With Labor Day having come and gone and kids returning for another year of school, campers typically start stowing their camping gear for the winter — but Amanda Allen, co-manager of operations at Hampton Falls’ Wakeda Campground in Hampton Falls, says it’s a mistake she wishes people wouldn’t make. According to Allen, the late summer and early fall are some the best times of the year to spend a weekend in the woods.
“It’s something we tell people — September is a fantastic time to be here. The weather is really nice from a camping perspective. Campfires in the early fall are amazing; a nice, crisp night is fantastic for a campfire,” she said. “We get a lot of comments from people who are camping here in the fall that maybe hadn’t done it before who think it’s just great. They wait until the crowds leave and then they come and can take advantage of what really still is very nice weather.”
Where the heart of the summer is seen as prime vacation time, those looking to avoid the rush of crowds swarming to the Seacoast area for the beaches and bonfires would find September to be prime time to spend a weekend away at one of the many campsites around the Hampton area, according to Allen.
“The biggest thing is that you can get a really great experience without dealing with quite as many crowds as compared to what you would experience in the peak of the summer. Experience-wise it can be just as fantastic,” she said.
Allen also noted the Seacoast’s proximity to fall-based activities such as apple- and pumpkin-picking, corn mazes and more.
“We’ve got a ton of really cool orchards around us to really help embrace the fall,” she said.
Wakeda co-owner Jan Hambleton agreed.
“The Seacoast and Hampton Falls has a little bit of everything. It has the great outdoors: You hear the birds, you see the little chipmunks. It’s a nice place to be,” Hambleton said. “If you decide that you want to go and see the ocean then you can certainly head to Hampton Beach and the other beaches that might not be quite so busy. It’s nice to have variety. There’s really something for everybody.”
Although the Seacoast is a location known for its tourism, Hambleton urges locals to consider the idea that you do not have to travel far to enjoy a weekend away, and that you can still enjoy the great outdoors without even packing a tent.
“It is a great family activity. It’s great to be outdoors. You can camp in the pines in the woods and you can have your campfire and your s’mores. We have cabins and campsites and trailer sites and multiple things so even without a tent you can go camping,” Hambleton said.
Allen said they’ve recently had returning campers who have started to “come around to the idea that they can still come camping in September [and] stretch out the summer a little bit.”
“The summer is not over when Labor Day hits,” Allen said.
— Andrew Clay
*Featured photo courtesy of Wakeda Campground