Tucked Away at Pawtuckaway

Tucked into a quiet corner of Nottingham, is Pawtuckaway State Park. It is a great place to vacation for many reasons. The park is home to a large campground, and a beautiful day-use area with many amenities. Earlier this month, I was lucky enough to be given the chance to camp at Pawtuckaway, and I had a great weekend enjoying all that the park had to offer. Pawtuckaway has a convenient location, yet it feels very secluded. It also is an outdoor haven for many activities. Visitors can spend a day on the lake boating, fishing or swimming. Pawtuckaway is also home to many hiking trails, and places to bike. With its beautiful scenery and secluded location, Pawtuckaway is perfect for a weekend away. No matter what your passion is, Pawtuckaway has a something to offer.

The settling evening. Photo By Colleen Ann.
The settling evening.
Photo By Colleen Ann.

Scenic Beauty. Pawtuckaway is a beautiful place. The lake surrounds the park, and throughout you can see scenic views of the water. Our site was located on Horse Island. It was near the water and situated under tall pine trees. We had great views of the water on all side, but we were under the cover of the trees. We arrived just before sunset, and it was beautiful passing through the marshes. The sun sank down casting an orange glow over everything. Underneath the trees, large boulders stuck up here and there, adding to the beauty. There was plenty of wildlife throughout the park as well. I saw ducks, squirrels and many other small creatures making their way around. Throughout the weekend I continued to stumble upon scenic scenes all over the park. Pawtuckaway is a great place to get out and enjoy the beauty of New Hampshire. It combines the beauty of the forest with the pristine views of the lake. In many ways it is the best of both worlds.

Sunset. Photo By Colleen Ann.
Sunset.
Photo By Colleen Ann.
Ducks enjoying a quiet evening. Photo By Colleen Ann.
Ducks enjoying a quiet evening.
Photo By Colleen Ann.

Getting Away.The beauty of Pawtuckaway it is location. It is accessible but designed in a way that makes it feel very secluded. The campground is tucked deep into the park property, far off of the main road at the entrance. The campground is quiet, and the location allows visitors to feel like they are miles away. At night the park became very quiet, and it was very peaceful as we sat by the fire. Even during the day, the fact that we were on an island made it feel like we were deep in the wilderness. We sat there soaking up the sun and listening to the birds sing. It felt like we were in the deep wilderness. Yet the park lays only a few minutes off of Route 101, which makes it very convenient. Its a great park for those looking to get outside but who don’t want to drive long hours. In many ways you get the best of both worlds.

Waterfront site. Photo By Colleen Ann.
Waterfront site.
Photo By Colleen Ann.

By The Lake.  With its proximity to the water, Pawtuckaway is the perfect getaway for people who love to be at the Lake. The park is home to both Burnham Marsh and Pawtuckaway Lake, which creates a haven for those looking to get out on the water. Many of the campsites lay right on the water as well. These are great for those who kayak or canoe. Boats can be launched right from these sites, taking away much of the work. Avid fisherman can cast a line right from their site. There are also several other places to launch boats and fish within the park. Pawtuckaway is also home to a large beach. This is a great place to bring the family, to swim or just relax in the sun. The beach is complete with a store, bathrooms and other amenities. On Saturday, we decided to take advantage of one of the boat launches and get out on the lake. We did some fishing, and exploring as well. Taking a ride around the islands we got a whole new view of the park.

Reflections. Photo By Colleen Ann.
Reflections.
Photo By Colleen Ann.
Exploring the Beach. Photo By Colleen Ann.
Exploring the Beach.
Photo By Colleen Ann.

On Land.
There are many activities to do on the grounds of the park as well. Pawtuckaway is home to many roads and trails. There are many hikes and bike trails that take visitors through the swamps and forests in the park.  There are also a large network of road that run through the park, that are perfect for biking or casual walks. One of the days we were there I took the afternoon and walked around the park taking pictures. The many roads twisted and turned, many of them bringing me close to the water. Under the shade of the tall pines I was able to relax and take everything in.

Sitting by the Fire. Photo By Colleen Ann.
Sitting by the Fire.
Photo By Colleen Ann.

Pawtuckaway State Park is a great place to get away. In many ways it has something for everyone. It has places for people to kick back and casually relax. It also offers a great place for hiking and kayaking. At the end of the days families can once again come together, and enjoy a campfire under the stars. Pawtuckaway is close to home, yet has a character that makes it feel faraway. If you are trying to get away for a couple hours or a couple days, Pawtuckaway is the perfect place.

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Colleen O'Connell

My name is Colleen. I am a writer, and a life-long resident of New Hampshire. Growing up in the Southwestern part of the state, I spent most of my free time outside. As I have grown and matured, my love for New Hampshire and its natural beauty has grown as well. I spend most of my free time hiking, skiing, and exploring the natural beauty of our state. I enjoy the natural wonders of our state, and sharing these experiences and places with others through my writing.

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