Mentioning Rocky Pond gets mixed reactions in Canterbury, N.H., where a Conway couple wants to build a 263-acre campsite near the Loudon town line. If approved, the 299-site campground would be among New Hampshire’s biggest private RV campgrounds, the Concord Monitor reported.

Opponents of the campground worry about effects on the 83-acre pond and their properties, while supporters say it will be a boon for tourism and tax rolls in the rural town of 2,352.

Ed and Linda Schmid have proposed Mourning Dove Camping and RV Resort off Route 106, near the intersections of Canterbury, Gilmanton and Loudon. Visitors could camp from May to October, when full-time staffers would enforce campground rules, including quiet time from 11 p.m to 8 a.m. Plans also include a 2,900-square-foot convenience store and laundromat on a swath of land zoned for commercial use. The Schmids scrapped plans for a recreational area that would have included playgrounds, swimming pools, tennis and other games on the pond’s shoreline.

Some elements of these campgrounds are misunderstood, said Gregg Pitman, executive director of the New Hampshire Campground Owners Association. The group represents 140 private campground owners in the state. Only two of those members have more than 400 sites, while 20 campgrounds have more than 200. “I think the average owner has about 150 sites so, yeah, it’s getting up there in size, but there are definitely bigger ones,” Pitman said.

The RV parks draw people into the local economy and are generally good neighbors, he said. Nearby Cascade Park has 289 sites, and Cold Springs in Weare has more than 400, he said. “I’ve talked to some of the neighbors and the perception is it’s going to be a bunch of drunken bikers,” Pitman said. “That’s one of the biggest misconceptions.”

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