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View Full Version : List - Campgrounds in the White Mountains (Car Camping)



hikingmaineac
07-31-2009, 07:02 AM
In the past, lists of great places in the Whites to eat have been made...

How about a list of great places in the Whites where you can car camp?

Car Camp: To load up your vehicle ridiculously full of gear meant to enhance the camping experience that you would never consider putting in a backpack... and then driving to a campsite that is maintained by someone, and paying to spend the night.

DrewKnight
07-31-2009, 08:13 AM
Osceola Vista campground in Waterville Valley, right off the Tripoli Road... gorgeous panoramic views, nearby access to Osceola, the Tripyramids. Tends to be quiet, with families and smaller groups or Scout troops as the main constituency.

My vote for not great car camping: Tripoli Road distributed camping area... right around the corner from Osceola Vista, and running for 7 miles along the Tripoli Road... some summer weekends it feels like whole Boston neighborhoods have disgorged their inhabitants in one large blot... crowds (albeit distributed along a ribbon), parking issues (OK, people, seriously, you think it's a GOOD idea to pull to a stop and unpack about a third of the way into a rutted dirt road?), and assorted forms of bizarre urban behavior (walking along said rutted road three- and four-abreast, then acting churlish when a car comes along). All this is to say nothing of the actual experience of camping close to a fairly busy road, road-dust infiltrating everything, extremely dubious sanitation, and -- I suspect -- a well-trained guerrilla bear population who have long since figured out that city folk are a marvelous source of easy and tasty nutrition.

MadRiver
07-31-2009, 08:36 AM
What I find troubling about the Tripoli road camping is that every site has a fire going and about a 3rd of them are unattended.

averagejoe
07-31-2009, 08:47 AM
Last fall was my first time car camping at a campground, (the family has a place in Maine). I went to the Covered Bridge Campground, and Blackberry Crossing Campground. Both were pretty nice. The caretakers seemed to be right on top of any issues, (santiary, or other). At covered bridge there is a height restriction on vehicles, due to a structure over the road, so you don't get RV's and trailers in there. Blackberry Crossing is a smallish campground with I think 25 or 30 sites, and there are a few tent only sites where you park at the end of the campground and walk, (I think) a few hundred feet to the sites.

Joe.

Minion I
07-31-2009, 09:16 AM
Beech Hill Campgrounds in Twin Mountain is nicely placed and has lots of services. www.beechhill.com.

RoySwkr
07-31-2009, 09:27 AM
What I find troubling about the Tripoli road camping is that every site has a fire going and about a 3rd of them are unattended.

I find it more disturbing when somebody takes a chainsaw to your camper in the middle of the night because they mistake your camper for the guy's who ticked them off earlier - yes it happened some years ago. I didn't feel that safe there in the middle of the day on a weekday hiking Tecumseh. And if you want to camp in the woods, there are places you can camp for free or for the cost of a parking pass that are much nicer.

Last time I stayed at Covered Bridge there was a guy in a truck with a loudspeaker driving through selling firewood. Isn't that what we go camping to get away from?

Jay H
07-31-2009, 09:35 AM
When I stayed at Osceola Vista and drove through Tripoli road from the long way, noticed the throngs of people camped along the sites along the side, including some sites that seemed to be pushing critical mass!!!! I guess they don't have a site limit or not really enforced but it was a madhouse.

Anyway, I've car camped at Cherry mtn road twice for some pressie traverses, Osceola Vista (without the vista, since it was overcast), and Lafayette Campground, which I hope never to stay again.

As far as private campgrounds, I've only stayed at Waterest campground in Woodstock which I liked, you have a choice of pond or river and it's small. Just watch out for flooding, some sites get turned into a stream. Headed there this labor day weekend, in fact.

Jay

bobandgeri
07-31-2009, 10:13 AM
TarryHo in Twin Mountain has sites right on the Ammonoosuc River, a few of which can accommidate larger families and groups. Fairly centrally located for hiking the Notches.

Includes free Wi-Fi.

http://tarryho.com/

sardog1
07-31-2009, 10:17 AM
The Wildwood Campground (http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/white_mountain/recreation/camping/wildwood.html) is operated by a concessionaire for the WMNF. It's not on a well-traveled road, so it doesn't get a lot of attention. Almost all the sites are private enough to screen them from each other. You can go hiking/bushwhacking right from your campsite, including some fairly adventurous bushwhacks if you're so inclined. Access to nearby trailheads within a short drive. When I've stayed there in the past, the hosts were congenial and respectful of the reasons people would favor such a place.

DougPaul
07-31-2009, 10:35 AM
Might be worth mentioning the WMNF lists of developed campgrounds: http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/white_mountain/recreation/camping/

Doug

jniehof
07-31-2009, 12:47 PM
Might be worth mentioning the WMNF lists of developed campgrounds
Also Fourth Iron, which is on neither the backcountry site list nor the developed campground list. It's $8 (proposed to go to $10), parking is almost directly across from Sawyer River Road on 302. A long walk back in, though...I went to check it out and decided after a little more than five minutes of walking without finding the site that it didn't really fit my definition of "car" camping and I should be on my way.

PETCH
07-31-2009, 01:09 PM
TarryHo in Twin Mountain has sites right on the Ammonoosuc River, a few of which can accommidate larger families and groups. Fairly centrally located for hiking the Notches.

Includes free Wi-Fi.

http://tarryho.com/

Seems to me (and I could be wrong or course), that someone is "pimpin" the TarryHo campground!:rolleyes: Hmmmmmm.......... :)

That's it, I'm going to check out the TarryHo someday........

Petch

bobandgeri
07-31-2009, 01:54 PM
That's it, I'm going to check out the TarryHo someday........
Petch

Geri says you can see Cannon from here! :>

If you do let us know in advance and we can grill up some dinner.

Kevin, Judy and Emma
07-31-2009, 06:49 PM
I'm not sure I should divulge these because I like them for their peace and quiet! :D

I've been camping at Moosebrook for about 20 years. Great swimming hole. Close to town for food, drinks, whatever. If you camp there go to Mary's on Cascade Flats. It's a hole in the wall, but best pizza and pasta in the North Country. Get take out and it will still be hot when you get back to Moosebrook.

Next would be Dry River, although it's a little closer to the road than I like to be. It's not near anything, so make sure you have all your supplies before heading out there. They added some nice, brand new showers, laundry facility and flush toilets a few years back. Great hiking right out of camp, and a great swimmin' hole on the Dry River, but I ain't sayin' where! ;)

A new favorite is Sugarloaf. Well off the road so it's quiet, and lots of nice hiking right from your site.

I ain't tellin' ya about Kevin's (Evans) Notch. Stay out! :D

KDT

Silverfox
07-31-2009, 07:16 PM
I've been camping at Moosebrook for about 20 years. Great swimming hole. Close to town for food, drinks,

I ain't tellin' ya about Kevin's (Evans) Notch. Stay out! :D

KDT

Sounds like KJE and I have crossed paths as our campground tastes similar..some good sites at Moosebrook..close to town but quiet..showers

Sugarloaf..my personal fav for quiet..lots of places to walk and check out views..convenient..some swimming

Wildwood is very quiet..nice seperated sites..river across the road for a dip..this one seems the most remote to me ..well except for Milan Hill which is kinda spooky

As for Kevan's Notch..well..I wouldn't go there if i were you:)

elvios lincoln
07-31-2009, 07:29 PM
White lake is a old CCC campground with nice sites. Though the area around it on Rt 16 is a bit of a hole lately. If you roam a bit west on Rt113, then the country gets wonderful fast

Its best drawing card still is mint. A very nice lake with a white sand bottom. It gets deep very gradually. It may be the best case to take little kids swimming that i know of. The beach is large and has a spectacular view of Chocorua to Whiteface. They just built two fancy, state of the art playgrounds on the lake for little kids as well.

The worst part about the place is the bathrooms and showers. The sparse facilities are not cleaned nearly often enough. Most women and even men get turned off by the condition of these facilities.

good luck

miehoff
07-31-2009, 11:32 PM
I love you all, but I am not going to discuss what has taken me years to find. Although, for a small fee...

miehoff
07-31-2009, 11:33 PM
Post No. 200 for me!
I think I will have that last beer!

Blueblaze
08-03-2009, 08:57 AM
Crawford Notch Family campground on 302 in Bartlett! Great people who own it clean and lots of fun for the kiddos in the river out back!

KRobi
08-06-2009, 06:45 PM
Stayed at Moosebrook on Tuesday night. Very disappointing! The site was sloped with no flat spots to set up on, and was located along with 5 other sites in a descending area. Thankfully no rain as it would have come right down towards us. The nearest restroom had only the womens side in order even after 24hrs. The functional restroom was not cleaned in the time we were there. There was more (RV with generator running right next to us, lousy service from staff), but you get the point. We are NH natives and wanted the state park to be great (even good would have been fine) and understand the financial situation for the state park system, but this was a waste of money. Try a commercial or a National Forest site.

urbanRecon
08-07-2009, 09:28 AM
I've stayed at White Ledge off 16 by Chocorua and Sugarloaf 2 - both are quiet and great for a tent or 2. I don't use any full service RV sites - just bare bones tent sites.

GBKDalton
08-10-2009, 05:45 PM
Last year I stayed at the little hiker hostel at the Crawford Notch General Store and Campground and thought it seemed like a great place to camp with the kids. Might be a little busy for this set though. It had swimming, fishing, cabins and tentsites. The hostel cabin was clean, the bathrooms were clean and had great water pressure, and they had pay laundry and snacks. I was happy.

NewHampshire
08-10-2009, 05:59 PM
Stopped into the Basin Campground near Eveans notch this weekend (one of our trailheads we used was located there). Looks like a real nice place. I may actually use it some day as a base for some long weekend hiking in that area (Wild River Wilderness and Caribou-Speckeled Wilderness).

Brian