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Camping FAQs

Q: When is the best time to camp at Tully?
A: It all depends on what you like. The mosquitoes are worst in the beginning of the season, but there are usually a lot more options for sites and fewer people at that time. As you’d expect, weekends, especially holiday weekends, are crowded, as are weeknights in August.

We are open during the week in early September, which is a great time to camp – the lake is quiet, nights stay cool and the days are comfortably warm.

Of course, rain is a wildcard throughout the season, so be prepared for any weather!

Q: How do I know what’s happening at the campground before I go?
A: With your confirmation email, we will send along information as to what’s happening at the campground. You can always call the campground to find out what’s going on before you come as well. There’s usually something going on!

Q: Can I bring my dog(s) to camp?
A: Yes, dogs are allowed at Tully Lake, however they must be on leash or under the owner’s DIRECT control at all times.  Not everyone is a dog person, and a dog running up to someone, especially a young child, can be scary, even if you know your pooch is friendly. We do reserve the right to ask dog owners to remove their pets (or leave the campground) if we find that a dog is creating a disturbance or running around off leash. Of course it is also the owner’s responsibility to pick up after their dog and deposit waste in the dumpster.  Also, new this year, we will be asking for everyone to provide a copy of their dog's rabies vaccination.

Q: Should I be worried about wild animals at Tully?
A: We have not had very many large wildlife encounters at Tully, but as more people camp who are not responsible with their garbage or food, we could easily attract bear problems to camp. Chipmunks, squirrels, and raccoons will steal your food, chew through a tent, open a cooler, etc., so we ask that you keep food in you car as much as possible. We have not had a huge tick problem, (mostly because there’s not a lot of deer in camp) but campers should always check themselves throughout the day and before going to bed.

Q: Why can’t we can’t bring wood from home?
A: We understand that some of you are frustrated that you can’t bring your own wood to Tully. But you’ll find that this is becoming a standard policy at campground across Massachusetts as pests such as Asian Long-Horned Beetle become more prevalent in the state. So please, to protect our forests, do not bring wood from home. We try our best to provide the best quality, easy-to-burn firewood at reasonable prices that come from local providers.

Q: What’s the best way to wash dishes at camp?
A: We provide two outdoor sinks on the side of the comfort station for dish washing. Biodegradable soap and usually a sponge or two are available there. Please use the bins provided for hot water, which will keep us from wasting it. Please do NOT do dishes at your site, as it attracts animals, or in the lake because it can add contamination to the lake and harm the aquatic life.

Q: What do we do if it rains?
A: It happens, sometimes a lot! Unfortunately we cannot give last-minute refunds for rainy weather. There is usually  a list of rainy day activities or places to visit nearby at the ranger station. The rain often gives way to a beautiful weekend, so don’t let yourself be turned away easily!

Q: How is the swimming at Tully?
A: Tully Lake is a manmade reservoir, so there are areas that are shallow and full of old stumps, which makes for better fishing than swimming. But some of the sites are not near that area, and the islands that you can paddle out to are usually surrounded by deep water. People often ask if the water is dirty since it’s brown and foamy near the waterfalls. That is just a result of the tannins in the leaves and pine needles that leach into the steams from the forest floor, and it is not harmful. There are no public swimming areas at the lake, and therefore no life guards or rescue equipment, so all swimming is at your own risk.

Q: What is there to do besides “camping”?
A: There is so much to do! You can hike multiple trails of different lengths and elevations, from 1 mile to 22 miles! You can try a 7-mile mountain-bike trail, and reach several waterfalls and vistas within less than a 2-mile hike. Rent a canoe or kayak (or bring your own) for wonderful flatwater paddling around the lake or up the Tully river to Long Pond, a very slow-moving and wide river that feeds into the lake. We usually offer programs for the whole family, which are run by the rangers throughout the weekends and on some weekdays. You can rent a GPS unit to geocache locally, or some discs for a nearby disc-golf course. Several disc sets were generously donated by Disc Golf Station. You’ll also find horseshoe pits and a volleyball court. The fishing is great as well, and we have equipment to rent if you’ve forgotten yours. And, of course, there’s always just sitting around the campfire and doing absolutely nothing!

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© 2019 The Trustees of Reservations
The Trustees is a 501c3 nonprofit organization
Est. 1891