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Outdoor adventurers of all stripes love to camp at Pawtuckaway State Park, located in the quaint town of Nottingham. Much of the recreation on offer at this 5,500-acre tract centers on Pawtuckaway Lake, a hot spot for paddlers, anglers, and swimmers. Hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers will also find plenty of activities to suit their abilities. Bouldering is another exhilarating option for the thrillseekers in your group.
Lovingly dubbed "P-Way" by locals and frequent park visitors, Pawtuckaway State Park has a little something for everyone, from lakeside loungers to seasoned adventurers. This much-loved park welcomes thousands of visitors each year, so plan ahead and book an RV in Rockingham County to avoid disappointment.
Once you've parked your RV rental in the state park campground, your first order of business should be exploring the lake. Haul your private kayak, canoe, or paddle boat down to the boat launch, or rent a watercraft on-site. Cast your line in search of bass, perch, and pickerel, or take a dip in the designated swimming area. Be aware that this popular body of water reaches full capacity quickly during peak seasons and weekends, so you'll want to get an early start.
Stick to dry land and explore the park's hiking trail network. The Mountain Trail leads hikers two and a half miles to the summit of South Mountain. Visitors who brave the nearly 1,000-foot ascent will be rewarded with sweeping vistas of the park from the fire tower. Wildlife enthusiasts will want to take the Fundy Trail, keeping their eyes peeled for great blue herons and beavers along the way.
Adrenaline junkies looking for a real challenge should head to the Boulder Field to test their endurance on some of the largest boulders in the Northeast. Dozens of crags are scattered throughout the northeastern corner of the park. Round Pond is a favorite among the climbing community at Pawtuckaway.
For a more laid-back activity, grab the binoculars from your RV rental and head out to see what species you can spot. You'll likely encounter common fauna like ducks, turkeys, and raccoons. If you're lucky, you might see a morning cloak butterfly, an Eastern newt, or a snapping turtle hatchling. To learn more about the animals and plants that live at Pawtuckaway, sign up for an interpretive nature program.
Whether you're looking to brave the elements in a tent or stay cozy while camping in an RV, Pawtuckaway State Park Campground has you covered with over 190 sites. Of those, approximately 55 are designated for tents only, while over 100 sites welcome pop-up campers, trailers, and motorhomes. Most sites accommodate rigs up to 24 feet long, while select sites welcome rigs up to 38 feet in length.
Amenities include restrooms, showers, and a camp store stocked with all the necessities for a comfortable RV camping trip. You can also grill up your catch of the day or roast some s'mores at the fire ring and grill provided with your site. Note that hookups aren't available here.
In addition to motorhome camping sites, Pawtuckaway State Park offers five camping cabins equipped with all the comforts of home. If you plan to camp at Pawtuckaway State Park, schedule your visit between May and October. Reservations are recommended during peak periods and weekends. Although pets are welcome in the park, they're not allowed to explore the campground or beaches.
Once you've packed up the RV rental and called time on your camping trip at Pawtuckaway State Park, take time to explore the surrounding area. I-93 is just over 30 minutes west of the park, leading north into Concord and south into Manchester.
Get cultured at Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, which showcases masterpieces from American and European painters, sculptors, and potters. Architecture enthusiasts exploring the museum will want to book a tour of the Zimmerman House, designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
History buffs should set a course for Concord, the state capital. Two 19th-century attractions worth seeing here include the New Hampshire State House and the Canterbury Shaker Village. The kids will love a trip to the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center. Marvel up at the stars in the observatory, or plan your visit to coincide with an exciting planetarium show.
If you'd prefer to skip the big-city attractions, you're just a stone's throw away from other popular recreation areas. Bear Brook State Park, Northwood Meadows State Park, and Dearborn Forest are all within easy reach. No matter where you decide to venture next on your RV camping excursion, you'll find no shortage of fun activities in this quiet part of the Granite State.