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Winslow State Park gets its name from a now-gone hotel that once stood in this picturesque corner of New Hampshire. The hotel was originally built in the mid-1880s in an attempt to create a tourism industry in the area. The Winslow Hotel burned down twice in the subsequent decades, and eventually, the owners gave up on creating a tourism industry in a remote part of the state (recall that, in those days, the primary transport was by carriage or train). After the second time it burned down, the owner balked at rebuilding and gave the property to the state in 1933. In 1935, it officially became a state park.
The closest large town is New London, about 10 miles to the west. New London is a small town of about 5,000 residents. It’s best known for its New London Barn Playhouse, which is a highly-regarded summer theater. The playhouse puts on several professional plays and musicals, and they are frequently sold out the day the tickets go on sale. Search for an RV in Merrimack County, NH, and prepare to embark on a memorable New Hampshire RV camping adventure.
Although Winslow State Park is a small one, covering only 20 acres, it’s surrounded by several other state parks and state forests. In spite of its size, it has two trails for hikers and outdoorsmen to explore. One, which can be challenging, is a one-mile hike that leads up to the summit of Mt. Kearsarge, a 3,000-foot peak. While that’s not very high when compared with the Rockies Mountains range, the elevation gain in such a short distance is considerably steep. People who succeed at reaching the top are rewarded with a panoramic view of the White Mountains, Vermont to the west, and Maine to the east. The other trail, which meanders around two miles into a valley, links with the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway, a 75-mile trail loop that connects four New Hampshire state parks and state forests.
Created in the mid-1990s, the Northern Rail Trail follows the contours of a valley for nearly 60 miles. It connects Lebanon to Boscawen, NH. Most of the trail is paved, which makes it suitable for bicycles and wheelchairs, but a few sections are crushed gravel. The trail is also open to horseback riding. The trail can be a little crowded during the peak season and early fall because it passes through deep woods and meadows, which are quite scenic. Photographers will have a hard time taking a bad photograph.
Due to the park’s diminutive size, RV camping at Winslow State Park isn’t possible. However, there are several other options in the area. A few miles outside Newport, NH is Crow’s Nest Campground. The roomy campground has over 120 sites, all with full or partial hookups, and guests can choose between a site that’s shaded by pine and hardwood trees or a waterfront site. Crow’s Nest Campground also offers a laundry room, a swimming pool, miniature golf, and a dog run. WiFi signal is robust throughout thanks to signal boosters. All RV sites come with fire rings, which are terrific for roasting s’ mores on a balmy summer evening.
Davidson’s Countryside Campground, found outside Bristol, NH, features a pond with a boat launch, small-craft boat rentals, and a rec hall with fun games like air hockey and ping pong tables, and a swimming pool. Campers can choose from primitive to full hookups.
Chock full of history and charm, rent an Airstream and hit the road to explore New Hampshire’s attractions and quaint towns. There are several covered bridges in the area still standing; many were built in the 19th century. The numbers are dwindling, though, due to the harsh winters that the region gets, and they will all one day crumble to the ravages of time. Photographers capture them while you can. There are two covered bridges in Warner, another in nearby Bradford, NH, and handful more within a 30-mile radius.
Many small towns in New Hampshire operate a local museum or historical society to honor their town’s heritage and culture. New London’s Historical Society kicks it up a notch with guided tours on horse-drawn carriages and sleds (weather permitting).
Befuddle and confound young children at the New Hampshire Telephone Museum in Warner, NH. Challenge them to figure out how to operate an old-fashioned rotary phone. The museum has on display over 1,000 unique telephones that date back to the late 1800s, and there are a few other old-timey equipment on displays like a typewriter and shoe-polishing kit.
At the end of a long day of hiking or exploring the twisting mountain roads, retreat into a motorhome rental and listen to the sounds of nature as the sun dips beyond the horizon.