Most people know Massachusetts for its important role in American history, its sports teams, universities, delicious seafood, and, of course, Boston, dubbed the “Hub of the Universe.”
But the most populous state in New England is also home to prime camping opportunities for lovers of the outdoors.
From seaside campgrounds on Cape Cod to the scenic woodlands of the Berkshires to bustling RV parks just outside of Boston to the unique experience of camping on the Boston Harbor Islands, Massachusetts has a little something for everyone.
We’ve rounded up and narrowed down the absolute best camping opportunities that the Old Colony State has to offer.
Here are 25 of the best places to go camping in Massachusetts.
Best Tent Camping in Massachusetts
The best camping in Massachusetts is undoubtedly its tent campgrounds. These range from rustic and private to more social and amenities filled. We’ve narrowed down the options to a few of the very best.
Here are 10 of the best places to go tent camping in Massachusetts.
You can’t talk about the best camping in Massachusetts without a mention of the Boston Harbor Islands.
Part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, this small collection of roughly 34 islands is located just off of Boston. While some allow camping and other recreational activities, others are preserved only for wildlife, especially seabirds.
Campers hoping to explore this unique Boston camping experience would do well to make reservations far in advance – spots are limited and book up early. Just 33 total campsites are spread out across four of the islands. But these rustic tent campsites are incredibly quiet, peaceful, and charming. Do note that you must catch the passenger ferry or hire a private boat to reach this exceptional Massachusetts camping destination.
Shame-Crowell State Forest is a classic destination for rustic tent camping in Massachusetts.
Located near historic Sandwich in Barnstable County on Cape Cod, this beautiful forested area is all but filled to the brim with pitch pine and scrub oak trees. More than 15 miles of trails are available for hiking and horseback riding.
This national forest boasts two large campgrounds with 285 campsites total. Most campsites feature shaded areas to get out of the sun during the day. However, the beach is still just a short walk away. Although this campground has no RV hookups, an RV dump station is available. Another camping option is to rent a rustic yurt for your stay.
Don’t plan to go camping in Massachusetts without at least considering a stay at Horseneck Beach State Reservation.
Home to some of the best tent camping in the state, this state reservation’s large campground is located near the town of Westport. Not only is this campground a great way to explore one of the most popular beaches in New England, it’s also a short hop to Cape Cod or Martha’s Vineyard.
The campground itself has access to two miles of beach and absolutely breathtaking views of Buzzards Bay. Roughly 100 campsites give RV and tent campers alike plenty of room to spread out. No RV hookups are available, although there is an RV dump station as well as clean, modern bathrooms.
Another one of the best campgrounds in Massachusetts, Wompatuck State Park is an outdoor lover’s paradise.
Located near the town of Hingham in the northeast corner of the state, Wompatuck State Park boast a large yet quiet campground with over 250 campsites total. Although tent camping is one of the best ways to experience this beautiful natural area, roughly 140 of the campsites do have electrical utilities for RV campers.
In addition to camping, this busy Massachusetts state park is well known for its hiking and mountain biking opportunities. In the winter, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing are popular. Other visitors stay here for the campground’s proximity to Boston.
Just minutes away from the town of Andover, Harold Parker State Forest is yet another excellent Massachusetts camping destination.
Most notable for its swamps, ponds, and rolling hills, this state forest has miles upon miles of excellent hiking trails. Thanks to its proximity to Boston, it attracts most of its visitors from the state’s capital, but many make a trip from surrounding towns.
The campground at Harold Park State Forest is small but sweet. It has 89 campsites, some with electrical hookups, and all with plenty of shade and privacy. Many of the small ponds just minutes away from the campground are ideal for fishing, swimming, and boating.
Going camping in Cape Cod? Then take a look at North of Highland Camping Area while planning your trip.
This spacious campground is walking distance to beautiful sandy beaches and just a few minutes away from many other popular Cape Cod attractions. Not only that, but the campground itself is quiet and relaxing despite its central location.
What’s most notable about North of Highland Camping Area is its focus on tent campers and not RVs. Unlike most campgrounds on Cape Cod, this one doesn’t cater specifically to RVs. Instead, they take a different approach by creating a comfortable atmosphere for tent camping. You won’t be crammed right up against a bunch of RVs. You’ll have plenty of room to spread out and get some privacy.
For tent camping in central Massachusetts, you have few better options than Wells State Park.
This campground has roughly 60 campsites total. These are quiet, peaceful, and, for the most part, shady thanks to the forested location. A large group site and several yurt rentals are also available. The campground also has modern restrooms with hot showers.
In addition to camping, Wells State Park is a popular location for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. During the right season, portions of the park are also open for hunting and fishing.
Make the campground at Myles Standish State Forest your homebase for exploring this scenic region of southeastern Massachusetts.
Less than 50 miles from Boston, this sprawling state forest campground has over 400 campsites total. The vast majority of these are located near four large ponds, making this the ideal place for fishing, swimming, and boating. RV camping is also allowed, although no hookups are available.
Not only is Myles Standish State Forest a good place for camping near Plymouth (don’t forget to check out the famous Plymouth Rock), it’s also an incredibly interesting place to explore in and of itself. Hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding are just a handful of the activities you can do here. Don’t forget to check out the interpretive programs in the summer (especially if you’re camping with children) to learn more about this geologically important “coastal plain.”
Camping in Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve might be difficult – but it’s well worth the extra effort.
The only campground is located on Washburn Island, beautiful and remote but only accessible by private boat. Only rustic tent campsites are available here. With no running water, no toilets, and no additional amenities, this is primitive camping at its finest. Treat your Washburn Island camping excursion like a backpacking trip by packing along all the supplies that you’ll need (including your own water).
In addition to the solitude that you’ll experience, make sure to explore and appreciate the natural area while camping on Washburn Island. The many marshes, sand dunes, and ponds must be seen to be appreciated.
Tent camping in October Mountain State Forest is an excellent way to get away from the daily grind for a few days (or longer!) and relax in nature.
Notable as the largest state forest in Massachusetts, it’s spread out across more than 15,000 acres. Located in the rolling hills near the Berkshires part of the state, the main feature is the eponymous October Mountain. Popular activities include hiking and mountain biking as well as cross-country skiing in the winter. ORV use is also allowed in certain areas.
As for the campground itself, October Mountain State Forest has 47 campsites total. The campsites are primitive and are best suited for tent camping, although RV camping (sans hookups) is allowed. A handful of modern yurts, complete with running water and electricity, are also available to rent.
Best RV Camping in Massachusetts
Load up your RV and hit the highway – dozens of excellent Massachusetts RV parks are waiting for you and your family. We’ve hand-selected a few of the best, whether you prefer something quiet and rustic or something filled with amenities and activities.
Here are 10 of the best places to go RV camping in Massachusetts.
Camping on Martha’s Vineyard doesn’t get much better than Martha Vineyard’s Family Campground.
Although the campground is geared towards RV campers with a wide range of full-hookup RV sites suitable for RVs up to 40’, tent camping and even cabin rentals are both also offered. All these campsites are located in a quiet, wooded setting with each site receiving plenty of shade during the day.
This top-rated Massachusetts campground is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from everything that Martha’s Vineyard has to offer, including its world-class dining, beautiful beaches, and pocketful of adorable small towns.
For the best RV camping near Boston, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything better than the Boston Minuteman Campground.
Less than an hour from Boston by car, this Massachusetts campground is ideal for day trips into Boston as well as exploring surrounding communities. Top local attractions include Salem (famous for the Salem witch trials), Walden Pond where Henry David Thoreau once lived to escape nature), and of course bustling Boston itself.
As for the campground, you can expect roughly 100 RV sites, most with full hook-ups. A mixture of pull-thru and back-in sites give you plenty of options. Tent campsites and cabin rentals are also available. Additional amenities include free Wi-Fi, a swimming pool, and lawn games, all in a shaded, forested setting.
The Boston/Cape Cod KOA is one of the best KOA campgrounds in Massachusetts.
Although it’s located in Middleboro, it’s relatively convenient for exploring both Boston and Cape Cod as well as other area attractions like Plymouth Rock, Martha’s Vineyard, and even Providence, Rhode Island.
Like most KOA campgrounds, the Boston/Cape Cod KOA features a mix of RV sites with full hookups, a grassy tent camping area, and cabin rentals. Pair this with a host of amenities like mini golf, a swimming pool, and a jumping pillow to name just a few and it’s easy to see why this KOA is known for some of the best camping in Massachusetts.
Prospect Mountain Campground is home to some of the best camping in Massachusetts for RV and tent campers alike.
Located near Granville in the western half of the state, this RV campground is perfect for exploring the beautiful Berkshires of Massachusetts. It’s set alongside the slow-moving Connecticut River creating a relaxing and peaceful camping atmosphere.
This Massachusetts campground boasts over 200 campsites, most suitable for RVs up to 40’. The majority have full hookups. Tent camping and rustic log cabin rentals are also available. There’s also a swimming pool, basketball court, and summertime activities like hayrides and family dances.
Peters Pond RV Resort is undoubtedly one of the best places for family camping on Cape Cod.
One of the most popular camping spots on the entire cape, Peters Pond is set up specifically for RV campers to enjoy. The huge RV resort has over 400 campsites but still manages to remain a laidback atmosphere. Although few sites are truly private, you certainly won’t be crammed together like sardines.
Peters Pond RV Resort is the perfect jumping off point for exploring the historic town of Sandwich as well as the rest of Barnstable County. Of course, the rest of the Cape Cod National Seashore is a must-visit for all visitors.
Formerly known as Hidden Valley Campground, the newly renamed Mt. Greylock Campsite Park is one of the best campgrounds in Massachusetts.
Located in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, this popular campground is perfect for RV campers that prefer a quiet, wooded RV Park. It has nearly 100 RV sites, many with full hookups. Additional amenities include clean restrooms with hot showers, a swimming pool, and a fishing pond. Tent camping is also allowed.
The most notable nearby attraction is the titular Mount Greylock. It’s notable as the highest peak in the entire state. The Mount Greylock State Reservation is an excellent place for hiking in the summer and snowmobiling in the winter. The views from the top of the peak simply can’t be beat.
Located in one of the most beautiful regions of Massachusetts, the Northampton/Springfield KOA is the ideal jumping off point for exploring the Connecticut River and the rest of Pioneer Valley.
This KOA is notable for its spacious setup with roomy RV sites (for even the largest rigs, most with full hookups), grassy tent sites with plenty of shade, and assortment of cabin rentals. Modern restrooms, two large swimming pools, and a playground are just a handful of the amenities available on site.
While staying at the Northampton/Springfield KOA, make sure to check out the nearby Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Don’t forget to pack your beach towels because Salisbury Beach State Park is one of the best places for beach camping in Massachusetts.
Of course, this bustling state park campground isn’t located right on the beach, just most campsites are just a few minutes’ walk away from the sandy shores. Not only is this the ideal spot for beach lovers, but the beautiful scenery just can’t be matched either.
Salisbury Beach State Park boasts almost 500 campsites. Many of these are RV sites with water/electric hookups. Clean restrooms with hot showers are an added bonus. Know that this beach wonderland is definitely for campground style RV camping rather than the full-blown RV park experience.
If its luxury camping in Massachusetts that you’re after, it’s luxury camping you’ll get with a stay at Normandy Farms Campground.
Located conveniently between Boston and Cape Cod, this bustling Massachusetts RV park has around 400 campsites for RVs of all sizes. Of course, many of these have full RV hookups. Some even offer pull-thru capabilities. Tent camping is also available. Not only that, but this campground even offers luxury cabin and yurt rentals for fans of glamping.
Normandy Farms Campground serves as the ideal place for jumping between both Boston and Cape Cod on your Massachusetts camping adventure.
10. Winter Island Marine Park
Some of the best camping in Massachusetts is located on a small island just outside of Salem.
Connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway, Winter Island Marine Park is easy to reach with RVs or your normal vehicle. It’s a small campground with just 22 tent campsites and 28 RV campsites but making advance reservations is well worth it.
Winter Island Marine Park is popular among beach lovers. It’s also an excellent place for exploring nearby Salem and its history of the Salem witch trials. Additional historic sites are located on Winter Island itself, including a former coast guard base.
Best Winter Camping in Massachusetts
Winter gets very cold in Massachusetts – but that doesn’t stop those that want to test their mettle from winter camping. Not only is it a fun challenge, but camping in the winter also provides the best sense of solitude since there will be few, if any, other campers around. Plus, it sure is nice to camp without mosquitos bugging you!
Here are 5 of the best places to go winter camping in Massachusetts.
The regular campground at Mohawk Trail State Forest closes in mid-October but cabin rentals are available year-round.
Renting a cabin at Mohawk Trail State Forest is an excellent way to enjoy winter camping in Massachusetts without freezing to death! Although you’ll be safe and sound inside a cabin, you certainly won’t be glamping. The cabins here are rustic and primitive with wood-burning stoves and simple furniture/amenities.
Don’t forget to get outside to enjoy this beautiful winter wonderland. The nearby hiking trail is open year-round, even in the snow (just make sure you have a good pair of winter hiking boots). Snowshoeing, ice fishing, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing are other popular activities. Or, you can just cozy up inside your cabin with a good book!
Scusset Beach State Reservation is one of the only campgrounds in Massachusetts that stays open during the winter.
Although the season is limited (generally only in the first half of winter before heavy snowfall and to only Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights), this campground is very popular during the winter months. Electric utilities are available for RV campers, otherwise you must be self-contained.
Why camp at Scusset Beach State Reservation in the winter? For starters, this Cape Cod campground is incredibly busy during the summer. Visit in the off-season for much smaller crowds. You’ll be able to enjoy the beaches, walking trails, and forests in virtual solitude.
Primitive winter camping is also available in Mount Greylock State Reservation.
One of the best campgrounds in Massachusetts, no matter the time of the year, the Mount Greylock campground is at its most peaceful during the winter. Sure, it will be cold, but with the right winter camping gear (including a winter tent heater), you’re all but certain to have the time of your life!
Popular winter activities near Mount Greylock include snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Serious winter adventurers might consider hiking or even going on an overnight backpacking trip into the vast backcountry wilderness.
Beartown State Forest is yet another one of the best campgrounds in Massachusetts for camping in the winter.
Thanks to the colder temperatures and chance of snow, camping here in winter is sure to bring with it a special sense of peace and solitude. Sit around the campfire, stay warm in your RV, or head out for a winter hiking adventure.
Do note that Beartown State Forest closes for camping on December 31st of each year. And from roughly October 14th until this point, the campground is walk-in only with no vehicles allowed.
5. Mount Washington State Forest
Winter camping is the name of the game at Mount Washington State Forest.
Although camping is available all year-round, heading out to this campground in the winter is truly a beautiful experience. As the trees lose their leaves, already breathtaking views become even more heart wrenching.
The campsites at Mount Washington State Forest are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Both tent campers and RVs campers are welcome. Remember that this campground is primitive with minimal amenities so make sure to plan accordingly.
Gear You’ll Need for Camping in Massachusetts
Our family camping checklist makes it easy to pack the right gear for your next trip.
If you’re new to camping or otherwise don’t have your own gear, our friends at Outdoors Geek offer camping equipment rentals for all types of camping, including tent camping, glamping, and backpacking.
For those planning on investing in their own gear, we have compiled a variety of buying guides to make the selection process easier. Don’t forget to check out our guides to the best sleeping bags, best camping tents, best sleeping pads, best coolers, and best camping lanterns.
Our guide to car camping will help fill you in on all the additional details you need to know for the best Massachusetts camping trip possible!
Check Out Our Other Best State Camping Posts
Don’t forget to check out our best state camping posts while planning your next family camping road trip.
Our national park camping guides are also helpful if you plan to stop and experience the beauty of these special natural places on your camping trip.
For those interested in traveling in style, use our RV rental tool to find the best RV rental for your camping trip in your local area.
And, like always, don’t forget to reach out with any questions about the best camping in Massachusetts!