Campgrounds in New Hampshire are a popular year-round destination for campers of all kinds. With cool glacial lakes, dense pine forests, and the famed Presidential Mountain Range, the best of New England’s scenery rests in the Granite State. New Hampshire is also home to New England’s highest peak, Mount Washington, where elite hikers come to tackle this temperamental mountain in preparation for Mount Everest. For the more casual hikers among us, the Kancamagus Highway is the starting point for numerous day hikes.
Although the White Mountain area is much of the outdoor draw to New Hampshire, this is just the starting point. New Hampshire has three distinct regions: the Coastal Lowlands, the Eastern New England Upland, and the White Mountain Region. Each area has its own appeal, whether it be swimming, hiking, or otherwise enjoying the Granite State’s rugged, wild backyard. Campgrounds in New Hampshire stand out among New England sites as being off-season havens. You can camp near fall foliage and U-Pick orchards in autumn and ski yourself into a cozy cabin in the winter. Discover the best places to camp and see it all with these 6 beloved campgrounds.
“Live Free” at these Top Rated Campgrounds in New Hampshire
From The Whites to the southern lakes, these are The Dyrt campers’ favorite New Hampshire spots for a peaceful night under the stars.
1. Hancock Campground in Lincoln, NH
Situated on the western end of the Kancamagus Highway, Hancock Campground is the perfect basecamp for beginning your Pemigewasset Wilderness adventure. Many hikes start here, as well as zipline tours and white river rafting. This is a first come, first serve campground, and like many campgrounds in New Hampshire, can get wildly popular in the warmer months. It’s best to get here early so as to secure a prime spot. Holiday weekends can be especially crowded. Bonus: it’s open year-round. Yes, this means even in the dead of winter.
“On a clear night, you can see a ton of stars encompassing around you- the only light pollution coming from you and your fellow campers fire.” —The Dyrt camper Molly G.
Things to See + Do Near Hancock CampgroundCamp Here
2. Pawtuckaway State Park in Manchester, NH
New Hampshire campers that live in nearby Manchester love Pawtuckaway State Park for its peaceful wetlands, forests, and ponds. The campground is popular with families for its large sites, seclusion and proximity to swimming in the Pawtuckaway Lake. It’s often filled-to-the-brim come summer with both day users and campers. For prime camping spots, look along the water and reserve early. For those looking to explore the area from the water, there are kayak and canoe rentals at the campground, starting at $10.
“Excellent hiking, beach, wildlife-filled wetlands, birding, geology, forests, and water to enjoy.” —The Dyrt camper Harry H.
Things to See + Do Near Pawtuckaway State ParkCamp Here
3. Dolly Copp Campground in Gorham, NH
The biggest draw for Dolly Copp campground is how close it puts you to the base of some pretty spectacular day hikes in the White Mountain National Forest. The campground itself is pretty wonderful, too. With spacious sites and convenient, accessible restrooms, reviewers consistently recommend this New Hampshire campground. The Peabody River and Culhane Brook pass through the campground, as well as multiple foot trails.
“The area in and around the National Forest is spectacular. The trees and ranges are brilliantly breathtaking.” —The Dyrt camper Rachel P.
Things to See + Do Near Dolly Copp CampgroundCamp Here
4. Lost River Campground in Woodstock, NH
Unlike many campgrounds in New Hampshire, Lost River Campground has the best of both worlds, with nearby shopping and restaurants in the town of Woodstock, and isolation in the Lost River Valley area. Hiking options are numerous nearby, both along the Kancamagus Highway and up to nearby Mount Moosilauke. The campground is located at the site of a turn-of-the-century lumber mill, and is close to the reason why many campers flock to this area: Lost River Gorge and Bolder Caves, and The Flume. Clark’s Trading Post, a nearby store and attraction, is also worth a visit.
“Lots of shopping and restaurants available in nearby North Woodstock and Lincoln. If hiking and scrabbling on river rocks is your thing, the Kancamagus highway is also a short drive away, with many short hikes and swimming holes to check out.” —The Dyrt camper Angela T.
Things to See + Do Near Lost River CampgroundCamp Here
5. Monadnock State Park in Jaffrey, NH
Monadnock—meaning a mountain that stands alone and not as part of a range, is a bald-peaked mountain in southeastern New Hampshire that’s host to Monadnock State Park. There’s a playground for younger campers, and for older ones there’s some tough, but fun, rock scrambling to the peak of this park’s namesake. Monadnock State Park campground facilities are relatively new and well-cared for, and The Dyrt campers continually rave about the friendliness of the staff. Take it from New England’s most famous naturalist and writer, Henry David Thoreau, who visited the Monadnock region often and found the surrounding nature to be an inspiration for his writing.
“This is one of (if the THE) most beautiful and well maintained state parks I have ever to. It’s on the newer side, so that does help. The camp sites are flat, spacious, wooded, and come equipped with large fire rings/grills. The park staff was so nice and helped us find a site even while showering up last minute on a weekend. It was so cool for me to camp in the area where Thoreau wrote some of his most famous works!!” —The Dyrt camper PhiladelphiaKaley R.
Things to See + Do Near Monadnock State ParkCamp Here
6. White Lake State Park in Tamworth, NH
Campgrounds in New Hampshire can offer isolation, fantastic views, or plenty to do, but at White Lake State Park you’ll find all three at once. White Lake is a peaceful little New Hampshire park, tucked into the great pine woods of the White Mountain National Forest. The lake serves almost as a frame for the peaks in the distance. And what a lake it is: deep, clear, and cool, it is a popular summer day-use area and campground, without feeling over-crowded.
“The lake itself is unreal, with the mountains in the background it just feels incredibly peaceful and serene.” —The Dyrt camper Angela T.