Roll Through the Litchfield Hills in an RV

The northeast corner of our country has been populated for so long and by so many people that it can feel a bit crowded.  Many parts of New England can feel claustrophobic for travelers that want wide-open spaces.  Luckily, the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut are the perfect location to roll through while on an RV vacation!  Start out in Linden, New Jersey to pick up your RV rental at El Monte RV.  Once you’ve picked out the perfect motor home ride for your family, it’s time to hit the road!  You’ll get the chance to drive through the top of Manhattan Island, so take a good long look before you head out to the rural scenery of Litchfield Hills.  It’s a little piece of smaller-town America, not too far from all the noise and commotion of modern American cities.

Bull's Historic Covered Bridge

Historic Covered Bull’s Bridge

One of the best parts of traveling on the East Coast is reveling in the knowledge that you’re walking in the footsteps of dozens of interesting cultures, past and present.  At the Institute for American Indian Studies, you will learn about the early cultures that have lived in the Litchfield Hills over the past several thousand years.  Stroll through exhibits that show how American Indians lived or choose to participate in a dig with the Litchfield Hills Archaeology Club.  Whatever you decide to do, you’ll enjoy the experience of learning about the historical aspects of this part of the country!

Since you’re traveling by RV, your goal is to take it easy as you tour our great country.  A fantastic way to do so is by driving through some of the historic covered bridges spanning creeks and streams throughout the hills.  Some of the bridges were originally built as far back as the Revolutionary War!  As time has worn them down, the bridges have been rebuilt in the same style keeping the same look of the bridge as it was when it resupplied George Washington’s army.

After your own leisurely drive through the bridges, it’ll be time to catch a glimpse of a few fast-moving vehicles at Lime Rock Park.  This historic venue for races of all types have seen some of the greatest drivers in history pass through, including Mario Andretti and Paul Newman.  You may catch a race at the track, take racing school lessons, or simply walk around and enjoy the beautiful scenery where racing history has been made!

Another way to get out and exercise your legs is by heading over to a local road race!  June is approaching, so you’ll want to get out now and start jogging for a little pre-conditioning warm-up.  The Litchfield Hills Road Race will take you through the historic town of Litchfield and up and down several elevation changes.  Get ready, because it’s guaranteed to get your blood pumping!

After a race, you might want to sit back and listen to some great music (and have some great food while you’re at it.)  The Infinity Music Hall and Bistro is a 300-seat theater built in 1883.  It’s a fantastic venue that showcases a variety of music genres.  Catch a country music show or even an open-mic night.  Whether it’s a big ticket show or locals showing the world what they’ve got, you’re guaranteed to have a lot of fun and end your trip on a high note.

Pick up an El Monte RV motor home and roll through the Litchfield Hills!  The Northeast is calling!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!  or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo Credit:  Bull’s Bridge by David Smith under Flickr creative common license.

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Enjoying the Connecticut Fall Colors on an RV Trip

The beautiful yellow, orange and red leaves of fall are never better than in Connecticut. You can take an autumn RV trip to this state from the middle to late September to enjoy the brilliant displays, and you can remain until the beginning of November if you so desire, marveling at the fall foliage the entire time. In addition to the leaf peeping, you can also take part in many outdoor activities that the whole family will enjoy.

Two areas within Pachaug State Forest, near Voluntown, offer tremendous fall color viewing. These are the Green Falls Area and the Chapman Area. Two rivers run through the forest and you will discover why many tribes came to live in this area long ago. Fish, hike or mountain bike here. You will find nature trails to explore.

Mohawk State Forest is another spot where you can witness the changing colors and take in panoramic views. This is a wildlife sanctuary where you can hike and get to feel more one with nature. Two of the favorite trails here are the Mohawk Trail and the Mattatuck Trail. Looking out over the Catskills is an inspiring experience.

Thomaston, Litchfield, Connecticut in Autumn

An October view of Thomaston, Litchfield, Connecticut

This is the perfect time of year to visit the Peoples State Forest, near Barkhamsted. The outdoor activities in this forest include hiking, bicycling and fishing. Stopping for a picnic is a treat, surrounded with blazing colors of autumn. Take the Henry Buck Trail into and through the woods and climb up to the overlook. The Turkey Vultures Ledges Trail is an easy hike and will take you less than a half a mile to a scenic view. Be sure not to miss the Nature Museum where you will see local historical artifacts and other geologic wonders from this region.

Camping time is almost over in Macedonia Brook State Park, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this park to the utmost during this autumn season. There are overlooks which provide magnificent views to the Catskill Mountains and the Taconic Mountains. To really get a full taste of fall leaf views, hike the Blue Trail across Cobble Mountain and a few other peaks. Enjoy the bubbling brooks and streams as you go.

The observation tower in Shenipsit State Forest is the main attraction. The Shenipsit Trail will take you right to it. Gaze into the distant landscape while imagining you can fly. There is nothing more relaxing. If you have your mountain bike along on your RV vacation, you can find trails for mountain biking. You can also hike here and there are spots to have a picnic and plenty of fishing available. The Connecticut River Valley has never looked better than from this vantage point in Shenipsit State Forest.

Check out the Heublein Tower in Talcott Mountain State Park. The Farmington River Valley will be a blanket of color from autumn’s glory. Then there is the stone tower in Sleeping Giant State Park near Hamden, Connecticut. This tower provides a 360-degree view looking south to Long Island and also to the north past Hartford. An extensive trail system will fulfill your every desire for hiking through the forests.

For more fall colors, you may wish to make your way to Mt. Tom State Park. This is near Litchfield where, once again, a stone tower offers stunning views from the top of Mt. Tom. It is a mile hike to get there and well worth the effort. If it isn’t too chilly, you may wish to go boating, or even swimming. But perhaps fishing will satisfy the desire for water sports this time of year.

Grab your camera to take some photos while you visit Goodwin Conservation Center in Hampton, Connecticut. The leaves are reflected in Pine Acres Pond and make viewing such an adventure. Stand on the wildlife-watching platform and take in the sights. There are fourteen miles of trails for hiking on this 2,000-acre property as well as the Richard D. Haley Native Plant Wildlife Gardens to enjoy.

Last but not least is Dennis Hill State Park. From the summit of Dennis Hill you will be looking out over New Hampshire and the gorgeous Green Mountains of Vermont. At 1,627 feet above sea level, the air is fresh and clean, the views spectacular and the peace incredible.

Pick one or all of the destinations above for an amazing fall trip in an RV. There is nothing more relaxing and inspiring than a Connecticut road trip to marvel at nature’s beauty.

Picture credits: The picture of Fall Foliage in Michigan is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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A Summer RV Trip along the Connecticut River Byway

Picture Along the Connecticut River Byway

Along the Connecticut River Byway near Mount Toby and Sunderland, MA

This summer take an RV trip along the Connecticut River Byway to experience the most powerful river trail through New England. You can get a full taste of the history, beauty and heritage of three states as you drive this most fascinating and inspiring route. Outdoor recreation is abundant, and the entire family will find activities and fun things to do along the way. Paddling, fishing, hiking and bird watching – whichever you prefer is available, and more.

Starting in Massachusetts and traveling up through Vermont and New Hampshire, this scenic drive will take approximately 14 hours, depending on how often and how long you stop. When you pass through this landscape of rich farms and historic villages, you get a different view of our heritage. Stop at the Mount Holyoke Range State Park and you can find what hikes are available by stopping in at Notch Visitor Center.

On Mount Holyoke, you should be sure to visit the Summit House which was once a luxurious hotel and is now part of J.A. Skinner State Park. The views from this spot will literally take your breath away. On a clear day you will be able to see all the way into New Hampshire and get a glimpse of Mount Greylock.

In Hadley, Massachusetts, stop in at the Hadley Farm Museum. Here you will discover an incredible collection of early farm vehicles and equipment, all housed in a barn built in 1782. Historic artifacts to see include butter churns, toys, cobbler benches and other furnishings. You will really be taking a step back in time.

If you are ready for some hiking, you can embark upon a portion of the Metacomet Monadnock Mattabesett Trail, a National Scenic Trail offering some outstanding scenery and plenty of other recreation as well. One part of the trail is great for those of all ages and is five miles long (the Route 77 to Route 17 section).

Coming upon quaint New England towns is all part of the adventure. Small communities show you a huge welcome, such as in Canaan, Vermont or other Vermont towns such as Littleton, Brattleboro or Vernon.

When traveling through Vermont, stop at one or more of the many state parks along the way. There is a long list of them. Recommended is Fort Dummer State Park in Brattleboro. This fort in the southern foothills of the beautiful Green Mountains was flooded in 1908 with the building of the dam on the river. It can be viewed from the vista from Sunrise Trail. Quechee State Park is also a place to stop and nearby you can visit the Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site and the glass blowing mill and pottery shop. Both parks have campgrounds for RV motorhomes.

When in New Hampshire, find many wonderful places to stop with the family to take in the sights and sounds of New England. Small towns such as Pittsburg, New Hampshire, Bath, Woodsville and Hinsdale invite you into their locale so you can enjoy the hospitality and ambience. The North Woods is an intriguing place and one that provides a multitude of recreation opportunities. Of course, in the winter there is skiing and snow sports, but in summer there are just as many things to do, such as hiking, trout and salmon fishing and much more.

Your route is sure to take you by the Chesterfield Gorge Natural Area, thirteen acres of natural beauty. There are numerous hiking paths along the gorge and you can take some photos of the views. As you hike along through the gorge, notice how the brook flows from a rushing cascade to a gentle stream. It will finally merge with the Connecticut River farther downstream.

In Lancaster, New Hampshire, the John Wingate Weeks Historic Site gives you the opportunity to see a lodge that makes interior decorators melt with envy. Gorgeous picture windows, massive fireplaces of fieldstone! Climb the tower and view the countryside from the observation deck.

Naturally, you will want to get out into the forest and the best way to do that is to take to the trails. Natural wonders are abundant on the Connecticut River Birding Trail (PDF) with numerous stops along the Connecticut River to witness the many species of birds. The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is also nearby, a place where Native Americans made their way across the land in their birch-bark canoes. History runs deep here and the sights you see will remind you of that time and time again.

Picture credits: The picture of the Connecticut River Byway is by Christopher Curtis and is from the America’s Byways Website. It is in the public domain.

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Summer College Baseball: A Great Way to See New England

By Robert Pirozzi, Travel New England

Picture of a baseball home plateEvery summer college baseball players all over the country head off to play summer ball in wooden bat summer college baseball leagues. For fans of the game, these games are a great way to see guys who will become the stars of tomorrow…

New England is no stranger to summer college baseball. There are no fewer than three leagues that field teams in across New England. The great thing about summer ball is that while taking in some of these games you can also visit some of the best vacation spots in the region!

Start on Cape Cod

Cape Cod, one of the country’s top vacation destinations, is also home to the famous Cape Cod Baseball League. Founded in 1885, the Cape Cod Baseball League has seen the likes of greats such as Nomar Garciaparra, Thurman Munson, Mark Texeira, and Jason Varitek. The league fields 10 teams across the Cape so you are never far from a game, and best of all – you’re on the Cape with great beaches and so much more summer fun…

Take a Side Trip to Martha’s Vineyard

If you have not had enough sun and fun on the Cape, you can always hop the ferry over to “the Vineyard” where you will find more sun and fun and another summer College Baseball team. This time it is the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks who use the Martha’s Vineyard High School field for their home games. The Sharks are members of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. While on-island be sure to check out the Flying Horses Carousel in Oak Bluffs – it’s the oldest platform carousel in the United States.

Staying with a Coastal Theme

If you want to keep your vacation close to the coast you are in luck. Both the Futures Collegiate Baseball League and the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) field teams in cities and towns along the coast. Where can you go? How about:

Time for Some Mountains

If you have tired of the seacoast how about heading to the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. This beautiful region is home to the North Adams Steeplecats and the Pittsfield Suns. While in the Berkshires you may want to take in some of the great theater for which the region is so famous, or visit one of the areas fabulous museums such as the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, or the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASSMoCA) in North Adams.

If that is not enough you can head to Montpelier in the foothills of the Green Mountains in Vermont to take in the Vermont Mountaineers. You are in the State Capital of Vermont and a stone throw from all this beautiful region has to offer.

There you have it. By simply following America’s pastime in its simplest and least expensive form – summer college ball – you can take in some of the best vacation spots that New England has to offer.

About the Author

Robert Pirozzi is the Publisher of the website Travel New England. He lives with his wife and son in a suburb west of Boston.

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An RV Adventure through the Connecticut River Valley

The lush and scenic countryside through the Connecticut River Valley is the perfect setting for a wonderful RV trip. You can begin your excursion in lovely Middletown, CT with plenty of sights to see right in the historic downtown area.

Plan a bit before you start driving. Work out your route. It should take you along Connecticut Highway 66 to 151, 149, 82, 148, 156, along Interstate 95, to Connecticut Highway 9 and back to Middletown, for a tour of the central part of the state that can’t be beat. Best time to go is from May through October.

Once on your way, you will soon come to Hurd State Park. There are many scenic views to enjoy of the Connecticut River in this great park. You can find RV camping at Nelson’s Family Campground in East Hampton. You are in close proximity to many spots for outdoor recreation when staying here. Fishing is great at the park, as well right next door in George Dudley Seymour State Park. You can catch carp, catfish, striped bass and plenty of types of trout. Lots of trails to hike, too!

If you want a relaxing time of it, stop at Machimoodus State Park where you can look out over the Salmon River, have a quiet picnic and enjoy the wildflowers abloom. Birders fall in love with this place, discovering juncos, bluebirds and phoebes flitting from branch to branch overhead. Hike the entire 300 acres along wooded trails. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss.

At the Nathan Hale Schoolhouse you will find an interesting story of Hale and his position as schoolmaster in this very spot. Thirty-three pupils studied here, happy with Hale’s tutelage. Further along on your drive you may want to stop at Godspeed Opera House to enjoy some lively musical presentations. This theater offers many performances that will entertain and inspire you.

Venture out into the river and visit an island – Selden Neck State Park, that is. This uninhabited island contains 607 acres of tidal marshes, lush woodlands and amazing hiking trails. The next place to go for plenty of outdoor fun is the Nehantic State Forest Reserve, named for the Nehantic Indians who used to fish these streams.

When you come to Mt. Archer in your travels, be sure to experience the hiking available here. You will find some marvelous views, places to rest and interesting rock formations that will require a camera to capture the beauty to take home with you. Another sight to place on your itinerary is the Pratt House Museum. You can tour this home that was built in 1700, truly getting the feeling of how life was at the time. You are stepping back into the past as you move through the rooms, witnessing the way colonial home-making days unfolded.

As you move up the highway back towards Middletown, you should take the opportunity to get outside in the sun once again and visit Cockaponset State Forest. Here you will discover great swimming so you can cool off after mountain biking through the forests. Throw a line in the water and catch some fish. More fishing is available at Higganum Reservoir State Park as well as boating and hunting. You have just finished an exciting RV trip to the Connecticut River Valley and have memories that will last a lifetime. Come again!

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Scenic Train Rides for New England Fall Foliage

One of the joys of RV travel is that you get to see a lot of the great outdoors – well, at least everyone but the driver, who is hopefully keeping their eyes on the road. So if you would like to get out from behind the wheel and let someone else do the driving, how about a scenic train ride.

Scenic trains are a wonderful way to see fall foliage in New England. Following is a list of the scenic train rides in New England:

Any of these would provide a fun and relaxing way to take in fall foliage in a very diverse set of environments. So get out from behind the wheel and let someone else drive…

About the Author
This blog post was provided by Travel New England. Be sure to check out their new New England Fall Foliage and New England Fall Foliage Drives sections.

Posted in Connecticut RV Camping, Connecticut RV Vacation, MA RV Vacation, Maine RV Camping, Maine RV Vacation, NH RV Camping, NH RV Vacation, Rhode Island RV Vacation, RI RV Camping, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, Vermont RV Camping, Vermont RV Vacation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Discovering Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills by RV

The lovely Litchfield Hills region of Western Connecticut may be just the remedy your family needs for too much time spent indoors. RV camping in Connecticut is always scenic, and this region’s campgrounds offer a big dose of scenery and hospitality. It’s also easy to reach from East Coast hubs allowing you to drive the scenic byways of the Litchfield Hills for a weekend, a leisurely week or a month-long RV camping excursion.

Litchfield Hills Scenic Drives
There is really no way to visit the Litchfield Hills without finding yourself on a scenic drive. We’ve picked two favorite routes to visit by RV that promise luxurious scenery out every window.

  • North Litchfield Hills Scenic Drive: This loop along Highway 44 north from Winsted, CT to Canaan, south to the Housatonic State Forest, then back along Hwy 7 to Canaan is only sixty miles long but packed with outstanding scenery. Interesting side trips include Dennis Hill State Park and Haystack Mountain State Park near Norfolk. Once you’ve explored the historic town of Canaan, head south on Hwy 7, where you’ll be treated to views of the Housatonic River Valley. Before swinging east again on Hwy 272, stop to photograph the West Cornwall Bridge. Special points along the way: Housatonic Meadows State Park and Falls Village.
  • New Milford Loop Tour: Another drive featuring classic New England villages, lush forest land and the gentle hills that give this region its name starts in New Milford. You’ll travel north along Hwy 7 shadowing the Housatonic River and enjoying villages such as Gaylordsville and Kent. North of Kent, take a side trip off Hwy 7 to Kent Falls State Park and Macedonia Brook State Park before heading southwest to Warren. Then it’s a picturesque drive south on Hwy 45 to Lake Waramaug, where you’ll definitely want to spend some time. Head south on Hwy 202 back to New Milford, but let your RV continue south to Brookfield and Lake Lillinonah, a day trip in themselves.

Litchfield Hills RV Camping
Did we mention the gorgeous RV campgrounds nestled in Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills? Parks like Hemlock Hill Camp in Litchfield are family-oriented and close to dozens of outdoor activities. Another favorite RV campground in the area is Cozy Hills in Bantam, CT, where pine-shaded campsites and a 12-acre lake perfect for paddling greet road-weary travelers. One more scenic suggestion for RV camping in the area is Lone Oak Campsites in East Canaan, CT.

Turn off the TV, pack your hiking shoes and head for the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut. Rolling through the soothing scenery by RV will restore your spirits and provide fantastic vacation memories.

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Gemstone Hunting RV Camping Ideas in Connecticut

For a fantastic northeastern gem hunting experience, plan some motorhome camping time in Connecticut. There are numerous old and currently operating mine sites that allow prospecting.

If you choose Connecticut for your next RV camping and prospecting trip, definitely do some research on the Roxbury Falls area, where some of the world’s best almandine garnets have been mined. Start at Green’s Farm Garnet Mine near Roxbury. This former mine site still yields deep red garnets.

Another easy place to prospect in Connecticut is Old Mine Park in Trumbull. The Park Rangers can guide you to a construction site where topaz, beryl and an interesting form of emerald are being found.

These are only a few of the gem fee mining sites that can spark an entire RV camping vacation. Whether you find yourself hunting Herkimer Diamonds in New York, or digging for sapphires in Montana, it’s a great way to spend time out in the wild with your family. Dig some more for fee mining sites in America, and prospecting is liable to become your favorite motorhome camping activity!

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New England Fall Foliage RV Road Trip!

Fall FoliageEvery year at this time, I start hearing people say “I wish I could take one more road trip before winter!” I’ve found the perfect trip—a New England RV journey to see the gorgeous autumn colors!

Throughout the New England states, the trees are starting to turn and glorious color is around every curve in the road. Isn’t it time to pack the RV and experience autumn in New England for yourself?

Here’s my quick list of areas famous for foliage to help you plan your New England RV road trip:

  • Vermont’s Champlain Valley: Some of New England’s most fabulous fall scenery can be found around Lake Champlain on the New York/Vermont border. Whether your RV’s rolling through Burlington, Shelburne or East Middlebury, the fall foliage won’t disappoint. Need a place to stop for the night? Ten Acres Campground offers lakeside RV campsites through mid-October.
  • Kancamagus Scenic Byway – New Hampshire: In New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest, the “Kanc” winds its way through spectacular hardwood forests, along the Lost River and through valleys filled with historical sites. Broken Branch KOA in Woodstock, NH is open through October and a stone’s throw away from White Mountain.
  • Acadia National Park – Maine: The granite outcroppings and splendid fall colors in the forests of Acadia National Park will have you pulling off the road for photo after photo. Leaf peeping in early October is a very popular pastime at the park, so be sure to make your RV campground reservations early. Try Hadley’s Point Campground in nearby Bar Harbor for full-service campsites.
  • Litchfield Hills – Connecticut: The photo opportunities are also endless along the highways and byways of Connecticut’s Berkshire foothills. Mohawk State Forest near Goshen, Lake Waramaug State Park near Kent and dozens of quaint Connecticut villages fill the Litchfield Hills with plenty of sightseeing possibilities. Valley in the Pines Campground in Goshen is a great home base for your Connecticut Fall Foliage RV Tour.
  • Merrimack Valley – Massachusetts: Lexington, Concord, Waltham and Boston…historic towns surrounded by explosions of fall color. Massachusetts’ Merrimack Valley is home to seven sites managed by the State Parks Department, as well as rivers, streams and covered bridges. Why not park your RV at Minuteman Campground near Boston? It’s perfectly located as a center of Merrimack Valley activities.

Fall Maple LeafFor the latest fall foliage conditions check out these sites:

Whether you’re looking for a weekend motorhome getaway or a two week RV journey state-by-state, you’re going to love New England in the fall. A great place to start is the El Monte RV Boston RV rentals location. Rent a luxury motorhome and get started on this year’s New England Fall Foliage RV Tour!

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