A placid lake. Green forests. Rolling hills. Lake Francis has everything you could want in a New Hampshire state park, and the range of activities it provides ensures that you won't get bored no matter how long you stay. Hunting, fishing, hiking, canoeing - the list goes on. But don't forget to allow yourself some time for simple relaxation too.
Lake Francis is a 2,000 acre lake near the Connecticut Lakes of the Great North Woods region. Hunters and anglers enjoy this park as a base for their respective activities. A boat launch is located in the park. Canoeists enjoy exploring the upper part of the Connecticut River.
Lake Francis State Park provides a great place for a family vacation, whether you stay for a day or longer. With no shortage of activities to try, it's a park that deserves to be on anyone's list when making plans for a vacation.
Activities: Camping, fishing, boating, picnicking.
Amenities: Campground, boat launch, picnic tables, tent platforms
Location: 439 River Road, Pittsburg, NH
Part of the appeal of Lake Francis Sate Park is its relatively remote location. The closest highway to the park is the number 3, but you'll need to take some back roads before you get to the park itself. Just take it slow and enjoy the scenery on the way.
It's best to stay on the 3 until River Road. This road heads into the park without taking any extreme twists or turns, so even in a large RV, you shouldn't have any problems.
Each campsite at Lake Francis State Park Campground has a fireplace, picnic table, flat area for a tent, and a parking space. The walk-in sites are situated near the river, have tent platforms and are about a two-minute walk from the parking area. Running water, flush toilets, coin-operated showers, and a dump station are centrally located in the campground.
Lake Francis campground provides 42 sites. All sites are by reservation; however, first-come/first-served camping may be available if all sites have not been reserved.
The campground is open for reservable stays from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend.
Lake Francis State Park provides a great camping base for organized youth groups that want to explore the North Country. Reservations are required.
Number of Campsites: 42 sites
Pets: Pets are permitted at Lake Francis. Pets must be leashed and supervised at all times and are not permitted on the beaches.
The park is based around the lake it's named after, so no prizes for guessing that there's lots of fun to be had on the water here. And nothing beats a cooling swim on a hot day. There is a small swimming area at Lake Francis, separated from the anglers and boaters. Find a shallow spot in the summer, and you'll find the water pleasantly refreshing. Be aware that there are no lifeguards, so swimming is done at your own risk.
The calm waters of Lake Francis are an ideal place to head out on a kayak or canoe. From here, you can explore the upper part of the Conneticut River and watch the wildlife on and around the lake. If you don't have a boat of your own, canoes are available to rent from park staff. There's really no excuse not to get out on the water and let the gentle waves wash your cares away.
At Francis Lake, it's all about the trout. Brown, rainbow and lake trout can all be caught here. There are also landlocked salmon and cusk to be caught. Two boat launches make it easy to get onto the lake and try your luck. Fishing licenses can be purchased online or from local stores.
New hampshire's network of OHRV trails is impressive, and the trails at Lake Francis connect to this sprawling network. Best of all, the campground offers ATV sites so that you can ride out directly onto the trails from your campsite. Over a thousand miles of trails are waiting to be explored.
Once the snow falls, the OHRV trails the park is known for do double duty as snowmobile trails. Make tracks through the abundant powder as you carve your way through the park. Everything looks different under a blanket of snow, and once the adrenaline kicks in, you'll forget all about the cold.
For a more sedate way to experience the park in winter, you could try snowshoeing along the hiking trails. This sport is easy for anyone to pick up. And don't worry if you don't have your own snowshoes. The park staff can rent you some. See a different side to nature as you explore the snow-covered trails and frozen streams of Lake Francis State Park.