Your guide to finding a great campground for your next Northeast camping vacation. Besides campground reviews, you'll find lots of other camping information and even a few New England restaurant reviews. We try to keep it updated regularly, so come visit often. Enjoy!
THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED! Thanks to all that participated. We mailed out a lot of certificates! I hope everyone enjoyed them!
We received a bunch of $50 Savings certificates from Acres of Wildlife in Steep Falls, Maine! (Read the “fine print” below for the specific window of available dates)
If you think the timeframe will work for you, and you’d like to receive one…
It’s first come first served and please DO NOT POST YOUR PERSONAL INFO in a public comment
The certificate is for $50 off a two-night minimum stay for a camping site, or one of their rentals; see their website for specific fees
Only usable for limited off-peak dates: Mothers Day weekend through Father’s Day weekend (excluding Memorial Weekend) 2012, 2013 and Halloween II (Sept 28) through Oct 16, 2012
One certificate per family, reservations are recommended, certificate is due within 2 weeks after making reservations to confirm. Certificate has no cash value.
Maine sales tax will be calculated on the full amount, before the $50 cert is deducted.
We’ll give away all the certificates, so once they’re gone, they’re gone.
That’s Camping is not affiliated with Acres of Wildlife
The Daylight Lamps people contacted me with an offer to evaluate their Daylight NaturaLight LED Lamp & Flashlight, PLUS an offer to provide another lamp as a giveaway to one of my visitors!
Read along for your chance to win a free LED lamp/flashlight!
The Daylight NaturaLight LED Lamp & Flashlight is a handy-to-have product at home and while camping. It offers up to 6 hours of light, requiring 3 AA batteries (not included) and it’s both a flashlight (with 6 LED bulbs) and a table lamp (with 28 LED bulbs).
The product is extremely lightweight, compared to other flashlights, which is good because it won’t weigh you down. But on the negative side, because it’s so light, it’s not as “rugged” as other flashlights, and it feels like the plastic could easily break or chip if tossed around too much.
The table lamp is extremely bright. We’re big fans of LED lighting, in fact Mike is officially obsessed with LED lights, and he was impressed with the brightness of the lamp. The lamp flips open from the base and the lamp is immediately “on” - Note: it’s a little awkward to open because the finger/thumb indentation is very small, which could make it difficult for your thumb to fit and pull up on it.
Once open, it lights up the whole area and can be angled up or down depending on where you need the light. It stands flat on the flashlight base and is very stable. It is perfect for playing cards at the campsite table, nighttime cooking, or just reading in your tent. It’s equally impressive if the electricity goes out at home.
What’s also cool about the table lamp is that it can also be used as a flashlight. It can be angled so it lights up the ground but won’t annoy oncoming campers walking toward you, with a bright light in their face(s).
The second part of this light is a flashlight, which twists at the front to turn on; it uses only 6 little LED bulbs, so is not as bright as the lamp, but you don’t need many LEDs to get you around on a dark night while camping. The base is fairly thick/wide, so it could be cumbersome to hold for long periods of time, so it’s probably more suitable for quick trips to the restroom, not long night time walks with the dogs. And again, it’s a great flashlight for home use, if the electricity goes out or you just need a flashlight to walk through your dark basement.
There is a handy nylon cord included for carrying or hanging on a hook by your bed or sleeping bag.
Both of us really liked the Daylight NaturaLight LED Lamp & Flashlight. I’m keeping it by my bed, ready for any electric outages. I wish I had it during the last hurricane, when we lost electricity for a couple of hours. The only real downside, is that it requires batteries. It would be so awesome if it could be plugged into electric, to keep it ready and fully charged for an emergency or a weekend camping trip.
UPDATE: We had a nasty Noreaster storm right before Halloween, and our power went out from Saturday night to Wednesday afternoon. This flashlight was a huge help. I walked around the house and it was extremely bright. I took the dogs outside with it, cooked dinner using it, and kept it by the bed until we were ready to go to sleep. It worked flawlessly. I was so happy to have this flashlight and will continue to use it, especially during power outages!
Disclaimer: I received a free lamp from the Daylight company, but my opinions are truthful, and I gave an fair evaluation of the product. I will not recommend any product that I wouldn’t honestly use myself.
I have been involved with thatscamping.com since 1999, and those that are familiar with the website, know that I am very sympathetic toward campground owners. In fact, I’ve been accused of being too understanding and sympathetic and possibly being affiliated with campgrounds.
Owning a campground is a huge undertaking! I take it very seriously when someone sends in a negative review that could damage a campground’s reputation or cause unnecessary hurt toward one of the campground owners or staff. I do not allow these type of reviews on thatscamping.com because it just doesn’t feel right.
Many times, campground owners will contact me concerning a posted review, and I try my best to come to a fair solution. Whether that means posting the campground owner’s “other side of the story”, editing the review, or complete removal of the review, I try to resolve the problem.
There was only one time in the past 12 years that I had one unresolvable issue regarding a review, and that was due to the campground owner being difficult and unreasonable about a review that I thought was fair.
That all changed today. I received an email from Chris Costonis, manager and owner of Barrington Shores Campground located in Barrington, NH. I thought it was important to make this email public because it shows exactly what kind of a person he is. (Note: I left out the portion of the email that listed the 2 parts of the review that he was not happy with)
To whom it may concern,
I encourage you to review our facebook page at facebook.com/barringtonshores . This will give you some insight into our park. I want you to be unbiased so that after you have read our facebook reviews from other customers you will be able to tell that the review on your site has an agenda attached to it. I welcome your phone call to discuss this matter. My cell number is ####. A couple of the inaccuracies mentioned, (removed comments) This is very incendiary posting. I saw in your notes that you edit posts. I highly suggest there are other inaccuracies in this review and I request that you delete it from your site. I would like you to call me to discuss this situation so we can come to an amicable solution. if I do not hear from you within 72 hours or have that posting edited to be truthful or completely removed (which would be the best way to handle this situation), I will have no choice but to have my partner, who is an attorney file suit against you and your site. This is not a threat, this is an attempt to come to a reasonable solution to something that is highly inaccurate. However, please be assured I am very serious and it costs us little money to file suit since we are attorney owned. I suggest you save you and your site a lot of aggravation and money. This can all go away very easily. PS. I invite you or your representative to come stay at our park any 3-day weekend next year early in the season from May 15th thru July 1st as a complimentary stay. At that time you would have a greater understanding and feel for our park which has been maliciously maligned and egregiously disparaged by this anonymous attack.
GM / Owner
(Edited 2011-09-16) I had originally written some harsh words for Mr Costonis, but after sleeping on it, I’ve decided that I didn’t want to stoop to his level and I’d just let his words speak for themselves.
I have removed the offending lines from the review he was concerned about, because I can’t prove one way or another if what the reviewer wrote is true or not. In exchange, I am making his email threats public so campers can come to their own conclusion concerning Chris Costonis and Barrington Shores campground.
As usual, I want to thank my visitors for their support!
I recently received an “Bug Shield-Insect Blocker” shirt from Columbia Sportswear for my husband and I to “test” - First impression of the silky shirt was “wow, it looks like it wrinkles very easily” - then came my second impression: the label.
Okay, I should explain that I’m a naturalist, probably bordering on hippy-like tree hugger. I despise toxic chemicals, insecticides, pesticides, etc. I think big businesses have virtually ruined our earth by contaminating it with toxic waste products while the government looks the “other way”.....so needless to say, my initial instincts were to run from this shirt, but my curiosity got the better of me. So, I agreed to test a shirt.
The shirt arrived, and as I stated, the first impression was that the shirt was very wrinkle-prone. I wore it once in the backyard while taking the dogs out for their morning break. Yes, the bugs seemed to be repelled. But when I brought it back into the house, I figured I’d better launder it before wearing it further, and then I looked closer at the washing instructions on the label.
Stated on Label: Remains effective for 70 washings, but wash separately from other clothing and “dispose of garment in the trash” - the “active ingredient” is PERMETHRIN.
Well, if you believe the Columbia Sportswear Insect Blocker web page, this chemical is “a synthetic version of a naturally occurring insect repellent found in certain types of chrysanthemums” - sounds wonderful, doesn’t it. Very natural and safe, right? Wrong!
Permethrin is 100% man-made, and yes it might have once been based on a plant, but it’s far from safe! In fact, it doesn’t just repel bugs, it KILLS them, along with fish. That label doesn’t tell you that you should NEVER allow the garment to be washed or submerged in a river or lake, as this chemical is highly toxic to aquatic organisms. It’s pretty scary when you read the reviews on the Columbia Sportswear web site that state that users are going fishing wearing this shirt!
And then there are the honeybees. Yep, Permethrin can kill honeybees, as well as other beneficial insects.
The EPA has classified Permethrin as a “possible cancer causing carcinogen because there is limited evidence of cancer in animals” and there is also evidence that it can cause organs like the liver to enlarge. Human and animal newborns are more sensitive to Permethrin, so it’s extremely important to keep this toxin away from the young.
Cats also have been poisoned by this chemical.
The shirt is manufactured for Columbia Sportswear by Insect Shield LLC in Greensboro, NC, and after looking at their web site, they mention NOTHING about any possible dangers of this chemical to water, fish, cats, and children. In fact, they praise it for “saving lives” on their FAQ page.
So, will I wear this shirt again? Heck no! Would I recommend other campers to purchase this shirt? What do you think? NO WAY! Not just because the retail price is an outrageous $80, but because there is no proof that this shirt will not cause damage to the environment and to our health.
I am not sure what I’m going to do with the shirt now. It states to “dispose of in the trash”, but that seems too risky. What if the chemical leeches into water before it’s dissipated? Yes, I am probably over-reacting, but I feel like I need to take a shower after even touching this shirt. And I especially don’t want my pets to go near it!
Hmm, do you think this means that Columbia Sportswear won’t be contacting me to test any more of their products? LOL
So, now that I’ve totally blasted this product, what DO I recommend for a natural bug repellent (that actually repels bugs but won’t KILL them, along with other living things)? How about a natural product like Quantum Buzzaway, made with geranium oil. It works, I’ve used it! There are plenty of much safer products available that use natural oils, not toxic chemicals. Or better yet, make your own homemade version!
Everyone have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend. Whether you are camping or not, enjoy the long weekend!
Springfield RV, Camping and Outdoor Show: Located at the Eastern States Exposition Grounds (The Big E), 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA 01089
2011 Dates: Feb 18th to 21st
We went to the Springfield show yesterday. It’s been a few years since we’ve attended, and it’s definitely one of the best shows in the area. Besides RVs and trailers, there are lots of booths for area campgrounds and camping supplies. And the food is great too. Check out the two level snack bar/restaurant in the Young Building.
We bought a new outdoor carpet from Sisken Sales, selling Snowbird RV Mats. We purchased a 9x12 mat for $62 (tax included) and she included a great carrying case, along with stake down kit.
There were also a few seminars - we caught the “Wolf Talk” seminar, and it was incredible. I highly recommend checking it out if you go to the show. According to the schedule, you can catch his seminar on Monday at 11am and 2pm. There are also assorted nature, RV and camping seminars. Check the website schedule for more details.
We noticed that “eco friendly” RVs are all the rage this season. Earthbound RVs were very “airstream” like, but constructed from composite and aluminum (no wood). Lots of outdoor kitchens again, which are really cool, except I don’t know if a whole fridge is needed. Seems like a gross waste of electricity to me, unless of course both are filled and/or you shut off the one you don’t need. We also noticed the 30WFKSS Flagstaff V-lite, with the extended V-shaped kitchen in the front. I loved how they utilized more hitch space for the interior.
Some campgrounds that intrigued us:
And there was a trailer/motorhome rental company that seemed very nice: Fuller Motorhome Sales and Rental in Boylston, MA.
We had a great time walking around the show.
Very sad, another RV company has closed.
It appears that Coleman Trailers has closed their Somerset, Pennsylvania factory on Wednesday. All 300 employees are now out of work.
Here are links with more details:
Join the discussion on our forum.
The Italian Farmhouse Restaurant is located on Rt 3 in Plymouth, NH. We passed by the restaurant while driving up to Franconia Notch and thought it sounded interesting. We had seen the name on the list of the establishments that were affiliated with the Common Man.
I was initially hesitant to try it, because when we were browsing inside the Common Man Company store in Ashland, NH, and I was disappointed when I checked one of the jars of jelly and saw corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup leading the list of ingredients. Yuck! I hate when companies try to fool you with the homemade-canned look of a product, but it’s actually no better (actually worse) than anything you can buy at the grocery store.
But we have heard good things about the Common Man restaurants in general, so we decided to give it a whirl on Sunday, July 4th. We arrived around 7ish, and there was no waiting for our small party of two. We were seated at a small table at the back wall. Since it was our first time to the restaurant, the hostess explained that we were welcome to visit the bread bar with infused dipping oils. She also asked if we wanted bottled or plain house water. We opted for the regular water.
Our waitress arrived shortly afterward with inquiries for any further drink orders. The water was just fine. I was fascinated with all the menu choices, so we needed a few more minutes before we decided what we wanted to order. But I did inquire if they offered any sort of “side” salad, as most restaurants offer a smaller sized salad for a lower price when a dinner is ordered. She seemed almost surprised by my question but she said that she could probably halve one of the full sized salads if I wanted.
The menu offers typical Italian American fare, like lasagna, brick oven pizza, alfredo, scampi, along with lots of seafood choices, and steak. There’s something for everyone! Prices are fair, ranging from under $10 to $20. Our check including tip, totaled $35.
I finally decided on classic spaghetti and meatballs and husband Mike ordered veal (poor baby cow) parmesan. Similar to chain restaurants, the staff does try to push the “extras”. She asked if we were interested in an appetizer or salad, but we figured the bread would be enough. Yep, we were right. That bread bar was deadly! We sliced ourselves a few pieces of homemade warm bread, along with a couple of dishes of fresh grated cheese and awesome infused oil (basil or spicy) and we were set! ha! The bread was delicious, too delicious, as we went up for second helping!
Right after our order arrived, I was a tiny bit grossed out as I watched one of the staff cleaning and setting up a nearby table. He arrived at the table with a tray of clean glasses and utensils wrapped in cloth napkins. He placed the clean tray on one of the chairs. eh, not so hygienic. Then he proceeded to stack all the dirty plates on another tray he set on the table, right above the clean tray on the chair. ugh, REALLY not hygienic. Then he sprayed the vinyl table cloth with some cleaning solution, wiped down the table, and set the table with the clean glasses and napkins/utensils. Somehow watching the same person clean up someone’s dirty dishes right before he touched clean items just made me think “ick”. Yes, yes, yes, I know that most customers would be horrified to learn what goes on behind the scenes in a restaurant kitchen, but what I don’t see doesn’t bother me… it’s what I DO see out in the open that gives me pause.
Anyway, our food was delicious, but I am not hard to please when it comes to Italian food! haha! I got a nice big bowl of pasta with tomato sauce topped with two huge (2 inch) meatballs. Mike also enjoyed his veal parmesan and pasta. I could only eat half of my meal, surprise surprise! Could it have been the shameful 1000 calories of bread and oil that I ate previously? I ended up taking home my leftovers. They use Chinese takeout boxes for leftovers!
The general manager, Paul, was very attentive and hands on. I saw him out on the floor many times during our dinner, and he even stopped to chat with Mike while we were walking to the bread bar and he then stopped us on our way out, asking our first names to give us his business card with a “first timers free appetizer” for our next visit.
The Italian Farmhouse is a fairly large restaurant, with quaint, old fashioned, homey decor. The outdoor grounds are gorgeous, with a lovely greenhouse in back that can be rented for special occasions like anniversary parties and weddings. With such beautiful views of the mountains, I can imagine it must be spectacular to book your wedding ceremony and reception there!
337 Daniel Webster Highway (Route 3)
Plymouth, NH 03264
I think my final “grade” would be B+
This season, we joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) so we’re getting a wonderful package of fresh vegetables every week! It’s exciting to be buying local!
Whenever we’re away, I’m never very happy with the produce at the grocery stores, so I really want to find a good outlet for fresh veggies while on vacation! So, this year we are planning on making a visit to the local Farmer’s Market(s) to buy our veggies and fruit.
I love the web site “Local Harvest” - it makes it easy to find local farmers markets where ever you might be! At home or on vacation! Just type in the zip code, and you’ll get a list of Farmer’s Markets nearby.
And it’s not just fresh veggies and fruit. Some farmers markets offer fresh eggs, dairy, honey, meat, poultry, candles, and bakery products. Check it out to find a farmer’s market near your home and near your camping destination!
some other New England links:
http://www.northeastharvest.com/ - Massachusetts farms
http://www.northeastharvest.com/localfood/growingcalendar - what’s in season - I love this produce availability calendar.
http://www.nhfma.org/ - NH Farmers Markets
http://www.getrealmaine.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/home.showpage/pageID/5/index.htm - Maine Farmers Markets
http://www.vermontagriculture.com/buylocal/buy/farmersmarkets_map.html - Vermont farmers markets
http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/ - New York farmers markets
http://www.buyctgrown.com/ - Locally grown Connecticut
http://www.buylocalpa.org/ - Pennsylvania buy local
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Please note: detailed campground information is listed only as a comparison and guide; to ensure accurate up to date information, please contact the campground directly. That's Camping is not affiliated with any campground. We reserve the right to edit or refuse any campground review.