If you’re headed to the Lake Compounce theme park in Connecticut this year, you need to pay a visit to the Bear Creek Campground.
Without a doubt one of the best – and most fun! – places to stay not just in the state, but in the entire northeast, this campground offers affordable rates and is just a five-minute walk away from the park.
Don’t book just yet! First, learn everything you need to know about what exactly this campsite has to offer.
How to Get There
Bear Creek Campground is located in central Connecticut. It’s just two miles from Exit 31 off Interstate 84.
If you’re using a GPS to get there, plug 185 Enterprise Drive, Bristol CT into your program.
Cost to Book
When you book, you’ll be able to choose between a one-bedroom cabin, two-bedroom cabin, cub hut, tipi, RV space, or tent site.
The rates are as follows as of the 2020 season:
● Two-bedroom cabin: $176 per night ($211 per night during the weekend)
● One bedroom cabin: $156 per night ($191 per night during the weekend)
● Cub hut: $91 per night ($106 per night during the weekend)
● Deluxe tipi: $76 per night ($91 per night during the weekend)
● RV site: $47 per night ($62 per night during the weekend)
● Tent site: $32 per night ($42 per night during the weekend)
When booking any of the cabins, huts, or tipis, there is a two-night minimum on weekends with a three on holiday. There are group savings and special discount rates available, too. For example, if you book four or more nights, you will save 10%. Book five or more, and you’ll save 15%.
The Good Sam discount (a regional membership that provides fuel and camping discounts) offers savings of up to 10%, while military members and first responders get a discount of 15-20%.
Major Features and Amenities
A one-of-a-kind campground, Bear Creek Campground is just steps away from Lake Compounce Family Theme and Water Park. Here, you’ll have access to a variety of camping experiences, from cub huts to two-bedroom cabins and tent sites.
Every site includes WiFI, a picnic table, a fire pit, and free transportation into the theme park (although walking is always an option, too).
When you book a cabin, you’ll get the following features:
● 2 full-sized beds equipped with linens
● A twin-sized bunk bed (for two-bedroom cabins only)
● Parking for two vehicles
● Heat and air conditioning
● Loft space
● Cable TV
● Full kitchen
● Bathroom with toilet and shower (including soap, shampoo, and towels)
Two-bedroom cabins are best for eight people, while one-bedroom cabins can sleep up to five people. There are cabins available that are ADA-compliant.
The cub hut, best for up to four people, is a smaller cabin that comes with two full-sized beds with linens as well as:
● Miniature refrigerator
● Cable television
● Heating and AC
● Public restrooms nearby
● Two-car parking
The deluxe tipi looks just as you might expect and offers a unique camping experience with four cots along with:
● Electric hook up
● Nearby parking
● Mini fridge
● Built on a solid wood floor to keep you dry
● Bathroom access
● Parking for two vehicles
● No more than six people per reservation
The RV sites are designed to sleep no more than eight people. They can accommodate any size RV, with leashed pets welcome. You’ll also get:
● Electric hook up (50/30/20 AMP equipped)
● Cable and water hook-ups
● Access to bathrooms
● Parking – up to two vehicles
● Dump station, with services free of charge for campers
Finally, the tent sites are each 30’x30’, each of which is housed in a wooded area. You’ll enjoy close access to nearby bathrooms and showers along with free parking. Leashed pets are welcome, and there is enough room to park one vehicle on-site. These are best for no more than six people per site.
If you don’t want to set up a tent, don’t worry – you can upgrade to a deluxe tent site. You’ll get everything listed above but you’ll receive a pre-assembled six-person tent. No heavy lifting needed!
Bear Creek Campground is within walking distance (less than a mile) of Lake Compounce. There is a tram service that operates daily from May to September, and personal vehicles can be driven to the parking lot without additional charges. You can buy discounted tickets to the theme park online or by walking to the camp store at Bear Creek Campground.
That’s not it, though. Since Bear Creek Campground is located in the heart of Bristol, CT, there are plenty of other nearby attractions for you to enjoy. The campground is close to a variety of museums and learning adventures, providing opportunities for indoor fun on rainy days or during the theme park’s slower seasons.
For example, you might choose to check out the New England Carousel Museum or the American Clock and Watch Museum. The campground is also just a few miles from Imagine Nation, an interactive science center that’s great for kids ages two to eight. Imagine Nation has rates that start at only $10 per person.
Other educational destinations to check out include the WItch’s Dungeon Classic Movie Museum, Bristol Public Library, and the Harry C. Barnes Memorial Nature Center. The nature center is open 365 days a year, with trails free to the public and open to exploring.
The visitor center is only open a few days a week, but offers all kinds of activities, exhibits, and even animals! Here, you can interact with birds of prey, reptiles, and amphibians, or even try your hand at one of the many interactive exhibits.
There are also hundreds of restaurants within close reach of the campground, as well as airports and rental car companies in case you need to fly in.
Why It’s Awesome
When you book with Bear Creek, you’ll not only enjoy already-affordable rates, but you’ll also be eligible for reduced rates at Lake Compounce, too. You can get a discounted rate that provides two-day passes at just $44.99. A one-day pass will be just $35.99. You can also get discounted rates on season passes, although rates are not publicized on the Bear Creek website as these can vary.
Although these tickets are only valid during the summer season, it’s an exceptionally low rate that makes Bear Creek worth considering.
That’s not all that Bear Creek has to offer, however. You’ll also enjoy access to an onsite general store that is open each day at 8 am. This store sells everything you might need, including snacks, souvenirs, and firewood.
The campground is also home to 24-hour restroom and shower facilities along with round-the-clock- security patrol. There’s a laundry room facility that is coin-operated and tram transportation to Lake Compounce.
Your kids will love playing in the campground’s play area, a large basketball court, and a new volleyball court. There are even horseshoes and a gaga pit for visitors, too.
Bear Creek offers events for campers all throughout the year. In May, you might enjoy the Hero Appreciation Weekend or the Glamping Weekend, while July offers Christmas in July and Halloween Week.
Past travelers report in their reviews that the campsite is clean and well-maintained. The staff are friendly and helpful and the sites are taken care of. Even the general store is well-stocked.
What to Be Aware Of
Unfortunately, Bear Creek is not a year-round campground and is only open from April 29 through October 29 (this varies slightly based on the year and the weather, but is, on average, what you can expect).
Check-in for tents and RV sites doesn’t begin until 12 pm, with check-in starting much later (at 3 pm) for other housing. You must check out by 10:30 am. The campground is open rain or shine, with indoor events offered until the storms pass.
Also, keep in mind that you cannot bring outside firewood into the campground. This is prohibited under state law. Dogs are allowed in RV and tent sites only and not in cabins, huts, or tipis.
One of the major downsides of staying in the cabins, according to travelers’ reviews, is that there is no cookware or silverware – everything must be brought in yourself. Many of the camping spots have minimal shade, and there is poor Internet connectivity (but hey – you’re camping!)
With only one dump station, some RV campers report that there is congestion around the dump station when check-out time rolls around. You will want to give yourself plenty of time to get in there and make sure you take some time to maneuver around the narrow situation if you have a large RV.
It’s a good idea to measure your vehicle before you leave so that you’ll have a clear plan on how you can maneuver your RV into and out of the campsites.
Unfortunately, there is no swimming pool. However, this is unnecessary for most campers, since the campground is so close to the Lake Compounce amusement park, where there is a water park.
How to Make a Reservation
To reserve a room or a campsite, you will need to call 860-583-330 extension 6904. You cannot make online reservations, but you can search for availability by using the information tool on the website. Calling is recommended for most campers’ reservations anyway, as this will allow you to get information about specific amenities, sites, and travel recommendations.
You’ll want to book as far in advance as possible, as rooms and sites fill up quickly here. Contact campground staff with any questions about facilities, amenities, or rates – and rest up before you go! There’s so much to do at this campground – and surrounding the campground – that you probably won’t even have time to sleep!