Tag Archives: camping

Pack Your Bag and Head to the Woods: Great Fall Camping Sites Near You

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that fall is one of the best times to pack a bag and pitch a tent in the middle of the woods. Fall camping means colorful foliage swirling around, crisp air biting at your nose, and the opportunity to be completely immersed in the wilderness without having to worry about feeling sticky in your tent or freezing on the cold, hard ground. Really, does it get any better than having an autumn adventure? We made a list of some of the best state and national parks to spend the night in this fall.

Acadia National Park, Maine

Perfect Fall Camping Setting at Acadia National Park

Seriously, how is Acadia National Park allowed to even be real? [Image: http://bscrittersitter.blogspot.com/]

Of course Acadia National Park is a camping hub—with its gorgeous views and wide array of outdoor activities to partake in, it’s almost easier to make a list of things you can’t do here. You’ll find everything from mountain ranges and dense woodlands to vast expanses of beaches and sparkling waters. With a wide variety of different habitats comes the opportunity to see all the fall changes that come to each, which of course you can’t be expected to see in just one day.

Lost Maples State Natural Area, Texas

Lost Maple State Natural Area in fall.

The colors, Duke, the colors. [Image: https://www.geocaching.com/]

Head out to the Lone Star State to watch the leaves change and enjoy the cooling weather—if the name wasn’t indicative enough, it’s an especially fantastic spot to peep some changing maple trees at! The Lost Maples State Natural Area is updating their website to note the changing foliage throughout November, advising when the best time for visiting would be. It’s a great resource to have to make sure you don’t accidentally show up after all the leaves have already fallen.

Kissimmee State Park, Florida

Kissimmee State Park trees.

Tour the gorgeous trees at Kissimmee State Park this fall. [Image: http://www.centralfloridahiker.com/]

Whether you’re looking to head out into the water or opt for a low-key, relaxing picnic instead, you’ll be accommodated at Kissimmee State Park. It also happens to be one of the most ideal places in Florida to extend your stay by a few days and relax into the warm weather. If you aren’t already aware, fall in Florida is entrancing and is not something to be missed.

Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite National Park in fall.

Yosemite National Park, how’d you get to be so beautiful? [Image: https://www.scenicwonders.com/]

There’s a reason that Yosemite National Park has a reputation for its jaw-dropping views and plethora of outdoor activities. So it only makes sense that it’d have premium camping opportunities as well. Although a California autumn isn’t quite the same as an East Coast one, it still makes for a unique adventure that’s worth experiencing. Bottom line: You could definitely do worse than spending a few nights in Yosemite National Park this fall.

Snow Canyon State Park, Utah

Snow Canyon State Park.

Although there aren’t any pretty leaves, we think we can forgive Snow Canyon as it’s still super beautiful. [Image: http://www.sandhollowresorts.com/]

A bit of a different direction—one that doesn’t exactly have the changing leaves we normally affiliate with fall. But spending a night in the hypnotizing Utah desert is a worthwhile venture regardless. Climb over the spreads of black lava and red rock cliffs during the day then collapse into a tent as the seemingly endless sky spreads out overhead. Can’t you picture it already? It’s just like a movie.

Perrot State Park, Wisconsin

Perrot State Park in autumn.

Breathtaking views and amazing foliage: Coming this autumn to Perrot State Park. [Image: https://philipschwarzphotography.wordpress.com/]

Some of the most picturesque campsites can be found in Perrot State Park, and they’re only enhanced by autumn and all its predictable changes. Many visitors come for the hiking, biking, and canoeing. Then they decide to stay so they can do it all again the next day.

Are you feeling convinced yet that fall camping is one of the best ways to spend your autumn? Good, we figured as much. Before you head out, make sure you download our handy Pocket Ranger® mobile apps to aid in any and all of your explorations.

Outdoor Adventures this Fall Season

Fall is finally here! The leaves are once again changing to vibrant colors, sleeveless shirts and shorts are getting replaced for long sleeves and sweaters, and seasonal fall treats are once again in favor. However, with the changing season comes the drop of temperature. While some of us may believe that we have to bid farewell to outdoor adventures along with summer, that isn’t necessarily the case! Here are some outdoor adventures you could have this fall season.

Fishing

Fishing is at its prime during this season—fish such as salmon, smallmouth, and walleye are popular catches. Of course, at times, fall does have its rough days where it is difficult to catch any fish; in which case, anglers can rise to the challenge and find innovative ways of catching by using other tools, such as rocks. Be sure to check out the right times and regulations in regards to each fish!

English: Smallmouth Bass Fishing in the Fall

Man fishing small-mouth bass in the fall. [Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/]

Hunting

Hunting is also at its peak this season. Depending on your state, you may be able to hunt antelope, bear, foxes, white-tailed deer, bear, and various game birds. Youth hunting is also available for children ages 12-15 so that they can spend some time in the field and learn the necessary skills for becoming safe and responsible members of the hunting community.

English: White-tailed deer

White-tailed deer. [Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/]

State Park Adventure

Before the state parks are touched by a crisp winter frost, you can take advantage of a plethora of exploratory adventures that can be done within the many parks in your state! Enjoy the weather with its cooler air while observing the myriad of wildlife activity in the area.

Hiking

Trek with friends, family, or go out by yourself for some much needed alone time. Hiking not only improves fitness and health, but also gives you the chance to conquer nature by hiking through trails this fall. Witness the changing foliage on the way, admire tall, noble trees, listen to the sounds of birds, or simply appreciate nature in its entirety.

English: Wikipedia:Heilbronn, hike tour

Group of friends hiking in the fall. [Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/]

Camping

Relish the weather by camping in the woods this fall. Enjoy your coffee or seasonal autumnal foods, such as pumpkin pies while enjoying nature. Share stories around the heat of a bonfire, and witness the innate beauty of the stars at night in the campgrounds. Don’t forget to bring insect repellent and to keep yourself warm and comfortable with the appropriate season attire!

Car Camping at Hunting Island State Park, Sout...

Camping outdoors with a car. [Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/]

This coming season, don’t let the weather stop your adventurous spirit—go out, explore, and conquer the outdoors! Enjoy the beauty of nature away from the electric buzz of the city and the daily grind of everyday life. And with the Pocket Ranger® app in your pocket, you’ll always be up to date with the latest news on the outdoors. And remember, you can always share your adventures with us!

Ten Fabulous Ways to Peep a Leaf in New Hampshire’s White Mountains

Mt. Washington Valley, located in the heart of the White Mountains of New Hampshire, says hail to the “peep” each fall as Mother Nature provides a spectacle of color unmatched anywhere else in the U.S. Offering not only spectacular foliage but also a wide variety of ways to enjoy the harvest hues of nature’s artistry, this region offers plenty of great ways to enjoy fall foliage throughout autumn. Here are some conventional and a few unconventional suggestions for viewing Mt. Washington Valley’s fall foliage. Simply click on the links below, or visit www.mtwashingtonvalley.org and click on EVENTS for a complete list of fall events to augment your leaf peeping itinerary.

New Hampshire's White Mountains.

Image Credit: Dan Houde/Wiseguy Creative

From the Seat of a Train

Mt. Washington Valley offers a host of train rides year round; these fall rides add that spectacle of color in September and October. Book a seat on the Mt. Washington Cog Railway, and take this famous train ride to the top of Mt. Washington, the tallest peak in the Northeast. Or enjoy fabulous scenic tours to Conway, Bartlett, and Crawford Notch on the Conway Scenic RailroadClick here for a complete list of Mt. Washington Valley’s trains and attractions.

From the Top of the Notch

Scenic drives through Crawford Notch to Bretton Woods or Pinkham Notch to Gorham offer everything from ridge top vistas and rock formations to moose sightings. Be sure to have the camera ready because there’s a new surprise around every turn.

From the Moose Van

Take a ride along the picturesque Androscoggin River and into the 13-Mile Woods area, or travel into “Moose Alleys” in other parts of the Valley on a choice of spectacular and scenic Moose/Wildlife Tours. As many as 23 moose have been spotted in one tour! Tours also includes folklore and historic features of the region. Choose from three different tours, including Dan’s Scenic Tours, Gorham Moose Tours, and MWV Moose Bus Tours/Moose Safari. The Omni Mt. Washington Hotel also offers moose tours from the hotel.

From a Gondola, Chairlift, or Zipline

Fall is the time of year to take in the spectacular vistas from Mt. Washington Valley’s mountaintops. For those who’d rather not hike up, take the lift! For a truly “zipalicious” view of foliage, try the zipline at Wildcat, the Canopy Tour at Bretton Woods, Soaring Eagle at Cranmore Adventure Park, the high ropes courses at Monkey Trunks, or the new ZipTour at Attitash (the longest single zipline span in the East!).

From the Pumpkin People Tour

A highlight of foliage season each year is “The Return of the Pumpkin People”, which is now in its 28th year. Businesses throughout Mt. Washington Valley create whimsical displays of pumpkin people, the only requirement being that the heads are made of pumpkins. Take a self-guided tour of at Settlers Green Outlet Village where 20 of the pumpkin people can be found, and vote on your favorite from Oct 1st-31st.

From the Seat of a Car

Mt. Washington Valley is renowned for its fall foliage scenic drives, including the Kancamagus Highway, the country’s only scenic byway loop. Take a Sunday drive through the mountains any day of the week and discover picnic sites, swimming holes, wildlife, and family attractions along the way. Make sure you vote for the Kancamagus Highway through September 28th in USA Today’s 10 Best Scenic Autumn Drives contest.

From the Seat of a Golf Cart

Many of Mt. Washington Valley’s golf courses remain open throughout October, offering golfers picturesque holes and challenging courses. This is the time to enjoy golf at Mt. Washington Valley’s 11 courses, which are all within a 45 minute drive from North Conway, NH. Go to www.Golfmwv.com and check out profiles of each course, including lists of the most picturesque holes on each golf course. You can imagine with fall foliage in the background how gorgeous these spots are for putting and peeping!

From a cozy B&B, Inn, Motel, Hotel, or Family Resort

Mt. Washington Valley is well known for its wide variety of lodging. More than 50 country inns and B&B’s offer cozy and romantic retreats while the region’s motels, hostels, and campgrounds provide additional options for those seeking getaways on a budget. Family resorts, condos, vacation rentals, and timeshare properties round out the offerings so there’s something for everyone. Many of these lodging properties have packages and itineraries for fall foliage getaways.

From the Seat of a Bike

Mt. Washington Valley offers ideal biking terrain, ranging from gentle back roads that go through covered bridges and past farms and meadows to extreme off-road slick tracks. In fact, New Hampshire was recently named among the most cycling-friendly states in the country. There are even inn to inn biking tours offered throughout the fall.

From the Table in the Dining Room

Mt. Washington Valley offers more dining with a view than any other New England destination. Whether it’s overlooking North Conway with Cranmore Mountain front and center from the White Mountain Hotel’s dining room or a fabulous view of the Moat Mountains and Presidential Range from Darby Field Inn, you’ll find spectacular dining with a view throughout the Valley.

Whether you put your foot to the pedal or the metal, don’t forget to bring a camera because the foliage in Mt. Washington Valley is arguably the most exquisite in New England. For all your fall foliage planning information, visit www.mtwashingtonvalley.org or call 1-800-DO-SEE-NH (800-367-3364) for help in planning your getaway. And be sure to check out www.VisitNH.gov for all the resources you need to explore New Hampshire this fall.

Go Exploring with Adventure Archives

The Pocket Ranger® video channel is the place to visit before you head out on your next outdoor trip. The video channel is easy to access, updated weekly, and is a great companion whether you are at work or just hanging out. Watch thrilling adventures from contributors like Adventure Archives where you’ll get in-depth videos into some of the best wilderness sites in North America.

Adventure Archives Member on a Canoeing at Mammoth Cave

Andrew Lin, Bryan Lin, and Bobby Huang take you to the backcountry for fun and education. Here is a teaser below for what’s in store with them:

With Adventure Archives, you’ll learn not only where to go for amazing experiences, but also how to prepare for the unexpected. Learn the important difference between edibles versus poisonous flora while meandering into the deep woods with your hosts. The show takes viewers through all of nature’s elements, from a torrential rainstorm in Red River Gorge to winter camping in Monongahela National Forest—their videos are filled with never-ending surprises. While it might not always be cotton candy and ice cream on the trail, Adventure Archives’ documentary style and original music compilations bring beauty into any outdoor adventure.

To give you a bigger taste of what they’re all about, watch the team tackle Red River Gorge here:

Want to learn more? Adventure Archives is a contributor to the Pocket Ranger® video channel. You can also subscribe to their YouTube channel and like them on Facebook. Enjoy listening to the tunes? Their Bandcamp showcases soundtracks from every one of their videos so you can continue to nod your head to their beats.

Before making plans for your next outdoor trip, be sure to download the Pocket Ranger® mobile apps for the latest information on weather, road conditions, and local activities in the area. Whether you are an avid adventurer or enjoy relaxing weekends in your backyard, the Pocket Ranger® video channel with Adventure Archives is essentials for fun, knowledge, and adventure.

Cooking with Adventure Dining Guide

Preparing for vacation just got a bit tastier with the new Pocket Ranger® video channel! Filled with adventure and vacation tips, the video channel makes your travels not only easy but also a lot of fun. Take our contributor Adventure Dining Guide, for example, whose yummy videos can be seen on the channel. Adventure Dining Guide offers great tips for preparing meals during your camping trips through immensely entertaining videos.

Video Credit: Adventure Dining Guide

Adventure Dining Guide, “the website about eating civilized, miles from civilization,” features host Michelle Shea who takes viewers through step-by-step instructions on how to make anything from camping tacos to bonfire brownies. The videos are funny, educational, and sure to make your mouth water. A favorite of ours is the “Fire Ban Tacos” shown above. In this video, Michelle visits Lake Tahoe in the middle of a drought for some good and responsible eating without a fire.

Dining Adventure Guide features adventurers, professional athletes, and chefs who, along with Michelle, demonstrate how easy it is to make nutritious, protein-packed meals with minimal preparation or clean up. In the video below, Richard Orth, owner of BAKpocket Products, teaches you how to make gourmet pesto tortellini while sitting in a hammock in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. YUM! These recipes are so brilliant that they work even if you are looking for a simple dinner or dessert from the comfort of your home.

Video Credit: Adventure Dining Guide

Planning to bring the little ones? Watch “‘Orange’ You Excited to Make Brownies?” below for a genius way to entertain campers of all ages. If you haven’t had enough, follow Adventure Dining Guide on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter for some of the most appetizing food photos you’ll ever see in the great outdoors! Don’t forget to follow their posts on Google+ and to like them on Facebook as well so you can share your own fireside cooking stories.

Video Credit: Adventure Dining Guide

The Pocket Ranger® video channel and Pocket Ranger® App bring you the best when it comes to preparing for your next outing. Whether you are planning to solo hike the Pacific Coast Trail or take your family out on a weekend canoe trip, Adventure Dining Guide prepares you for a memorable time with fresh tips on dinner and cool desserts. Visit the Pocket Ranger® video channel today, and happy camping!

Pocket Ranger® Video Channel

Pocket Ranger Video Channel Screenshot of Fisherman Wade Rush

We are thrilled to officially announce the launch of the Pocket Ranger® video channel!

While browsing our Pocket Ranger® apps, you may have noticed a link to Outdoor Videos or the Pocket Ranger® channel. If so, congratulations—you’ve found our channel! If you haven’t taken a look yet, be sure to check it out at video.pocketranger.com. With the Pocket Ranger® channel, our goal is to be the premier location for the highest quality videos covering topics and interests about the outdoors. The content is provided by a diverse pool of contributors from across the nation (California, Wisconsin, Florida, and South Carolina), and some videos are specially created just for the Pocket Ranger® channel.

Current topics and categories include:

Current contributors include:

We already have several exciting videos posted on the channel. Here are a few to pique your interest:

Learn how to make damper while camping (or just learn what damper is) from Adventure Dining Guide:

Canoe with Andrew Lin at Mammoth Cave National Park:

Fish for Florida Bass with Darcie Arahill:

Hike to Swiftcurrent Peak with the Telegraph Hiking Club:

As our channel grows, we will be expanding our network of content providers and the topics they cover, so keep an eye out for more videos!

We hope you love the Pocket Ranger® channel as much as we do. Let us know what you think!

Figuring Out Your Camping Style

The first step in ensuring a positive camping experience is making sure you’re comfortable and happy at your site. After all, a night spent in the great outdoors should be a night well spent. Whether you want to be as close to the bare ground as possible or you’d rather sleep under the stars in style, determining your preference before you head out will make the difference between striking up a continued interest in camping or permanently putting out that flickering campfire in your heart. Here are five types of camping that can help you figure out what works best for you.

Glamping (Glamorous Camping)

A full living room inside of a tent.

Camp…er…GLAMP in style! [Image: http://eluxemagazine.com/travel/glamp-of-approval-great-glamping-sites-for-any-season/]

Glamping is perfect for those that want to enjoy the great outdoors, but don’t want to get their hands dirty while doing so. A relaxing weekend away from the stresses of every day life with all the conveniences of home at your fingertips makes for a great opportunity to clear your mind. Glamping can be done in villas, huts, yurts, cabins, lodges, or at park hotels and motels.

RV Camping

A family sitting near a campfire next to an RV in front of a the lake as the sun sets.

Gather the whole family for some cozy RV camping. [Image: http://blog.elmonterv.com/wordpress/photo-gallery/index.php/page/13/]

Similar to glamping, packing up an RV and driving to a campground offers a close-up view of nature’s beauty from the safety and comfort of a camper. An RV can be stocked with all the conveniences that you’re used to and is essentially just a home on wheels (mobile home—get it?). With the open road laid out ahead of you and a cool drink at your side, there’s not many vacations that can compare!

Car Camping

A car packed with camping gear parked in front of a mountain with a tent in the background.

Pack the car and head for the hills! [Image: http://blog.tahoemountainsports.com/2011/05/23/car-camping-list-checklist/]

A bit more rustic yet still comfortable, camping from the convenience of your car gives you easy access to a lot more supplies than just one or two backpacks can hold. It’s a way to get into nature and enjoy yourself while also making sure you didn’t forget your favorite jacket or lucky socks. Just make sure you pack the car in a well-organized and easily accessible way!

Tent Camping

A tent next to campfire in front of a lake as the sun sets.

A peaceful camping trip is just what the doctor ordered. [Image: http://media.onsugar.com/files/2010/10/42/1/912/9123837/8e33a8f26a0179cc_tent_camping.jpg]

When people typically think of camping, they imagine pitching a tent in the woods and cooking over a raging campfire. This style of camping is best for those outdoors enthusiasts that want to respect and honor the nature that they’re partaking in. Head for the hills with your tents in tow, and don’t forget to camp with the best interests of curious animal friends in mind during your stay.

Backpacking

A backpacker standing on a cliff as the sun rises.

Load up your backpack and go explore. [Image: http://www.travellinguide.com/photo-3162-1-the-15-best-backpacking-destinations-in-2015.html]

For those adventurers looking for a challenge and deeper connection to nature, backpacking is the best type of camping to take advantage of. A pair of reliable hiking boots, a backpack stuffed with lightweight camping gear, and good company are all you need before you set off on a backpacking adventure. Part hiking, part camping, it’s perfect for those who like to make a plan and stick to it—set your hiking course, figure out where you want to set up camp come nightfall, and you’re ready to go!

Whether you’re looking to get down and dirty in the woods or want to have a taste of nature with the comforts of your home, this list should help give you an idea of what type of camping you’re most suited for. Browse our Gear Store to get any last minute camping necessities, and don’t forget to download our Pocket Ranger® mobile apps before you head out to find an accommodating campsite near you!