Missed out on camping this summer? No matter – as long as you pack some blankets and dress warmly, you can still go in the fall. This season is highly underrated – with fewer bugs, the absence of crowds, and beautiful fall colors, you may choose to make for the outdoors in this season exclusively.
Below, we’ll share a few spots well-suited for camping during the autumn.
Savoy Mountain State Forest, Massachusetts
While most travelers are content to take in the fall colors of New England from the comfort of their cars before retiring to a motel room for the night, you want to be surrounded by the red, oranges, and yellows for which New England is famous.
There are countless campgrounds throughout the region, but the majority of them close for the season after Columbus Day. Savoy Mountain State Forest, located in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts, offers an alternative for hardcore campers, keeping their cabins open to late season campers after shuttering its tenting areas for the winter. Though small, they are fully enclosed with bunks, a wood stove which can be used for both heat and cooking, and a composting toilet outdoors. There may be no showers, but if you are prepared to rough it for a few days, these amenities will be all you will need to enjoy your time in the wilds of Massachusetts this fall.
If you plan on camping before the second Monday in October, you can park your camper in the front country portion of the park. Before you head out, though, be sure to pick up a backup camera perfect for RVs, as some of the stalls can be a tight squeeze.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Want to enjoy the fall foliage around you, but with mornings a little less nippy than those up north? If so, take your rig south to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Here, you’ll find campgrounds open well into November, while others are open year-round. To catch the fall colors at their peak, we recommend timing your arrival between mid-October and early November, as this is usually when the leaves start changing. Despite the cooler weather and the fact that summer high season has passed, the reduced number of spots open means you should not roll up in your RV without a reservation and expect to get a spot. Do this well in advance to avoid disappointment, as fall travel has become increasingly popular as boomers have started to retire.
Nehalem Bay State Park, Oregon
The west coast of America is another great place to go fall camping, as the moderating effect of the Pacific Ocean makes for extended falls known for their mildness. There are numerous attractive campgrounds in the region, but few are as attractive as the one found in Nehalem Bay State Park in Oregon. Located 87 miles due west of Portland, it protects a beach and a dune system extending south from Neahkahnie Mountain to the mouth of the Nehalem River. Free from frosty nights due to the oceanic climate, nights will be relatively comfortable and days (at least, in the first half of the season) are usually bright, sunny, and warm.
Get here before late October, as by this time, rainy season on the Oregon Coast, which lasts until the following April, will have begun.