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Exploring northern Connecticut will reward you with dense forests, gently rolling hills, and plenty of opportunities to enjoy both nature and decent-sized cities. Camping with an RV at Bigelow Hollow State Park is easy to do when you book an RV in Tolland County, one of the state’s northernmost counties. Bigelow Hollow State Park is part of one of the largest unbroken forest areas in Connecticut, a must-see destination for nature lovers.
The origins of the name of the park are unknown, but locals believe it may be derived from a reference to the deep hollow pond that is in the area. In total, the park covers over 500 acres and borders Nipmuck State Forest, which further increases the chances for exploration. Bigelow Hollow State Park was established in 1949 and has plenty of trails, forests, and waterways to keep guests occupied during all seasons of the year.
Swimming is one of the most popular activities at Bigelow Hollow State Park. Bigelow Pond, which is one of the park’s largest water areas, has many ledges and open spaces scattered along its shores. These ledges and open spaces provide a great opportunity for swimmers to spread out and dry off. Swimmers will be swimming at their own risk in Bigelow Hollow State Park, so plan accordingly if bringing young children or inexperienced swimmers.
Near the swimming areas, you’ll find picnic tables, grills, and small pavilions that visitors can use for picnics and celebrations. These pavilions operate on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to show up early when you want one. Getting to the best swimming spots early in the day is easier while RV camping at Bigelow Hollow State Park, so be sure to consider staying overnight to explore this Connecticut gem.
Other outdoor activities during the summer in the park include hiking any of the many miles of trails, boating on Mashapaug Pond, fishing, hunting in the forest areas during hunting season, and picnicking and grilling at various locations around the park. During the winter, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing are popular, in addition to ice-fishing when the ponds and lakes freeze over. Dogs are allowed during all seasons of the year so long as they are kept on a leash at all times. When you rent a camper near Bigelow Hollow State Park, be sure to bring all your favorite outdoor gear so that you’ll be able to enjoy your trip to the fullest.
Beaver Pines Campground, which is just down the road from Bigelow Hollow State Park, is one of the closest campgrounds to stay at in a rental RV and still have easy access to the park. Although Beaver Pines Campground isn’t a state park RV campground, it still has plenty to offer for campers looking for more than barebones campsites. Every campsite at this campground has electricity, water, and sewer hookups for RVs of all sizes.
Shared between all campsites are hot showers, coin-op laundry, a camp store that sells basic goods and can fill propane tanks, and more. There is a recreation field with horseshoe pits and a volleyball court, in addition to onsite staff always available to answer any questions or take care of any problems you may have. Each site also has access to cable TV and WiFi for an additional fee.
Some of the closest towns to get supplies or seek out entertainment from while motorhome camping near Bigelow Hollow State Park includes Stafford in Connecticut and Southbridge in Massachusetts. Between these two towns, which are in opposite directions, you’ll be able to find plenty of gas stations, restaurants, museums, and modern attractions to keep the entire family occupied. Southbridge is a bit bigger and has more to offer, but Stafford is a great place to stop while on your way to Connecticut’s capital city.
Depending on traffic, Hartford is less than an hour away from Bigelow Hollow State Park, making it a fantastic destination when seeking big city amenities. When it comes to museums, you’ll find everything from the Lutz Children’s Museum to the New England Motorcycle Museum, and other exciting places like the New England Civil War Museum, The Fire Museum, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, the Academy Hall Museum, and many more.
Exploring the different neighborhoods of Hartford will bring you to many delectable restaurants and eateries. Downtown Hartford is populated with barbeque joints, pizza places, upscale Italian eateries, steak houses, new American diners, and even a couple of Vietnamese restaurants. Other neighborhoods are home to seafood, Japanese sushi shops, Mexican restaurants, and more. Of course, you are also able to find the standard array of fast food and chain restaurants when seeking something familiar.