Rob Ford Meadows Camping

Brad has been talking about camping “at the meadows” since I met him, and how beautiful it is in the fall, so we picked a weekend to get a group up there.  It’s dispersed car camping in the Green Mountain National Forest off of West Hill Road in Granville, VT.  Some smaller cars made it up to where we were, not very far up the Rob Ford Meadows Road, but higher clearance vehicles are definitely recommended.

When I first started backpacking, I moved completely away from car camping for a while.  Lately, I’ve been really getting back into the idea of car camping and how comfortable it is.  My family did a lot of car camping when I was a teenager and I really enjoy the relaxation of it.  While we would do a day hike at some point in the weekend, the point of it all was really to sit at the fire, surrounded by nature, and eat and drink and enjoy each other’s company.  Being out west this summer for my Colorado Trail hike afforded me a few opportunities to car camp with Animal, and I remembered how fun it was.  Of course, there are a lot more dispersed or primitive sites on all that federal land out west than back home in New England, but I’m trying to familiarize myself with more spots now.

Also in Colorado, I was introduced to an amazing car camping sleeping pad at Animal’s house and I picked up the Exped Megamat Duo at a discount just in time for this trip, so I was super excited for my car camping experience to get even cushier.  The mattress took up almost the whole floor of my giant four-person car camping tent!

The weekend was slated to be in the mid-50s during the day, and down to almost freezing at night – in other words, perfect fall camping weather.

There were indeed a lot of good friends, good food, good drinks, good music, good reading, spectacular scenery, and even a short walk around the meadow our site overlooked.  Even more friends joined us the second night, and lots of camper pies were had by all.

It was hard to leave on Sunday morning.  Fall weekends like this are what dreams are made of.  (Oh, except for the toothache that started on Saturday.  Root canal, here I come!)

When I got home, I immediately researched what car campsites are available elsewhere in the Green Mountain National Forest, both dispersed and primitive.  Unfortunately, on Vermont state land, you have to camp at least 1,000 from a road, so that rules out dispersed car camping there.  There are more spots I need to research in the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire next.

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  1. On my last trip on 10/13/23 I was saddened to find this place is camped out and abused. I’ve been camping here for about 30 years and have never seen it this bad. The 4-wheel drive Overlanders have wreaked havoc to the point that the Rangers have had to put chains and fell trees to block access and further damage in areas. The road up is a mess and almost impassable in areas. Major tree damage at the meadow and multiple fire pits with piles of partially charred GREEN wood, this is a really sad situation, hopefully it will be allowed time to heal.

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