New Hampshire is well known for its outdoor pursuits and although the state does not have big-name National Parks, it’s home to an array of fantastic state parks. This state has 93 state parks where you can go hiking, camping, fishing, swimming, boating and horse riding. Of the almost 100 state parks, here are some of the best 20 New Hampshire state parks you must visit on your trip to this beautiful New England state.
- NH State Parks
- 20 State Parks In New Hampshire To Visit
- 1- Hampton Beach State Park
- 2- Franconia Notch State Park
- 3- Bear Brook State Park
- 4- Monadnock State Park
- 5- White Lake State Park
- 6- Crawford Notch State Park
- 7- Pawtuckaway State Park
- 8- Pillsbury State Park
- 9- Lake Francis State Park
- 10- Moose Brook State Park
- 11- Milan Hill State Park
- 12- Mt. Washington State Park
- 13- Jericho Mountain State Park
- 14- Wellington State Park
- 15- Greenfield State Park
- 16- Mt Sunapee State Park
- 17- Silver Lake State Park
- 18- Echo Lake State Park
- 19- Umbagog Lake State Park
- 20- Odiorne Point State Park
- 20 State Parks In New Hampshire To Visit
NH State Parks
20 State Parks In New Hampshire To Visit
1- Hampton Beach State Park
New Hampshire is usually synonymous with mountains, but Hampton Beach State Park is an excellent place to visit on the state’s 18 miles (29 km) of coastline.
You’d be forgiven for not knowing that New Hampshire has a section of Atlantic coastline, as it’s just a slither compared to other states.
Even so, Hampton Beach State Park is the perfect sandy park to visit.
The park is home to miles of sandy beach, perfect for long walks, swimming, camping, fishing and picnicking.
This is a popular New Hampshire attraction, so if you are visiting on weekends or during school vacation, make sure you head down there early.
Hampton Beach State Park is at NH-1A, Hampton, NH 03842.
2- Franconia Notch State Park
About 4.5 miles (7.24 km) outside of Lincoln is Franconia Notch State Park, which is a state park not to be missed.
Set in the stunning White Mountains this state park is a year-round attraction.
In winter, the park transforms into a wonderland, in autumn you will experience the most vibrant orange and red hues and in summer and spring flowers are blooming.
One of Franconia Notch State Park’s top attractions is Flume Gorge, which is 800 ft (243 m) tall and open between May and November.
You can walk through this natural gorge and experience the tower walls of granite on either side of you.
At the top, Avalanche Falls is a stunning 45-foot (13.7 m) waterfall.
There is also the fantastic Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway which is well worth a visit.
Opened in 1938, this was the first aerial tramway in North America and where you can enjoy an eight-minute ride to the top of the 4,080 feet (1244 m) Cannon Mountain.
As well as these activities, there are many hiking trails to enjoy, biking, fishing and rock climbing.
Franconia Notch State Park is at Flume Gorge, Daniel Webster Hwy, Lincoln, NH 03251.
3- Bear Brook State Park
Bear Brook State Park is set in over 10,000 acres (4046 ha) of fantastic parklands and is the largest of New Hampshire’s state parks.
This state park is just 14 miles (22.5 km) from Manchester.
The park’s size means there is plenty to see and do, such as hiking, biking, camping, swimming, fishing and even archery.
If you love hiking, you will love this park.
You can explore the 40 miles (64 km) of trails that meander through the forested par through marshes, ponds, bogs and various other landscapes to discover.
If the weather turns on you and you need to seek refuge inside, head to the Museum Complex.
This museum is home to the New Hampshire Antique Snowmobile Museum, the Old Allenstown Meeting House, and the Richard Diehl Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Museum.
All of these museums are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Bear Brook State Park is at 157 Deerfield Rd, Allenstown, NH 03275.
4- Monadnock State Park
The Monadnock State Park is set in and around Mount Monadnock.
This park is set in the surroundings of thousands of acres of highlands that are protected.
In 1987 Mount Monadnock was designated a National Natural Landmark and it’s not hard to see why. Monadnock State Park is just another reminder that New Hampshire is a stunningly beautiful state.
With a 3,165-foot (963 m) mountain as its focal point, it’s no surprise that this state park is known for its hiking.
Whether you conquer the highest peak in Southern New Hampshire or take some of the more accessible trails, the views are always spectacular.
There are trails for all types of abilities, the Birchtoft Trail is 3.5 miles (5.6 km) one way and will take around six hours to complete.
Or head on a shorter 1.9-mile (one-way) trail that will take around four hours as a round trip.
Monadnock State Park is at 169 Poole Rd, Jaffrey, NH 03452.
5- White Lake State Park
White Lake State Park is just under 10 minutes’ drive from nearby Tamworth.
If you are searching for an excellent place to swim, White Lake State Park is where you should go.
This state park offers some of the best swimming in the White Mountain region.
White Lake is an excellent example of a typical glacial lake that would have been formed during the Ice Age.
Visitors to the state park can now enjoy a leisurely walk around the lake along well-maintained footpaths.
There’s plenty of nature to try and spot while at the lake, you can see loons and beavers if you are lucky.
On a summer’s day, you can enjoy a refreshing dip in the lake and fishermen enjoy trying to catch copious amounts of trout.
White Lake State Park is at 1632 White Mountain Hwy, Tamworth, NH 03886.
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6- Crawford Notch State Park
Crawford Notch State Park is in the heart of the White Mountains.
This state park is utterly breathtaking. The 5,775-acre (2337 ha) park has an array of hiking trails through the forest and along the riverside.
There are continually impressive views of the surrounding mountains that will result in you whipping out your camera at every turn.
While in the park, you can visit Willey House and camp at the Dry River Campground.
The campground has 36 wooded sites for you to choose from and there are also plenty of picnic sites, so be sure to pack lunch for the day.
Crawford Notch State Park is at 1464 US-302, Hart’s Location, NH 03812.
7- Pawtuckaway State Park
Pawtuckaway State Park is another of the state’s fantastic swimming lakes in the southeast of New Hampshire.
The park’s most famous attraction is the lake and beach which are perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
Before heading to the beach, set out on one of the park’s hiking trails.
The extensive trail network leads to many interesting points, including the mountaintop fire tower, a beaver, deer and heron-inhabited marsh and a geographical phenomenon where glacial erratics are deposited.
This park gets pretty popular, especially on holidays, so make a hiking or beach reservation to avoid being turned away at the entrance.
Pawtuckaway State Park is at 1464 US-302, Hart’s Location, NH 03812.
8- Pillsbury State Park
Pillsbury State Park is one of New Hampshire’s lesser-known parks. It’s quaint, less visited, but still beautiful.
The park is defined by woodland with the occasional pond and wetland.
This is a great state park for wildlife enthusiasts to visit as a diverse range of habits attracts a variety of plant and animal species.
You can enjoy biking and hiking along the many trails but one of the best features of the park is May Pond where you can launch kayaks and paddleboards.
Pillsbury State Park is at 100 Clemac Trail, Washington, NH 03280.
9- Lake Francis State Park
Lake Francis State Park is a lovely place to visit if you are visiting northern New Hampshire.
The park is on the shores of Lake Francis, which is 2,000 acres (809 ha).
One of the best activities at this state park is to head out onto the water and go canoeing.
While on your canoe, you can explore Lake Francis but also the Connecticut River.
There is also a visitor centre where you can learn more about the area and a playground to entertain the kids.
You can also try your hand at ATV riding and, in winter, partake in an array of snow sports.
Lake Francis State Park is at 439 River Rd, Pittsburg, NH 03592.
10- Moose Brook State Park
Moose Brook State Park is in Coos County, close to the border with Maine and around three miles (4.8 km) outside of Gorham.
This park is in the White Mountain region of New Hampshire, so the views are effortlessly good.
If fishing is your thing, head down with your gear to the Peabody and Moose Rivers.
You can also swim in the park in the fresh mountain water from Moose Brook.
If biking is your thing, 20 miles (32 km) of groomed trails will keep you entertained for most of the day.
Try the Perkins Path and Perimeter Path Loop for the best walking trails. It’s a 2.2-mile (3.5 km) round-trip hike with beautiful scenery.
Moose Brook State Park is at 30 Jimtown Rd, Gorham, NH 03581.
11- Milan Hill State Park
Milan Hill State Park is around 10 miles outside Berlin…talk about European influence! This is the place to be if you are looking for beautiful scenery and a unique experience.
One of the state park’s main features is the yurt accommodation. Yes, you can book yurts to stay in.
There’s a maximum of six people per yurt, and you can stay for the weekend or on a weekly basis.
The yurts have incredible views, and it’s pretty fun staying in a traditional Mongolian-style tent.
In winter, enjoy snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing and during the rest of the year, there’s hiking, biking, and the Fire Lookout Tower to visit for views from New Hampshire, to Maine, Vermont and even Canada!
Milan Hill State Park is at 72 Fire Tower Road, Milan, NH 03588.
12- Mt. Washington State Park
Mt. Washington is Northeastern United States’ highest peak, standing at 6,288 feet (1917 m), it seems only right to have a state park focusing on this spectacular mountain.
The Mt. Washington State Park covers 60.3 acres (24.4 ha) on the summit of New Hampshire’s highest peak.
On a clear day from the top, you can see 130 miles out towards New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, Quebec and the Atlantic Ocean.
While at the summit, head to the Sherman Adams building, which houses a café, gift shop, visitor centre, museum, and the Mount Washington Observatory.
So, the question you might have is, do I have to hike to get there? There are three ways to get to the summit.
You can hike the Tuckerman Ravine/ Lion Head Trail, a 7.4-mile round trip, ride the Mount Washington Cog Railway, or drive the auto road.
Whichever you choose, the views are great, and the ascent is worth it.
Mt. Washington State Park is at 1598 Mt. Washington Auto Rd, Sargent’s Purchase, NH 03589.
13- Jericho Mountain State Park
Another of New Hampshire’s spectacular state parks in the White Mountains is Jericho Mountain State Park.
Just a few miles northwest of Berlin, this is one of New Hampshire’s newest parks.
The park is a haven for adrenaline junkies as the park offers trails for ATV, UTV and mountain biking.
There is also the ‘Journey to Jericho’, an ATV festival in August. Hit the trails in winter and you can snowmobile to your heart’s content.
The park has plenty of scenic outlooks, providing you with breathtaking vistas.
Whether you are walking the trails, renting boats, picnicking, or watching the kids play in the playground, this is a fun state park for the whole family.
Jericho Mountain State Park is at 298 Jericho Lake Rd, Berlin, NH 03570.
14- Wellington State Park
Calling all swimmers and water lovers, Wellington State Park has the largest freshwater swimming beach of New Hampshire’s state parks.
This state park is less than a 10-minute drive north of Bristol.
When you get to the park, you should head out on the hiking trails, where you will be provided with views of one of the clearest and deepest lakes in the state.
After your hike, head to the beach, where you can cool off in the lake.
This is one of those parks where you can bring the whole family. There are volleyball and horseshoe courts, picnic areas and a snack bar to pick up any items you may have left behind.
Wellington State Park is at 614 W Shore Rd, Bristol, NH 03222.
15- Greenfield State Park
Hidden away in the southwest corner of New Hampshire is Greenfield State Park.
Compared to other parks, Greenfield is relatively small at 400 acres (162 ha) of forest, ponds, and bogs, and then reaches Otter Lake.
Several intertwining pathways lead to several ponds and vantage points within the park. There is also the opportunity to camp at one of the 256 campsites.
Greenfield State Park is at 973 Forest Rd, Greenfield, NH 03047.
16- Mt Sunapee State Park
Mt Sunapee State Park is a large recreation area in the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee region.
It doesn’t matter what season you choose, whether you visit in summer or winter, there is something fun to do at this New Hampshire state park.
Ski and snowboard in winter at Mt Sunapee Resort which the State of New Hampshire owns.
In summer, you can bask in the sun at Mt Sunapee State Park Beach, which sits on a 4,085-acre (1653 ha) lake.
This is a great state park for visiting with friends, family or even work trips.
Mt Sunapee State Park is at 86 Beach Access Rd, Newbury, NH 03255.
17- Silver Lake State Park
Around 1.5 miles (2.4 km) outside of Hollis is Silver Lake State Park, not to be confused with Vermont’s state park of the same name.
Silver Lake is around 34 acres (13.7 ha) and has a 1,000-foot (305 m) beach that hugs the shoreline.
Grab your swimming costumes, a rubber ring and goggles, and head to this state park for some excellent swimming and relaxation.
You can also rent canoes, paddleboards and row boats.
With an entry charge of just under $5, this is a super affordable day out for the whole family.
Silver Lake State Park is at 20 State Park Beach Rd, Barnard, VT 05031.
18- Echo Lake State Park
Another of New Hampshire’s state parks based around a lake is Echo Lake State Park.
This state park is just a 10-minute drive north of Conway and the perfect park to take your family to for the day.
The park has an array of activities, including hiking, rock climbing, picnicking, swimming (with a lifeguard), canoeing and kayaking.
You can take a fantastic hike in Echo Lake State Park to Cathedral Ledge.
From the north side of Echo Lake, hike along the Bryce Hiking Path, which is 1.2 miles (1.93 km) to the ledge, where you will see spectacular mountain vistas.
After the hike, head back down to the lake’s shore to cool off on the beach and in the water.
Echo Lake State Park is at 68 Echo Lake Rd, North Conway, NH 03860.
19- Umbagog Lake State Park
Umbagog Lake State Park is on the southern shores of Umbagog Lake on the border with Maine.
This is an excellent state park for spotting some incredible wildlife. It is not uncommon to see deer, loons, eagles, and moose in the area.
If you have binoculars, it is well worth packing them.
There are also great opportunities for fishing on the lake.
To spot some of the park’s incredible nature, hitting the trails is always a good idea.
As you walk around the park, you will likely spot some beautiful wildlife in the silence of nature.
Umbagog Lake State Park is at NH-26, Errol, NH 03579.
20- Odiorne Point State Park
For the last of these 20 New Hampshire state parks, it’s time to head back to the state’s small section of Atlantic coastline.
Odiorne Point State Park is located on the northern part of New Hampshire’s coastline, around four miles (6.4 km) southeast of Portsmouth.
Head to Odiorne Point State Park and enjoy sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and New Hampshire’s rocky outcrops.
Walking along the park’s trails is the best way to enjoy the ocean views.
You can also head to the Seacoast Science Center, a fun and interactive place to learn about the local sea and wildlife and how to protect them.
Odiorne Point State Park is at 570 Ocean Blvd, Rye, NH 03870.
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