Monday, July 5, 2010

New Gay Campgrounds in New Hampshire

(This is an updated post on TWO Gay Campgrounds in New Hampshire)
(See also more recent post) We were looking to get away for the weekend and were looking for someplace different to go camping -RVing, actually, and within a reasonable distance from home.  We had decided to go to our old standby campground, Moss Hollow in Marlboro, VT, when some friends called to say they had just seen an add for a new gay campground in New Hampshire.  We went on the net, made some calls and were invited up for the weekend by Dave, one of the owners.  The friends who had let us know also showed up and a third couple from Massachusetts decided to join us as well.  

Mountainside  (Mountainside, 87 McDonald Drive Hindsdale, NH  03451)
is a small horse farm with rolling hay fields, a large wooded area, a house, a barn and several out buildings, including a guest house and and bunkhouse.  A large grassy tent area overlooks the southern mountains of Vermont and offers colorful sunsets.  There is a cute cowboy theme throughout, from the decore in the bathrooms to the combination barber shop, pool room and curio shop.  A handful of small RVs have set up more or less permanent digs and there is an old refurbished camper for rent.  

Our RV

Mountainside has been open since last summer but with very little publicity, mostly in the Boston gay newspapers.  Hosts Dave and Mike are very friendly and accommodating.  While the campground is currently providing space for tenters and some RV's, there are only tentative plans for expansion.  It seems to have started as a way to bring the community to the ranch because having horses to care for means not being able to get away much.

Leon, Dave of Mountainside, Me, Bob, Benni

Hike to Madame Sherri Forest

One of the attractions is its proximity to the Rock River in Vermont, a popular gay swimming area, and the Ledges on Lake Harriman, also in Vermont.  Dave and Mike organized morning hikes on both Saturday and Sunday for anyone interested.  There was also a bonfire on Saturday and Sunday evening.  There were about 30 guys total for the major part of the weekend with a couple more arriving late on Sunday.  

While there is disco music playing when the cowboy music ends, this is not a party place like some other gay campgrounds where the drinking and partying and loud music go on all weekend.  If it stays that way, it will draw a good crowd of sane and sober guys and be a peaceful retreat.

Mountainside is closer to us than Joe's Hideaway, but we would probably not chose to be seasonal campers there because of the lack of hook-ups, the cost and the fact that you cannot use the campground except on weekends.


We stayed at Joe's Hideaway in August of 2013. Joe's Hideaway is newly acquired and still under construction and renovation.Here is some info about Joe's Hideaway in New Hampshire.

Joe's Hideaway

 Keep this in mind because you may not find some of the amenities that the larger gay campgrounds offer. It is a work in progress. It does have full hook-ups: electricity, water and sewer. That alone makes this a superior campground by New England standards.

Our stay included several days mid-week and a week-end. Unfortunately the weather was unseasonably COLD for the time of year. Overnight campers were sparse during the week, but lots of day-trippers showed up to sun their buns by the pool. It was almost too cold to optional one's clothing most of the week.

The owners seemed very nice, very accommodating and friendly. We did not get to meet a lot of the seasonals, but as is the case in any campground, there tend to be cliques and groups, especially among the seasonals. 

The thing that turns me off the most is excessive drinking and partying which is common at many gay campgrounds, especially on weekends; I did not see a lot of drinking and rowdiness while we were there, maybe because it was so cold, but the potential certainly exists (and this is a judgmental call by me). Maybe it's just me getting older, but I found that sexual bravado was very prevalent and obnoxious, even among the older guys. It seemed unbecoming on the one hand and a litmus test of sorts on the other.

There was a pot luck and barbeque that was very nice, and an outdoor movie - the owners do provide for guests' fun and entertainment. I do not mix easily in new crowds, and given that, I found Mountainside crowd a little easier to get to know. 

The pool was a plus, and even though it is an above ground, plastic pool, it was a decent size. But the crowd was small. I don't know how well it would accommodate a large weekend crowd on a hot summer day. WiFi is available at the pool, but you need a password (not only is the password a long, cumbersome string of numbers rather than something simple like "guest" but there is little need for one as the camp is quite isolated). Yes, I do focus on details.

Dogs are allowed with the usual caveats. We did find some nearby woods and trails on/adjacent to the property where we could let our dog run.

We will likely return for a visit next summer and look forward to seeing what's new. It is a little to far from our house to make it a candidate for a seasonal site, however.


  1. Used to camp out in Biddeford, ME but this one is actually closer to me. I'll have to check it out!

  2. Sure sounds like a neat place, with horses and rivers and "cowboy music" etc . . . wish I could go.

  3. Thank you for this! Sounds like a great place to just chill out and enjoy nature.

  4. Mountainside is not Hillside or The Woods - much smaller, quieter and definitely not a circuit party atmosphere. They want to keep a peaceful and relaxing setting, which is fine by me.

  5. I went about 3 years ago and I love it!!! So peaceful a relaxing atmosphere. Great to scape for a weekend with your guy ;-) don't forget the lube

  6. Incredible place.The owners are warm and welcoming and the views across the mountains will fill you completely.Funky, fun, and close to city life ...but what would be the point. Only drawback was the lecherous hosemonsters that think its 1979 at the baths.If they can fix that I'm sold for life.

  7. Wrote this in 2010 so these places are no longer "new" and since we've moved to New Mexico we are a bit too far away...and there are no such campgrounds here. We did go east last August and paid a visit to Mountainside. No such creatures encountered.



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