Connecticut is known for being one of the original 13 colonies and the home of Yale University. But aside from being a great spot to visit historical monuments, it’s also a state full of beautiful forests, lakes and rivers. Fall is a particularly popular time to visit, since the colors of the changing foliage offer another layer of stunning beauty.
Where to Camp in the Constitution State
Here are our picks for the best places to camp in Connecticut.
1. Devil’s Hopyard State Park – East Haddam
Devil’s Hopyard’s principle feature, Chapman Falls, drops more than sixty feet over a series of steps in a Scotland Schist stone formation. The water from the splash pool at the base of the falls, continuing as the Eight Mile River, flows through the park’s hemlock-canopied picnic area, providing a tranquil setting for a family outing. Learn more.
2. Rocky Neck State Park – Niantic
700-acre Rocky Neck State Park features 1/2 mile of crescent-shaped sandy beach. Rocky Neck’s varied terrain offers something for everyone. Clear waters and the stone-free beach with expanses of white sand make it ideal for swimming. Learn more.
3. West Thompson Lake – Thompson
West Thompson Lake Campground is located near the wooded shoreline of its namesake lake in northeastern Connecticut. The natural setting surrounding West Thompson Lake can be enjoyed year round. Visitors come to the lake for camping, fishing, boating, kayaking and hiking. Learn more.
4. River Highlands State Park – Cromwell
River Highlands State Park is located in the central CT town of Cromwell. As its name suggests it features high bluffs on the banks of the Connecticut River. Although small, it’s a great place for mountain biking because the topography is totally unique, unlike anything else in CT. Learn more.
5. Hammonasset Beach State Park – Madison
“Hammonasset” means “where we dig holes in the ground” and refers to the place where a settlement of eastern woodland Indians farmed along the Hammonasset River. They subsisted on corn, beans, and squash, and by fishing and hunting. Learn more.
6. Peppertree Camping – Eastford
Picturesque camping on the Natchaug River, directly across from the Natchaug state forest, with full hook-ups. Tents welcome. Learn more.
7. Salt Rock Campground – Baltic
Salt Rock Campground is a great place to bring your family for an enjoyable summertime camping trip. The park offers one mile of riverfront. Learn more.
8. Hurd State Park – East Hampton
Three boat camping areas along the Connecticut River at Hurd, Gillette Castle and Selden Neck State Parks are managed by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for your enjoyment. The campsites are available from May 1 through September 30 exclusively for overnight stops by those traveling on the river. Learn more.
9. Macedonia Brook State Park – Kent
Macedonia Brook State Park’s exciting terrain has resulted from the slow wearing down of its hard rock formation base. The Blue Trail crosses Cobble Mountain and several other peaks, offering outstanding views of New York State’s Catskills and Taconic Mountains. Numerous springs and streams in the park allow hikers to rinse off and fishermen and swimmers to enjoy their time in thepark, too. Learn more.
10. Natchaug State Forest
The name Natchaug means “land between the rivers” and refers to the land at the junction of the Bigelow and Still Rivers which join to form the Natchaug River. The Forest is popular for its horse trails, outstanding fishing, and riverfront picnic sites. Of historic interest is a large stone fireplace and chimney that are the remains of the birthplace of General Nathaniel Lyon, the first Union General killed in the Civil War. Natchaug was established as a state forest in 1917. Learn more.
What’s your favorite place to camp in Connecticut? Let us know in the comments!
Are you a camping fanatic? Check out our article on making a pack basket for camping, and make sure you’re prepped for your next camping trip.