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Spread over four towns and covering a massive 3,000 acres, Harold Parker State Forest is worth considering for a state park RV camping trip. Located in the state of Massachusetts, the forest is a part of the towns North Andover, Andover, North Reading, and Middleton. When you are heading out for your outdoor adventure, book an RV in Essex County, to explore the forest and the towns and cities that surround it.
The Central Hardwood-Hemlock-White Pine forest is made up of rolling hills, ponds, low-lying swampy areas, rocky outcroppings, and glacial erratics. Pentacook Indians first inhabited the area, until English farmers took over in the mid-sixteenth century. A few sites from that era are still visible in the forest today, after it was abandoned for agricultural purposes in the 19th century, and grew into a forest. Today, the forest is popular for its many hiking trails that attract outdoor enthusiasts, in addition to restricted hunting, fishing, camping and picnicking.
Harold Parker State Forest has a varied network of trails to explore. From cross-country skiing to hiking and mountain biking, there is a great deal to discover on your motorhome camping trip. There are a number of wide, straight-fire roads that crisscross through the forest and are ideal for hiking, walking and cross-country skiing. The narrower roads that have single-track trails are better suited for mountain biking, though hiking is an option too. Get yourself a map before you head out; the intersections are marked with numbered signposts that link with numbers on your map, so you know exactly where you are. For an accessible trail, try the Healthy Heart Trail that’s a dusty stone path. The forest also includes a part of the popular Bay Circuit Trail.
The many ponds in Harold Parker State Forest are ideal for fishing enthusiasts. While no motorized boating is allowed in any of the eleven ponds in the forest, you’re more than welcome to bring your kayaks or canoes. There are no rental services here so don’t forget to pack all your fishing gear into your RV rental if you intend on fishing. The Berry Pond and Bear Pond are natural kettle-hole ponds and are stocked with trout. Beavers are a common sight around the ponds, and you may even find fairy shrimp, wood frogs, giant water bugs, painted turtles, spotted turtles, and water scorpions.
There are equestrian trails if you want to go horse riding during your visit to the forest.
Harold Parker State Forest camping areas come equipped with basic facilities, including hot showers, restrooms, and water. You will need to carry all your camping essentials, as there is not a camp store available on the premises. In terms of recreation, you are spoiled for choice at this campground, with hiking, biking, fishing, and swimming facilities close by. The kids will love running around in the huge play area. Pets are welcome but do keep them leashed inside the forest.
If you’re looking for a place to camp in an RV near Harold Parker State Forest, there are plenty of options to consider. Try the Black Bear Campground in Salisbury, about 25 miles away. It’s a big campground with over 250 sites available, including pull-thru sites, full hookups, gravel sites, 30 and 50 AMP electric service, fire rings, and a dedicated tenting area. Amenities include restrooms and showers, laundry, onsite RV service, firewood, and ice. For recreation, both kids and adults can run around in the playground, splash around in the pool or make use of the Game Room.
Located 29 miles from the forest, in the town of Littleton is the Boston Minuteman Campground, equipped with over 90 all weather-sites, pull-thru sites, full hookups, 30 and 50 AMP electric service, water, fire rings, and picnic tables. Restrooms, showers, and laundry are available, along with metered LP Gas, RV supplies and onsite RV service. Kids will love the swimming pool and play area, and there’s a designated pet area for your furry friends.
An Essex County camper rental will serve you well on your adventures through the forest and its surrounding areas. Once you’ve explored the forest, consider a trip to Boston, just 20 miles from Harold Parker State Forest. The city of Boston is one of the most visited in the country, and you wouldn’t want to miss stopping by here. The city is known for its stunning architecture and incredible history, and a walk you shouldn’t miss when in Boston is the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile route full of historical information. The trail covers 16 popular sights including Boston Commons, King’s Chapel, Park Street Church, Benjamin Franklin Statue, Massachusetts State House and the Old Corner Bookstore, among others. Spend time at Boston Commons, a huge green area in the heart of the city. Walkthrough Beacon Hill neighborhood. Stop by at Copley Square and check out the beautiful Trinity Church. When finished with all that walking, grab a bite at one of the many cafes and eateries surrounding the square.
The heart of Boston is Quincy Marketplace and Faneuil Hall. With great historical relevance, Faneuil Hall was the spot of many a great speech and movements. Today, you can stroll through the many shops and stores that dot both Faneuil Hall and Quincy Marketplace.
Boston is known for its amazing food, so don't leave the city without enjoying clam chowder and the famous Boston Cream pie, among a range of other local delicacies.