State Parks Portsmouth NH

6 State Parks Near Portsmouth NH: Explore the Beautiful Outdoors in New Hampshire

Tucked away in the Northeastern part of mainland USA, New Hampshire is part of a six-state New England region that also includes Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, and Rhode Island. Known for the spectacular nature of its collective landscapes, nowhere is this natural beauty best showcased in New Hampshire than in its 93 state parks. For residents of Portsmouth, there are several state parks within easy driving distance that allow them to hike through woodland, cycle around a mountain, fish for whitefish, bass, or trout, or simply just set up for a night of camping under the stars. If this sounds like something you’d like to do, here are 5 state parks near Portsmouth you should make a point of visiting.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the natural beauty of New Hampshire through its state parks near Portsmouth NH.
  • Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, biking, fishing, and camping in these scenic locations.
  • Explore the largest state park, Bear Brook State Park, with its 10,000 acres of recreational opportunities.
  • Relax on the sandy beaches and take in the serene views of Lake Winnipesaukee at Ellacoya State Park.
  • Hike through Crawford Notch State Park and experience the beauty of waterfalls and mountain views.
  • Embark on outdoor adventures in Franconia Notch State Park, located in the White Mountain National Forest.
  • Enjoy a tranquil setting for fishing and outdoor recreation at Coleman State Park.

Bear Brook State Park: Outdoor Recreation in a Picturesque Setting

When it comes to outdoor recreational activities, Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown, NH, is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Spanning over 10,000 acres, it is the largest state park in New Hampshire. With its stunning landscapes and diverse range of activities, Bear Brook State Park offers something for everyone.

Bear Brook State Park

Whether you are an avid hiker, a cycling enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful retreat in nature, Bear Brook State Park has it all. The park boasts over forty miles of trails that wind through heavily forested areas, remote marshes, scenic summits, bogs, and picturesque ponds. You can immerse yourself in the tranquility of the park and explore its hidden gems.

For those seeking adventure, Bear Brook State Park offers an array of outdoor activities. Hikers can tackle the challenging trails, while bikers can enjoy the thrill of navigating through the park’s rugged terrain. Horseback riders will find designated equestrian trails that provide a unique perspective of the park’s natural beauty.

Water lovers will be delighted by the swimming areas and sandy beaches at Bear Brook State Park. Whether you want to take a refreshing dip on a hot summer day or simply bask in the sun along the shoreline, there are plenty of spots to relax and enjoy the water. Fishing enthusiasts can try their luck in the park’s ponds, where they can catch a variety of fish species.

Photography enthusiasts will find countless opportunities to capture breathtaking moments in Bear Brook State Park. From serene landscapes to captivating wildlife, there are endless subjects to photograph and cherish.

For those who prefer archery, Bear Brook State Park features two archery ranges where you can practice your skills or participate in tournaments.

If you’re looking to spend more than a day exploring the park, Bear Brook State Park offers camping facilities for your convenience. With a 101-site campground and cozy cabins, you can immerse yourself in nature and spend quality time with your loved ones.

Activities Facilities
Hiking 101-site campground
Biking Cabins
Horseback Riding Swimming areas
Swimming Two archery ranges
Fishing Boat rentals

With its breathtaking scenery and a wide range of outdoor activities, Bear Brook State Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Whether you’re embarking on a solo expedition, spending quality time with family and friends, or simply seeking solace in nature, this picturesque park offers an unforgettable experience.

Ellacoya State Park: Serene Beaches and Scenic Views of Lake Winnipesaukee

Located in Gilford, NH, Ellacoya State Park offers a tranquil getaway on the southwest shoreline of beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee. This picturesque state park provides visitors with a 600-foot long sandy beach where they can unwind and immerse themselves in the stunning natural surroundings.

Ellacoya State Park Gilford NH Lake Winnipesaukee

With its serene beaches and scenic views, Ellacoya State Park is the perfect destination for relaxation and outdoor recreation. Visitors can take a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters of the lake, or try their hand at fishing, kayaking, and canoeing while enjoying the soothing sounds of nature.

One of the highlights of Ellacoya State Park is its panoramic views of Lake Winnipesaukee and the surrounding mountains. Whether you’re strolling along the beach or lounging in the sun, you’ll be treated to a breathtaking vista that will leave a lasting impression.

For those looking to extend their stay, Ellacoya State Park offers an RV campground with 38 well-equipped sites. The campground features facilities such as bathhouses, flush toilets, playgrounds, and a convenient boat launch ramp for easy access to the lake.

Facilities Bathhouses, flush toilets, playgrounds
  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
Location Gilford, NH
Address 2667 Lakeshore Rd, Gilford, NH 03249

Crawford Notch State Park: Scenic Hiking Trails and Waterfalls

Situated in the center of the White Mountains, Crawford Notch State Park in Hart’s Location, NH offers stunning scenic hiking trails that lead to beautiful waterfalls and lookouts showcasing majestic mountain views. The park covers 5,775 acres and is known for its diverse wildlife, including deer, bear, moose, fisher, and snowshoe hare. Visitors can explore the hiking trails, visit historic sites such as the Willey House, and enjoy camping at the pet-friendly Dry River Campground with amenities such as flush toilets, showers, and picnic tables.

Highlights of Crawford Notch State Park:

  1. Scenic hiking trails that provide breathtaking views of the White Mountains
  2. Beautiful waterfalls and lookouts to explore and capture stunning photographs
  3. Diverse wildlife, including deer, bear, moose, fisher, and snowshoe hare
  4. Historic sites such as the Willey House, offering a glimpse into the region’s past
  5. Pet-friendly Dry River Campground with modern amenities for a comfortable camping experience

I was mesmerized by the natural beauty of Crawford Notch State Park. The hiking trails took me through enchanting forests, and the waterfalls were simply breathtaking. It’s a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Wildlife Activities Facilities
Deer, bear, moose, fisher, snowshoe hare Hiking, wildlife viewing, photography Flush toilets, showers, picnic tables

Franconia Notch State Park: Outdoor Adventures in the White Mountain Forest

Franconia Notch State Park, located in Lincoln, NH, offers a plethora of outdoor adventures amidst the stunning beauty of the White Mountain National Forest. Whether you are an avid hiker, a water enthusiast, a nature lover, or an adrenaline junkie, this park has something for everyone.

One of the highlights of Franconia Notch State Park is the renowned Appalachian Trail, a hiker’s paradise stretching over 2,100 miles from Georgia to Maine. Lace up your boots and venture into the wilderness, traversing rugged terrain, crossing majestic mountains, and immersing yourself in nature’s grandeur.

For those seeking a refreshing dip, Echo Lake presents the perfect opportunity. With its crystal-clear waters, sandy beach, and surrounding mountain vistas, it’s an idyllic spot to swim, sunbathe, and enjoy a picnic with family and friends.

Anglers will find their slice of paradise at Profile Lake, known for its abundant trout population. Cast a line, feel the anticipation of a bite, and relish the natural beauty that surrounds you while seeking the elusive fish.

Franconia Notch State Park

No visit to Franconia Notch State Park would be complete without exploring the Flume Gorge, a natural wonder carved by ancient glaciers. Follow the boardwalk trail through towering granite walls and alongside cascading waterfalls, marvelling at the awe-inspiring forces that shaped this geological masterpiece.

For a bird’s-eye view of the park and beyond, hop aboard the Cannon Mountain tramway. Ascend to the summit and be rewarded with panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains, lush forests, and picturesque valleys.

When winter blankets the park, outdoor enthusiasts can delight in a range of activities such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. The slopes of Cannon Mountain offer thrilling adventures for all skill levels, ensuring a winter playground like no other.

If you wish to extend your stay and immerse yourself completely in the serene beauty of the park, Franconia Notch State Park offers the Lafayette Campground for tent camping. Nestled among tall trees and surrounded by nature, it provides a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Additionally, an RV Park with full-hookup campsites is available for those with recreational vehicles.

Franconia Notch State Park Highlights

Activity Description
Hiking Explore the Appalachian Trail and discover breathtaking vistas.
Swimming Take a refreshing plunge in Echo Lake’s pristine waters.
Fishing Cast your line into Profile Lake and try your luck at trout fishing.
Flume Gorge Marvel at the natural wonders of the Flume Gorge, a stunning granite formation.
Cannon Mountain tramway Ride the tramway to the summit and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.
Winter Sports Indulge in skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling during the winter months.
Lafayette Campground Experience a tranquil camping getaway immersed in nature.
RV Park Enjoy the convenience of full-hookup campsites for your RV.

Coleman State Park: Tranquil Setting for Fishing and Outdoor Recreation

Coleman State Park, located in Stewartstown, NH, offers a tranquil setting for fishing, hunting, boating, and outdoor recreation. Nestled on the shore of Little Diamond Pond, this picturesque park is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

With its serene atmosphere and breathtaking natural beauty, Coleman State Park provides the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you’re an avid angler looking to cast a line or a boating enthusiast eager to explore the waters, this park has something for everyone.

Trout Fishing: Coleman State Park is renowned for its excellent trout fishing. The pristine waters of Little Diamond Pond are stocked with trout, attracting anglers from far and wide. Cast your line and experience the thrill of reeling in a beautiful catch.

Boating and Water Sports: The park offers opportunities for boating and water sports on the tranquil waters of Little Diamond Pond. Bring your own boat or rent one from the park and spend a leisurely day exploring the lake. Whether you prefer kayaking, canoeing, or paddleboarding, you’ll find ample space to enjoy your favorite water activities.

Outdoor Recreation: Coleman State Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The park features over 1,000 miles of snowmobile trails, making it a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned snowmobiler or a beginner, you’ll find the perfect trail to explore and enjoy the snowy landscape.

Camping: For those seeking an immersive outdoor experience, Coleman State Park offers a pet-friendly campground with 25 campsites. Set up your tent, relax by the campfire, and spend a night under the stars. If you prefer a more comfortable stay, the park also has lodges available for rental.

Activities Facilities
Fishing Boat rentals
Boating Snack bar
Hunting Picnic areas
Snowmobiling Restrooms
Hiking Playground

Whether you’re seeking a peaceful fishing spot, a serene location for camping, or a place to indulge in outdoor activities, Coleman State Park is the perfect destination. Escape to nature and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this hidden gem in Stewartstown, NH.

Other State Parks Near Portsmouth: Exploring Nature and History

In addition to the aforementioned state parks near Portsmouth, there are several other parks and attractions worth exploring in the area.

One such park is Prescott Park, located in downtown Portsmouth. This park offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in beautiful gardens and enjoy picturesque waterfront views.

If you’re looking for a unique island experience, consider visiting the Isles of Shoals. Accessible by ferry from Portsmouth, these islands provide stunning views and a memorable getaway.

For history enthusiasts, the Moffatt-Ladd House & Garden is a must-visit. This historic house offers a perfect blend of fascinating history and breathtaking gardens.

In addition to these attractions, both Four Tree Island and Peirce Island offer visitors scenic views of the Naval Shipyard and the river.

Another notable attraction is Celia Thaxter’s Garden, located on Appledore Island. This garden is a haven for garden enthusiasts, showcasing beautiful blooms and serene surroundings.

Lastly, if you’re in the mood for some outdoor exploration, head to the Urban Forestry Center. This center boasts hiking trails that wind through various types of forests, offering visitors a chance to connect with nature.


What activities can I enjoy at Bear Brook State Park?

Bear Brook State Park offers a range of outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, biking, horseback riding, swimming, fishing, and photography opportunities. Visitors can also enjoy archery ranges, swimming areas, boat rentals, and camping facilities.

What attractions are there at Ellacoya State Park?

Ellacoya State Park features a 600-foot long sandy beach, perfect for swimming and relaxing. Visitors can also enjoy fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and stunning views of Lake Winnipesaukee and the surrounding mountains. The park also offers an RV campground with various facilities.

What can I expect at Crawford Notch State Park?

Crawford Notch State Park offers stunning scenic hiking trails that lead to beautiful waterfalls and overlooks with majestic mountain views. The park is known for its diverse wildlife and visitors can explore hiking trails, visit historic sites, and enjoy camping at the pet-friendly Dry River Campground.

What outdoor adventures await at Franconia Notch State Park?

Franconia Notch State Park offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking on the Appalachian Trail, swimming at Echo Lake, fishing for trout at Profile Lake, and exploring the Flume Gorge. Visitors can also enjoy winter sports and camping at the Lafayette Campground and RV Park.

What can I do at Coleman State Park?

Coleman State Park offers a tranquil setting for fishing, hunting, boating, and outdoor recreation. With its location on the shore of Little Diamond Pond, visitors can enjoy excellent trout fishing, as well as opportunities for boating and snowmobiling on the extensive trail network. There are also campsites and lodges available for rental.

What other parks and attractions are worth exploring near Portsmouth?

In addition to the state parks mentioned, there are several other parks and attractions near Portsmouth worth exploring. These include Prescott Park, Isles of Shoals, Moffatt-Ladd House & Garden, Four Tree Island, Peirce Island, Celia Thaxter’s Garden, and the Urban Forestry Center.

Source Links

Scroll to Top