Where to Camp in the Granite State
New Hampshire is one of the smallest states in the US, but that doesn't mean it's not a great place to enjoy some beautiful, natural scenery. If you're searching for places to camp in New England, New Hampshire is a great choice.
New Hampshire is known by geographers the “Mother of Rivers,” since it is the place where five of the great streams of New England originate. There's great fishing in this state, along with tons of natural beauty in the granite hills and mountains.
Here are our favorite places to camp in New Hampshire.
1. Pillsbury State Park – Washington
Pillsbury State Park is one of the more primitive and lesser known gems of the New Hampshire State Park system. Heavily wooded and sprinkled with several ponds and wetlands, its diversity of habitats makes it home to a great variety of wildlife, including moose and loons. Canoe and kayak rentals are available. Crossed by a network of hiking and mountain bike trails, the park is an important link in theMonadnock-Sunapee Greenway, a 51-mile hiking trail that connects Mount Monadnock with Mount Sunapee to the north. History buffs enjoy exploring the park's long-abandoned and overgrown cellar holes, remnants of early farm settlement and lumbering of the late 1700s and early 1800s when the area was called Cherry Valley.
2. Lafayette Campground – Franconia
In the heart of Franconia Notch State Park, Lafayette Place Campground is the camping and hiking hub for the park. It provides a great base from which to enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, and many attractions in the White Mountains. Information about hiking trails, safety, and the natural and cultural history of the park is available at the cabin near the campground entrance. A lodge houses a registration desk and offers a selection of camping supplies. Each campsite is wooded and has a picnic table, car parking, and an open fireplace.
3. Moose Brook State Park – Gorham
Moose Brook State Park, located in the White Mountains Region just north of the Presidential Range, Moose Brook State Park is in an area of unparalleled scenery and offers a variety of outdoor activities. The park is ideally located for fishing in the Peabody and Moose Rivers. Moose Brook flows through the park and after passing through a shallow warming pool, feeds the swimming area with cool, clear mountain water. The many trails in the park are great for exploring on foot or mountain bike. The variety of the 59 campground sites at Moose Brook State Park makes it a great destination.
4. Bear Brook State Park – Allenstown
Bear Brook State Park, with over 10,000 acres, is the largest developed state park in New Hampshire. Located in the southeast region of the state, there is plenty to do and see for everyone. Forty miles of trails through the heavily forested park lead to seldom visited marshes, bogs, summits, and ponds. The park offers a variety of options for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians.
5. Umbagog Lake State Park – Cambridge
Umbagog Lake State Park, is one of the more recently acquired parks in the state system. The Division began managing the park in 1998. The park includes a base park campground with 27 sites with electrical and water hook-ups available, three cabins, and 33 remote campsites in isolated locations around Umbagog Lake accessible only by boat.
6. White Lake State Park – Tamworth
White Lake campground is located on a National Natural Landmark of 72 acre Pitch Pine Stand, surrounding a glacier formed lake. North Conway is 20 miles north of the campground, with many tourist attractions.
7. Dry River Campground – Barlett
Dry River Campground offers a woodland setting, located in the heart of Crawford Notch State Park. Flush toilets and showers are located in the campground. Pets are welcomed in the camping area, but must be leashed and attended at all times.
8. Deer Mountain Campground – Pittsburgh
Deer Mountain Campground is located in Connecticut Lakes State Forest, adjacent to the Connecticut River between Second and Third Connecticut lakes, and is just five minutes south of the Canadian border. It is adjacent to the stretch of Route 3 north of Pittsburg, referred to as Moose Alley, which makes it a prime location for moose viewing. The campground consists of 25 primitive sites and opens for walk-in camping beginning on May 10th.
9. Milan Hill State Park – Milan
Milan Hill State Park is located ten miles north of Berlin near popular areas for hiking, picnicking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and wildlife viewing. From this hilltop campground and the fire tower located there, you can get a complete view of the mountain ranges in New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and Canada. The park has undergone an extensive renovation and this primitive camping area has added four yurts and relocated six campsites.
10. Monadnok State Park – Jaffrey
Monadnock State Park is located in and around the 3,165-ft. Mount Monadnock. The park is surrounded by thousands of acres of protected highlands. In 1987, Mount Monadnock was designated a National Natural Landmark. The park offers year-round recreational opportunities.
Do you have a favorite camping spot in New Hampshire that wasn’t included on this list? Let us know in the comments!
And be sure to check out the rest of our Best Campgrounds in the US series.