Archive for Camping Trips

I ♥ Vermont

My annual tent camping and hiking trip took me to Branbury State Park in Vermont. Branbury offers lean-tos, tent and RV camping and boasts a natural sandy beach on the beautiful Lake Dunmore.  Lake Dunmore has a surface are of almost 1000 acres spanning three miles long and a mile wide. It is a popular destination in the area for all kinds of water activities from boating, jet skis, or just relaxing on the shoreline soaking in the sun. Branbury State Park taking up almost 70 acres incorporates park of the lake with canoe and kayak rentals as well as a snack bar located next to the playground.

Getting the fire goingI set up camp at the Birch Lean-to quickly on Sunday and then headed a half hour north to visit family for a few hours and “borrow” some firewood from my uncle’s house nearby before heading back and taking a walk around camp before relaxing by the fire.

On Monday, I woke up early and headed out for some hiking. There are a few trails that started right near my campsite, but on the advice of a park employee, I went about a quarter of a mile down the road to the Silver Lake trailhead, where I found the Falls of Lana and Silver Lake.  From the parking area, the trail is pretty much an access road leading to the falls and eventually Silver Lake.

I downloaded the My Tracks app to record my hike using my phone’s GPS and at the end of the day, I  spent just over 4.5 hours on the trails covering about 6.5 miles. I hiked around Silver Lake and explored the Falls of Lana as well as a side trip to Lenny’s Lookout, which offered great views of Lake Dunmore from above. Check out a map of my hike here.

Since I have gone to the Green Mountains the last couple years for my tent camping, I think next year I may have to go to the White Mountains! Have a look below for some photos.




Silver Lake Salisbury VT


Salisbury and Cape Anne

A couple of weekends ago, we camped with Lady T and Inky at a small rustic campground called Pines Camping Area in Salisbury, MA . We chose the Pines because it was close to Salisbury Beach and also within an hours drive to Cape Ann, which we planned on visiting that Saturday.

Unfortunately, we didn’t end up leaving until 6:30 PM because the traffic going north was backed up for hours. The drive to the Pines was just over an hour but by the time we arrived, set up, and ate dinner, it was already dark. After dinner, we hopped in Inky and cruised down to the Salisbury Beach Boardwalk for an evening walk and a soft serve treat.

Salisbury Beach extends from the mouth of the Merrimack River to the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border and is a popular destination for families, who enjoy the many free events held throughout the summer around the boardwalk area. It’s also within just a few miles of Hampton Beach, New Hampshire’s most popular beach.

The next morning, we were up early an on our way to Cape Ann. Cape Ann is located in northeastern Massachusetts and includes the coastal communities of Gloucester, Rockport, Essex and Manchester-by-the Sea. Gloucester is the country’s oldest seaport and still one of the busiest fishing ports in the country.

After driving around for a little while, we eventually found parking on Main Street and spent a half hour checking out the shops. We also attempted to visit the Eastern Point Light, a historic lighthouse located in Gloucester Harbor. If you’re driving, the lighthouse can only be accessed through a private gated community. When we approached the gate, the security person wasn’t there so we just drove through. Once inside, we still had difficulty getting to the lighthouse. By the time we found it, we were a little aggravated and decided it wasn’t worth it to pay the $10 to park. 

Our next stop was Rockport, MA and Bearskin Neck. Bearskin Neck is a small neck of land that juts out into Rockport Harbor and has a unique shopping area that used to be a collection of old fisherman and lobsterman shacks. This busy little tourist area is surrounded by water and offers picturesque views of the Atlantic Ocean. We spent a couple of hours exploring the shops and took several pictures of the harbor.

On the way back to the campground, we saw a sign for Plum Island and quickly detoured. Plum Island Beach was the first beach I ever visited and I hadn’t been there in over 30 years.  We drove the long, connecting road to the beach area as far as we could go and paid $10 to park in a small lot along the beach. Plum Island is home to hundreds of wildlife species and is a very popular ocean fishing area. We took a long walk on the beach just as the sun was setting, and picked up a handful of shells along the way.

I didn’t realize that Plum Island was part of Newburyport and since we were so close, we decided to end our day there. Newburyport is another popular tourist destination and the birthplace of Francis Cabot Lowell, the American textile pioneer after whom the city of Lowell, Massachusetts (our hometown!) is named.

There are lots of great shops and restaurants in Newburyport and while we were deciding whether we should eat out or back at camp, Mother Nature made the decision for us with a fast moving summer rainstorm. We ducked into a burrito place called Dos Amigos and had a delicious dinner while waiting out the rain. Afterward, we checked out a few souvenir shops and then drove back to camp with Inky’s top down, enjoying the salty summer air.

We had a lot of fun exploring Cape Ann and although we didn’t spend much time at the campground, we were happy with the service we received at the Pines Camping Area. Thanks for reading and check back soon for a special announcement!




Photo of the Week – Plum Island

Plum Island Beach
Newburyport, Massachusetts


Memorial Day Camping in the Ocean State

While looking to reserve a campsite earlier this year for our annual Memorial Day Weekend camping trip, we realized we had never camped in Rhode Island. We visit Rhode Island regularly but because there are so many awesome places to camp close to home, we just never ended up there.

We’re happy to report that we changed that this year by booking our season opener at Ashaway RV Resort in Bradford. This all-in-one campground is dedicated to RVers and offers more amenities than you can explore in a single weekend! It’s also within putting distance to several of the best beaches Rhode Island has to offer.

Reserving our site was super easy and we were very grateful when Ashaway made an exception to its three-night minimum stay rule for a holiday weekend because I was unable to get an extra day off from work. Upon arrival, we immediately noticed the large, well-manicured grounds and could see all kinds of fun activities going on. This trip also marked Inky’s first camping excursion and we couldn’t wait to drop the rag top and cruise the strip in our mini Mercedes!

Our site was very spacious and we rushed to set up so we could take a bike ride around the campground to scope things out. We rode up to the rec hall, which was packed with kids playing video games, pool, horseshoes and a number of other games. Several happy campers were enjoying the pool, hot tub and sprinklers. We played a couple games of air hockey and I let Jay beat me 😉 We also checked out the pavilion adjacent to the rec hall, which had a small stage set up with a DJ booth and several picnic tables with bench seats.

Upon returning to our site, we made a quick dinner and as dusk set over the campground, we began hearing loud music coming from the direction of the rec hall. After dinner, we walked back up to check it out and there was a family dance party going on! A pair of guys calling themselves “Double D.J. Productions” were playing awesome dance tunes past and present, and tons of kiddies hopped around the pavilion with glow sticks. We sat in the back and had a great time watching the parents try to keep up and sport some moves of their own.

The next day, we spent the entire morning and most of the afternoon cruising around in Inky and beach hopping. Even though most areas were very busy, we had no problem finding a parking spot 😀 Check out the pics below for some of the highlights!

We were very pleased with our visit to Ashaway RV Resort and will definitely be adding Rhode Island to our New England camping rotation. Check back soon for more summer fun…see you on the road!



Photo of the Week – Scarborough State Beach

The Ruins at Black Point
Scarborough, Rhode Island