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    Lost? Site Map

    Free Camping

    NorthwestGal
    Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:27 am
    Forum Host
    .......................................................................

    ....................................

    With summer just around the corner, and many of us beginning to think about budget-friendly summer vacation plans, I thought a few resources on FREE CAMPING might be helpful. I am continuing to search for new information and hope to expand this to include other continents. For the time being though, information will primarily include North American locales.

    I want this to be a helpful resource for everyone everywhere (as much as is possibly, anyway). So please share any resources that you have used that might prove helpful to others in planning a free or reduced-fee summer vacation.


    Free Camping

    What is offered here is intended only to serve as a guide. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of all the information posted here, as information can change without notice.

    There are many websites that offer free or reduced-fee camping opportunities. Some of the more thorough resources that I have found for the U.S. and Canada are . . .

    Free Campsites (includes U.S. and Canada)
    Free Campgrounds
    Free Campgrounds in the USA
    Camping in Europe (Few completely free camping options, but a good general resource)
    FREE overnight camping, by state
    Free camping (with permit) for southeast Ohio offered by American Electric Power

    Also, check with various clubs and service organizations for free camping resources, such as . . .

    KOA
    AAA
    CAA
    clubs and organizations (Sierra Club, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc)
    Local service clubs for the area you are interested in visiting

    Please keep in mind that some free campgrounds may have closed due to budget constraints. Or, in the interest of generating revenue, have gone to a fee structure for overnight campers. Therefore, please research any camping options that you are not familiar with; to be sure you are aware of the current fee structure and other details before setting off to a site unseen/unresearched.

    Since these parks offer free camping, you sometimes sacrifice amenities, comforts and even the most basic services that are usually offered at full-service campgrounds. For instance, free camping (often called "boondocking") opportunities might mean . . .

    No ranger or park attendant on duty
    Infrequent campground maintenance
    Isolated locations (can require lengthy hikes or enduring rough roadways)
    Primitive sites
    No picnic tables
    No fire pits
    No restroom facilities (or primitive pit latrines)
    No running water
    No electrical hook-ups
    No garbage pick-up (you pack it in, you pack it out)
    Specific pet restrictions
    Automobile restrictions (such as one vehicle per site, or no lot to park horse/ATV trailers or extra vehicles)
    Tent-only sites (or sometimes limited RV/trailer options)

    But remember ~ Not all free camping options will include all (or even any) of those limitations. This is just a reminder that guests often must forego certain features and services in exchange for keeping it a no-fee campground. So do your research on any campground you're intending on visiting so you are familiar with their current restrictions, limitations, and requirements.


    Your input is valuable

    If you know of any free camping options that are not included here, please post a reply in this thread. Include as much current information as possible about the campground, current facilities for fire pits, picnic tables, running water, restrooms, hook-ups for RVs, garbage service, fire wood provisions, pet policy, local activities and tourist attractions (if applicable), etc.


    ....................................


    Last edited by NorthwestGal on Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total
    Brenda.
    Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:24 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Thanks NWG this is great! icon_biggrin.gif
    Roger/OH
    Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:37 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Great idea.
    I don't know if they still do it, but in the early '70s I did a lot of canoeing in Michigan. There were many sites were the highway crossed the river that were free. Maybe someone from Michigan can weigh in and tell us if they are still free.
    In Alsaka they are all over at about any pull off on the main highways. Especially where there is a lake. No electric, rangers or entertainment. Just little blue outhouses (if you are lucky) for your needs.
    NorthwestGal
    Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:58 am
    Forum Host
    Brenda. wrote:
    Thanks NWG this is great! icon_biggrin.gif


    Thanks, Bren.
    NorthwestGal
    Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:00 am
    Forum Host
    Roger/OH wrote:
    Great idea.
    I don't know if they still do it, but in the early '70s I did a lot of canoeing in Michigan. There were many sites were the highway crossed the river that were free. Maybe someone from Michigan can weigh in and tell us if they are still free.
    In Alsaka they are all over at about any pull off on the main highways. Especially where there is a lake. No electric, rangers or entertainment. Just little blue outhouses (if you are lucky) for your needs.


    Thanks, Roger. That's good to know. I'm going to check into that and see if they still offer those free sites, in both Michigan and Alaska. Or maybe other chefs from those areas can shed some light.
    Roger/OH
    Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:31 am
    Food.com Groupie
    NorthwestGal wrote:
    Roger/OH wrote:
    Great idea.
    I don't know if they still do it, but in the early '70s I did a lot of canoeing in Michigan. There were many sites were the highway crossed the river that were free. Maybe someone from Michigan can weigh in and tell us if they are still free.
    In Alsaka they are all over at about any pull off on the main highways. Especially where there is a lake. No electric, rangers or entertainment. Just little blue outhouses (if you are lucky) for your needs.


    Thanks, Roger. That's good to know. I'm going to check into that and see if they still offer those free sites, in both Michigan and Alaska. Or maybe other chefs from those areas can shed some light.

    Don't need to check on Alaska. I was up there in August and they are still available.
    Roger/OH
    Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:12 am
    Food.com Groupie
    I had completely forgot about AEP (the electric company's campgroung) in southeast Ohio. It has been 25 years since I been there but they still have it.
    Around forty years ago or so, the Federal Government passed a law that required the coal companies to reclaim the lands that they were strip mining for coal. The electric company reclaimed their lands by putting in campgrounds and offering free camping. You have to get a free permit from the electric company to use the lands. I don't remember if the sites had electric or not. They had water and at least outhouses when I was there. All the campgrounds were around stocked lakes and there were many stocked lakes that required you to hike into. Maps were available to the lakes. Here is a link to the site.
    http://www.aep.com/environmental/recreation/recland/activities.aspx

    Here is another link to free camping by state. http://www.webspawner.com/users/oa389/
    NorthwestGal
    Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:42 am
    Forum Host
    Thanks for that information, Roger. I've added those resources above for everyone's benefit.
    Granny Moses
    Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:27 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    http://www.rv-camping.org/Colorado.html

    Scroll down on this link to find lots of possibilities here in the Centennial State. And there sure are alot of friendly people. This link also gives you lots of tips.
    NorthwestGal
    Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:41 pm
    Forum Host
    Thank you, Granny Moses. I will definitely add your link to the list so others will be able to benefit from it also. Thanks for posting it!
    Brenda.
    Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:27 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Wow a lot of great info!

    Keep the Free Sites Coming icon_biggrin.gif
    SoupCookie
    Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:20 am
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    For Ontario Canada:

    http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/CrownLand/2ColumnSubPage/STEL02_170045.html


    Where I live people have the option of camping/fishing in winter......I prefer to wait for spring/summer!!!
    Roger/OH
    Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:24 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    SoupCookie wrote:
    For Ontario Canada:

    http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/CrownLand/2ColumnSubPage/STEL02_170045.html


    Where I live people have the option of camping/fishing in winter......I prefer to wait for spring/summer!!!

    Thanks for posting.
    Back in the late 70's I was an Assitant Scoutmaster for a troop. We made 2 canoeing trips to Canada. The first one was to the Temagami region and we went through an outfiter. On the second trip we set out on Biscoetasie (sp) Lake, north of Cartier. On the third day of the trip it rained a cold rain all day. Everyone was cold and soaked to the bone. All the equipment was drenched. We crashed in an unlocked cabin for the night.
    The next morning, in true scouting fashion. we scrubbed the floor, chopped up a pile of wood that was 3 times what was there when we arrived. We wrote a note to the owner thanking him for the shelter and put so money in it and placed it on the table.
    We recieved a note from the owner with the money in it. He said, "We were welcomed at any of his cabins anytime."

    We just pulled off the river and camped where we wanted to durring the trip. Don't know if we were on Crown Lands or not, but a paid permit wasn't required at the time. Times may have cahenged.
    Again. Thenk you for posting and please come back
    SoupCookie
    Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:18 am
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    I'm lucky to have a BFF whose (very generous and awsome) Grandma owns a piece of land that backs onto a postcard perfect "camping" area. We pitch the tents and then climb alot of rocks to get to good fishing....not that i mind, i love rock climbing! Top left of pic. is where we climb to/around and the fishing at the end of the rapids is where we catch small mouth bass!
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