Camping – Ellacoya State Park

We’re back from a wonderful week of camping with the grandkids. Ellacoya State Park, Gilford, NH, is on the southwest shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, the state’s largest lake. The Coleman CT260 bunk house served us well – again.

The campground includes 37 sites with three-way hookups plus cable. Even though we were camping, I must admit the grandkids loved getting the Disney Channel and Cartoon Network when they wanted a break from the heat.

The sites are all good-sized with some shaded and some in full sun – your preference. Pets are not allowed. There is a small boat launch and a full bath house including a washer and dryer. The campground and park are pristinely maintained.

At least once a day, we took a walk across the wooden foot bridge between the campground and the park, watching the crystal clear water running over the rocks, and checking out the wild blackberries and grapes.

The wild blackberries were not quite ready, and the grapes looked terrific but weren’t ripe either – darn. Maybe we’ll time it better next year?

Swimming is our number one activity. The water is shallow and warm. The grandkids with their life vests on feel very comfortable going out quite a distance before the water even hits their waist. The area is open and wonderful for using tires, boogie boards, or inflatable boats. We used all three.

There is a communal fire ring instead of individual ones at the campsites. We coped with not having a fire ring but do admit to complaining just a little about not having our nightly roasted marshmallows.

Adjacent to the Campground is the public beach and parking lot where you can pay to park and spend the day. They have picnic tables, a small playground, volley ball net, a little store, and roped off beach area with a lifeguard.

As campers, we had access to this part of the park and would take advantage of it early in the morning before the parking lot filled up. It was a wonderful little walk through the woods where you could enjoy the beautiful ferns and lush tree canopy on the way to the playground.

A very special family lives full time at Ellacoya – the duck family. They just bring a smile to your face whether you visit them or they visit you at your campsite.
Our trip was made extremely more enjoyable because some friends surprised us by pulling in and camping in the site right next to us. What fun to spend the week together – swimming, talking, playing cards, learning cribbage, having fun, and laughing out loud a lot.
New Hampshire State Parks and Recreation manages both Hampton Beach and Ellacoya State Parks. Rangers are on site at both parks but are part-time at Ellacoya versus full-time at Hampton Beach.
This is our second camping trip to Ellacoya, and it is a perfect spot for our camping family. We like the smallness of the park, ability to walk a few steps to the water, and the wooded park setting. And, who couldn’t enjoy the variety of wildlife – variety of birds, large and small, ducks, weasels, ground hogs and the wonderful loons?
All good things must come to an end so we pulled out with a mixture of feelings – what a great week, sorry to see our friends leave, and how soon should we all head back.
Thanks New Hampshire State Parks and Recreation for such a great campground and park.
This post has been linked to the GRAND Social blogging event.

About Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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8 Responses to Camping – Ellacoya State Park

  1. Debra Pugh says:

    This just looks wonderful / what a fun time

    unfortunately reading this post has now left me with a horrible craving for a blackened, super crisped on the outside, melted on the inside roasted marshmallow ( Or 10! 🙂


  2. Grandma Kc says:

    Your week and that park sound wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing it with us! And yes, I too want a marshmallow!


  3. Sherry Santoro says:

    What a lovely setting for a summer trip! My brother and sis-in-law are RVers and have traveled all over the country….I will pass this blog onto them so that they may add it to one of their many stops! So wonderful for you to have the grands along with you!


  4. Lovely post. Thanks for sharing your week.


  5. Yes, it truly sounds like the perfect spot for family camping. Wonderful memories you’re making with those kids. I love reading of your outings…and living vicariously through them. For now, at least. Eventually my grandkids will be old enough for such outings with me and PawDad. (Now just to find some bodies of water in Colorado!)


  6. Connie says:

    It’s a hard not to be just a little jealous reading all your fun post about your outings! I wish I were following right behind you in my own RV. Thanks though for telling us all about your trips. They are places and adventures I would never know about unless you told us. They are great; keep them coming! Thanks for linking with me at Say It Saturday.


  7. Pingback: The Granite State | NewEnglandGardenAndThread

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