Camping? Add These Parks to Your Bucket List

What makes a good campground? Your answer might be different from mine, so I have compiled a list of NH State Park campgrounds that all offer different experiences—hopefully one will tickle your fancy.

Greenfield State Park

Greenfield State Park has one of the largest campgrounds in the state, with over 270 sites. The park staff maintains a clean and welcoming atmosphere, even when the crowds book out every last site. Greenfield might be popular, but every site is shrouded in trees due to the campground layout, giving you enough privacy to feel at home in the woods. 

There are two beaches at Greenfield, one specifically for overnight campers. With a few ponds and trails to explore, this park would be excellent for family reunions, weekend trips, or as a base to explore the surrounding area. Pets are even allowed, and if you’re lucky, you might see Odin, the park’s resident canine. 

Pro Tip: Park staff recommends site 226 because of the incredible view!

Umbagog Lake State Park

I cannot stop raving about Umbagog Lake State Park in Errol. If you want adventure, this is the park to visit. However, there are two different routes you can choose to take when camping here. The main campgrounds offer views of the lake from the safety of land. You can drive up to your site without putting in any grunt work if that is your style. 

Although, I think the real magic lies in the remote sites. There are around 40 spots out on the water that you can only reach by boat. I was hauled out to my site by the park staff on a transport boat with a kayak and my camping supplies, but you can also venture out on your own if you’re feeling brave. There are sites on individual islands, cabins on grassy shores, and coves with intimidating names, all ready to be explored.

Pillsbury State Park

Pillsbury State Park is a place I did not want to leave. There is a fairly extensive trail network, an array of ponds, and gorgeous views that will probably make you want to stay too. The campgrounds, albeit a bit primitive, are clean and private.

I stayed at site six, right on the edge of May Pond. Having immediate access to the water from my campsite was something I never knew I needed. I kept hopping into my kayak for mini excursions and saw quite an array of wildlife on the water (including the cutest dog!) But, if you want to step up your vacation, try a remote kayak-in campsite.

There is so much to explore here, by boat or by foot. I know that I barely scratched the surface of what Pillsbury has to offer, but that also means I get to return and explore some more. 

Milan Hill State Park

Milan Hill State Park has incredible views, without the strenuous hikes. If you want the ultimate glamping experience, book a yurt for the night. I stayed in yurt #4, which had me watching over the presidential range while I ate beef stew out of a tin can. 

The nearby trails offer incredible views, but my favorite was the Evergreen Pass which just had me wandering between towering conifers and the occasional bumblebee. And on a clear day, the lookout tower will give you a glimpse of the mountains in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Canada. No other park in the state offers such a memorable experience. While it isn’t your typical sleeping on the dirt sort of camping, it is a special treat if you just need to relax.

Mollidgewock State Park

Right on the Androscoggin River, Mollidgewock State Park offers camping right on the water. Located in the 13 Mile Woods region in the Great North Woods, the wildlife is sublime, and the trees are picturesque. From the comfort of my own camp chair, I saw blue jays, herons, and woodpeckers. The river might be freckled with fly fisherman, but the campground was quiet, and I had a whole strip of the river to myself. If you stay long enough, you might see a moose, or better yet, pick up fly fishing in your sleep.

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Sophia Hartley

I am a senior at the University of Chicago, and I am thrilled to be interning with the State Parks this summer. As I explore New Hampshire’s parks, I will be sharing my experiences through the blog! My goal is to get off the beaten path and encourage others to explore parks they might not have realized hold their next adventure.

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