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If you go: Camping

Email|Print| Text size + By Peter DeMarco
Globe Correspondent / June 4, 2006

Cape tent camping

Reservations are almost always required for camping on Cape Cod. Regulars begin booking in January and because space is limited, campsites fill up fast. Your best bet: Call or check online at www.reserveamerica.com, a national booking website for state parks, before packing up the car.

The following are some best bets :

North of Highland Campground 52 Head of Meadow Road North Truro

508-487-1191

www.capecodcamping.com

A 57-acre private campground inside Cape Cod National Seashore catering primarily to tent campers and families with 237 campsites . Less than a half-mile walk from the beach. Laundry and shower facilities. Rates from $27 for two adults per night, with $3 for each child and $10 for each additional adult. Minimum stays usually required.

Nickerson State Park Route 6A, Brewster

508-896-3491

Information: www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/southeast/nick.htm Reservations: 877-422-6762; www.reserveamerica.com.

The Cape's largest state campground , with 420 sites, giant fresh water ponds for swimming and fishing, numerous hiking trails , and a paved bike path that connects to the 25-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail. Recreation vehicles are allowed but the majority of sites are taken by tent campers. Unlike most other Cape Cod parks, campfires allowed. Rates: generally $25 per night per campsite.

Shawme-Crowell State Forest Route 130, Sandwich

Information: 508-888-0351, www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/southeast/schr.htm

Reservations: 877-422-6762, www.reserveamerica.com.

Boasts a loyal following , drawing campers from as far as Europe and Australia . Reserve America named it among the top 100 campsites in the country for 2006, and its friendly staff is lead by Ranger of the Year Les Perry. Features 285 campsites on 700 acres; hiking, biking , and equestrian trails; guided nature tours; proximity to the Cape Cod Canal and beaches. Rates: generally $25 per night per campsite.

Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary Route 6, South Wellfleet

508-349-2615

www.massaudubon.org

With 20 tent-only campsites and outdoor showers available exclusively for Mass Audubon members. Membership is $25 a year, but you must join by Jan. 1 to reserve a campsite during the calendar year. No open fires, portable camp stoves allowed. Rates: $225 per week peak season (weekly rentals only), $25 per night off season.

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