We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“great campground, bring bikes”

Tolland State Forest
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Otis
Attraction details
Reviewed September 2, 2013

We just returned from a very wet Labor Day weekend at Tolland State Forest. We booked late and got the last available tent site. It was a great site -- large, level, shaded, and private. It was pretty far from the bathrooms though. We were so glad we brought our bikes with us, not only to bike to the bathrooms, but also to the lake and all around the campground. All of the campsites seemed really nice. Many are on the water, but some of those seem to have smaller and less level spots for tents. Although the campground was packed, it was pretty quiet except for some barking dogs and crying babies. The beach was nice and we had it pretty much to ourselves, since the weather was awful. It must get crowded when the weather is decent. There are a lot of trails and we enjoyed a soggy hike on the Gilmore Trail -- saw tons of salamanders (or were they newts?). The women's bathrooms were modern and relatively clean. I wish I hadn't seen the cleaning in progress though -- filthy old mop and black water being dragged around the floor. Yuck! My husband complained that the men's room stank and was filthy. There are dishwashing stations too. As others have commented, it's a 10-15-minute drive to a convenient store. It's a cute store though, with some local produce and a farm stand across the street. We hope to go back and have better weather!

4  Thank margemallo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (25)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
All reviews
"beautiful place"
in 3 reviews
"comfort station"
in 2 reviews
"public beach"
in 2 reviews
"spent days"
in 2 reviews
"fire pit"
in 2 reviews
"quiet hours"
in 2 reviews
in 11 reviews
in 5 reviews
in 11 reviews
in 6 reviews
in 5 reviews
in 13 reviews
in 3 reviews
in 3 reviews
in 9 reviews
in 6 reviews
in 3 reviews

19 - 23 of 25 reviews

Reviewed August 20, 2013

It was truly wonderful to wake up in our tent, look out at the Otis reservoir and watch the sun-rise. We had the beach to ourselves in the evening for a swim, fyi it's cold, even in August. I just thought about it being refreshing and forgot about the chill. The camp site was on a kinda of steep rocky hill, so you definitely needed a flashlight at night. I thought the best campsites were around the lake. There are other sites in the middle of the park that are a little more level. The "comfort stations" we conveniently located and clean and as the one of the other reviews says relatively bug free. There are a couple of convenience store outside of the park. But, you are quite a distance from really anything. That wasn't a problem for us, it just went along with our zen/relaxing vacation.
We will definitely go back.

3  Thank Goodthingguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2013

This was a very nice campground. We had site 76 which was decent and private. There wasn't anywhere to rope up a tarp in case of rain, but other than that, no complaints about the site. The bathrooms were very clean and relatively bug free. The showers only had hot water and we had to pump it about every ten seconds to keep it running. There is a nice little beach area which was crowded on the weekend, but not too bad during the week. It does not have a general store, and two out of three stores in the area were closed.

2  Thank rsm19699
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

We spent 3 days of the July 4 weekend at the camp, sites 27-28. They were right on the water and had enough foliage between the other sites that we felt very private. The lake was crystal clear and relatively warm. The boat house across the lake said this was the busiest weekend of the year on the water, but by Boston and Cape standards, it was pretty good.

When I saw the Facebook page was covered in bear awareness, I was a bit worried. But this season they have had no bears on the peninsula where the campground is. The 3 they had last season were drawn to food, but never hurt a camper. We were locked all food and the grill in the car when we weren't using them as a precaution, but by day two I felt pretty safe.

There is one shower in each bathroom house. The one closes to us had zero water pressure - read dripping - and the one closes to the beach had a slow drain which eventually flooded the whole bath area. They were free and relatively clean, but I was glad we were only there two nights.

There is no camp store and the nearest convenience store is 15 minutes away, so our daily trip for ice had to be efficient. Being a busy 100 degree July 4th weekend, a good number of places ran out of ice.

The beach was clean and life guards there at random times. There were a lot of people there, but it was bearable.

We rented a small boat from the Camp Overflow on the other side of the lake. $75 for 3 hours which was a lot of fun.

Overall, it was quiet and clean. But we have as good, if not better campgrounds closer to home. We are spoiled with an on site store and playground where we normally camp, as well as paved roads to teach a kid to bike or write with chalk. There was nothing special about it made me want to come back this summer, but the family we camped with booked another weekend after we left. To each his own!

5  Thank Traveling_JenRI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed July 2, 2013

My family have been camping at Tolland State Forest in Otis, MA for the last 15 years by July 4th, and we never have a problem with bears.
The only time we saw a baby bear was like 8 years ago and was so far from the camping site, by the opposite side of the park where people are not suppose to go.
We are really happy with this park and every year more family members are coming, we have more than 40 people every year.
You just have to be careful with the food at night not because of the bears but because of the raccoons, opossums, etc. that came after food at night..BUT NEVER A BEAR.

1  Thank Clara7105
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Tolland State Forest also viewed


Been to Tolland State Forest? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing