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Best Camping in New Hampshire: Top Sites for an Unforgettable Outdoor Experience

Camping in New Hampshire, with its diverse landscapes ranging from the rugged White Mountains to the serene lakes, offers a wealth of experiences for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Whether you prefer the solitude of backcountry camping or the convenience of well-equipped campgrounds, the Granite State caters to every kind of camper. Keep reading for your guide to camping in New Hampshire!

Best Camping in New Hampshire: Top Sites for an Unforgettable Outdoor Experience 1

Key Takeaways

  • The Granite State offers a variety of camping experiences to suit all preferences.
  • Campgrounds in New Hampshire are located in settings ideal for numerous outdoor activities.
  • Choosing the right time and location enhances the camping experience in New Hampshire.

Exploring Campgrounds in New Hampshire

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New Hampshire offers a diverse range of camping options, from RV and tent sites equipped with modern amenities to remote campsites that promise a genuine wilderness experience.

Visitors can choose from a variety of settings, including tranquil forest retreats and picturesque lakeside spots.

RV and Tent Camping Options

RV Sites:

For those looking to camp in comfort, New Hampshire provides numerous RV-friendly campgrounds with full hookups.

  • Lafayette Place Campground: Nestled in the stunning Franconia Notch State Park, this campground offers easy access to hiking trails. RV sites here allow visitors to enjoy both the scenic beauty and convenience.
  • Bear Brook State Park: With over 100 tent and RV sites, Bear Brook is the largest developed state park in New Hampshire, providing a vast playground for outdoor enthusiasts.

Tent Sites:

Serene settings for tent camping can be found throughout the state, offering a classic outdoor experience.

  • White Lake State Park: Known for its sandy beaches and clear waters, White Lake State Park has tent sites that immerse campers in the peaceful ambiance of New Hampshire’s nature. \
  • Pawtuckaway State Park: Ideal for tent camping, this park boasts a variety of wildlife and geographical features, perfect for those who appreciate natural diversity.

Remote Campsites for a True Wilderness Experience

Backcountry Camping:

  • Umbagog Lake State Park: For a secluded adventure, Umbagog’s remote sites, accessible only by boat, offer an unparalleled escape into the wild.
  • Dry River Campground: Situated in Crawford Notch State Park, this campground is perfect for those seeking solitude along with the sounds of the nearby Dry River.

Primitive Camping:

Outdoor Activities Near NH Campsites

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New Hampshire campgrounds offer an array of outdoor activities suitable for adventure seekers and nature lovers.

Camping in New Hampshire is a gateway to exploring the enchanting landscapes through various means, whether one prefers traversing hiking trails, embarking on water-related sports, or simply enjoying the tranquility of the outdoors.

Hiking and Biking Trails

New Hampshire is laced with hiking trails that cater to various levels of expertise.

The Appalachian Trail runs through the state, providing hikers with stunning views and challenging terrain.

One can find family-friendly hikes at locations such as Franconia Notch State Park, which features the popular Lafayette Place Campground.

For mountain biking enthusiasts, trails like those in Bear Brook State Park offer miles of exciting paths through diverse ecosystems.

Trail TypeLocationsFeatures
HikingFranconia Notch State ParkScenic views, waterfalls
Mountain BikingBear Brook State ParkVaried terrain

Fishing, Swimming, and Boating Locations

Many campgrounds in New Hampshire provide direct access to lakes and rivers, ideal for fishing, swimming, and various forms of boating, such as canoeing and kayaking.

Pawtuckaway State Park is known for its expansive lake, which is a haven for anglers and water sports aficionados.

The clear waters of White Lake State Park offer a serene swimming experience and the opportunity for canoeing in a picturesque setting.

Water ActivityLocationsFeatures
FishingPawtuckaway State ParkLake, boat rentals
SwimmingWhite Lake State ParkLifeguarded beach, clear water
BoatingMultiple locationsCanoeing, kayaking

Best Times and Locations for Camping

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New Hampshire’s diverse landscape offers campers a rich tapestry of outdoor experiences throughout the year. From the rugged White Mountains to the serene state parks, each location has an optimal season for camping.

Seasonal Considerations for Campers


The fall season is a spectacular time for camping in New Hampshire. Campers can enjoy the vibrant foliage, specifically in Franconia Notch State Park, where the autumn colors provide a stunning backdrop. The cooler temperatures are perfect for hiking and enjoying the outdoors without the summer heat.


For the more adventurous, winter camping allows for activities like snowmobiling and ATV riding, especially in areas like Lake Francis State Park.

While not all campgrounds are open, those that are, offer a unique snow-covered camping experience typical of New England’s charm.

Spring and Summer:

Once the snow melts, the parks blossom into a haven for campers.

White Lake State Park and Bear Brook State Park become ideal locations for those looking to enjoy fishing, boating, and family-friendly camping from late spring through summer.

Highlighted State Parks and Natural Attractions

  • Franconia Notch State Park: Nestled in the heart of the White Mountains, this park is known for its hiking trails and natural beauty.
  • Pawtuckaway State Park: With a large lake and miles of trails, Pawtuckaway is a haven for both water sports enthusiasts and hikers.
  • White Lake State Park: Famous for its pristine beach and clear waters, this park is a favorite for campers who enjoy swimming and kayaking.
  • Bear Brook State Park: Boasting an extensive network of trails, this park caters to hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top-rated campgrounds in the White Mountains?

The White Mountains provide an abundance of top-rated campgrounds, including the popular Lafayette Place Campground. It’s renowned for its accessibility to hiking trails and scenic views.

Can you recommend family-friendly campsites in New Hampshire?

Family-friendly campsites are plentiful across the state, with Bear Brook State Park being a notable option due to its large network of trails, playgrounds, and a lake suitable for swimming.

Are there any campgrounds with cabins in New Hampshire?

Yes, there are various campgrounds featuring cabins, such as the well-received offerings at Lake Francis State Park. These cabins provide a cozy and rustic stay amidst the natural beauty of the region.

What are the best lakeside camping spots in NH?

New Hampshire is home to several lakeside camping spots. The Beach Camping on the Saco River is a standout with its sandy beach and clear waters, ideal for campers looking to enjoy water activities.

How much are the average camping fees in New Hampshire?

Camping fees in New Hampshire vary widely depending on the location and type of accommodation. Campers can expect to spend anywhere from $25 to $45 per night for a standard campsite.

Go Camping in New Hampshire!

New Hampshire offers a diverse array of camping experiences. From the majestic peaks and forests of the White Mountains to the family-friendly facilities of Greenfield State Park. Whether campers seek the simplicity of backcountry sites or the comfort of developed campgrounds with amenities, they can find the perfect setting to appreciate the natural beauty the Granite State provides year-round.

Thinking of going camping in the colder months, be sure to check out our post on Winter Camping in New Hampshire: Discover the Hidden Gems!