nature trips


dogs on leash

kid friendly


wild flowers

Pawtuckaway State Park is located in the Nottingham area of New Hampshire. With a variety of landscapes to display, including the 803-acre Lake Pawtuckaway, glacial erratics, forest, and a large wetland area, and activities such as hiking, kayaking, boating, camping, and mountain biking, this is a great place that has something for all visitors. The 5,500 acre park contains many miles of hiking trails, including the popular South Mountain Peak which leads to a fire tower at the top. Along this hike you will also see a boulder field with large boulders and ledges to explore. The park also contains a large wetland area which provides great wildlife viewing opportunities. Visitors may observe a variety of birds, including song birds, great blue herons, and waterfowl, as well as turtles and beavers. You may even see a deer or moose. On the shoreline of Pawtuckaway Lake is Pawtuckaway State Park Campground. The campground has 195 wooded camping sites that provide a parking spot, a picnic table, a fireplace, and a tent area. There are no RV hookups, however RVs are welcome to park at the campground. Other amenities include a camp store and coin operated showers that are open 24 hours a day. From the campground, it is a quick drive to nearby coastal beaches and Manchester, providing easy access to activities and sites outside of the park. Water enthusiasts can enjoy the nearby boat launch and the canoe and paddle boats available for rent. There is also an 800 foot beach great for the whole family. Whether you are visiting for the day or an multi-day overnight camping trip, you will certainly enjoy all of the popular pastimes the park has to offer.

Great hike! Virtually no ice but lots of mud. Normal for this time of year. Easy start leading into a slightly more challenging end at the summit. Great view from the fire tower. I will definitely do this one again.

This is actually the 2nd time I walk this trail. It’s easy and if you just want to get out for a walk in the woods it’s perfect! Perfect for dog walkers.

25 days ago

Really great trail. Loved the views and boulders. Was slippery coming down the mountain. Lots of ice even though it was 72 degrees out. Easy to follow, well marked.

Nice short winter hike. Snowmobile tracks ran the entire trail. We used microspikes as there was still the need for traction. Saw two snowmobilers, but no other folks out that day.

Gently rolling hills for the first two miles. Nothing that special, but not boring. Most of the elevation is gained in the last 0.5 miles, which is surprisingly steep for such a small mountain. I didn’t climb the fire tower due to the fact that some wasps had made a nest up there. However, some more courageous people climbed it without getting stung. There were some decent views to the north and northwest from ledges around the summit.

A fairly standard hike through the woods. There were a few tiny scrambles, but nothing too difficult. There were periodic ledges with nice views, but mostly just a lot of woods.

4 months ago

Great Day!

4 months ago

Crisp day. Gorgeous area. Trails not well blazed but easy to see where others have tramped through the woods. Amazing rock areas with numerous climbers that day.

Took me 2 hrs 15 min to complete loop. After storm there were lots of trees down. First half of loop (going clockwise) is a bit more challenging to find footing. Second half easy walking on old road. Lots of leaves on ground in fall made it a bit slippery. Boulder field at the far end of the loop.

The full loop took 5.5 hours with some resting and a quick lunch. The rest was hiked at a relatively brisk pace. Careful during winter. We started at 1:15 and by 6:30 it was pitch black. Bring headlamps in winter. Went through 2L of water. Many people on this trail, and scenery was nice but nothing to write home about. Would have preferred fewer people. We did this one for the exercise. Great smells abound and silence is soothing during the pockets of time when no one is close by.

BEAUTIFUL, well marked trail with challenging terrain. One of my favorite trails to date.

Great hike. The boulders are amazing!!!

You definitely need to take a map with you AND use this map if going up to the summit. We had to reroute at least three times thanks to the app gps!
Also, there isn’t really a “view” at the top... you won’t miss it- it has the rocks sculpture; that’s where the highest point is.
Other than above, it was a great hike!! We and I ur dogs loved it!

Wonderful trail, but quite trafficated on weekends. Pets are allowed but you cannot access the trail from the main park entrance. Use Reservoir Rd. I posted an alternative loop with pets that is about 4mi and easy.

Great trail loop around north mtn. Did it with my dog and she had fun climbing up the boulders. Some places aren't particularly well marked but overall a great place to wander.

Great short hike with kids, plenty of places to fish, plenty of ways to extend the hike with additional trails.

fun, challenging trail! Wear insect repellant. and check the state park map to be sure of which trails you're taking! the trail was well marked and easy to follow.

this was a good first hike and the views were beautiful

Hard to know where the summits it's not marked. Trails are all marked with the same markings got a little off track... AllTrails works great!!!

Lovely trail. The markings were not the greatest, but with my All Trails maps downloaded, I was able to navigate quite easily. Only one real viewpoint, but it was beautiful. We really enjoyed ourselves. Would definitely go again and maybe do even more!

Loved it. Great moderate hike. Beautiful views. Peaceful. Not crowded. Geology was remarkable.

Was an easy trail. Went with the family, good trail to get you started. Lots of bugs. Out and back, was OK

Nice trail, markers were a bit inconsistent so it's easy to get turned around on some private property, better trail marking would have made this a better experience for sure. Other than that this was a nice hike, not too high up so views are still a bit obstructed by the trees but a fun loop – good workout.

Nice trail, easy at the beginning, moderate at the end. But lot of bugs.

We did a day hike in the area. We started by the beach and went to round pound. Lots of bugs. But it's summer in the woods. We didn't catch any fish even though they were jumping out of the water. There are not many scenic views the way we went. Back and forth took us 5 hours we are not the most athletic people but it is definitely doable for beginners or people with dogs you just need to push yourself!

Great trail beautiful place black flies where horrible the trail porky marked ended up doing nearly 10 miles due to no signs on trails.

Great scenery bugs where horrible and the trails are marked with white diamonds but there is little or no signage to tell you where you are. It is beautiful area though.

We were looking for something moderately long. 5 miles was at the edge of what we wanted, but since we had to park at the park headquarters and walk to the trailhead we added a mile to that including a pretty good hill at the end. I did see some kids at the top but I don't think the outing is for most little ones, unless they are hiking pros.
The view from the top was OK, but not great. There is a fire tower up but they were working on it so it was not open.
Be careful because the park seems to blaze everything in white and we started off the summit on the wrong trail and had to backtrack.
In general I would rate this hike poorly on the effort to reward ratio.

Love this trail - great area to explore. You can add on or shorten length of trip easily. Just make sure you have a map because there are LOTS of intersecting trails.

The Boulder field is incredible.

10 months ago

This is easy with some uphill when starting from the state park road, and mountain trail, and then take round pond to head over to reservation road and from there to several other trails. One fun loop is to head up reservation rd to mountain trail and take the first left for a scramble up a steeper climb, or take the 2nd left for a gentler path to catch a view from south mountain and then head back down mountain trail back to state park road.

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