The summer of 2020 was far different than past summers for us. Since 2016 we have taken three weeks every summer and have driven across the country each time. We have been as far as Big Bend National Park, the Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone. Our original plans for 2020 were to head west once again. This year was going to be Las Vegas. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was not possible. However, we did take 21 days and did some traveling. For the summer of 2020, we decided on New England Camping. You can see how the COVID pandemic changed other travels this year, and how we kept safe, on our blog post about Being Safe and Social during the pandemic.
This year we chose to stay close to home. So we canceled our original plans and decided to stay in New England. This may seem crazy to some since we live in New England, and on Cape Cod. Well regardless of where you live getting away, and going on vacation is so very important. We have 49 other weeks to hang out on Cape Cod.
A Slower Pace = More Quality Time
We are used to covering around 5,000 miles in 21 days as we go out west, and return. This results in many long days of driving. It includes early morning, before the sun rises, camp break downs. The non-driving days are fast-paced with adventures, and often national parks.
This year we visited 4 campgrounds while New England camping and the pace was much slower. We have normally enjoyed the face pace we normally travel at. This has allowed us to see so much more of the country. Our adventures have been amazing and often create once-in-a-lifetime memories.
Instead of spending some days driving for 7-8 hours, making dinner real quick, and heading to bed, we could just hang out. Almost every night we light a campfire and just spend quality time with our children. Not once did we have to wake up before the sun, break down camp while the kids slept, and hit the road for another 6-700 miles. There was never a rush to do anything. Plus with the pandemic and all the social distancing, most of our time was spent with just the four of us. For us the COVID pandemic changed our plans but was a blessing in disguise.
Boston Minuteman Campground | Littleton Massachusetts
The Boston Minuteman Campground was stop number one for us. We choose to start here because it was close to Lawrence, Massachusetts. Why Lawrence you may ask? Well, our oldest son Alex lives in Lawrence, and this gave us a place to camp and visit him. Little did we know it was also close to an NPS site, an opportunity we never pass up.
Boston Minuteman is a small campground nestled in the woods in Littleton, Mass. There is a mixture of Rv sites, and tent sites spread throughout the campground. We had Rv’s on both sides, and tents right behind us. Much like many campgrounds there was a small camp store with the few odds and ends you may need while camping.
Of course, this being the summer of social distancing we interacted with the other quest and store staff on a limited basis. There have clean bathhouses that offer clean showers as well. There is also a small pool that kept us busy although the number allowed in was limited. As far as activities there is an area with a basketball hoop, a bocce court, and some horseshoes.
The Campgrounds web page has much more information regarding a visit. We spent two nights here and had no complaints. If you are looking for a true Rv campground this may not be what you’re looking for. There were more tents, and families spread throughout the campground with the assorted RVs. However, if you are looking for a nice getaway, not far from Boston, this is certainly a valid option.
Minuteman National Historic Park
If you are anything like us, and looking for an NPS site to visit the Minuteman National Historic Site is 20 minutes away from the campground. The park helps commemorate the events of April 19th, 1776, and the opening battles of the war. This site protects the land, and buildings surrounding the start of the Revolutionary War. For those that enjoy the National Park Service New England camping is rich in sites to visit.
Though we did participate in the Junior Ranger Program it was vastly different than other times. Due to the social distancing of 2020, the Park Ranger handed you the activity book, with the badge already attached. Normally you would complete the book, and return it for the park’s badge.
While at the park we visited the North Bridge and walked along the Battle Road.
The North Bridge is where the “shot heard ‘round the world” was fired. This signified the first time the colonist fired on the British and was an act of treason against the Crown. On the side of the bridge that the colonist was lined up is the famous Minute Man memorial. On the opposite side, we came across an extremely interesting memorial. There is a grave where two British soldiers were buried after the battle. The NPS website has a great video explaining the North Bridge and the battle that occurred there. It is humbling to stand on the Old North Bridge and try to envision the beginnings of the Revolutionary War in front of you.
Unfortunately due to the Pandemic all the historical buildings, and visitor centers were closed. We spent about 1 ½ hours at the park before moving on to our next campground.
Moose Hillock | Warren New Hampshire
Our #1 New England Camping Park 2020
We had never heard of this hidden gem in the White Mountains of New Hampshire until a co-worker of mine mentioned it to us. Much like some of our other experiences this campground ranks #1 for reasons other than being a nice campground. It is the memories made there when you look back that stand out and make it so memorable. This is why the Badlands was so memorable.
As far as the campground it is everything you think of when you think of outdoors camping. Lots of woods, hiking trails, kids running around everywhere having fun, campfires in the evening, lots of tents, and families making great memories. Of course, being in the woods there is no wifi or cell service. Which in our opinion is not a horrible thing. Yet there is also one vastly different aspect to this campground. Their pool has a large Spanish Galleon in it with water slides and water guns. The pool was certainly the highlight, and it even has a snack bar if you need to grab a few bites.
If you follow our page at all you already know we have two children who travel with us. We also have two older, grown children who unfortunately didn’t have the chance to enjoy the Rv. While at Moose Hillock our oldest son Alexander was able to come up and spend a day, and night, with us. The three brothers had an AMAZING time together, and it was great to be able to hang out around the campfire with them.
You can learn more about Moose Hillock on our blog post review.
This was so much fun next year we may bring the Rv, rent a cabin, and have our entire family gather for a week if possible.
Our recommendation for Moose Hillock is….what are you waiting for make a reservation!!!
Brookwood Rv Resort Review | Adirondack Mountains
After leaving New Hampshire we stayed at Brookwood Rv resort in the Adirondack Mountains for a few days. The campground is small and well-kept. The staff was great to us, and very kind genuine people. However, what we expected an Rv resort to be, and what it was were two different things. The majority of sites here were seasonal sites, with a handful of overnight sites. There was no pool, no basketball, no nothing for the kids to do here. This is not a bad thing, and not a reason to skip the campground. It is just not what we had in mind. So to overcome the lack of things to do we ventured out through the Adirondack Mountains to find things to do. Luckily with the help of Google, we were able to find some adventures.
Ausable Chasm & Kayaking Lake George
Two of the things we did find were certainly well worth the time and drive. The first-day trip was to Ausable Chasm New York. This was approximately 60 miles from the campground and took about one hour twenty minutes to get to. It included a hike along the chasm, and for an additional fee, a guided hike down along the river itself. We certainly recommend that if you do visit Ausable Chasm to pay the extra few bucks per person and get down to the river. There were amazing views and large waterfalls.
Two of the things we did find were certainly well worth the time and drive. The first-day trip was to Ausable Chasm New York. This was approximately 60 miles from the campground and took about one hour twenty minutes to get to. It included a hike along the chasm, and for an additional fee, a guided hike down along the river itself. We certainly recommend that if you do visit Ausable Chasm pay the extra few bucks per person and get down to the river. There were amazing views and large waterfalls.
Next, we went out and spent a day kayaking on Lake George. We were able to rent a kayak for a few hours through Lake George Kayaking Co. in Bolton New York. This was about 30 miles away from the campground. All though not far the roads are thin, and windy through the mountains. Not extremely difficult if you are driving a car, but we do not tow a car with us. So we had to make the trip in the Rv. This was certainly tricky at times, but not impossible.
I guess if you would ask us about the Brookwood Rv resort we would just advise you tow a car so that you can easily go out, and find some things to do.
Apple Island Resort | South Hero Vermont
We finished our New England camping trip at the Apple Island Resort in South Hero Vermont. A beautiful campground, and yet unique experience. When first arrive, you see a large field of Rvs overlooking Lake Champlain. Our site was past the field, and up in an area filled with cabins and trailers along with a few Rvs mixed in. A little further into the property you come across a 9 hole golf course.
As we got acquainted we learned that many of the people residing here were retired. We quickly learned we were camping in what amounted to a retirement community. Certainly, one benefit of this is that the campground is very well, meticulously, maintained. Another thing we quickly noticed that as soon as it got dark things got real quiet and shut down for the evening. Just the opposite of many campgrounds we have visited. Most times the evening, and night is filled with campfires and music and the sounds of people enjoying themselves.
The only thing to do here for the kids was the swimming pool. Of course, I believe this was due to the ongoing pandemic. There is a large beautiful community building next to the pool. We were told that normally the community building is very active, with programs running all day long. We spent three very relaxing days here. Again a much slower pace, and some needed quality time with our children.
A Nice Surprise….the Milky Way
On our first night at Apple Island, we did come across a great surprise. Marcus and I were outside when I looked up and realized the night was extremely clear. As our eyes adjusted we realized much like at the Grand Canyon there was little to no artificial light pollution. We were on an island, in the middle of Lake Champlain, New England camping, and the sky was amazing. There were no clouds, and the stars shined brightly.
As we looked up, with the help of a phone app, we tried to identify some planets and constellations. Suddenly we realized we could see, with the naked eye, the Milky Way stretching across the sky. Truly a magnificent sight if you have never witnessed it. We tried to capture it with the cameras on our phones, but it just didn’t come out well. As I look back on it that’s probably better. It is great that we have this blog, and social media outlets to share our memories and adventures. Yet sometimes the best memories we have are those that stay with us, and that we share only with each other.
In the end, this was a great campground, with great people. Probably much better when there is no global pandemic occurring.
New England Camping A Success
In the end, our New England camping trip was a success. Leaving home we were heading out on a trip that we were not used to. It was no Las Vegas or a 5,648 mile round trip blast across the country.
We had planned to visit some of the Nation’s great National Parks on our trip.
Instead, we had a much slower-paced trip and had some really important quality time without children. It is important to show them different parts of the country and to introduce them to different people.
Just as important is slowing down every once in a while, and just hanging out together around a campfire.
We love to hear from our followers. Please leave a comment below.
Have you traveled through New England in an Rv, or camped in New England? Do you have any campgrounds to add to our list to visit?