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Get Out. Camp Out.

Camp With US

Plan a visit to one of our campgrounds.

Tully Lake Campground
Royalston, MA
36 Tent-only campsites, inland and waterfront. Centrally located bathhouse. Kayak, canoe, SUP, fishing gear rentals.

Dunes' Edge Campground
Provincetown, MA
85 premium wooded sites for tents, pop ups, and vans. 15 sites with electric and water hook-ups for motorhomes. Modern bathrooms, camp store, laundry facilities.

Rocky Woods
Medfield, MA
9 sites (2 tents each), plus field camping. Improved facilities and 5 additional sites coming soon. (see News from Across the State, pg. 2)
Camping clinics and family campouts.
Contact 508.785.0339 for more information.

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It’s never been easier to spend a night under the stars.

Skies above, birdsong below, trails and adventure all around. A night in the woods, warm and snug in your tent, is a deeper entry into the wonders of the outdoors. If you’ve never gone camping— or haven’t in a while—there’s no better time than now to get started. Here are three simple steps to get you going.

STEP 1: FIND A GREAT DESTINATION
Massachusetts is blessed with dozens of campgrounds and hundreds of campsites, many of them less than a two-hour drive from wherever you may be in the state. You can find them in 29 state parks across the Commonwealth, on sites like HipCamp—the Airbnb of campsites—and on two beckoning properties managed by The Trustees: Tully Lake and Dunes’ Edge campgrounds.

What makes a great camping destination? In many ways, it’s up to you. Take your pick: Trails. Paddling. Showers. Biking. Quiet. Beaches. Fishing. Good for kids. You can find all these features in various combinations throughout the state. When it comes to the Trustees’ campground, Tully Lake offers quiet, secluded walk-in sites by the shores of its namesake lake in north-central Massachusetts, plus showers, boat rentals, fishing clinics, and a range of adjoining kid- friendly trails.

There’s one thing it doesn’t have, however: robust cell phone coverage. “For me, camping is all about just getting out in nature, finding more simplicity of life, and getting away from technology,” notes Jessica Schanz, Tully Lake campground manager. “Having less cell service means you get more of that connection with everybody around you.”

At the other end of the state, just outside of Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod, Dunes’ Edge Campground awaits. “The fun thing about coming to Provincetown and camping is that it’s a simplified existence,” reflects campground manager David Finch. “There’s nothing complicated about it, there’s nothing to think about.” Plus, of course, Dunes’ Edge is a convenient location for biking, beaching, and easily accessing all the happenings in Provincetown.

STEP 2: GEAR UP
There are only three things you absolutely need for a warm, dry, and comfortable night: a tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad. If you don’t have these key items, rent them at outdoor shops like REI, borrow them from friends or family, or invest in them yourself.

For the tent, you ideally want a full-length rainfly—the extra layer of fabric you put over the tent—that extends down to the ground, rather than just a small patch over the top, which is worthless for staying dry in the rain. More importantly, if you borrow a tent, double-check that you have both the tent body and the poles that go with it!

“People that have never camped before, they ask their sister, brother, friends for a tent, put it in the car, and by the time they get here they realize they don’t have the poles. That happens a lot,” chuckles Finch. “A real lot.”

Summer nights in Massachusetts tend to be warm and mild. You don’t need a heavy-duty extra warm sleeping bag for a comfortable night’s sleep—anything from an inexpensive rectangular bag to a high-end ultralight down bag will get you through the night. For the pad, beware inexpensive inflatable pads that contain only air; these can easily leak and send you sinking into a poor night’s sleep.

Tent, sleeping bag, and pad in hand, you’ll make it snug through the night, but it’s always wise to bring some other key gear as well, including a light (flashlights work, headlamps are better; check the batteries before you go); cooking and eating gear, including a stove; bug repellent; sunscreen; and—key to a good sleep—some sort of pillow for your head at night.

STEP 3: HAVE FUN AND RELAX
Kick back in your collapsible folding chair (another highly recommended camping item) and contemplate your options. If you’re at Tully Lake, paddling, fishing, hiking, and even disc golf are on the table, including the short jaunt to rushing Doane’s Falls, located less than a mile from the campground. At Dunes’ Edge, a bicycle is your two-wheeled passport to Provincetown, bike paths, and the beaches of northern Cape Cod National Seashore.

More importantly, though, enjoy the connection with nature that camping offers. Listen for birdsong in the morning, the calls of owls at night, and the quiet moments that await you beneath the moon and stars. “It’s a real way to reconnect with nature and the outdoors and get out into the dark so you can see the sky,” encourages Thomas Por, The Trustees’ Director for Northwest properties. “One thing I know,” adds Schanz, “is that a lot of people that come here just want to step away from everything busy in life and just relax.”

Your moment under the stars awaits. Now’s the time to seize the opportunity, plan an adventure, and expand your outdoor horizons. Camp on!

Matt Heid is a freelance writer whose work appears regularly in AMC Outdoors. He is also the author of AMC’s Best Backpacking in New England.

Camp With US

Plan a visit to one of our campgrounds.

Tully Lake Campground
Royalston, MA
36 Tent-only campsites, inland and waterfront. Centrally located bathhouse. Kayak, canoe, SUP, fishing gear rentals.

Dunes' Edge Campground
Provincetown, MA
85 premium wooded sites for tents, pop ups, and vans. 15 sites with electric and water hook-ups for motorhomes. Modern bathrooms, camp store, laundry facilities.

Rocky Woods
Medfield, MA
9 sites (2 tents each), plus field camping. Improved facilities and 5 additional sites coming soon. (see News from Across the State, pg. 2)
Camping clinics and family campouts.
Contact 508.785.0339 for more information.

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