hiking

forest

views

birding

nature trips

walking

dogs on leash

kid friendly

lake

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.

A nice quiet, lightly traveled 4 mile hike. My wife and I elected to start up North Mountain Trail, tackling the climb portion first, then come around via Boulder and bring it home via the North Mt Bypass. The 4 mile hike took us novices 2.5 hours, most during the climb section, with a few stops. It is definitely buggy. Fortunately we paid attention to the warnings and lathered up in bug spray. Not much scenery even at the peak of North Mt. Might be better during foliage season.

Very nice well marked loop. We decided to branch off and add the Shaw, slips rock and fundy trail to up the distance to around 7.5 mi. For 2.5 hour hike. Bring bug spray.

This hike was pretty long and buggy. The day we did it was extra humid so that probably had something to do with it, but it was well marked with lots of interesting changes in terrain which made up for some of the extra length

This trail is not well marked. We’ve been wandering these beautiful woods for an hour or so and the signs we’ve seen...don’t have arrows (not helpful!). I know this is at least 50% user error, but well marked trails and intersections, and maps at a scale large enough to read... would be very, very helpful! I’m with my own children and some of their friends, and they’re pretty disappointed that the boulder field seems to be nonexistent.

Bring bug spray. We started at 7am and the deer flies were out like crazy. No Big views but a sunny stop near the top to stop and rest away from the bugs. Way to get off track on the trails so watch your progress at spots were other trails meet.

nice hike despite the overabundance of mosquitos and deer flies. no view to speak of at the top. some parts moderately challenging. all in all a good hike

Nice easy loop trail. Some sections can be quite crowded (especially around South Mountain). Great views to the south and west along the North Mountain ridge. Be sure to take the small side trail on the South Summit to avoid the fire tower and get better views (there are none on the south summit without going up the tower). Very cool rock formations and boulders throughout - just imagine the racket this thing made when it erupted 40 million years ago!!

Great first hike for my 11 week old pup.

Trail is marked, but all markers are the same color: you could get on a different trail by mistake quite easily if you are not comparing to GPS. some good rock scrambles and elevation changes. Mosquito problem is bad in the lower wet areas at this time of year. Met a few well heeled of leash dogs with no drama.

Great for a short hike. I was pleasantly surprised to find a ledge outcropping with a view. Always thought the view was poor. Neat red cedar on top as well with grasses mixed in the woods. Less traveled than most of the other trails. Would be better if we could connect it to the lower pond trail to make a loop.

Great trail, I’m a beginner and the last 0.6 of the trail to the top was some serious exercise! Beginning mile or so had some muddy spots. Great views from the top! Some trails at the top could use a little better marking, but other than that great! LOTS of black flies, bring bug spray or black fly repellent!

Hiked today on Mother’s Day and the weather was perfect. Started a bit overcast but it burned off quickly. We parked in the main lot by the gate, but could have knocked off the road walk in, and out, by driving to the trail head to park. The trail was mostly dry, with a few pockets of mud. Bugs were only bothersome at the summit as you really aren’t above tree line. Its good to remember that it is in proximity to marshes and ponds, so you’re going to have bugs. It’s a solid hike and marked fairly well, but could use a few more blazes at the top. Some decent views at the top. I’d do it again.

A friend and I decided to go for a hike here after we were in the area for an hour class of Goat Yoga...Theres a parking lot first thing to your right next to the check-in building (which has some basic necessities like Tylenol, bugspray, shirts, etc for sale). We checked in for the day ($5). All though now I'm wondering if it was really for campground visitors

Beautiful walk! We took a shorter version of the trail which ended up being 3 mike. We took our two dogs (one 8-year-old who is not so fit and one 1-year-old with boundless energy). They both did great. There are plenty of places to take pictures in marshland and with giant boulders. We only saw one other person on the trail. Definitely planning to hike it again and follow up to North Mountain.

Did this trail yesterday, beautiful views and a really nice time. Lots of bugs though so be prepared. Favorite part was that I only saw about 5 other people the whole day.

Tons of signs and blazes, very easy trail to follow, a little steep and rocky in some spots with slippery wet rocks but we are not pros and didn’t have any difficulty. A great way to start up our hiking season, it probably took us about 4 hours with lots of looking around and some lunch. The boulders were awesome to see !

Wonderful hike! Views were amazing! It’s amazing to be so close to the city yet feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. Besides the beauty of nature....we saw kids learning how to rock climb, horseback riders, and more advanced kids rock climbing. Saw beautiful ponds and huge boulders with caves. What a great day! Will definitely be back to try out some other trails.

Not the greatest views but a nice maintenanced trail

hiking
3 months ago

This trail was not well marked but it was a gorgeous hike!

Did the out and back trip back on March 6th. Great conditions that day. Someone has been up there in the past few months, as I found the trail had been re-blazed. No way anyone can get lost now. Anyone been up there in the past week or so? If so, any snow/ice left? Looking to do an out and back again.

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.

hiking
4 months 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.

hiking
7 months ago

Great Day!

hiking
8 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.

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