Camping in Connecticut

      A traveler’s guide to camping in Connecticut.

      Your Connecticut Camping Guide

      Connecticut might not be the first state that comes to mind for epic camping adventures, but don’t underestimate its charm! This little gem in New England packs a punch, offering diverse landscapes from rugged coastlines to peaceful forests, all within a short drive.

      Hike scenic trails, kayak along glistening lakes, or roast marshmallows by a crackling fire – Connecticut’s got something for every kind of camper. So, ditch the crowds and embrace the laid-back vibes of a Connecticut camping getaway. You might just be surprised at how much hidden wilderness this little state holds!

      Best Places To Camp In Connecticut


      Nestled amidst rolling hills and sparkling lakes, this area boasts two popular state park campgrounds. Macedonia Brook State Park Campground, nestled along the banks of its namesake brook, provides rustic campsites with hiking trails leading to cascading waterfalls. Lake Waramaug State Park Campground, situated on the shores of Lake Waramaug, offers swimming, boating, and fishing opportunities directly from your campsite.

      Lakeville Connecticut

      Rocky Neck State Park

      This park’s campground is perched directly on the shores of Long Island Sound, offering breathtaking ocean views from your tent or RV. Spend your days swimming in the refreshing waters, sunbathing on the sandy beach, or exploring the fascinating tide pools teeming with marine life. The campground itself provides basic amenities like picnic tables, fire rings, and restrooms, ensuring a comfortable stay amidst the coastal charm.

      Rocky Neck State Park Connecticut

      Macedonia Brook State Park

      Lush, secluded campsites nestled alongside a cascading waterfall, offering hiking, swimming, and scenic tranquility. Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of the Litchfield Hills at Macedonia Brook State Park. This park’s campground offers a rustic camping experience with campsites tucked away amidst towering trees and alongside a cascading waterfall.

      Macedonia Brook State Park Connecticut


      A quaint town nestled in the Litchfield Hills, Discover the charm of the Litchfield Hills in the picturesque town of Kent. This area offers several camping options near popular attractions like Kent Falls State Park, renowned for its cascading waterfalls and hiking trails, and Lake Candlewood, perfect for swimming, boating, and fishing. Campgrounds like Kent Falls State Park Campground and Lake Candlewood Camping Area provide campsites with amenities like picnic tables, fire rings, and restrooms.

      Kent Connecticut

      Hammonasset Beach State Park

      An expansive beachfront camping with miles of sandy coastline, this sprawling park boasts two campgrounds: Meigs Point Campground, nestled amidst towering pines close to the beach, and Haycock Point Campground, offering more open, sunny sites with direct beach access. Both locations provide campsites with picnic tables, fire rings, and restrooms. Spend your days soaking up the sun on the white sand beaches, trying your hand at surfing, or exploring the park’s nature trails teeming with diverse wildlife.

      Hammonasset Beach State Park Connecticut

      Things To Do In Connecticut

      Mystic Seaport Museum

      Step back in time at this living history museum, the largest maritime museum in the country. Wander cobblestone streets, board the majestic Charles W. Morgan whaleship, and witness traditional crafts demonstrations. Savor fresh seafood amidst the waterfront ambiance.

      Mark Twain House & Museum

      Journey into the whimsical world of America's beloved author. Explore the meticulously preserved Victorian mansion, brimming with personal artifacts and anecdotes. Immerse yourself in Twain's wit and wisdom through guided tours and interactive exhibits.

      Yale University

      Steeped in history and prestige, Yale's Gothic architecture and vibrant campus offer a captivating glimpse into academia. Explore museums like the Peabody Museum of Natural History, showcasing dinosaur skeletons and cultural artifacts, or marvel at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, housing literary treasures.

      Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

      This renowned institution houses over 14 million specimens, spanning dinosaurs, insects, minerals, and cultural artifacts. Get face-to-face with a colossal T-Rex skeleton, marvel at the iridescent plumage of exotic birds, and be transported through time and space by diverse exhibits.

      Gillette Castle State Park

      Built by actor William Gillette in the early 20th century, the castle exudes a medieval charm with its intricate architecture, secret passages, and breathtaking views of the Connecticut River Valley. Explore the grounds, marvel at the ingenuity of its design, and step into a world of imagination.

      Bushnell Park

      Nestled in the heart of Hartford, Bushnell Park offers a haven of serene nature amidst the city's bustle. Stroll through landscaped gardens teeming with colorful blooms, take a leisurely boat ride on the pond, or enjoy a picnic under the shade of mature trees. The park also hosts cultural events, concerts, and theatrical performances throughout the year.

      Mohegan Sun Casino

      Indulge in world-class entertainment and vibrant nightlife at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville. This award-winning casino complex features an array of gaming options, from slots and table games to poker and high-stakes lounges. Catch live music performances, theatrical shows, and comedy acts, or savor delectable cuisine at renowned restaurants.

      Lake Compounce

      Experience thrills and laughter at Lake Compounce, the oldest continuously operating amusement park in the United States. This family-friendly destination offers over 70 rides and attractions, catering to all ages. Take a plunge on the wooden Boulder Dash roller coaster, soar through the air on the Wildcat coaster, or enjoy nostalgic rides like the antique carousel.

      Heublein Tower

      This stone observation tower offers panoramic views of the Hartford skyline and the surrounding countryside. Climb the 165 steps to the top and be rewarded with breathtaking vistas, making it a perfect spot for photography and a romantic sunset.

      Witch Museum in Salem

      Uncover the history and folklore surrounding witchcraft at the Witch Museum in Salem. This intriguing museum delves into the Salem Witch Trials of the 17th century, showcasing artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays. Learn about the societal factors that led to the witch hunts and gain a deeper understanding of this complex historical event.

      Essex Steam Train & Riverboat Ride

      Embark on a scenic journey aboard the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat Ride. Travel back in time on a restored steam locomotive, chugging through charming towns and picturesque countryside. Upon reaching Chester, hop aboard a replica steamboat and cruise down the Connecticut River, soaking in the tranquil beauty of the natural landscape.

      The Nature Conservancy Preserves

      Take a journey across over 30 preserves scattered throughout the state. Hike through sun-dappled forests teeming with diverse flora and fauna, cycle along scenic trails, or become a silent observer during wildlife-watching expeditions. Immerse yourself in the diverse ecosystems that Connecticut cherishes.

      Connecticut Campground Owners Association

      The Connecticut Campground Owners Association is the premier resource for supporting campground owners and promoting camping in Connecticut. Experience the diversity Connecticut has to offer, from the mountains to the river valley, the Quiet Corner and ocean, we’ve got the perfect campsite for you!

      Connecticut Camping

      Featured Conneticut Parks

      Inspiration From Our Nearby States

      Book an RV in Connecticut

      Cruise the Connecticut coast in comfort and style with your very own RV rental! Ditch the crowded hotels and experience the Nutmeg State's charm at your own pace. Hike through lush forests, kayak scenic waterways, or simply relax by a crackling campfire under the stars. Don't miss out on this unique adventure – book your Connecticut RV rental today and create memories that will last a lifetime!

      Frequently Asked Questions

      The camping season typically runs from late spring (May) to early fall (October). Some campgrounds may offer extended seasons depending on weather conditions.

      Connecticut offers a variety of campground options, including state parks, private campgrounds, national parks, and campgrounds within National Forests. Each option has varying amenities and regulations.

      Reservations are strongly recommended, especially for weekends and holidays. Many popular campgrounds fill up quickly. Some campgrounds offer first-come, first-served options, but availability is not guaranteed.

      Popular options include Hammonasset Beach State Park, Rocky Neck State Park, Lake Waramaug State Park, and Macedonia Brook State Park. These offer family-friendly amenities like beaches, playgrounds, and easy hiking trails.

      Yes, several campgrounds allow pets, but restrictions may apply, such as leash requirements and breed restrictions. Always check with the campground before bringing your furry friend.

      Consider yurt camping at Kent Falls State Park, cabin rentals at Kettletown State Park, or primitive camping in Natchaug State Forest for a different camping experience.

      Unfortunately, free camping options in Connecticut are very limited. While some state forests allow backpacking on designated trails with a permit, dispersed camping (setting up camp anywhere in the woods) is generally prohibited. Additionally, free camping on private land without explicit permission from the owner is considered trespassing.

      Yes, but with restrictions. You can camp in designated areas within specific state forests by obtaining a backpacking permit. These designated sites are usually along marked hiking trails and not scattered throughout the woods. Remember, dispersed camping in any Connecticut woods is not allowed.

      Yes, there are a few limited options for camping along the Connecticut River:

      • State parks: Four state parks offer primitive campsites along the river: Hurd, Gillette Castle, River Highlands, and Selden Neck. They require reservations and have limitations on length of stay and amenities.
      • Backpacking: Permitted on designated sites along the Metacomet Trail which follows the river for some sections. Requires a permit and adheres to specific regulations.

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