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Perched on the west side of the Naugatuck River Valley, amid a couple of towns including Naugatuck, Beacon Falls, and Oxford, Naugatuck State Forest is a charming forest popular with motorhome camping enthusiasts in south-central Connecticut. The forest is also located a few miles from downtown Waterbury, making it ideal for camping due to the proximity to comforts of modern living. To experience the charm of Connecticut’s hidden gem, book an RV in New Haven County and have countless memories RV camping at Naugatuck State Forest.
Sprawling over 5,000 acres of land divided into five separate blocks, this forest comprises of different species of hardwoods, stunning streams, and the summit of the Mount Sanford near Cheshire. This forest is mostly managed for timber, firewood, and is also an endangered wildlife habitat. Aside from wildlife viewing, visitors this forest also popular with other recreational activities like hiking, hunting, and cross-country skiing. Quillinan Reservoir and the Naugatuck River are popular with fishing.
A couple of fishing rods are a must-carry if you’re looking forward to a good time camping at Naugatuck State Forest. Since Naugatuck River and the Quillinan Reservoir are teeming with fish, this is the ideal place to teach the little ones some fishing. Fish found here include chain pickerel, largemouth bass, and rainbow trout.
For the hiking buffs, this forest is blessed with miles of impressive hiking trails. The moderate 3.2 miles Quinnipiac Loop Trail would be ideal for the whole family walk with a dog. If you’ve got time to spare, hike or bike a section or the entire 44 miles Naugatuck River Greenway Trail. This trail follows the Naugatuck River through 11 communities from Torrington to Derby. It passes through parks, overlooks, and waterfront promenades.
During cold months, this forest is perfect for snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Wildlife viewing, letterboxing, and geocaching are other common activities here. If you’re into hunting, this forest has sections that are open to hunters. Keep in mind that you’ll need to comply with Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
The availability of RV campgrounds in the area makes camping with an RV near Naugatuck State Forest a breeze. One of the campgrounds to consider is the Branch Brook Campground in Thomaston. The ample-sized pull-thru sites with full hookups ensure visitors enjoy a comfortable stay away from home. Other amenities on offer include bathrooms, laundry facilities, and WiFi. For recreation, there’s a pool, a game room, and a creek for fishing. The campground is also close to the Black Rock State Park which has a lake popular with fishing.
The Bear Creek Campground in Bristol could be an alternative to set up camp at. The pull-thru sites set on gravel are large enough to accommodate even the biggest of travel trailers. Lack of sewer hookups is just a small pinch when compared to the tons of amenities on offer. Some of the amenities include water and electric hookups, cable TV, and a camp store. In addition to the campground having a water park, it also sits next to the gigantic Lake Compounce amusement park, where the family can have more fun.
When you’ve explored Naugatuck State Forest to your satisfaction, use your rental RV to visit other nearby tourist attractions at your own pace. For that unforgettable golfing experience, visit one or more golf courses in the area. At Hop Brook Golf Course, you’ll enjoy a game of golf on the same course used by the 1931 U.S Open winner, Billy Burke. After the game, visit their restaurant and enjoy a plate of veal saltimbocca with prosciutto and sage for the best Italian-American cuisine experience.
Situated on the Naugatuck’s Town Green, the Naugatuck Center Historic District is a must-visit whenever you’re in the area. This center hosts most of Naugatuck’s historic civic and religious structures, as well as vintage residential buildings. Here, you’ll also get a chance to honor the veterans of the Civil War at the Naugatuck Civil War Monument. If you’re visiting the town in mid-May, plan to attend the Naugatuck Spring Festival. This festival attracts people from different regions for music, food, and children's fun activities.
To get more of history and culture, drive your Waterbury camper rental towards the Mattatuck Museum. Located in the heart of the city, this museum displays works of native artists as well as historic objects. If time allows, drive off to the New England Carousel Museum and admire the beauty and craftsmanship of the incredible wooden carousel animals. Visitors are allowed in the carving workshop, the fire museum, and also enjoy animal carousel rides.
The Quassy Amusement and Waterpark is also popular with families during the warmer months. The amusement park features rides, bumper cars, and a pirate ship. There’s also a fish pond, a splash pad to keep the kids entertained, and a large beach area on Lake Quassapaug with spectacular lake views. After all the fun at the waterpark, relax and enjoy music and concerts at the Palace Theater. Built with Renaissance Revival architecture, this theater is immensely photogenic, so carry a camera in your motorhome.