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Situated right along the eastern edges of the Connecticut River Valley, a short distance away from the towns of Somers, Ellington, and Stafford lies Shenipsit State Forest. Soapstone Mountain and Bald Mountain are the two hills found inside the forest and the rocks from the last glacial period speckle the forest floor. To explore more about this unique woodland, search for an RV in Stafford and have a blast RV camping at state parks.
Sprawling over 11 parcels of land scattered between the three towns, this expansive woodland is managed for forest products. Shenipsit State Forest is also home to the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum. Besides its official usage, there are impressive hiking and biking trails that snake through the soaring oak trees. The nearby Nye-Holman State forest is a hotspot for fishing, boating, and cross country skiing.
When camping at Shenipsit State Forest, you’ll be spoilt for choice over the number of fun activities in the area. Since this forest is a hiking hotspot, a good pair of hiking boots is a must carry. Slip into your hiking boots and make your way to the Soapstone Mountain Trail. This easy 2.1 miles trail leads to the summit with beautiful views from the observation tower. If you’re into horseback riding or mountain biking, have a go at the 5 miles long Shenipsit Forest Trail.
A fishing rod is a must-have when RV camping at Shenipsit State Forest. Since the adjacent Crystal Lake is a trout management lake, fly-fishing for trout is a popular activity here. Ice-fishing for trout is also common during winter. Bear in mind that a valid Connecticut fishing license will be required. In summer, enjoy a warm afternoon swimming in the peaceful waters of the lake.
After exploring Crystal Lake, drive your campervan towards the Nipmuck State Forest. This paradise offers outdoor activities like boating, scuba diving, and hunting. It’s also an ideal place for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling during winter. If you’re camping with an RV at Shenipsit State Forest from May through September, check out the Friday nights’ NASCAR races at the Stafford Motor Speedway.
When weighing your options on where to camp in an RV near Willington, Wilderness Lake Campground and Resort could be one of the campgrounds to consider. Accessibility isn’t a problem as the campground sits in a serene area next to the I-84. This campground has big-rig accessible pull-thru sites with water and electric hookups, as well as a dump station. Other facilities include fire rings, showers, and WiFi. For fun, visitors enjoy fishing, mini-golf, and horseshoes.
If you’re looking forward to camp in a place with more facilities, then Brialee Family Camping in Ashford is an alternative. Open year-round, this campground has ample-sized back-in sites set on gravel with full hookups. Additional amenities include restrooms, laundry facilities, and a camp store. The staff members are friendly, and you’ll not have to leave your furry friends at home as pets are allowed. This kids-friendly campground has numerous activities for kids, such as face paintings and airbrush tattooing.
Make sure not to pack up your Somers camper rental and drive off without visiting other tourist attractions beyond the Shenipsit State Forest boundaries. Just around 16 miles away, lies Springfield, MA, one of the most charming cities in the region. Here, start by having some alone time with nature at Forest Park. This is one of the best family hangout spots where you can have encounters with a variety of animals at the zoo, swim in the pool, and also view the aquatic garden. The park also hosts the vibrant Bright Nights celebrations during winter.
Don’t miss out on a chance to tour the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. This museum hosts tons of sports exhibits, which are a must-see for any NBA fan. Besides sports, this town is also home to the celebrated American author, Dr. Seuss. If your kids love his work, or you grew up reading his books, then a visit to the Dr. Seuss Museum will give you an insight into how he developed his characters and stories. Children will also participate in some of the wordplay games like the famous Green Eggs and Ham.
While camping in a rental motorhome at Shenipsit State Forest, plan a tour of the Springfield Armory National Historic Site. This is the first American armory that also hosts the largest historic American military arms collections, ammunitions, and documents. A few miles away is the Eastern States Exposition. The Big E hosts several events like trade shows, concerts, and horse shows. Check their calendar to plan your tour accordingly. When it comes to nightlife, Springfield has incredible gaming spots and entertainment joints.
Should time allow, focus your RV rental towards downtown Hartford, CT. Arts buffs will love visiting the Wardsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. After checking out the thousands of artifacts from various countries, you’ll also find self-art opportunities to experience the power of art. A few miles away is the Connecticut State Capitol, which makes for a memorable photoshoot. Ensure to have a ride with history at the Bushnell Park Carousel. Wind up your tour of Hartford learning about the iconic American author Mark Twain at the Mark Twain House and Museum.