Goodbye, summer. Goodbye, hiking, swimming, fishing, and camping? No way! Most people think that camping season ends on Labor Day— but that is just not true. There are many reasons to camp later into the autumn. Just think: What better way to take in the changing of the leaves than a fun camping trip in the crisp fall air?
Known most famously for its fall foliage views is the New England area. The Northeast will be at its scenery peak in early October. States like New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, southern New York (including New York City and Central Park), and southern Massachusetts will peak in late October.
So grab your camping gear and get ready to snuggle up to the fire with your hands around a mug of hot apple cider. What may be the best time of the year to go camping is about to begin!
Allegany State Park, New York — Not only is Allegany State Park the largest in New York, it is also known for its spectacular views of fall foliage.
Housatonic Meadows State Park, Connecticut — From West Cornwall, Conn., to Kent Falls State Park, scenic Route 7 goes right through Housatonic Meadows. Follow this roadway along the river for spectacular views of classic New England foliage.
Pawtuckaway State Park, New Hampshire — It doesn't matter where you stay in New Hampshire -- the entire state is bursting with color in the fall. At Pawtuckaway State Park, enjoy the view while hiking, biking or fishing.
Nickerson State Park, Massachusetts — Nickerson State Park's central location on Cape Cod makes this campground popular year-round, but the 1900-acre wooded setting with fresh water ponds make it especially appealing in the fall.
What to Bring to Make Fall Camping Comfortable
Forget waking up in a tent that swelters like a Dutch oven. Autumn brings milder air, but remember, cooler days mean cooler nights, and your gear needs to reflect that. Make sure your sleeping bag is properly rated and temperature-appropriate for the setting and for each person (are you a hot sleeper or a cold sleeper?).
Get a variety of sleeping bags for different seasons. A sleeping pad is mandatory for cold camping as it will keep you off of the freezing ground.
If using a propane heater, pack extra fuel.
Also be prepared for extreme weather. As the seasons change, so, too, do the weather patterns. Pack water-sensitive gear and food in watertight containers or even in large zip-top dry-bags. Remember to wear some head protection and gloves, and bring extra shoes in case the ground is wet.
The days are shorter now, which means you’ll need a light source for a longer time than you did in the summer. Make sure you have a long-lasting LED lanterns and flashlights.
Fall camping is a great time to enjoy the changing of the season, and crowds are typically smaller than during the summer. No matter what time of year you go camping, it’s always a good idea to make a camping checklist so you don’t forget any essential items.
Have a safe and enjoyable camping trip!