Sugarloaf Campgrounds are a pair of national forest campgrounds found on the western fringe of the White Mountains. Sugarloaf 1 Campground, also known as Area 1, is the first campground located off of Zealand Road, and Sugarloaf 2 Campground is just a half-mile away. Zealand Road is the access point for many activities like hiking, mountain biking, and fishing in the Zealand Valley. The river valley separates Mount Tom to the east and Mount Hale to the west.
Sugarloaf 1 is a basic and usually quiet campground offering 29 sites located around a one-way loop. Out of the 29 sites, only five are suitable for trailers or RVs. The rest are tent only. There are two bathroom facilities that have running water and flush toilets. The campground water spigots are powered with on-site solar energy. Bear-resistant refuse containers are also provided. It is asked and required that all food and scented material be locked up in a vehicle at night and during the day when the site is unattended due to the risk of attracting bears.
Each campsite is equipped with a large picnic table, metal fire ring, and raised, metal barbecue grills. The dense mixed vegetation provides good visual privacy between campsites. Sites 1, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 27, 28, and 29 are non-reservable and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Sites located on the outside of the loop are typically more private and preferred.
There is access to the Trestle Trail directly from the campground. The Trestle Trail is short 1-mile loop that follows an old railway used for logging in the late 1800s along the Zealand River. This trail also connects with the Sugarloaf Trailhead, which makes it easy to walk to the trailhead from the campgrounds without having to pay for or deal with parking at the trailhead (which is crowded).
Note that firewood cannot be brought in from an area originating outside of New Hampshire or Maine. This is due to the possibility of two invasive and destructive beetle species.
Firewood can be purchased for $5 at Foster's Crossroad store near the intersection of Route 302 and Route 3.