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Old 03-22-2009, 07:13 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 280
SUN #382
MA- Winter Island Park, Salem

Campground Information:

Campground Name: Winter Island Maritime Park

Campground Address: 50 Winter Island Road, Salem, MA 01970

Campground Phone #: (97 745-9430 (reservations start sometime in April each year, check website for more information)

Campground Web Site:

Campground Visit / Stay Information:

Date(s) of Visit/Stay: June 27-29, 2008

Length of Visit/Stay: 2 days/ 2 nights

Site # / Type: Back in, Field 53

Site Amenities: Picnic Tables, 30 amp (50 amp at some select sites). No sewer, dump station is off-site, just up the road, and easily accessible.


List of Charges: various for parking, boat launching, picnic (group), function hall, and dinghy racks.

Camping rates: Salem residents: Tent: $25 Non-res. $30
30 amp RV waterfront: $40
50 amp RV waterfront: $45
30 amp RV field: $35
50 amp RV field: $40
Includes camping unit and one vehicle. Extra vehicles at $5 per night (must have pass from gatehouse)

First Visit or Return Visit: Return (annual)

Your Rating (1 Low Ė 5 High): 5

Credit Cards Accepted (VISA, MC, Disc, None): MC, Visa, US money order, or cash. NO CHECKS!

Discounts Accepted (Good Sam, KOA, other): none

Interior Roads: Wide, paved, field is flat to drive across

Level Sites: Yes, level laterally, field slopes down some to the front, but the parking spots are good. Waterfront is on a parking lot which doubles as boat launch parking- loud and active all day

Wide/Open Sites: Sites have good space, field is unlimited in front, and plenty wide side-to-side for slideouts and awnings. Waterfront sites are tighter, due to the nature of the parking area.

Restroom Cleanliness: Good, busy park so it varies from time to time.

Store: yes, random hours (closes early), but well kept and stocked

Game Room: None, but there is a place less than 4 minutes by bicycle called "Salem Willows" that has plenty of activities

Pool: No, public ocean beaches on site

Campground Impressions: This is easily our favorite campground. Some might think it strange due to the apparent lack of amenities, and odd rules (it's owned and operated by the City of Salem, MA), but that's the way it is. Salem has a special place in history, as well as our hearts. It's actually tough to put this review out, because I think this little park is one of the best kept camping secrets in the eastern part of the state. Salem offers a diverse array of activities, and has a colorful history. Many folks know about the Salem Witch Trials, but many don't understand or know about the impact of Salem's seaport and its help in the development of our nation. Home to the author Nathaniel Hawthorne, among others, Salem has many tours, activities, museums, shops, and parks to enjoy, all within biking distance (or a short car ride) of this campground.

Kid Friendly: Yes, lots of places to explore, small campground playground, big fields for play. Tons of off-site stuff.

People Friendly: yes

WiFi Friendly: Doubtful, but unsure

Cell Phone Coverage: yes, most major carriers

Pet Friendly: Yes, but no pets at tent sites, no pets on beaches at any time, pet waste to be disposed of in provided barrels, and pets in RVs are not to be left alone at any time.

Checkin- 1 pm to 9 pm. RV campers arriving after 9 pm will be given a spot in the lot and must check in at the office in the morning.

Checkout- 11 am. You may want to go earlier if you're to find a spot in town to park. It gets busy sometimes.

Personal Comments:

I absolutely love this place. I don't know exactly why, it's just such a perfect getaway for us. There is so much stuff to do and see, and we are up here (not always with camper) so often, I can't believe we make it a point to return. Sure, there's no ground fires allowed, but it doesn't bother me. I don't even really like the ocean, but I love seeing the sun rise and set over Salem Harbor from the Fort Pickering lighthouse on site.

Some strange rules:

No ground fires- the field sites are literally on a field, and the waterfront sites are in a parking lot. It would just be dangerous. NO public (obvious) consumption of alcohol. Be subtle, OK? It's a town-owned facility. Park gate gets locked at 10 pm, and reopens at 7 am the next day. You can get a bike around the gates, but the gate fellow is usually on patrol- he'll let you back in if he's there, otherwise, you wait. There is a key policy, but we're always on our bikes- so we don't know what it is. NO wastewater discharge on the island, the dump station is at the public wastewater treatment facility just down the road, free access with your CG pass- TONS of room there, enough for a 53 footer with fullsize tractor.

If you do decide to come here, PM me, we'll perhaps meet up!
Kelly & Greg Southeast MA
'04 2500HD Silverado
'05 2380s Solaris Lite, axles flipped
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