Milan Hill State Park Campground – June 24, 2011
Tucked into the Great North Woods, less than three miles off the Androscoggin River, the Milan Hill State Park campground makes a great base for enjoying all the great outdoor activities in the area. The campground offers both standard tent campsites as well as four yurts. The yurts, which include bunk beds and furniture, are great for providing a little more comfort and sturdier shelter than a tent, while still giving that ‘out in the woods’ feeling of camping.
Opportunities for hiking, canoeing, kayaking, wildlife viewing, hunting, fishing, and ATVing are all within a short drive. Only fifteen miles away, Jericho Mountain State Park offers miles of trail riding for off-road vehicles, and also boasts a lake for swimming and fishing. Sitting just north of the White Mountain National Forest, the hiking options around Milan Hill are huge. From Presidential peaks to easy hikes through valley forests, there is a trail for everyone.
With storm clouds threatening on my visit to Milan Hill State Park, I checked into one of the yurts secluded in the thick forest of the park. The big purple yurt was dry as a bone on the inside and made for the perfect escape from the sudden showers of the day. Making use of the great over-sized chair, I grabbed my book and listened to the “thwap” of raindrops on the yurt as I waited for a break in the weather.
Just before sunset the rain stopped and I took my chance to explore the rest of the Milan Hill State Park. A system of cross-country ski trails, maintained by the Nansen Ski Club, made navigating the park easy and fun. Winding my way up to the top of the park the views began to open up, but they really got amazing from the fire tower. From here the mountain ranges of New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and Canada are all visible. Taking in the views and the sunset a little longer than I should have, I luckily found my way through the dark and back to my yurt as night began to fall.
The next day I made the short drive down to Milan and found quick river access for a morning paddle on the Androscoggin River. In the water from Milan to Berlin, the Androscoggin River is dotted with boom piers, or small man-made rocky islands that are relics of the logging industry. Today the boom piers make for the perfect perch for birds hunting the river below, but they also make for a unique experience paddling in and out of the small rocky islands.
After drying off and having lunch back at the yurt, I headed out for Snyder Brook Falls, which is about a 30-mintue-drive from the Milan Hill State Park Campground. Following a series of three waterfalls (Gordon, Salroc, and Tama), the Snyder Brook Falls trail climbs along the brook and offers incredible views of each of the three falls. I took the trail .7 miles up to Tama Falls, the last of three. Crossing the brook precariously above Tama Falls, I joined the Valley Way Trail making my way back to the trailhead.
Milan Hill State Park is the perfect combination of a secluded camp setting that still enjoys access to a ton of outdoor activities. In the heart of the Great North Woods, not far from the White Mountains, and with the Androscoggin River close by, the Milan Hill State Park Campground could be the headquarters to your next trip in to the great outdoors.