Campground Reviews | RV Park Reviews | Camping Directory

Winter Island Park – Salem, MA


If you like camping in a parking lot, Winter Island Park is your place to go! It is in located Salem, Massachusetts, and they charge alot! This was originally a Coast Guard post, and still looks like it, minus the campground atmosphere. When we finally found it, we came to a guard house… then we finally found the office, which is in the back of the armory, the people are nice, but don’t seem to be very knowledgeable! They each say you need to talk to another person to get any answers. Then they had us park in a camping spot, in the parking lot… that was our site! If you get there when fishermen are trying to load their boat into the ocean, you are asked to move.

We didn’t have any room for our slide outs, so don’t even think you can use them along with an awning. And don’t worry about dog poop, you couldn’t even distinguish it from all the goose poop everywhere. Then there is the noise from the electric plant next door. When we were done camping, we had to drive a mile down the road, back into town to get your septic tanks dumped at the City Sewer plant.

We had a very bad experience at this campground.

  1. Cassie says

    We camped all around New England for 2 weeks, and this was by far the diaappointment of the trip. We camped in the field which looked like a slightly grassy parking lot. The campsites were crammed together and we really had to thread the needle to get our 19-foot tt in place. Also, we were LOCKED in the campground at 10:00 pm, so don’t plan on any late nights out! When we asked about that, the person working in the booth told us there is a key stashed nearby to unlock the gate, but when he went to show us, the key was not there. If we camp near Boston again, we will certainly not return to this campground.

  2. Tori Kensington says

    We stay here to be a tourist of the area.

    This campground has two distinct sections: on grass parking (The Field) and on water parking (what others call a parking lot). Rates seem high for the nationally experienced traveler (in June 2013 Water and Electric is $37/night.) Also no reservation is compete without 100% pay in advance, and there is no weekly or monthly rate. Its flat day rate as long as you stay. We are here to work in Beverly, MA for a couple of weeks, and as such a 2 mile commute is great. Provost driving, golf cart schlepping, KOA types will hate it here.

    We parked in The Field. I cannot address the “Waterfront” issue but it certainly doesn’t look worth the published rates.

    No wifi in this urban area is ludicrous in 2013 (Excellent cell coverage however for your own broadband), but no sewer hookups (common at most county and state parks– which this is one) is not unexpected. If the booking and rates seem punitive, it is. The cost of living here is quite high and the place would quickly fill up with the recently foreclosed upon, especially in nearby depressed Salem. No sewer hookups in county and state parks keeps folks form attempting to stay and establish residency, thus requiring eviction procedures to get rid of them.

    The dumping situation (at the Water treatment plant next door) while really unconventional, makes sense due to the low elevation and proximity to the harbor. My guess is a lift station was out of the question for cost or zoning reasons. The shower house is humble but spotless and well maintained (in 2013).

    This is not a destination point. It is a place to RV camp close to Salem/Boston which means you are going into town and not staying in your camper; and in that manner it works well enough. The view of the harbor is quite nice… to the rear is the power plant and waste water treatment plant, so don’t look that way.

    The young and pleasant staff is summer college help. This is a place for the self sufficient. If you need hand-holding you won’t get it here, but only due to inexperience.

    Hope this helps-

  3. Roger says

    Great place to stay, right in the city of Salem Mass. It’s paved parking lot which some people want a grassy site, however the view of the harbor is one of the best I have ever seen. The management is very helpful they have a shuttle service that comes into the park to take you downtown at a reasonable price. One mile away from the park is a boat that goes to Boston and drops you off at Boston Harbor which also a great deal. The only draawback is the dump station is away from the park, but other than that if in Salem Mass that’s my place to stay.

  4. Sophia Arnold says

    We read these reviews before we cautiously booked a six week stay at Winter Island Park. When we arrived we were skeptical to say the least but we were directed to a very nice campsite (we have a 40 ft class a motorhome) just inside the park on the grass. There are several other motorhomes, 5th wheels and campers here. We just LOVE LOVE LOVE it here. We’re so glad we didn’t go by the nay sayers on this site. It is quiet clean and beautiful here, and so much history. It is VERY clean and the campers that choose to stay in the “parking lot” are right on the water with views of moored boats and a beautiful lighthouse. If you are planning on going to Winter Island please do not heed the negative comments, you will miss out on a wonderful experience.

  5. Cat says

    We made the mistake of making reservations last summer at this “campground”. I use this term very loosely.
    Who would have thought that Salem has it’s own redneck yacht club right next door to the power plant. After we got there and were given our site which we couldn’t set up on because people with boats were using it to park their trucks. So moved to the next site over set up and went into town. When we came back not 2 hours later the tent and site had been taken over by large black ants that bite (the office was closed at this point so we made a judgement call and called our next campsite in Maine dropped the tag at the gate and headed for the Interstate.
    Anybody expecting a beautiful campground will be very disappointed. As far as the staff in the office they are nice people but they really should find a different word than campground to describe this place.

  6. Roger says

    I have stayed at Winter Island RV park for years. The comments which prompted me to write were from a person who had to park in a parking lot. Obviously the park was full and reservations had not been made. There is nice parking on grass. Water front parking is right on the water, not great but on the water, ok! Dog poop is picked up. Sea Gull poop is generally not a problem. I know the mgr. and he and his staff are courteous and helpful. I would remind the writer who parked in the parking lot that he has a holding tank on his rig. I suggest Webster for septic tank. The park is within walking distance to the Salem Willows park which is a super place to eat and feed the Sea Gulls and watch the activity on the Atlantic. I am from Phoenix, Az.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.