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Best New Hampshire State Parks to Visit in the Spring

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Best New Hampshire State Parks to Visit in the Spring

Pawtuckaway State Park - courtesy of New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation

The Top Three Choices Offer Opportunities for Rock Climbing, Hiking, and Wildlife Viewing.

Pawtuckaway State Park

(Nottingham, NH)
Warm weather brings hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers to explore the back woods of Pawtuckaway State Park. Rock climbers come to scale the ledges overlooking Round Pond and to climb on the nearby boulders, some of which are more than thirty feet tall. Three mountain ridges dominate the northwest area of the park, with trails through a forest of oaks and hemlocks leading to their summits. The trails within the park can be enjoyed by most. Contact the park at 603-895-3031 for the current trail status, since there are trail use restrictions during "mud season."

The Pawtuckaway campground is open from mid-May to Columbus Day, with many campsites offering direct access to Pawtuckaway Lake. Swimming, boating and fishing can be enjoyed by campers and day visitors alike. Shelters are available for group outings.

Pillsbury State Park

(Washington, NH)
Heavily wooded and sprinkled with several ponds and wetlands, Pillsbury State Park is one of the more primitive and lesser known parks of the New Hampshire State Park system. Featuring a large network of hiking and mountain bike trails, park includes a section of the 51-mile Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway hiking trail that connects Mount Monadnock with Mount Sunapee.

Other activities available include canoeing, fishing, picnicking, and camping. History buffs can explore the long-abandoned and overgrown cellar holes that are remnants of early farm settlement and lumbering of the late 1700s and early 1800s when the area was called Cherry Valley. The Pillsbury campground is open mid-May through mid-November, weather permitting. Some campsites offer direct water access for canoeing and fishing.

Northwood Meadows State Park

(Northwood, NH)
The hustle and bustle of Route 4 fades into serene forest after passing through the gates of Northwood Meadows State Park. Ancient roads that once connected towns are now trails that connect pond, marsh, and wood. A half-mile walk leading to Meadow Lake includes an old water-power mill site.

The 675-acre park is home to varied wildlife including deer, turkey, and grouse. Aside from nature watching, the park offers hiking, canoeing, and kayaking, as well as fishing from accessible wooden platforms that extend over the water’s edge.

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