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""Summer is here, and what better way to enjoy the season than spending some time in the great outdoors?

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) manages campgrounds in each region of Massachusetts, making your next outdoor adventure closer than you might think.

Find a MassParks campsite in your area and spend a few days hiking, fishing, or simply relaxing with friends and family.

Find a Campground in Your Region

MassParks divides campsites into five regions in Massachusetts: Boston, Central, North, South, and West. Each area offers something a little different, so check out neighboring regions to find unique camping opportunities.

  • Boston Region — Two campgrounds

Check out Camp Nihan Environmental Education Camp if you’re looking for a group campground.  If you’re an ocean-goer, take a ferry to one of four Boston Harbor Islands sites to spend a night near the water.

  • Central Region — Six campgrounds

Book one of the 150 sites or the group campground at Lake Dennison Recreation Area on July 10 to catch the 10th Annual Massachusetts State Triathlon. Pearl Hill State Park’s campsites are some of the state’s largest and most private, nestled under a canopy of pines. Adventurous campers can hike a four-mile trail that links the park to Damon Pond in Willard Brook State Forest.

  • Northern Region — Two campgrounds

Complete with two boat ramps and more than 475 campsites, Salisbury Beach State Reservation is one of DCR’s most popular ocean beaches. If you’re an active camper, consider pitching a tent at Harold Parker State Forest. The facility has mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding, and hiking, as well as more than 35 miles of logging roads.

  • Southern Region — Seven campgrounds

Biking enthusiasts can access the 22-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail from Nickerson State Park, a woodland area that offers a different experience from the Cape’s salt marshes and sand dunes. For horse owners, Myles Standish State Forest offers an equestrian camping area and 35 miles of horse trails.

  • Western Region —11 campgrounds

Enjoy the view from the highest point in the Commonwealth at hike-in, car-free campsites at Mount Greylock State Reservation. You can find accessible outdoor activities including boating, fishing, picnicking, and trails at the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) State Forest, making it a great campground for outdoor lovers of all abilities. The park also offers accessible beaches and restrooms.

Reserve a Campsite

If you already have a weekend in mind, DCR recommends booking a campsite before you head out ― especially during the peak summer months. Most DCR campgrounds accept reservations online or by phone.

  • Online Book a MassParks campground through ReserveAmerica.
  • Phone — Call center hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Sunday between April and Labor Day. During the rest of the year, weekday hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and weekend hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call the number that’s right for you:
    • U.S. and Canada — (877) 422-6762
    • Outside U.S. and Canada — (518) 884-4959
    • TTY — (877) 620-0833

You can make a reservation up to six months out and until one day before your trip. To reserve at most campgrounds, you must stay for at least two days. You can book up to four reservations at once, but you’re limited to 14 days total at any one park during the peak season — between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Campground fees vary by location, state residency of campers, and campground type. When you reserve a campsite, you can pay by credit card, personal check, or money order. If you didn’t make a reservation, you can also pay on-site in cash.

You should also note the following requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old to make a reservation.
  • You must bring a photo ID to register at the campground.
  • Reservation confirmations are provided by email only.
  • You are responsible for reviewing the terms and conditions when making a reservation, including cancellation and use policies.

Learn the Rules

Before loading up your gear and heading to your campsite, review some basic rules from DCR. All campers should follow DCR regulations for MassParks sites to enjoy Massachusetts campgrounds safely and responsibly.

  • Firewood — Do not bring your own firewood to a MassParks campsite or take firewood from any location. Following this rule helps prevent the spread of invasive species, which are a major threat to forests in Massachusetts.
  • Children Under 18 — Minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, an adult with written permission from a parent or guardian, or must be part of a supervised youth group.
  • Quiet Hours — MassParks areas observe quiet hours from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
  • Pets — Check with the MassParks ground you will be camping at to make sure pets are allowed. Once you’re at the location, follow campground guidelines to keep your pet safe and preserve MassParks areas:
    • No more than four pets per camp site are allowed.
    • Pets must be on a leash shorter than 10 feet.
    • Owners are responsible for cleaning up after pets.
    • Proof of rabies vaccination must be provided at check-in for certain animals.
    • Pets are not allowed in yurts and cabins, or on most swimming beaches.

Massachusetts has so many outdoor areas with a variety of activities everyone can enjoy. Book a campsite at a MassParks location, and enjoy the natural wonders of the Commonwealth this summer.

What’s your favorite DCR campground? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting @MassGov.

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