Outdoor lovers will find pure beauty in the White Mountains and Great North Woods.
Home to Mount Washington, the highest mountain in the northeast, and brimming with lakes, rivers, and miles of hiking trails, New Hampshire serves up four-season fun for outdoor enthusiasts. From hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, fishing, and swimming in summer to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and downhill skiing in winter, New Hampshire has something for every type of traveler whether you’re going solo or looking for a family adventure. New Hampshire state parks offer a wide variety of camping experiences from primitive tent sites to lakeside RV spots with prime mountain views.
Mount Washington Sitting at 6,288 feet in eastern New Hampshire, Mount Washington is the tallest peak in New England, famous for its extreme weather. (The highest recorded wind speed outside of a tornado, 231 miles per hour, was measured at the Mount Washington Observatory atop the summit.) Mount Washington is on the Appalachian Trail and visitors can hike, drive, or take the Mount Washington Cog Railway up to the summit. Franconia Notch State Park In the heart of the White Mountains, Franconia Notch State Park is one of the most family-friendly state parks in New Hampshire and packed with natural wonders including Flume Gorge, Cloudland Falls, and Echo Lake. Lafayette Place Campground is a nice family campground right in the center of the park, near many trailheads and top sights, with a camp store and 97 campsites ideal for tent campers. Narby Cannon Mountain RV Park offers seven RV sites with full hook-ups and a dump station. White Mountain National Forest The 800,000-acre White Mountain National Forest offers some of the best camping in the state. Renowned for its mountain scenery, abundant wildlife, and stunning fall foliage, the park is home to over a thousand miles of trails that weave through the rugged terrain for hikers, mountain bikers, snowshoers, ATVs, and snowmobiles. Overnight visitors will find 23 national forest campgrounds, backcountry huts, and cabin rentals.
Summer through early fall is the best time for camping, hiking, canoeing, and kayaking in New Hampshire. Snow tends to linger on peaks into early June, and mosquitoes can be the most troublesome in July. Fall, when the changing leaves are at their peak, is an especially popular time to visit. Be sure to make camping reservations during this time well in advance. Some New Hampshire state park campgrounds, including Lafayette Place in Franconia Notch, remain open year-round, although off-season services are limited.
- Camping reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance online or over the phone for New Hampshire state parks. Rates vary by the campground, with senior rates available. Monadnock State Park, Bear Brook State Park, Pawtuckaway State Park, and White Lake State Park feature some of the most popular New Hampshire campgrounds; advanced reservations are strongly recommended. - Many New Hampshire state parks have pet restrictions. Some do not allow them at all and others prohibit them on beaches, swimming areas, and picnic areas. - Numerous backcountry campsites and shelters exist in the White Mountains. Most are free to use as long as you adhere to White Mountain National Forest backcountry camping rules. - Weather in New Hampshire can be challenging and unpredictable. Come prepared with rain gear and extra layers, even in summer.