Located in the White Mountains Region, just north of the Presidential Range, Moose Brook State Park is in an area of unparalleled scenery and offers a variety of outdoor activities. The park is ideally located for fishing in the Peabody and Moose rivers. Moose Brook flows through the park, and after passing through a shallow warming pool, feeds the swimming area with cool, clear mountain water. Picnicking and swimming are enjoyed against the scenic mountain backdrop. The many trails in the park are great for exploring on foot or mountain bike.
The variety of campground sites at Moose Brook State Park, including some that are wooded, in open grassy areas, remote, or pull-through, should appeal to many types of campers. Although there are no hook-ups, recreational vehicles are welcome in sites where they fit.
Showers, swimming, firewood, and a camp store are available. The 59-site campground includes 53 sites available by reservation only; six are for first-come/first-served campers. One site is for organized youth group camping, and reservations are required.
The campground is open for reservable stays from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend.
The 87 park acres and the surrounding 668 acres of state forest were purchased by the state in 1934. The swimming area, bathhouse, campground and administration building were built at that time and the park opened to the public in 1936. The original administration building, still in use, is an excellent example of classic Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) design and construction. The CCC was created by President Roosevelt in the early 1930s in an effort to help bring an end to the Great Depression. The CCC, often referred to as Roosevelt's tree army, was designed to utilize the country's many unemployed youths in natural resource conservation efforts. The program is responsible for much of the early state park development across America.
While it may feel like a world away from civilization at times, Moose Brook State Park is surprisingly easy to reach. The presence of Hwy 2 just to the south of the park means that there is a well-maintained road to get you close to the park. Be aware, though, that this occasionally mountainous terrain is not without its challenges. Since the campsites are only 30 feet long at the biggest, RVs larger than this may want to give this park a miss and go somewhere the driving is easier.
The 56-site campground at Moose Brook is open daily from late May through mid-October. A variety of sites, including some that are wooded, in open grassy areas, remote, or pull-through, should appeal to many types of campers. Showers, swimming, firewood and a camp store are available. Many sites are left available for those campers that prefer to camp on a first come - first serve basis. Although there are no hookups, recreational vehicles are welcome in sites where they fit.
Moose Brook is a great base for organized youth groups planning to hike the Presidential Range, including Mount Washington, the highest mountain in northeastern North America. A separate youth group camping area is available.
Moose Brook is ideally situated as a base for a leisurely day-trip or strenuous hike up 6,288-foot Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the northeast. Mt. Washington experiences some of the worst weather in the world and is the site of the highest land wind speed recorded in the world at 231 mph.
The popular summit state park can be reached several ways. The cog railway train chugs daily, during the summer/fall season, to the summit from the base station in Bretton Woods on the mountain's west flank. An eight-mile long auto road to the summit that begins in Pinkham Notch. Visitors may choose to drive their own cars or enjoy the stage service that provides a round-trip van ride and tour guide. Hikers may wish to stop at the Appalachian Mountain Club's (AMC) Pinkham Notch Camp or purchase an AMC White Mountain Guide for trail information before starting out.
Moose Brook's swimming area is the ideal place to cool off in the hot summer months. The placid and shallow water is ideal even for young or inexperienced swimmers. For the slightly more adventurous, the water is deep enough that you can jump off the low bridge, and there is a ladder to help you climb back up. A small sand beach is present, but most of the area surrounding the small lake is grass lawn.
The Peabody and Moose Rivers provide ample habitat for a wide variety of fish species, making Moose Brook State Park a great place to drop a line and try your luck. Make sure you acquire a New Hampshire fishing license, which can be obtained online as well as at local stores. Trout, salmon, bass and pike are just a few of the potential targets. And there are few better ways to pass the time than sitting on the riverbank with a rod close to hand.
Moose Brook offers a variety of hiking trails to suit all abilities. Try the Perkins Path for a moderate four mile hike that will take you through the woods and over a number of small bridges and creeks. Be sure to bring plenty of bug spray in the summer months, since there is no shortage of mosquitoes and other critters in the area.
Or for more of a challenge, try Berry Farm Road. This former farm road takes visitors up a moderate grade to an expansive viewpoint over a beaver bog.
Moose Brook is popular with mountain bikers, and it isn't hard to see why. The local cycling club is very active in maintaining the trails and keeping them numbered so that they're easy to find. Do be aware that you share these trails with pedestrians, so ride considerately.
When the snow falls, see a different side of Moose Brook Park by strapping on some snowshoes or cross country skis. The network of trails that is so popular with hikers and bikers in the summer takes on a new aspect in the snow-clad silence of winter. By braving the colder weather, you'll feel as though you have the park to yourself. And with no motorized traffic allowed on these trails, the quiet will be stunning.