10 of the best gay campsites in the US

GayCities encourages you to stay safe during the Covid 19 pandemic. If you choose to travel, we recommend that you follow all CDC Travel Guidelines and adhere closely to all local regulations regarding face coverings, social distancing and other safety measures.

The risk of transmitting Covid is known to decrease outdoors. Therefore, planning a trip to a gay campsite is not only one way to get a little closer to nature, but also the possibility of socializing with others a little more safely.

Don’t know where to start? There are dozens of gay campgrounds across North America. Here are just a few recommended ones.

Roseland Resort in West Virginia

Bear weekend fun at Roseland Resort (Photo: Roseland Resort)

Roseland is one of the best-known gay-owned and operated campgrounds in the US. It’s set amongst 222 acres of West Virginia countryside. Besides stunning views, it offers bed and breakfast style cabins and tent sites. There’s also a pool, bar area and the Walnut Tree restaurant. It’s aimed at gay men over the age of 21. It scores highly on Trip Advisor for its clean facilities and friendly staff.

“This place is amazing. Beautiful scenery, great facilities, but most importantly very, very nice people. I can’t stress that enough. Just a lot of fun, easy going energy,” says one reviewer.

One recent visitor praised the local landscape: “One of the most under appreciated aspects of Roseland is how much amazing hiking there is,” said Mike (@thedreamofthenineties)

Enjoying the scenery around Roseland (Photo: @thedreamofthenineties/Instagram)

You’ll find it at 925 Nolte Lane, Proctor WV 26055. It’s quite a drive into West Virginia and the owner do recommend you check the route on Google Maps as some GPS systems don’t track all the small local roads.

 

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Sawmill Camping Resort, Florida

Sawmill is one of the best gay camping sites in the United States
Sawmill has won several awards as a camping resort (Photo: Supplied)

One of the most highly-rated gay and lesbian camping grounds in the south-east, “where camping meets nightlife.” Sawmill offers it all: Four bars, Woody’s Nightclub, a clothing-optional pool, plus nature trail, lakeside walks (around Ricki Lake!), and local Zip Lines and antique shopping. There’s also a nightly campfire and regular entertainment on the courtyard stage.

“How wonderful is it to find a place where you can go and be you,” said one visitor on TripAdvisor. “Very welcoming and inviting. Along with all the amenities, one could want while camping … Sawmill Campground is truly the best”

‘Ricki Lake’ at Sawmill Camping Resort (Photo: Supplied)

You’ll find Sawmill Resort at 21710 US Highway 98, Dade City, FL 33523. You can rent a cabin, or space for your RV or tent. Membership is required, which costs $35 and lasts for 12 months.

Vitambi Springs in Florida

(Photo: Vitambi Springs)

Near the tranquil Lake Vitambi, you’ll find Vitambi Springs at 28280 Etumakee Way, Clewiston, FL 33440. Once again, do check Google Map before setting off on your drive as it’s quite out there in the wilderness! It’s around 90 minutes to Miami, Naples or Fort Lauderdale.

Around two-thirds of this huge site are clothing optional. It offers a range of accommodation, including inn room, private cabins, military barracks, plus space for RVs and tents. There’s a pool, a lakeside dock with canoes, a bar, gym, café, ‘Big Oak Lodge’ and plenty of wild deer wandering around. There’s also a regular calendar of event, such as Bad Bear weekend.

Copper Cactus Ranch in Arizona

Copper Cactus Ranch
(Photo: Cesar Alonso Borey)

Copper Cactus Ranch is a gay men’s retreat for all men over the age of 21.

Nestled in a hidden valley of the Superstition Mountains, it offers bed and breakfast accommodation along with camping facilities. Amenities include a hot tub and pool, BYOB Saloon, full food menu, karaoke, community fire pit and 40 acres of trails. It’s also clothing optional!

Local attractions include the Tonto National Forest, Hike Peralta Trails and the town of Superior.

There’s also an airport shuttle service if you’re flying not driving to the resort. It hosts regular events, such as its upcoming Wellness Weekend and Drum Circle on May 14, and ‘Cowboy Fling’ weekend.

(Photo: Copper Cactus Ranch)

“You get to meet new people and everyone is so nice and very welcoming!” one customer, Cesar Alonso Borey, told GayCities. “They don’t treat you like a stranger even if it’s your first time there. Uncle Bobby and Rich always do their best to make you feel very comfortable! You get to really talk to people like we used to! A totally wonderful, relaxing, fun experience!”

Copper Cactus Ranch Men’s Retreat, 4516 North Elephant Butte Road, Queen Valley, AZ.

 

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Campit Resort in Michigan

 

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Campit Resort bills itself as an “affordable getaway and vacation destination” for the LGBTQ community, their friend and allies. “We are all affirming, with a reputation as a very friendly, welcoming and safe place to relax and play.”

It offers 33 acres to explore and roam, ten minutes from the towns of Saugatuk and Douglas. The Lake Michigan beaches are also not far away.

Besides space for tent and RV’s, there are also 22 log cabin which can be rented, plus a five-bedroom bunkhouse. It also offer a clubhouse with regular entertainment, swimming pool and nature trails. Themed weekends are aimed at both gay men and lesbians.

Someone who’d visited several times told GayCities he liked it for its range of sleeping options, while nearby Saugautuk is also very gay-friendly and offers a number of cider mills, breweries and a winery to visit.

Campit Outdoor Resort is at 6635 118th Ave, Fennville, MI 49408.

The Woods Camping Resort in Pennsylvania

The pool at The Woods gay camping ground - reagrded as one of the best in North America
The pool at The Woods Camping Resort (Photo: Supplied)

Nestled in the Pocono Mountains, and open since 2004, the Woods Camping Resort in Lehighton, Pennsylvania, is another of the country’s best LGBTQ camping grounds. It’s set amidst 161 private acres with its own streams and four-acre lake.

You’ll find it open between May and October, with a whole calendar of events to explore and activities such as yoga and volleyball. In addition to plenty of space to rent for tents and RVs, it offers 30 cabins and three resort homes.

Events include an annual bears gathering, leather/country weekend, and Christmas in July weekend, among many others. To make a reservation, you’ll need to take out a membership.

The resort’s ethos is simple: less digital interaction and more real-life interaction!

(Photo: The Woods Camping Resort)

“In an era when old methods of meeting people have dwindled, The Woods has risen.

“At The Woods, you are among like-minded people in an inviting atmosphere which encourages face-to-face interaction. You can choose from a variety of activities and places where you’ll be among real live people! Talking, laughing, dancing and yes, cruising if you so choose.”

The inclusive resort welcomes everyone from the LGBTQ spectrum: “The only people not allowed at The Woods are bullies, racists, fighters, immature jerks and those who get overly intoxicated.”

The Woods Camping Resort, 3500 Forest Street, Lehighton, PA 18235.

 

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Triangle Recreation Camp in Washington

 

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Triangle Recreation Camp (47715 Mountain Loop Highway, Granite Falls, WA 98252) in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, 21 miles east of Granite Falls, has a history dating back to 1975.

Situated in a beautiful, extremely rural part of the country, this clothing-optional site tends to pull in visitors from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, as well a further afield.

It is regarded as the premier “recreational campground that is Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer owned and operated” in the northwest of the US. It’s open from mid-April to October, and offers 80 acres to set up your tent or RV.

Two men kiss in the shower at Triangle Recreation Camp in Washington
@wolfie_braden and @bigbrojacks enjoy the amenities at Triangle Recreation Camp (Photo: @wolfie_braden/Instagram)

There’s stunning scenery to enjoy, including a local waterfall, beach and forests dominated by huge, centuries-old trees.

Freedom Valley in Ohio

Camping at Freedom Valley - one of the best gay campgrounds in North America
Camping at Freedom Valley (Photo: @thepupodin/Instagram)

Freedom Valley is an acclaimed camping ground in Ohio, about 57 miles from both Akron and Cleveland.

It offers a large bunkhouse, a handful of cabins and trailers, plus plenty of space for tents amongst its flowery meadows. It is aimed at “all Men of all backgrounds, sizes, and ages (over 21).” It offers a pool, firepit, plus several themed weekends throughout its summer season.

A bunkhouse at gay campground Freedom Valley
A bunkhouse at Freedom Valley (Photo: Supplied)

In 2017, respondents to a survey in the South Florida Gay News voted Freedom Valley their second favorite campground in the US (behind Sawmill). It’s been praised for its appearance, accommodations and community atmosphere. You’ll find it at 1875 U.S. 250 South, New London, OH 44851.

Jones Pond in New York

 

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Jones Pond in Angelica, NY, has a history as a gay camping ground going back to 1991. You can choose from a bunkhouse or cabin, while there’s an expansive area to rent space for a tent or RV (175 camping sites!).

An all-day cafe takes care of all your food needs, while there’s over 100 acres of rural, Western New York State to explore.

Aimed at men aged over 21, it’s clothing optional around the pool area. Like the other sites mentioned here, there are plenty of themed weekends throughout the summer, like an annual Pride weekend celebration and Cowboy Weekend.

Jones Pond camp site is at 9835 Old State Road, Angelica, NY 14709.

Jones Pond campsite in New York state
(Photo: Jones Pond)

Camp Camp in Maine

 

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Camp Camp is not a camping ground but a big, annual LGBTQ camping event that takes place every August in southwestern Maine (45 miles west of Portland, Maine).

It’s been running for over 25 years and routinely attracts around 200 attendees.

Activities include everything from hiking, zip-lining, rock wall climbing, and canoeing to pottery and stained glass workshops. You sleep in bunk beds in cabins named after LGBTQ icon like Ellen DeGeneres, Harvey Milk and Oscar Wilde.

The organizers say that around 75% of those who attend return for at least a second visit: a testimony to the unique and special atmosphere fostered by this inclusive event.

 

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