With just over 3,000 acres of wooded and rugged playland, Burlingame State Park and Campground is the perfect place to spend the night or the whole week in Rhode Island. The staff is nice, the park is beautiful, and there is so much to do you will need to stay a whole week just to experience it all. Then you will want to come back again and again.
The park was established in 1930 by the State Parks Commission to add to the Audubon Society’s Kimball Wildlife Sanctuary, which was opened in 1927. Burlingame State Park and Campground was named after Edwin Burlingame, the park commission’s chairman. Although it was primarily the base of operations for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), it was opened to the public in 1935. You can enjoy exploring the woods and surrounding areas on one of the several trails or join in some water fun on the Watchaug Pond. There is a boat ramp, fishing, picnic areas, and a large beach for swimming.
In addition to all of this, Burlingame State Park and Campground also boasts a camp store with an arcade, interpretive programs for kids and adults, and over 700 campsites with pad lengths ranging from four to 119 feet so you can fit even if you have a large RV. It is best to reserve your spot well in advance so you can get one that is the right size for your rig.
Just an hour from Providence, Burlingame State Park and Campground is a hidden gem you will be happy you discovered. The entrance to the park is on Prosser Trail (Route 1) in Charleston, Rhode Island. You can take Interstate 95 to Route 112, which turns into Prosser Trail. The roads are rural and very narrow with lots of bends and curves to maneuver so if you are in a large camper or pulling a trailer, you will need to be careful and go slow. It is best to go slow anyway so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery and watch for any wild critters that may be crossing the road.
Many of the campers have complained about the low hanging branches and poor conditions of the roads but if you take it easy you should be okay. However, some of the campsites have low hanging branches as well that can get in the way of a large RV. It is against the rules to cut or damage the trees in any way, so you are at their mercy. If you happen to have reserved a site with branches that are in the way, check with the camp host or park ranger. With over 700 campsites, they will probably let you choose a different one.
For the perfect combination of rustic, old-country charm and plenty of modern conveniences, look no further than Mystic KOA in southeastern Connecticut. With a stack of amenities including Wi-Fi, cable TV, fishing, bike rentals, mini golf, and more, this KOA has it all. Less than 15 miles from the ocean breezes of Misquamicut Beach, and close to attractions like museums, aquariums, casinos, and even dinosaur exhibits, Mystic KOA is a great place to set up camp and explore all that this gorgeous region has to offer.
The Burlingame Campground has 755 campsites with pads ranging from four to 119 feet in length. Each site has a fire pit and picnic table and there are restrooms with running water and hot showers in various places around the campground. You can also find many vault toilets scattered around the park. With this many campsites, you can find the perfect one for your needs with a wide variety of pad sizes for your RV. The Fish Camp and Main Camp areas are the closest to the pond and the Legiontown Camp Area is closest to the camp store and playground.
The campground also features a boat ramp, canoe rentals, arcade, trails, and a swimming beach. Even though some of the campsites are not right on the water, the Watchaug Pond is within walking distance to all the sites. These spacious campsites have plenty of room for fun and you can find potable water pumps in various areas around the campground. Pets are welcome but must be restrained at all times by a leash or kennel.
If you didn’t have time to make a reservation, you can always find an open spot in the Burlingame Campground on a first-come, first-served basis. However, you need to check with the park ranger or other park employee first. If the site you choose happens to be reserved by someone while you are there, you may have to move.
If you are planning to swim at the beach, be ready to go early because it gets really crowded in the summer. It is best to walk or bike to the beach and leave your vehicle or RV at the campsite because parking is very limited. Other than that, the beach is gorgeous. Golden sand, clear water, and they even have a lifeguard on duty from nine until five every day during the swimming season from June until September.
If you want to play, you can check out the arcade at the recreation building on Legiontown Road by the park maintenance building. Or the playground in the middle of Legiontown Camp Area is a wonderful place to spend the day with the kiddos. Bring a frisbee or football and you can enjoy some catch with your friends on the athletic field off Legiontown Road or play some volleyball or basketball in the court next to the athletic field.
Be sure and pack your fishing gear in the rig before heading to Burlingame because this is a fishing hotspot according to the locals. Using lures, jigs, or worms, you can catch largemouth and smallmouth bass or perch and if you want to catch a lunker catfish, you will have to go deep. Tie on a heavy weight and use some cut bait or live bait, and you should get plenty of hits on that, so you better bring a net.
Gather your friends and family and pack them in the camper so you can enjoy a picnic or BBQ at Burlingame State Park and Campground. The off season is the best time to go because you almost have the whole place to yourself and with only one picnic shelter, that is a good thing. You can reserve the shelter in advance on the website or just take your chances and head to the park. If the shelter is taken, there are plenty of picnic tables and BBQ pits around the park you can choose from.
No matter what the weather, hiking in Burlingame State Park and Campground is always a pleasure and a workout. The Burlington State Park Campground Trail is a nine-mile loop that circles the lake. If you want to go a little further, try the Watchaug Pond Trail, which is just outside the other trail and is an 11-mile loop. If you want something a bit shorter, try the Vin Gormley Trail, which is another loop trail, but this is under eight miles. And for a short out and back hike, check out the Shumunkanuc Road Trail, which is a bit over three miles.
You will enjoy Burlington State Park during the off season as well if you like to hunt. Whether you are into big game hunting for deer or are looking for the little critters like squirrels, rabbits, and turkeys, you will find them here. You can also find a large amount of waterfowl if you are more into duck hunting. The section available for hunting is north of the pond and is mostly wooded. Check with the Rhode Island Division of Parks and Recreation for rules and regulations before heading to the park in your RV.