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The town of Kingston was originally called King’s Town in honor of King William the Third. When the state of New Hampshire began buying land up in the 1930s, they purchased a small swath of land adjacent to Great Pond and established it as a state park. Due to its close proximity to the town, the state park was officially named Kingston State Park. As a part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal program, the Civilian Conservation Corps created a couple of log-cabin-style pavilions and shelters for the public to use. Centrally located, Kingston State Park is close to several outdoor recreation spots, making it an ideal place to use as a home base.
Kingston is less than a mile from the entrance of Kingston State Park. The city is best known for its historic homes and buildings, many of which date to the late 1600s, and also, Kingston Day. Kingston Day is a festival that occurs in early August. The event celebrates the town’s founding, which was in 1694. However, for more shopping options as well as access to a medical center with an emergency room, Exeter, NH, is just under 10 miles to the northeast.
Kingston Park State Park has tall hardwood trees that tower overhead, and provide welcome relief on a hot summer day. Close to the shores of Great Pond, which covers around 268 acres, the trees become thicker, fed by the damp soil. Great Pond is a popular warm water fishing hole, known for a robust smallmouth and largemouth bass. Fishermen can expect to catch other fish like chain pickerel, white and yellow perch, black crappie, bluegill, and pumpkinseed. The pond is open to small, nonpowered boats like kayaks and canoes, and there is a boat ramp to make accessing the tranquil pond easier. The park officers also operate a boat rental service at which one can rent a kayak or canoe. Though the banks of the lake are crowded by trees elsewhere, the 44-acre Kingston State Park staff maintain a swim beach, keeping it free of trees and shrubberies. As a result, visitors enjoy volleyball, sunbathing, or swimming.
Are you looking for miles of hiking fun? Bear Brook State Park, which encompasses over 10,000 acres, has 40 miles of trails for adventurers to explore. Ascend to the top of mountains for a breathtaking panoramic view of the neighboring mountains and valleys. Descend deep into a valley and search for rare wildlife in bogs and wetlands. Shy black bears and swift white-tailed deer are known residents in Bear Brook State Park, along with dozens of other mammals, birds, and amphibians.
Alternatively, hop into a rental camper and head east to the beach. Hampton Beach State Park boasts miles of sandy beaches at which people enjoy swimming, walking, and frisbee fun. After storms, comb the beach for interesting shells and historical artifacts that are tossed ashore by the rough waves and turbulent undercurrents. Hampton Beach’s water is one of the cleanest stretches of water along the eastern seaboard, which has been verified by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
Because of Kingston State Park’s small size, there is no public RV camping. There are several options within 15 miles radius, some public, others privately-run. RV camp at Wakeda Campground in Hampton Falls. Nestled in deep woods, many RV sites are shaded by tall trees. With over 400 sites to choose from, campers can make use of any of its amenities, which include full or partial hookups, WiFi, a convenience/gift store, and a playground. It’s also dog-friendly, and there is a fenced-in area where dogs can play off-leash.
Alternatively, consider Tuxbury Pond RV Campground, which is a few miles east of Newbury. The family-friendly campground features amenities like planned activities, restrooms with showers, and laundry facilities.
Just across the New Hampshire-Massachusetts state border is Black Bear Campground in Salisbury, MA. Less than three miles from the coast, the small campground boasts luxuries like two large swimming pools, WiFi, and on-site RV repair services.
In addition to a bounty of recreational fun, there are several charming towns with historical buildings and homes, museums, educational centers, and fun shopping. Traveling from town to town in search of a favorite gift shop or winery is an effortless experience in a motorhome rental. The Buttonwoods Museum in Haverhill, MA, has on display various tools, artifacts, clothes, furniture, and photographs that provide a glimpse into how the early 17th-century New England settlers survived in harsh conditions.
Along the New England coast are lighthouses, strung along the beaches like pearls on a string. They stand sentinel, guiding boats away from dangerous rocks and providing a literal shining light in the dark night that soothed the sailors of the old days. Plum Island Lighthouse near Salisbury, MA, is one of the earliest lighthouses that still stand today. Unfortunately, the endless onslaught of battering waves and winds have taken a toll and rendered the lighthouse dangerous, although it can still be enjoyed from a safe distance. A “younger” lighthouse near Portsmouth Harbor (Kittery), NH, was built on top of a demolished lighthouse in the late 1800s, and it continues to stand today. The Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse is open to tours between May and October.
Book an RV in Rockingham County and enjoy swimming, hiking, or exploring one of the charming New England towns during your outdoor adventure.