Camp Out at One of These Fitness-Forward New England Campsites

Grab your tent and your sleeping bag, but don’t leave your exercise routine at home.

tully lake campsite

Photo of Tully Lake by Amanda Lucidi

Amidst all of the BBQs and beach days, your fitness habits can sometimes be forgotten between that second hot dog and additional visit to the beer cooler. Think of channeling your inner kid this summer and book a couple of days at any one of these New England campsites. In addition to offering stunning vistas, each one promises opportunities to get your heart rate up, whether it’s hiking, swimming, biking, or even yoga classes and bouldering. Spend your afternoons working up a sweat and nights with campfire s’mores will be that much sweeter.

For the Athlete

Pinewood Lodge

Turn your relatives and friends into fierce competitors at Pinewood Lodge, which has been operated by the same family for over two hundred years. Aim for nothing-but-net on the basketball court or send volleyball serves flying through the air. Don’t worry about bringing equipment–everything is available for rent at the lodge. Cool off in between games in the adjoining lake and celebrate your victory at the park’s on-site bar.

Too exhausted to set up a tent after all that competition? Rent one of the facility’s three rustic cottages. Cabins begin at $126 per night or pay $39 a night for a campsite with no hookups.

190 Pinewood Rd., Plymouth,

Tully Lake

Tully Lake / Photo Credit J. Monkman

For the Hiker

Tully Lake Campground

Make sure your hiking boots fit in your backpack when planning for your weekend getaway to Tully Lake. What’s on your back is all you’ve got for your weekend getaway at this tent-only site. Advanced hikers will want to plan a two-day trip to conquer the entire 22-mile Tully Trail loop. It begins at the campground and passes by scenic waterfalls and breathtaking views of the North Quabbin region from the Tully Mountain.

Less adventurous hikers can stick to the 7.5-mile route around nearby Long Pond. You’ll make it back in time to set up camp for the night on the shores of the lake. Campsites start at $30 per night.

25 Doane Hill Rd., Royalston,

For the Biker

Nickerson State Park

It is possible to bike the entire 22-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail and back in one day. But if you camp at Nickerson State Park, located about eleven miles from the South Dennis trailhead, you have the option to bike for however long you like. Take your time and enjoy the ride through six different Cape towns. In addition to boasting scenic views of sand dunes, cranberry bogs and salt marshes, each one provides ample opportunities for lobster rolls, Atlantic Ocean dips, and strolls through charming downtowns.

No matter how long you spend on the trail, you can look forward to unwinding back at your campsite. Take a refreshing swim in one of the eight nearby fresh water ponds, and then enjoy the sunset from your perch in one of the campground’s yurts. There are over 400 campsites available on the 1,900-acre property, starting at $22 per night.

3488 Main St., Brewster,

For the Mountain Climber

Gilson Pond

History buffs and hikers alike will enjoy a weekend camping at Gilson Pond and climbing Mount Monadnock. The mountain is revered by canonical transcendentalists Emerson, Thoreau and Fuller and is said to be one of the most climbed mountains in the world (second to Japan’s Mount Fuji). Experienced climbers can walk the two miles to connect with the White Dot trail, the most direct, but also steepest route to the summit at 1.9-miles. There is also a path, albeit longer, directly from Gilson Pond up to the summit. Less skilled hikers can tackle the shorter hikes around Monadnock State Park or walk the Pond Loop Trail that encircles Gilson Pond.

When your legs are heavy and tired settle in at one of the campgrounds’ 35 campsites, which feature new bathhouses and a playground for the kiddos. Starting at $25 per night.

585 Dublin Rd, Jaffrey, NH, 603-532-2416,

For the Tennis Player

Fisherman’s Memorial State Park

Tennis fans will love that this campground, described as a “quaint seaside village,” is just a short drive from the International Tennis Hall of Fame in nearby Newport. The museum has over 1,900 artifacts of tennis history on display, including photos, videos, and uniforms on beautiful 7-acre grounds that include outdoor manicured grass courts.

After an inspiring self-guided tour, head to Fisherman’s, grab your racket and play a game or two on the site’s tennis courts. The well-kept grounds are also host to a farmer’s market on summer weekends. Tent-only sites start at $18 per night.

1011 Point Judith Rd, Narragansett, RI, 401-789-8374,

Kripalu Yoga center

Kripalu / Image provided

For the Yogi

October Mountain State Forest

Get some serious tech detox time in the Berkshires with summer days spent at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. A $135 day pass will gain you access to all that the center has to offer: three full meals, participation in workshops, amenities including a sauna, lakefront beach and bookshop, and ticketed evening events, in addition to a full day of yoga classes at all levels.

Just a 13-minute drive away is October Mountain State Forest where you can spend balmy nights relaxing under the stars. Boasting 47 sites, the campground offers three yurts for rent on their expansive grounds within Massachusetts’ largest state forest. Tent-only sites start at $17 per night.

317 Woodland Rd., Lee, 412-243-1778,

Smugglers Notch

Smugglers Notch State Park Campground / Photo Credit Jesse Keck

For the Rock Climber

Smugglers Notch

If you’ve been practicing all winter long at one of the city’s indoor climbing gyms, it’s time to put those new climbing skills to the test on real rocks. Smugglers Notch, in Stowe, Vermont, lined with 1,000-foot cliffs, provides ample opportunity. From the 188 listed climbs in the notch, almost half of them are suitable for bouldering for all ability levels. Be sure to save some energy after tiring your muscles attempting various graded climbs. The narrow road to the campsite is accessible only by foot.

Arriving will be worth the journey though because the updated campground features a new restroom facility that uses alternative energy and sites that are further spaced out. If you feel up to it, head to the nearby Bingham Falls. Feeling totally depleted? Maybe opt for one of the fourteen lean-to sites and forgo setting up a tent. Tent-only sites start at $18 per night.

6443 Mountain Rd., Stowe, VT,