Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Being cited by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as among the top ten whale-watching destinations worldwide simply indicates that Massachusetts has a lot to offer in terms of outdoor recreational activities. Providing a vast set of attractions ranging from rolling hills to state parks, the "Bay State" is most definitely a place where travelers, especially RVers will have a grand time enjoying the so-called great outdoors.

A Look at the Regions

Encompassing the Merrimack River Valley up north downwards to the end of Cape Cod in the south, Massachusetts features twelve different regions that include Boston and Cambridge, North of Boston, Merrimack Valley, Bristol County, Plymouth County, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket Island, Central Massachusetts, Greater Springfield, Franklin County, and The Berkshires. Some regions may be comparatively smaller than the others but still feature attractions that RV travelers will want to explore.

The Boston and Cambridge Region

The area is quite obviously where two prominent Massachusetts cities reside and these two are the lifeblood of the "Bay State". Boston, the acknowledged state capital overflows with urban amenities but is nevertheless exuding with a small-town ambiance. Cambridge, meanwhile, is undoubtedly the educational center, being the host of two important institutions namely Harvard University, which is the oldest in the US, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the home of computer and technology wizards.

RV-boarded visitors will definitely want to have a tour of these two cities when traveling through the region, but for lovers of the outdoors, two other regional cities await exploration. These are Bellingham and Foxborough. The former is set between Providence and Boston and though a thriving industrial town with specializations in cotton and wool, Bellingham has retained several areas where wildlife is nurtured. Additionally, it has two noted lakes, Lake Hiawatha and Silver Lake where boating is quite popular. RVers exploring the Boston and Cambridge Region will find their passion for the outdoors sufficiently met here, especially since Bellingham also plays host to an RV park named Circle C G Farm Campground Adult RV Park situated just 45 minutes away from both Cape Cod and Boston.

The North of Boston Region

A Massachusetts region considered by many outdoor explorers as a virtual paradise due to its many sandy beaches accentuated by picturesque harbors, the region has become a popular fishing spot. Additionally, the harbors have attracted other visitors like sailing enthusiasts, who found the regional waters perfect for such a sport.

A particular city in the North of Boston region that RVers will want to visit is Salisbury. This coastal town situated in the extreme northern point of Massachusetts serves as guardian of the Salisbury Beach State Reservation where Salisbury Beach makes its home. The beach is among the most prominent in Massachusetts and covers about 3.8 miles of coastal lines that extend to the Atlantic Ocean.

The reservation center, meanwhile is a state park about 521 acres wide where swimmers, boaters, and anglers are regular visitors. Trailer campers are likewise common fixtures here since the park also has an RV campground where 484 sites are available for use, along with renovated bathhouses and daytime parking facilities.

The Merrimack Valley Region

Considered as the historical district of Massachusetts, the Merrimack Valley Region is filled with many historic landmarks that serve as reminders of the role that it played during the drive for independence days and during the Industrial Revolution. For RVers who adore history, this is the Massachusetts region to visit with its many state parks and museums where events and landmarks are displayed, celebrated, and commemorated.

For purely outdoor pursuits, however, RVers can head off to West Townsend City and go hiking, walking, swimming, fishing, bird-watching, or horseback riding at the Willard Brook State Forest. The park covers 2,597 acres and is about 50 miles away from Boston. A total of 21 campsites await RV-boarded visitors here, many of these set up under a canopy of exotic pine trees and surrounded by rows of New England wood trees and a glistening brook.

The Bristol County Region

This is yet another region where history takes center stage. Still, RV riders will be thrilled to take a tour of the area particularly down at New Bedford where the streets are made of cobblestone. Other than that, the regional waters should be equally attractive to most RVers particularly since the other attractions here are linked to it like the Ernestina, an ancient fishing vessel believed to be 100 years old, and the Battleship Cove, a vast collection of US war ships like the USS Massachusetts.

For actual water fun, however, RV-boarded tourists can opt for a swim at Buzzards Bay in Westport City. Nearby is Horseneck Beach State Reservation where beach enthusiasts abound and which also serves as an estuary where one can go bird-watching.

Other activities that can be done at the two-mile long beach include wind surfing, an excellent undertaking owing to the breezy climate that the beach experiences all year through. Meanwhile, for camping ventures, Horseneck Beach boasts of 100 campsites where RVs are generally welcome to settle in. The sites can be accessed just off Gooseberry Neck, a promontory situated east of the Horseneck Beach State Reservation.

The Plymouth County Region

Exhibits,museums, and historic landmarks showcasing a rich and glorious past characterize the Plymouth County Region. A tour of these attractions, particularly that of Plymouth Rock, should properly evoke feelings of nostalgia among visitors.

Most of the attractions here are closely associated to Plymouth, and RVers should discover this once they get to see Plimoth Plantation, an outdoor museum where actors in full Pilgrims costumes vividly re-create the Wampanoug way of life in 1627. Another Plymouth-linked attraction is Plymouth harbor where whale-watching is a popular activity.

To fully appreciate these attractions, RVers can check in at Ellis Haven Family Camping and Picnic Grounds where both the Plimoth Plantation and whale watching tours are accessible within five short minutes. From Boston, the RV campground can be reached after driving for only 30 minutes. Meanwhile, all other popular Plymouth tourist destinations like the Pilgrim Hall and the famed Plymouth Rock are only five minutes away when coming from the RV park.

The Cape Cod Region

The Cape Cod Region is a paradise for many outdoor lovers, most especially RVers, owing to its numerous natural attractions like sandy beaches that stretch for miles on end, rugged hiking paths, and abundant seafood resources. There are likewise various man-made features here including magnificent golf courses and gable-adorned roofs, architectural styles that have made the region renowned throughout the country.

For RV riders looking forward to a fun time at the beach, the place to go in the Cape Cod Region is the Cape Cod National Seashore with its 40-mile long sandy beaches. The 27,000-acre wide recreational area also boasts of several sand dunes, biking paths, marshes, and woodlands, making it the ideal place for all types of outdoor buffs.

Having access to this regional attraction need not be a real problem for RVers since nearby is Atlantic Oaks Campground situated less than a mile away with its offerings of large and shaded pull-through areas. Additionally, the RV campground happens to be near Cape Cod Rail Trail, renowned for its biking trails, and is about two miles away from Provincetown where whale-watching activities are regular events.

The Martha's Vineyard Region

No one really knows for sure who Martha is but that is not reason enough to take the region for granted. After all, the island does feature some very endearing natural attractions that include rolling hills, sandy beaches, and pine tree-covered forest areas.

In terms of cities, Oak Bluffs, Edgartown, and Vineyard Haven all offer interesting tourist destinations but it is the latter that may be considered as RV-friendly, being the host of the only RV park in the entire region of Martha's Vineyard, the Martha's Vineyard Family Campground. Situated less than two miles away from the city ferry station and features more than a hundred wooded sites that can easily accommodate large RVs.

The Nantucket Island

Being an island region, Nantucket Island naturally has its pristine beaches as its main tourist attraction. Yet, there are many other attractions here that RV-boarded travelers can try exploring since the region also has its share of elegant restaurants, specialty shops, gentle hills, historic landmarks, and scenic roadways.

Activity-wise, RV riders can go on a whale-watching venture or otherwise dive into the deep sea and try catching a fish. Charters for these recreational pursuits are easily available at Straight Wharf.

Presently, the region does not yet have a campground in its midst but RVers can readily head off to nearby Cape Cod which is only about 30 miles away from Nantucket Island. The former is definitely bigger than Nantucket and offers at least one suitable RV campground.

The Central Massachusetts Region

The region is the cultural center of Massachusetts and is obviously the home of numerous museums and other centers for the arts where state cultural exhibits and events are regularly held. Nevertheless, Central Massachusetts should also easily catch the attention of many RVers owing to its green meadows and rolling hills where the potential for outdoor recreation remains a distinct possibility.

Manchaug, East Douglas, Brookfield, and Winchendon are the cities that RVers need to see in Central Massachusetts, with Brookfield being given special attention for hosting Lakeside Family Campground and RV Resort. The RV resort boasts of 118 campsites with ten of these dedicated to pull-through's. Situated near two major US Interstates namely I-84 and I-90, Lakeside Family Campground and RV Resort offers easy access to Old Sturbridge Village, a unique museum that has captured farm life in 1830 Massachusetts and provides visitors hands-on experience by allowing them to participate in museum activities like tours, seminars, and role-playing.

The Greater Springfield Region

Two major attractions comprise this particular Massachusetts region. One is Six Flags New England, the largest amusement center this side of Massachusetts that features rides like the Typhoon Water Coaster and Mr. Six's Pandemonium. The other is the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, an exhibit hall that features the game of basketball as it evolved through the years. The hall features artifacts from the beginnings of the game in 1891 Springfield up to the modern-day game version that involves virtual reality.

Springfield, where most of the attractions are located, holds no RV campground, but RVers need not despair because another regional city, Wales, plays host to the Oak Haven Family Campground where access to the two regional attractions are quite easy being just a few minutes of drive time away. RV-boarded trippers will only need 35 minutes to reach Basketball Hall of Fame while Six Flags New England needs an additional ten minutes.

Alternatively, RVers who check in at Oak Haven Family Campground can explore other nearby attractions of the region. These include a visit to Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary, which can be accessed from Oak Haven in a matter of five minutes. The sanctuary covers 3,000 acres of forest land and features self-guided hiking paths surrounded by a garden of exotic wildflowers and dotted by local wildlife animals.

The Franklin County Region

This region is teeming with outdoor activities that typically include hiking, kayaking, and white-water rafting, pursuits that will naturally interest most RV visitors. Yet, there are also historic landmarks here, along with charming small-town communities and rich farmland areas.

There are several cities in the Franklin County Region, including Gill, Erving, Warwick, and Bernardston, but what will most likely endear to the heart of a typical RVer is the city of Charlemont because it hosts a state park, Mohawk Park, and one RV campground, Country Aire Campground. The former houses the Mohawk Trail State Forest where hikers, hunters, anglers, boaters, and campers commonly converge. Its inner reaches, meanwhile, plays host to Country Aire Campground with its limitless space for RV parking and delicious donuts at the resident park store.

The Berkshires Region

A wide range of cultural events characterize the greater portion of the Berkshires Region as seen in such cities as Lenox, where the Boston Symphony Orchestra plays beautiful music, and in Williamstown which houses two art museums namely the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and the Williams College Museum of Art.

RVers who prefer the outdoor scene, however, will not be totally disappointed since the region also seeks to answer such a need via the Bash Bish Falls State Park based in Washington. The state park carries several awesome attractions led by the Bash Bish Falls, the highest one-drop waterfall in Massachusetts.

Beside the falls stands Mount Washington State Forest where hikers are welcome to explore the trails that stretch to about 30 miles, at the end of which they can set up camp at the Taconic State Park with its many amenities that include 36 trailer sites. The trailer sites generally welcome travel trailers measuring to as long as 30 feet although hook ups are not available. These sites are actually found at Copake Falls, one of two developed places in the Taconic State Park, the other being Rudd Pond.

The Cities of Massachusetts

Some little-known cities in the Bay State offer special attractions hat should suit the major points of interest of most RVers, notably outdoor recreation. Major cities often carry much hype but if one prefers quaint and simple provisions, the minor cities are often the answer.


Lanesborough is among the first cities to fall under the fold of the Berkshires County Region. It started as a farming village until the concept of the railroad system reached its consciousness, eventually leading to a shift in industrial mining.

Yet, despite the economic advancement, Lanesborough has been able to preserve many of its natural attractions, including Mt. Greylock, the tallest mountain in Massachusetts. A major attraction of the Mt. Greylock State Reservation, the peak features trail paths extending up to 45 miles at the top of which hikers will have a scenic view of at least five states. Below, 35 campsites await the travelers. For a more thorough rest, however, the better option is to park the RV at Hidden Valley Campground where over 104 sites are available for occupancy.


One of the several cities falling under the jurisdiction of the North of Boston region, Gloucester is popular among tourists as a summer resort being bounded by the Massachusetts Bay on its southern end. Understandably, fishing here is quite common though the venture can be dangerous at times, especially when nearby Atlantic Ocean is at its meanest.

Another attraction of Gloucester is Ravenswood Park settled at its western edge. Essentially a nature protected area, the park nevertheless offers about hiking trails of about ten miles under a serene wooded setting. During winter, the same trails become perfect snow paths where cross-country skiers are known to traverse.

For RVers interested in seeing these Gloucester-based attractions, the Little River Cabins and Campsites offer a suitable resting spot. Situated along Stanwood Point, the RV park boasts of 25 campsites with swimming, fishing, and kayaking serving as popular outdoor activities.

Visiting the Bay State

The Massachusetts weather is generally mild, with warm sunny days lasting through most parts of the year, usually from May up to October, after which the cold season follows. The mild weather then gets repeated during autumn, producing vibrant colors and naturally attracting visitors from all over the world.

RVers intent on visiting Massachusetts public parks need to be aware that most park campgrounds and even privately owned RV parks usually follow the traditional camping season which is from the middle of May up to mid-October. This is also the time when Massachusetts experiences the most favorable weather conditions. It is essential therefore that RV camping plans be made during this particular season.

Travelers Woods of New England Family Campground

Operating since the mid-80's, Travelers Woods maybe considered a pioneer in the RV camping industry. It prides itself in being near several popular Massachusetts attractions like the Historic Deerfield, the Mohawk Trail, and the Yankee Candle, among others and is strategically settled at the foot of ancient Berkshire Mountains.

Amenities at the RV campground include open-air grassy RV sites powered by 30-50 amp electric units, a covered pavilion, playground for children, and hot showers. RVs standing more than the usual trailer height are given a special path through which they can enter the campgrounds.

Boston Minuteman Campground

Boston Minuteman Campground is among the few RV parks that can be accessed via three different states. From the northwest end of Boston, the campground is only about 30 miles away. From the "Big Apple", it is about 200 miles away, and from the city of Bar Harbor in Maine, the distance is about 285 miles.

Situated in Littleton town, the Boston Minuteman Campground is near numerous Massachusetts attractions with Minuteman National Park being the closest as RV travelers can reach it in about 30 minutes. The farthest is Plimoth Plantation set at a distance of 75 miles which can be reached after an hour and 30 minutes of driving. In between, there are several other attractions that one can get to explore, including Lowell National Historical Park located about 15 miles away and the Old Sturbridge Village which is set at 50 miles away from Boston Minuteman.

Activities inside the campground include ping-pong games, volleyball, basketball, and horseshoes, but if RVers prefer outdoor sports, fishing, biking, horseback riding, and hiking can be engaged in at nearby areas. Outside the park premises lie several prominent outlets like Dunkin' Donuts although for convenience sake, one can always go to the resident convenience store set inside the RV park.
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