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Situated on the Pemigewasset River, Pemi River Campground provides a central base for exploring everything the White Mountains National Forest has to offer. It sprawls across 24 acres of unspoiled river frontage, making it an idyllic spot for swimming, fishing, and boating in New Hampshire.
Camping at Pemi River Campground offers access to a number of wooded pull-through and back-in sites, with full hookups that include water and 20-amp electric connections. There are modern restrooms with toilets and hot showers, as well as a fully-stocked camp store for picking up groceries and essentials.
Also at this New Hampshire campground are a children’s playground, a volleyball court, and horseshoes to keep all ages entertained, with well-behaved pets welcome to stay with you. Kayaking, canoeing, and tubing rentals are also available at the campground for getting out on the Pemigewasset River, including transport to drop-in or take-out sites.
Camp in an RV near Thornton and take advantage of the adventure pursuits in the White Mountain National Forest, which encompasses more than 750,000 acres across both New Hampshire and Maine. It’s home to many of New Hampshire’s highest peaks, including the 6,288-foot Mt. Washington (the highest mountain in the northeastern United States) that’s a popular destination for peak baggers. Alternatively, you can ride the historic Mt. Washington Cog Railway that accesses the summit or explore the forest’s 100-mile section of the Appalachian Trail.
RV camping at Pemi River Campground is just 10 minutes’ drive from the Livermore Falls State Forest near Holderness, which is also traversed by the Pemigewassett River. It encompasses the ruins of a late-19th-century pulp mill and a salmon hatchery that are a legacy of its industrial years becoming the recreational destination it is today. Aside from being home to numerous walking trails and fishing opportunities, it lies adjacent to a historic lenticular truss bridge that dates to 1885.
Drive 20 minutes in the other direction, and you’ll arrive at the Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves, which is particularly popular with families. Stretch your legs on the boardwalks and hiking trails that wind through the spectacular gorge, which has been carved over thousands of years by the elements. Aside from exploring the Kinsman Notch Ecology Trail and the Nature Garden Walk, you can try your luck panning for gemstones and fossils at the Lost River Mining Sluice.
Thornton campers can pick up groceries in Plymouth (just 10 minutes’ drive south) where you’ll find not only supermarkets but also gas stations for filling up your RV rental. For RVers wanting to dine out, there are numerous cafes, grills, and bistros serving a diverse range of food, as well as The Flying Monkey performing arts theater. If you’re visiting Plymouth, be sure to stop in at the Museum of the White Mountains, which is run by the Plymouth State University. Its galleries feature old photographs, historical artifacts, and modern artworks that reflect the cultural heritage and environmental legacy of the region.
Continue driving south in the rental motorhome, and you’ll arrive in Ashland, which is home to the Whipple House Museum where the Nobel Prize-winning doctor George Hoyt Whipple was born. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and is now operated by the Ashland Historical Society as a beautifully preserved example of a mid-19th-century Cape-style house. Also operated by the Ashland Historical Society is the Ashland Railroad Station Museum, which was constructed in 1869 along the Boston, Concord and Montreal Railroad.
Drive in the other direction from Pemi River Campground, and you’ll arrive in North Woodstock, which is home to the White Mountains Visitor Center. Here you can pick up maps and information about what to do in the area before jumping aboard the Hobo Railroad for a scenic journey along the Pemigewassett River. Utilizing vintage passenger cars, this heritage railway takes you on an 80-minute excursion to soak up the White Mountains’ natural beauty while enjoying a picnic lunch and ice cream on board.
If you’re traveling with kids, be sure to visit the nearby Clark's Trading Post, an old-world-styled amusement park that also offers steam train rides. Browse the vintage appliances and old steam memorabilia on display at the Americana Museum or get up close to antique firefighting equipment at the 1884 Pemigewasset Hook and Ladder Fire Station. Clark’s Trading Post is also home to Avery’s Garage, a replica gas station where you’ll find an impressive collection of classic motorbikes and automobiles.
Whether you want to explore the White Mountains National Forest or enjoy a fun-filled day at Clark’s Trading Post, book an RV in Grafton County and start planning your next vacation.