When you think of camping, Connecticut might not be the first place that comes to mind.
However, this state has more to offer than suburbia. Although Connecticut’s natural appeal is often overlooked when compared to the more rugged environments of Vermont and Maine, Connecticut is filled with awesome beauty.
Here are the twenty best campgrounds in Connecticut so that you know exactly where to stay the next time you’re in need of a nature fix.
Pachaug State Forest
Where: Voluntown, CT
Pachaug State Forest is the largest state forest in the state of Connecticut and offers more than 24,000 stunning acres for you to explore. This campground has many beautiful areas for you to hike in, including the Rhododendron Sanctuary.
Although the campground has seasonal opening times, there are plenty of sites for you to choose form. In fact, the forest has two separate camping areas, Mt. Misery and Green Falls. Just remember to wear bright colors, as hunting is permitted in bordering grounds during certain times of the year.
Charlie Brown Campground
Where: Eastford, CT
Just 40 miles from Providence, RI, Charlie Brown Campground is close to the city yet surprisingly quiet and secluded. It is best for RV campers but also features several tent sites, too.
The campground is prized for its family-friendly environment. There are plenty of swimming and watersports opportunities in the nearby state forest, but since the campground is so close to the city, you’ll also be able to enjoy the Connecticut science center and the Mystic Seaport.
Lone Oak Campsites
Where: East Canaan, CT
Stay at the Lone Oak Campsites in East Canaan, CT, and you can camp beside the highest point in the state. This campground is more than just a basic collection of campsites and is instead more of a camp resort.
Here, visitors will enjoy dozens of hiking trails, many of which provide access to Bear Mountain and climbable waterfalls. All campsites are well-maintained and open late into the season. Sites are open to both RVs and tent campers, and the resort features amenities like swimming pools, a playground, a whirlpool, and regular events.
Macedonia Brook State Park
Where: Kent, CT
Macedonia Brook State Park is not a fully-equipped facility, but there is plenty to love here for low-maintenance campers. It offers some of the best opportunities to witness beautiful fall foliage and also offers superb views of the Taconic and the Catskill Mountains.
From Macedonia Brook, you can also access the Blue Trail across Cobble Mountain. It’s within driving distance of Kent so you can easily grab supplies there before setting up camp.
Cozy Hills Campground
Where: Bantam, CT
One of the most popular RV parks in all of Connecticut, Cozy Hills Campground is home to 124 different sites – all of which have full hookups and access to campground showers. The campground is also home to a full-service store, a cafe, free Wifi services, and an arcade.
Daily rates for Cozy Hills start at just $44.
Odetah Camping Resort
Where: Bozrah, CT
Odetah Camping Resort is a fantastic camping experience for experienced and beginning campers alike. With lakeside and wooded campsites, the facility offers opportunities for tent camping, yurt, or cabin camping. You can also bring your own RV.
Other amenities include hookups, a swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts, and much more.
Kettletown State Park
Where: Southbury, CT
Kettletown State Park sits on a historic piece of land that was once inhabited by the Pootatuck Indians. Visit the park today, and you’re likely to find remnants of that history everywhere. In fact, it’s not uncommon for visitors to find arrowheads on the property.
Here, you can hike the early colonist’s first hiking trails and swim in the campground’s swimming holes. The campground is home to 56 sites, many of which include hookups. There are several rudimentary cabins available for rent, too. The campground is just 20 miles from New Haven, making it a popular spot for visitors hoping to escape the busy city life for a breath of fresh air.
West Thompson Lake Campground
Where: North Grosvenor Dale, CT
Located in the quiet, idyllic northeast corner of the state, West Thompson Lake Campground is just a stone’s throw away from Massachusetts and Rhode Island. This is a serene campsite that is family-owned. It’s situated on the shores of West Thompson Lake and offers countless opportunities for fishing, paddling, kayaking, boating, and birdwatching.
With 22 separate campsites, half provide campers with electric and water hookups. The campsite also has a variety of amenities, including clean bathrooms, an amphitheater, and a basketball court. West Thompson Lake is also a great entry point to many of the hiking trails nearby.
American Legion State Forest
Where: Pleasant Valley, CT
If the name Pleasant Valley doesn’t encourage you to stay in this idyllic town, we don’t know what will! At the American Legion State FOres,t you can rent a cabin or tent site. There are 30 wooded sites along with dumping stations, bathrooms, and more. It’s a pet-friendly campground, with fishing areas nearby, too.
Indian Field Campground
Where: Salem, CT
Indian Field Campground is another long-term campground that offers all kinds of facilities for RV campers. You can tent-camp here, too, but it’s best for RV campers. It has electricity, laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi, well water, and more. This family-friendly campground also has homes for sale on the property.
Hammonasset Beach State Park
Where: Madison, CT
Hammonasset Beach State Park is open from the end of May until early October. A large campground, it is home to more than 550 camping sites and has a variety of amenities. Not only can you swim on the beach, but you will also gain access to a concession stand, full bathrooms, and a dumping station.
Where: East Haddam, CT
The name sounds imposing, but Devil’s Hopyard is actually quite beautiful. Here, you’ll benefit from a ton of scenic features and vast campsites. It only costs $14 per night to camp here if you are a resident of the state of Connecticut.
You’ll enjoy access to interesting rock formations known as Scotland Schist along with waterfalls, 21 wooded campsites, biking and hiking trails, and more. You can even stream fish or birdwatch here!
Little City Campground
Where: Higganum, CT
Little City Campground is large, home to more than 50 sites. It has a long season, with campers encouraged to stay anytime between May 1 and Oct 1. You can bring your own tent or RV and relax onsite, or you can venture out to the nearby towns. You likely won’t want to venture too far, though -the campground is home to a swimming pool, hiking trails, fishing areas, and a recreation hall.
Branch Brook Campground
Where: Thomaston, CT
A well-maintained campground just off of Route 6 in Thomaston, Branch Brook Campground features rates starting at just $43 per night. Pets are allowed, and with an on-site pool, hot tub, and fully equipped bathrooms with showers, you’ll have plenty to do while you’re staying there.
Whether you’re visiting overnight or staying for a few weeks, this quiet campground has tons of attractions. Many are located within half an hour of the campground, including zoos, spas, river rafting companies, and more.
Countryside RV Park
Where: Griswold, CT
Countryside RV Park is located in scenic Griswold, CT. It’s nestled in rolling countryside hills and surrounded by a remote, serene environment. There are 108 RV sites here, with daily rates starting at just $50.
You’ll enjoy the amenities this campground has to offer, too. From a pond that can be used for fishing or swimming to the lending library or the man-made sand beach, this campground is incredibly family-friendly. It’s not far from city life, either, where you can check out the Foxwoods Resort Casino or the Mystic Aquarium.
Rocky Neck State Park
Where: Niantic, CT
Rocky Neck State Park is located on Connecticut’s Gold Coast. It’s one of the best shoreline campgrounds in the state, home to a sandy beach along with countless mountain biking and hiking trails. You can even hike in to gorgeous salt marshes!
This destination is ideal for summer camping and is home to more than 160 campsites. Som e offer scenic views of the coastline of Long Island, too.
Black Rock State Park
Where: Watertown, CT
Black Rock State Park is nestled in the Western Highlands of the state and is packed to the brim with scenic camping opportunities.
It’s another historic site, originally home to tribes like the Paugussett, Tunxis, and Mohegan people. The park was given to the state of Connecticut in 1926. Today, the campground is home to nearly 80 sites, all of them clean, spacious, and well-equipped. There are open field sites and private wooded areas.
Camp here, and you’ll enjoy fantastic hiking trails and superb swimming holes. You can easily access the Mattatuck State Forest along with scenic overlooks like the Leather Man Cave, Tory’s Den, Buttermilk Falls, and Whitestone Cliffs.
Lake Waramaug Forest
Where: Kent, CT
Open every year from May until September, this campground is home to 71 wooded and field campsites. All are near a lake, and there are also six cabins for rent Camping spaces are all close to each other and offer easy access to swimming, boating, and fishing opportunities at Lake Waramaug.
Hidden Acres Family Campground
Where: Preston, CT
The ultimate family camping destination, Hidden Acres Family Campground is located in Preston, CT. It sits on the Quinebaug River and is home to numerous amenities that you don’t normally find at a campground, including fire engine rides, a petting zoo, and a craft shop.
There’s plenty to do here for young and old campers alike. It’s close to Foxwoods Resort Casino and the Mystic Seaport. It is a Good Sam affiliated campground, too, so if you plan on staying in an RV, you’ll benefit from special discounts and lower rates.
Wolf’s Den Family Campground
Where: East Haddam, CT
Another campground for you to consider in East Haddam is Wolf’s Den Family Campground. As the name implies, this is one of the best campgrounds for families. Here, you can rent an on-site trailer that’s equipped with air conditioning, kitchens, and more. The campground also offers regular events just about every week of the camping season.
How We Chose
Narrowing down our list of the twenty best campgrounds in Connecticut wasn’t easy. However, to do so, we looked at a variety of factors.
While affordability of campsites is always important, so, too, is the availability and accessibility from nearby towns. One of the many joys of camping is to be able to escape city living for a while – but at the same time, it’s nice to know facilities are nearby in case you need them.
We also evaluated the availability of amenities within the campground, too. While there’s more to camping than fancy general stores and swimming pools, having some activities on-site can make your vacation planning that much easier.