If a crackling fire, a starlit sky and marshmallows on a stick are on your agenda this summer, here are some South Shore campsites that will welcome you and your family to enjoy the great outdoors in your own style.
1) Camp Kiwanee, Hanson
The campgrounds of this historic recreation area are located on the shores of Maquan Pond in Hanson. Founded by a wealthy industrialist, Albert Cameron Burrage, in the early 1900s and later used as a Girl Scout summer camp, the 64-acre site includes hiking paths, a softball field and volleyball courts. You can rent canoes, kayaks and paddle boats to navigate the pond and spend the night in your choice of cabins, cottages, or your own tent. You can go rustic or rent a cabin with all the amenities of modern living. If you’re booking a family reunion or organizational event, you can rent the entire South End of the campgrounds, which includes 18 cabins, two chalets and a pavilion that holds 80 people.
2) Wampatuck State Park, Hingham
The heavily wooded campground at Wampatuck State Park offers 262 campsites (more than half with electricity), as well as numerous trails for hiking, bicycling, mountain biking and horseback riding. Open from spring until the end of October, the campground is just a half an hour south of Boston, and offers flush toilets, trailer and RV hookups, showers and a dumping station. Pets are allowed on the campgrounds, and you can fish and canoe in the Cohasset Reservoir and help yourself to fresh spring water from Mt. Blue Spring during your stay.
3) Ellis Haven Family Campground, Plymouth
Bring the kids and the dog to this pet-friendly 400-site campground on Federal Furnace Road in Plymouth. You can rent a cabin or a trailer for a weekend or the whole summer. If you’re not into roughing it, but love the ambiance of a campfire by the water, this is the place for you. Overlooking peaceful Ellis pond, the rental cabins have full kitchens, baths, beds, sleep sofas, Cable TV hookups and electric heat. During the days, you can swim in the pond, go fishing, rent a paddle boat, play baseball, basketball or volleyball or just relax and listen to the crickets. Your children will have plenty to do with the mini-golf course, playground, petting zoo, supervised arts and crafts, and hay rides. The facility also has a sports bar, shows free movies, hosts Bingo and dances and offers 24-hour on-site security.
4) Indianhead Resort, Plymouth
If you’re looking for the basics of traditional camping, this is the campground for you. Set in a forest with views toward the sea, Indianhead Resort offers a blend of grassy safari sites and large wooded sites for tents or RVs. You are not allowed to bring firewood to the campground since the resort enforces strict “clean burning” rules and sells its own kiln dried hardwood for use in family campfires. Also, this may not be the best choice if you’re looking for a place to “party hard” under the stars. The campground ensures peace and quiet by enforcing a “No loud music, rap and hip-hop” policy. But what you can do at Indianhead is go swimming and fishing or rent a boat to explore the 36-acre Savory Pond and Sandy Beach on the site of the campgrounds. You can also mountain bike on the hilly roads of the resort or visit the Cape Cod Canal Bikeway just four miles down the street. The experience of classic camping underneath the stars is carefully preserved at Indianhead.
5) Shady Acres Campground, Carver
This 62-acre family-oriented campground offers the whole gamut of amenities in a “fun first” kind of camping experience. Located in the heart of Cranberry Country in South Carver, Shady Acres is surrounded by towering pine trees on a 7-acre fresh water swimming pond. There are also two pools in the campgrounds – one for adults and one for kids. Shady Acres offers 200 camping sites for tents, trailers or RVs. There is also an RV service repair facility on the grounds. Activities for all ages are provided throughout the summer, ranging from mini-golf, face-painting, Bingo, movie nights on the beach, live music and entertainment, fishing and pool tournaments, dance lessons, sand castle competitions, and community campfires. Pets are welcome and the campgrounds hosts a “Dog Days of August” costumed canine parade near the end of the season.