New Hampshire has some of the most breathtaking vistas and outdoor scenery of all the 50 states, which is why we love camping in New Hampshire. The White Mountains — New Hampshire’s mountain range — alone are enough to bring anyone who loves nature and scenic views to the Granite State. In fact, it includes the highest elevation in the northeastern United States.
A trip to the White Mountains offers plenty to explore, including state parks and the White Mountain National Forest, where you will find campgrounds for everything from RVs, campers, and tents.
Both New Hampshire locals and visitors love to visit these White Mountain campgrounds due to the mountain climbing and hiking opportunities it offers. However, they’re also close to some of the best attractions New Hampshire has to offer including mountaintop rides and the Mount Washington Cog Railway.
Beyond the White Mountains, though, the Granite State has plenty of other outdoor adventures to offer including a variety of private campgrounds and public state parks that are located on beautiful lakes; offering water sports and swimming opportunities for those looking to cool down and have fun in the summer heat.
If you’re visiting New Hampshire soon, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best places to camping in the Granite State:
1. Adventure Bound Camping Resorts
For the campers who are reluctant to pitch a tent, Adventure Bound Camping Resorts has cabins for rent all while providing several organized recreational activities for kids including crafts, swimming, movies and campfire s’mores.
The resort has an awesome water park complete with pool, slides, and wading area and also offers boat rentals for cruising along the Pemigewasset River which makes it the first choice for our list of the best places to go camping in New Hampshire.
2. White Lake State Park
Second on our list of the best places to go camping in New Hampshire is While Lake State Park.
White Lake is one of the largest campgrounds in the White Mountains and is the only park with a swimming beach. Many of the 203 campsites have lake views under tall pine trees.
Formed at the close of the Ice Age from ice buried beneath glacial debris, the lake formed as the ice melted and collected in the glacial depression.
Boat rentals for fishing are available, and a trail around the lake provides ample opportunities to spot loons and beaver dams.
The beach and picnic areas are open for day use but are limited in numbers to prevent overcrowding. Some of the larger campsites are reserved for youth groups.
3. Northstar Campground
There is something for everyone at Northstar Campground and its 100+ acres. Located near other popular attractions including Montshire Museum of Science, Sunapee State Beach, and Mount Sunapee State Park, the campgrounds also offer a spring-fed swimming pond, horseshoes, hiking trails, and river-front campsites. For those who can’t survive without technology, WiFi service is available.
4. Pawtuckaway State Park
Pawtuckaway State Park is located in southern New Hampshire, equidistant from Concord and Manchester.
192 wooded campsites are available, with many offering a view of the lake. Shower facilities and a camp store are available on-site. In addition to the campsites, five cabins sleeping up to six people are available and include electricity, picnic tables, and campfire rings.
The lake itself has a nice swimming lake, offers canoe and kayak rentals, and has a boat launch. A wide variety of hiking trails are available allowing visitors to enjoy mountaintops and a large beaver marsh. The piece de resistance at Pawtuckaway is the boulder field strewn with huge glacial erratics left behind by retreating glacial ice that melted at the end of the Ice Age.
5. Sugarloaf Campgrounds
Nestled under a canopy of mixed hardwoods along the banks of the Zealand River deep inside the White Mountain National Forest, Sugarloaf I and Sugarloaf II are twin campgrounds managed by the U.S. Forest Service.
Most campsites are large and well separated, offering well-designed fire rings for campfire cooking. Sugarloaf II has a hand pump for water, but campers have the option of carrying water in from Sugarloaf I, which has spigots. Neither campsite has on-site shower facilities.
Popular with hikers who enjoy the remote feeling of the well-spaced sites and enjoy the rougher side of camping, these campgrounds provide hiking trails to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain which provides stunning 360-degree views. At the end of the access road, a 2.8-mile hike along the river to Zealand Falls Hut provides a family-friendly excursion.
The AMC hut on the Appalachian trail is staffed overnight and has views into the Zealand Notch. Mt. Washington with its famous Cog Railway and trails are located nearby.
6. Israel River Campground
Israel River Campground is located in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains and is a favorite due to its gorgeous vista views of the Presidential Mountain Range and Mount Washington.
The campground has riverfront campsites, a pool and hot tub, playground, restrooms, showers, and a general store. With miles of hiking and biking trails along the river and ample fishing spots, the campground is also close to Santa’s Village and Bretton Woods.
7. Bear Brook State Park
Another great place to go camping in New Hampshire is Bear Brook State Park.
Located close to Manchester and Concord, Bear Brook Park is the largest developed state park in New Hampshire and is perfect for visitors wishing to mix the great outdoors with urban activities.
101 campsites are located in the woods surrounding Beaver Pond, offering a camp store, shower and laundry facilities, a dumping station for RVs. Ice and firewood are also available.
Campers can rent canoes and boats to explore Beaver pond, and forty miles of trail showcases the diversity of the 10,000-acre expanse of forest, bogs, ponds, and hilltops. Trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding are available. Bear Brook also has two archery ranges available to those who bring their own equipment.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Richard Diehl Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Museum located in the park is one of the only remaining intact CCC camps from the depression-era. The camp also houses the New Hampshire Antique Snowmobile Museum.
8. Jigger Johnson and Blackberry Crossing
Jigger Johanson and Blackberry Crossing are six miles apart along the Kancamagus Scenic Byway located inside the White Mountain National Forest. The large tent sites in each campground are well spaced, carved from the dense second-growth forest along the banks of the Swift River.
Near the campgrounds, trails climbing several peaks are available. 2 stand out trails in this area are the trail to the summit of Mt. Chocorua and the trail to beautiful Sabbaday Falls A short trail connects Jigger Johnson to the Russell-Colbath Historic Site. Blackberry Crossing is only a short walk from the Albany Covered Bridge.
Blackberry Crossing was a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp during the 1930s. Its self-guided tour explores the old camp. Far larger, Jigger Johnson offers 74 sites for tents and RVs and more amenities, such as coin-operated showers. Reservations are not available at either campground.
9. Umbagog Lake Campground
Umbagog Lake enjoys the distinction of one of the top places to kayak in New England. The lake is nestled in both Maine and New Hampshire, with the majority of the lake residing in the New Hampshire Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge.
The lakeside campground has 27 sites for tents or RVs offering electrical and water hookups, 33 remote sites reachable only by boat, and three cabins.
Canoes, kayaks, and rowboats are all available for rental, and the park can provide transportation to some of the more remote recreational sites.
Umbagog Lake has a swimming beach as well as excellent fishing. The park itself is known for wildlife viewing, with frequent sightings of moose, deer, small mammals, eagles, and a large variety of birds.
Glamping, or glamourous camping, takes the work out of camping and offers resort-type amenities. Huttopia is New Hampshire’s first glamping park, making camping accessible to families without RVs or camping gear.
Furnished tents are set up and ready to enjoy and are equipped with luxuries a standard camping tent would not have; wooden floors, real beds, bedding, electricity, and refrigerators.
Trappeur safari-style tents are set up as canvas cabins, providing larger and more luxurious space. Two curtained bedrooms, indoor bathrooms, mini-kitchens replete with sinks, and higher-end tools and utensils create a warm and relaxing camping experience.
Canadienne tents are Trappeurs without bathrooms. Bonaventure tents are large platform-mounted tents with no food prep area but equipped with electricity, a double bed, refrigerator, lamp, gas cook stove, fire ring, and picnic table.
At the center of Huttopia is a large tiled swimming pool. Relax on the wide terrace with cafe tables and enjoy made-to-order French crepes and expresso for breakfast, all-day ice cream, and evening pizza from a smart little Airstream trailer.
11. Lake Francis State Park
A favorite for those who love fishing, kayaking, or canoeing, Lake Francis State Park is located in the northern tip of New Hampshire in the Great North Woods region and is one of the best places to go camping in New Hampshire.
Stretching across the lakeshore, the campground offers 45 campsites, with nine outfitted with RV hookups and nine designed for ATV camping.
With direct access to 1,000 miles of off-highway trails in northern New Hampshire, AV enthusiasts can leave right from their campsites to enjoy the trails.
Paddlers have 200-acres of Lake Francis to explore by canoe or kayak. Connected by the Connecticut River, a long stretch of Connecticut Lakes stretching northward to the Canadian border are also accessible to explore. A small camp store provides a good stock of camping necessities.
12. Lost River Valley Campground
Surrounded by the White Mountain National Forest, Lost River Valley is a privately owned campground adjacent to many nearby attractions in Franconia Notch.
125 riverside campsites are well spaced and screened by forest. Some RV hookups and attractive cabins are also available. The camp store is stocked with basic staples, ice, LP gas, and firewood. No reservations are accepted between late June and Labor Day, and a three-night-stay minimum is required.
A sandy beach, paddle boat and kayak rentals, games room, tennis and badminton courts, basketball, volleyball, and a playground with a wooden train make this campground a favorite for children.
Fishing is available in two mountain streams adjacent to the park, and are stocked with brook trout.
13. Greenfield State Park
The 400-acre Greenfield State Park located in southwestern New Hampshire boasts a 900-foot swimming beach reserved for campers only, and day visitors are restricted to a secondary beach. Boats, canoes, and kayaks are available for rent in July and August, and the underdeveloped lake provides excellent fishing.
With 252 spaced campsites, about half of the sites can be reserved in advance. Some sites are fairly open and under tall trees with little underbrush for screening. Larger sites for RVs are available, but no hookups are provided.
The park includes woodland trails to explore ponds and bogs. Greenfield is a favorite park for those climbing nearby Mt. Monadnock.
14. Hampton Beach State Park
Hampton Beach State Park provides the only ocean-front camping in the state, making this the perfect site for those who want to camp and surf.
The campground has 28 sites with full hookups. The sites are close together, but the tradeoff for campside surfing is well worth the sacrifice of space. Reservations are available from Memorial Day through Columbus Day, and camping without reservations begins the last weekend in April.
Hampton Beach has miles of white-sand beaches, five star water quality, and an active calendar of special events. Late June brings a massive sand-sculpture contest that is well worth the visit.
15. Lafayette Place Campground
Located in the heart of one of New Hampshire’s most scenic glacially carved mountain passes, Lafayette Place Campground is part of Franconia Notch State Park and provides the perfect base for hiking the Appalachian Trail passes that wind through the notch as well as exploring the many natural attractions of the White Mountains.
The eight-mile valley etched between the peaks of the Kinsman and Franconia mountain ranges offer a variety of locations to explore. From stunning views at The Flume Gorge and the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway to visiting the New England Ski Museum, Echo Beach’s swimming lake and the fly fishing at Profile Lake, the valley offers a plethora of cycling trails, waterfalls, and chances to spot hawks and falcons.
Free interpretive nature programs are offered, engaging campers of all ages to learn more about the region’s stunning natural environment.
97 large wooded campsites for tents and RVs are available, and all have fireplaces. The campgrounds are open year round, with showers and other services available from mid-May through mid-October.
We hope you found a great place to go camping in New Hampshire and agree with us that this state has some amazing camping destinations.
Wednesday 10th of February 2021
Lovely suggestions brother!
Storm De Beul
Tuesday 9th of February 2021
Oh man, now I really regret not being born in New Hampshire :( Great article Ryan, as always of course. Number 9: Umbagog Lake campground is definitely my favorite based on that photo. It looks so cozy!