Pawtuckaway State Park Campground lines the shore of beautiful Pawtuckaway Lake. The 192 sites are wooded and many provide views of the lake. Each campsite has an open fire ring, picnic table, flat areas for a tent, and a parking space. The bathhouses are equipped with running water, flush toilets, and 24 hour showers. There are no hook-ups at any of the campsites. The park also has a camp store where canoe and kayak rentals are available, as well as a public canoe and kayak launch. Five cabins are available; each sleeps six people, has electricity, and includes a fire ring and picnic table. Pets are not allowed in the campground or beach area of the park.
This campground is definitely a dazzler and I was fortunate to visit on a quieter weekend. I was able to enjoy an especially picturesque sunset over the lake and I would definitely visit this spot again, especially with how accessible the campground is. There is a nice stretch of sandy beach at the campground as well as canoes and kayaks for rent. The convenience store at the campground had essentially everything you would need for a good camping trip. Definitely do your research on the different site numbers because some sites are much more private and scenic than others. Each site is equipped with a picnic table and fire pit as an added bonus.
-Within a short driving distance from the Boston area
-Lakefront sites available
-Canoe and kayak rentals available
-Well stocked convenience store
-Reasonable cell reception
-Can get busy during peak camping times
-Some sites have a lack of privacy
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time. During this trip, I took out a pair of Red Ledge Rain Pants. While it didn’t rain during my camping stay (great from a camper perspective, not so great from a reviewer perspective), I was able to try out the general fit of the pants. They have a nice stretch fit to them and a certainly one of the more stylish options as far as rain pants go. As is true for most waterproof gear, they run on the warmer side and don’t have a ton of ventilation so they may not be the best choice for hotter weather. Although I didn’t get to test out the pants in a camping setting, I did wear them a few days ago while making the 1.5 km evacuation route trek from my apartment to the flood shelter during one of the biggest typhoons to make landfall in Japan. After about 25-30 mins of walking in record breaking-ly heavy rain, the pants started to saturate around the knees and the upper thigh area started to get a bit soggy. That being said, this is probably the most extreme possible test setting and they did hold up reasonably well. Due to the aforementioned, I would recommend using these pants as a waterproof option when skiing/snowboarding in warmer weather where you still want a snow barrier but may not necessarily need the insulative warmth offered by actual snow pants.
-Not typhoon proof
Some sites are awesome and somewhat private others are on top of each other. We hammock camp so we took a chance and the employees were able to give us an okay site. We drove around and checked other sites out (huge campground!) and are excited to go back
This a a fantastic little camp for if you want to go canoeing or kayaking or boating of any kind! It's set up of three islands and a large majority of the campsites are right on the water
We camped for a weekend here in a group of 6 people on Horse Island spread out over 2 sites. Checking in at the park office was easy and we received our parking pass. Each campsite can hold two vehicles.
There are several bathrooms placed all over the campground with toilets, sinks, and showers (no quarters needed). There are also water spigots placed around which is nice to refill containers.
I only give 4 stars due to two issues: One of the showers was unusable as it was FILLED with insects. After scoping out a few other bathrooms the problem seemed to be isolated to just that one.
Secondly, the park office seemed to be out of firewood the whole weekend. We were able to find some at the grocery store ($18 for 3 small bundles), and a random house selling some ($10 for the equivalent of 4 small bundles).
Nonetheless, we had a great time, undisturbed by all around us, and we did a 5 mile round trip hike to the the Pawtuckaway Fire Tower (view from the top attached).
Went there this past weekend. Brought our kayaks. I reserved a water front site for that reason. Well worth it. Amazing lake for kayaking, swimming, fishing and exploring. So many little islands and shallow spots to swim around or jump off rocks.
The public beach area is a nightmare, super busy. And we found that there were a few people who didnt respect the quiet hours. Plus people would drive their cars to the bathrooms at night, in my opinion if you cant walk there, dont go camping. That was a nuisance. A big reason for me only giving 3 stars. Otherwise it's easily a 4 or 5 star.
Great state park campground! Some of the sites are close together but there are lakes to swim and places to rent kayaks/canoes/etc. if you need it.
Lots to do, Kayak, Swim, Hike and more. Very friendly staff, very scenic location many sites are on the water. Only drawback is you can’t bring your dog 😪.
We stayed here twice, once in September 2013 and then again in September 2018 and it is one of my favorites.
In 2013 -site 25 was a little challenging since it was on a downgrade and we were hit with a an unexpected 36 hour downpour and there was only one suitable spot for our tent since the terrain is very rocky. After a few hours of constant rain I realized the water runoff from the road above and the driveway all ended up flowing right under our tent into the lake. At least I was able to experience a water bed for the first time in my life.
The closest bath/shower was well kept, with four bathroom stalls and the one huge shower, I imagine that the wait times in the summer months might be a hassle but in the off season it was hardly used.
In 2018 we stayed in sites 110 and our friends stayed in 109 on Big Island. Those were wonderful sites, level with great views of the lake and are situated right across from the bath/shower. It was in need of an upgrade but with several facilities throughout the island we had other nearby options for a shower.
I forgot the daily visits from the ducks, like clockwork morning and dusk a family of ducks visited looking for grub and although most feed them bread, I know that's not good for them so they left unsatisfied.
The next day I bought uncooked Quaker Oats and some grapes that I cut in quarters for them, after that visit I realized that they would never leave so we became less generous. Eventually, they realized we were on to them.
Lovely wooded campground where you can swim, hike, kayak, bike, canoe, fish, boulder, geocache and explore to your heart's content. Generally large and level sites, many with water access, Make your reservation well in advance if you're planning to visit during peak season or if you want a prime waterfront site. Sites on Horse Island will cost you $5 more than those on Big Island, but many of the sites are directly on the water, making it easy to slip your boat into the lake from your site. There's a campers only boat launch on Horse Island. Much of the lake is better suited to paddle craft rather than motor boats due to it's shallow nature and rocks. The an expansive beach as well, a camp store and boat rentals.
I've had a weekend when my neighbors were playing loud music all afternoon and stumbled drunk through my campsite after dark and other weekends when it was hard to tell there was anyone around.
Driving around this past weekend I did notice that some of the sites had damp spots; site 71 was the worst with deep mud on the long approach. Site 73 is near the bath house, but it has a long approach that provides a little privacy and it's higher than the surrounding sites with water access. Sites in the 3-15 range are waterfront, but they're higher off the water. Site 43-45 are great. Those along the southern edge of Horse Island offer a more level entry. Roads are narrow and many of the site entrances are narrow with rock/tree obstructions in places that may make backing in more of a challenge to thsoe with trailers or RVs. No hookups.
The bath houses are tired, but they offer free showers. Would love to see them renovated and brightened up. Big Island also has cabins available. Phone coverage is poor (Verizon); can usually get texts out. If you want to geocache, download the info for offline use!
If you are used to camping with pets, you'll need to visit outside of peak season as they are not allowed in the campground Memorial Day to Columbus Day and never on the beach.
It has a longer season than many campgrounds in New Hampshire, running to the end of October, and you can generally get a site last minute if you're waiting on the weather and don't need/want a water site. Its proximity to Boston makes it great for a quick getaway.
Cool spot, lots of hiking, bouldering, canoeing.
Have been a handful of times, never crowded.