the US is quite different to camping in Europe. Park campgrounds tend to offer basic needs, toilets of sorts, but rarely showers. Commercial campgrounds tend to have modern bathrooms, hot showers and laundry facilities, but lack the little cafes, grocery stores and other amenities of European camps. And all campgrounds are assigned spaces, usually with a picnic table and car parking spot. Pricing is usually by the site, with variances based on power, water etc (mostly items RVers are looking for).

There are massive campground guides put out by Woodall, Good Sam, etc. They tend to focus on RVers, but often contain descriptions of campground amenities including information on separate tenting areas that some offer.

You also might look at the state tourism offices for the areas you plan to visit. They often have campground directories.

Boxtel, The...
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6. Re: Camping/tenting on north east US campgrounds

Yes, I know that grassy sites are not the norm in the "natural" campgrounds. And no, they do not often have showers, shops and cafes like the European (commercial) camps. But most of the "natural" (and some of the commercial) US campsites have some things that we value very much: they are spaceous and offer some basic privacy! In Europe the sites can be very small ("Dear neighbour, can you close the door of your RV, I want to get out of mine?")

Other pros: every site has a BBQ and picknick table (we travel light). Please report the first campground in Europe that offers the same...

In fact, we stopped camping in Europe, and continue to camp in the US.

@Laura, interesting book, I 'll check it out. Thanks

Chicago's North...
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for Illinois, Chicago
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7. Re: Camping/tenting on north east US campgrounds

also, check out the national forest and national recreation area campgrounds..... from my experience, the NF campgrounds tend to be less developed than the state and national park campgrounds.... some, are not much more than a clearing, outhouse and a fire ring....

www.fs.fed.us/recreation/map/state_list.shtml

KOA and jellystone parks are definitely not what you want---they tend to cater to RV's and families (IE-screaming and wild kids).....and generally aren't located in what you or me would consider a desirable area (IE-in, near tourist traps, along the interstate etc...)

sometimes, some independent private campgrounds are worth looking into---there was one in northern michigan we liked that had tent camping area set away from the main RV area, but they also had an onsite outdoor pool.....not a bad thing to have on a hot summer day (especially with kids)..... but now, they sold out and cater to the RV crowd, and from what i heard, they don't even allow tent camping anymore.....

U.S. expats
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8. Re: Camping/tenting on north east US campgrounds

Here's one that may interest you:

www.baxterstateparkauthority.com/camping/

or

www.adk.org/page.php…

or

www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/duckharbor.htm

Burlington, Canada
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9. Re: Camping/tenting on north east US campgrounds

I have been very impressed with the Woodalls app (iphone and maybe andoid) and their site www.woodalls.com at least in bringing together a number of different camping opportunities.

I will see how much I like it when I am tenting it next month in Vermont.

They have 2 apps Woodalls and GS Camping both mix state parks and privately own campgrounds and RV parks. I intend to use their guides for the big rig RVers to guide me away from the bigger RV parks.

Each park has a internet link which should give you an idea of what each campground is like.

That being said many of the spots set aside for tents in large RV campgrounds can be nice. In some states there are rustic camp sites available sometimes for free often on US forest service lands. While writing this comment I found a site www.freecampsites.net that I may also use in my planning.

My experience with state forest camping (one site in Upper Peninsula of Michigan) is they tend to be remote, under used and spartan. Good for tent camping if you brought water with you.

Enjoy your summer camping.

Bill R

western WA
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10. Re: Camping/tenting on north east US campgrounds

You should plan a trip to Oregon sometime, and stay in the state parks. They are fantastic. If you want to stay in yurts and cabins, make reservations way in advance. Summer months at the ocean book up early, too, even for tents. My favorite is South Beach in Newport.

Edited: 16 May 2013, 15:42