Recreation Close To Home & Social Distancing

One of the great things about our park system is that no matter where you are in the state – you’ll find incredible places to recreate nearby. This allows residents and visitors alike to get outside and connect with nature, while limiting travel and practicing social distancing at the same time.

Early Spring hike around Hogback Pond in Greenfield State Park

While facilities may be closed, NH State Parks remain open for recreation unless otherwise posted (*State Beaches are now closed). We recognize the importance nature has in helping to relieve stress during this time and being outdoors is a great way to get much-needed fresh air and exercise. You’ll be surprised to see what is available close to where you live.

Spring hike at Silver Lake State Park

For some outdoor inspiration check out our YouTube channel, Instagram feed and Facebook page. You’ll find we have a wide variety of trails, experiences and ability levels to choose from.

You can find trail maps and park information on our site or if you need some more help planning your outing send us a facebook message or send us an email.

Spring Hiking Risks

Spring is a beautiful time of year but weather conditions can be erratic. You might start hiking in a warm valley, but after an hour you may find yourself trekking through heavy rain and snow. Doing some research on trail conditions before heading out will prepare you for some of the risks associated with Spring hiking.

Flooding at Bedell Bridge Historic Site, May 2018

When planning for a safe and successful hiking adventure, remember these three important points:

  • Plan ahead by checking the weather, road conditions and trail/parking regulations.
  • Scout trailhead and parking availability and have alternate itineraries in mind.
  • Prepare for trail difficulty with knowledge and the proper gear.

Visit this for other helpful hiking safety tips.

Spring snowstorm on the Franconia Notch Recreational Path

Five common hazards:

  1. Snow and Ice – If you are hik­ing an icy trail you should try to do the hike ear­ly in the day, as icy sur­faces are much eas­i­er to walk on when they are still sol­id. You can also buy spikes to help you stay safe as you cross icy paths.
  2. Mud Season – As the ice and snow start to melt, mud becomes a real haz­ard. Most hik­ing trails are mud­dy dur­ing spring, but this does not mean that you cannot hike. Sim­ply keep to the dri­est part of the trail (nor­mal­ly the mid­dle part), and make sure that you wear water­proof boots; if not your feet will quick­ly get wet!
  3. Flooding – small streams can turn into rac­ing tor­rents that can eas­i­ly sweep you away. Try to avoid water cross­ings unless you know that they are not flood­ed. Cross­ing a flood­ed water stream is very dan­ger­ous, and it is like­ly that you will get wet. This can be a real prob­lem if you are in a cold area as you are more like­ly to con­tract hypother­mia.
  4. Varying temperatures – In the spring, the temperature swing can be extreme, especially if you are in an area where there is elevation change. Multiple, lighter layers suited for spring are recommended.
  5. Injury due to winter inactivity – This is a real thing. The first hike of the season can be exciting, but overly confident when choosing a trail to hike. Take a shorter and slower hike at first to let the body adapt to the new hiking season.
  6. Ticks and bugs – Insect repellent is probably the last thing on your mind, but ticks are already out in some parts of New England. With a warmer than usual winter, tick numbers are predicted to be high.
Patches of snow/ice on the Greenville Recreational Rail Trail, April 2019

NH Division of Parks and Recreation is committed to ensuring our guests and staff continue to have a safe and memorable experience at our state parks. While every individual must make decisions based on their own health, willingness to take on risk, and recommendations and mandates from local, state and federal governments, at the moment, being outdoors and isolated (dispersed recreation) meets current “social distancing” recommendations.

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2 thoughts to “Recreation Close To Home & Social Distancing”

  1. @nhstateparks please mention if trails or parking lots look crowded then go home. (or come back another day) North was out of control with out of staters on saturday. Group photos circulating with 30+ people gathered at the summits in NH. Horrible!!!!!!

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