nature trips



dogs on leash

kid friendly

wild flowers

trail running


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.

nature trips
6 days ago

Good for small kids.

trails were decent, not as poorly marked as stated by others, but could be a lot better!

When you reach the first junction or point where you decide to go the the fire lookout or take the bypass you need to go up the steep incline straight ahead. Do not go to the left. Once you get up a ways on that steep incline you will begin to see the white diamond shaped markers on the trees that line the trail. It is very well marked and signed beyond that first intersection. Good hike, great views.

it was a great hike with 2 dogs. plenty of cool streams for them to drink and cool off. lots of different terrain. from steep to easy roads. I got turned around a couple of times but keep checking all trails to get back on track. didn't see a single person until way past halfway point. loved the boulders.

Great hike, not a lot of people. There was some confusion of the trail markings near the lake, but the views from the fire tower were great.

Note to dog owners: Please read park website carefully. These directions will take you to the main park entrance, where during the summer dogs are not allowed. You have to go to the trailhead off of Reservation Rd, which is 10 miles away from the main entrance.

Great hike! Lots of trails so you can make your own adventure. Hardly saw anyone. Varied terrain. Loved it!

Fun trail. Would do again.

Hard trail run, steep ascents for both North and South Mtn. Great views. Lovely spot.

Mosquitoes were terrible. Signage was lacking and we got a little lost. But all in all it was a beautiful location with well groomed trails.

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

2 months ago

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.

3 months ago

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

5 months ago

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

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