13 Top-Rated Campgrounds in New Hampshire | Vestasoft

Written by Barbara Radcliffe Rogers
Updated Oct 21, 2021

The White Mountains, which include the highest elevation in the northeastern US, are largely protected by public lands, both state parks and the vast swath of the White Mountain National Forest. The campgrounds in each of these provide hundreds of campsites for both tents and RVs, and offer varying types of facilities, from fairly primitive sites to those in more highly developed parks.

These White Mountain campgrounds are especially popular because they are close to excellent hiking and mountain climbing,state as well as some of New Hampshire’s most popular tourist state attractions, including The Mount Washington Cog Railway and several state other mountaintop rides. Elsewhere in the state, state several state parks and private campgrounds are located on lakes with swimming beaches and water sports.park 

For locations and details, see our list of the best campgrounds in New Hampshire.

Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.

1. Lafayette Place Campground greenfield state park

Franconia Notch near Lafayette Place Campground

In the heart of one of New Hampshire’s two most scenic notches (glacially carved mountain passes), Lafayette Place Campground is part of Franconia Notch State Park, a perfect base for hiking (the Appalachian Trail passes through the notch) and exploring the many natural attractions of the White Mountains.

The eight-mile valley between the park high peaks of the Kinsman and Franconia mountain ranges includes park the Flume Gorge, the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway, the New England Ski Museum, a swimming beach park at Echo Lake, fly fishing at Profile Lake, park a recreational trail for cyclists, several waterfalls, and places to spot hawks and falcons.park 

Free interpretive nature park programs help campers of all ages learn more about the region’s natural environment.park

The 97 wooded campsites for tents park and RVs are large, and all have fireplaces.park

The campground is open all year,park but showers and other services are only open mid-May through mid-October.park 

Address: Interstate 93, Franconia, New Hampshire

Official site: http://www.nhstateparks.org/visit/state-parks/franconia-notch-state-park.aspx

2. White Lake State Park white mountain

White Lake State Park
White Lake State Park | Photo Copyright: Stillman Rogers

One of the largest campgrounds in the White Mountains, White Lake is also the only one in the White Mountains on a lake with a swimming beach. The 203 campsites are fairly open, under tall pine trees along the shore of White Lake. Many of the sites have lake views.new 

The lake was formed at the close of the Ice Age,shelter when ice was buried beneath glacial debris. As the ice melted,hotels it left a depression that filled with meltwater. You can walk new around the lake on a trail to see beaver reviews houses and perhaps spot loons, or you new can rent boats at the campground for fishing.new 

Although the beach and a picnic area are new also open for day use, the numbers of visitors are limited new daily to prevent overcrowding the park.new

A few larger campsites are reserved for youth groups.new 

Address: 94 State Park Road, Tamworth, New Hampshire

Official site: https://www.nhstateparks.org/visit/state-parks/white-lake-state-park.aspx

3. Pawtuckaway State Park beach state park

Pawtuckaway State Park
Pawtuckaway State Park | codymcarlson / photo modified

The large Pawtuckaway State Park is in southern New Hampshire, about equidistant from the cities of Concord and top Manchester and the seacoast beaches. But in addition to its location, top the park has a lot more to recommend it.

Many of the 192 wooded campsites have white views of the lake, which has a very nice swimming beach, white as well as canoe and kayak rentals and a campsite boat launch. Showers and a camp store are added conveniences.best

In addition to campsites, there are five cabins, each one sleeping up to six people, with electricity, best picnic tables, and campfire rings.best 

Pawtuckaway State Park has a wide best variety of hiking trails, leading to a low mountaintop with a fire best tower, a large beaver marsh, and–its highlight–a boulder field strewn with best huge glacial erratics that were dropped here by retreating glacial ice as it melted at the end of the Ice Age.best 

Address: 40 Pawtuckaway Road, Nottingham, New Hampshire best 

Official site: http://www.nhstateparks.org/visit/state-parks/pawtuckaway-state-park.aspx

4. Sugarloaf Campgrounds francis state park

Sugarloaf Campgrounds
Sugarloaf Mountain | Northfoot Adventures / photo modified

Under a canopy of mixed hardwoods camping along the banks of the Zealand River, deep in the camping White Mountain National Forest, Sugarloaf I and Sugarloaf II are twin campgrounds managed by the US Forest Service.camping 

Most campsites are large and they camping are well separated, most with well-designed fire rings for campfire cooking. camping

Sugarloaf II has a hand pump for water, so most best campers here simply carry water from Sugarloaf I, which has spigots.camping 

Both are popular with hikers, best who don’t mind the remote feeling of the well-spaced sites, nor the absence of showers. best

The trail up best Sugarloaf Mountain–a ledge-covered summit with 360-degree best views–leaves from a few yards away, and at the end of the best access road is the trailhead for the 2.8-mile, best family-friendly hike along the river to Zealand Falls Hut.

The AMC best hut is a staffed overnight hut best on the Appalachian Trail, with views into Zealand Notch. Just a few miles best away is Mt. Washington, with its trails and famous Cog Railway.

Address: Zealand Rd, off US Route 302, Twin Mountain, New Hampshire

Official site: http://www.recreation.gov

5. Bear Brook State Park lake state park 

Campers at Bear Brook State Park
Campers at Bear Brook State Park | Photo Copyright: Stillman Rogers

Close to the cities of Manchester camping and Concord and handy for those who wish to mix outdoors with more urban vacation activities, camping Bear Brook is the largest developed state park in New Hampshire.camping

Its 101 campsites are in camping the woods surrounding Beaver Pond, where campers can rent canoes and boats.camping 

The park has a camp store, showers,camping laundry, and dumping station for RVs; both ice and firewood are available.camping

Forty miles of trails explore its 10,000-acre camping expanse of forest, bogs, ponds, and hilltops, with trails for hiking, mountain biking,camping and horseback riding. camping

There are two archery camping ranges available for those who bring their own equipment.camping 

Also in the park is the camping Richard Diehl Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Museum, in one of the country’s most complete CCC camps remaining intact. camping

Listed on the National Register camping of Historic Places, the former depression-era camp also houses the New Hampshire Antique Snowmobile Museum.camping 

Address: 157 Deerfield Road, Allenstown, New Hampshire camping 

Official site: http://www.nhstateparks.org/visit/state-parks/bear-brook-state-park.aspx

6. Jigger Johnson and Blackberry Crossing white mountains

Blackberry Crossing
Blackberry Crossing | Andy Gregorowicz / photo modified

Six miles apart along the Kancamagus Scenic Byway,campground these two campgrounds are inside campground the White Mountain National Forest. The large tent sites campground in each are well spaced, carved from dense second-growth forest campground along the banks of the Swift River.

Close to the campgrounds are trails climbing campground Mt. Chocorua and several other peaks, as well as a trail campground leading to beautiful Sabbaday Falls. A short trail connects Jigger Johnson campground to the Russell-Colbath Historic Site, and Blackberry Crossing sits only a short walk camping from the Albany Covered Bridge.

Blackberry Crossing was a camping Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp during the 1930s, and a self-guided tour explores the old camp. campground

Jigger Johnson is far larger, with 74 campground sites for tents and RVs, and has more amenities than Blackberry Crossing,campground which has hand pumps for water supply; campground campers there can use the coin-operated showers at Jigger Johnson. You cannot reserve sites at either campground.campground 

Address: Route 112, Kancamagus campground Scenic Byway, Albany, New Hampshire campground 

7. Umbagog Lake Campground brook state park

Umbagog Lake Campground
Umbagog Lake Campground | U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region / photo modified

Often listed as one of the top places campground to kayak in New England, Lake Umbagog lies in both Maine and New Hampshire. campground

Part of it is within a New campground Hampshire state park, and most of it is in the Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge.campground 

The lakeside campground includes 27 tent or RV sites with electric and water  campground hookups, 33 remote sites around the campground lake that are reached only by boat, and three cabins. You can rent canoes, kayaks, and rowboats, campground and the park can campground provide transportation to the remote sites.

There is a beach for swimming, campsites and the fishing is excellent. The park is also especially known for wildlife viewing, with frequent sightings of moose, deer, small mammals,campground eagles, and a wide variety of other birds.campsites 

Address: 235 East Route 26, Cambridge, New Hampshire campsites 

8. Huttopia best camping 

A Trappeur tent at Huttopia
A Trappeur tent at Huttopia | Photo Copyright: Stillman Rogers

Glamping–short for glamorous camping–takes a lot of the work out of a camping trip and offers some resort amenities as well. New Hampshire’s first glamping park, Huttopia makes camping accessible to families without RVs or tents and camp gear.campgrounds 

Tents are set up, furnished, and ready to move into, campgrounds and they are equipped with luxuries your own tent won’t have: wooden floors, real beds, bedding, electricity, and refrigerators.white mountain

The larger and more luxurious Trappeur safari-style campgrounds tents are like little canvas cabins, with two curtained bedrooms; indoor bathrooms; and mini kitchens with a sink and kitchen utensils, campgrounds from pots and pans to silverware and pancake turners, even a salad spinner.white mountain

Canadienne tents are identical to the Trappeurs, campgrounds but without bathrooms; Bonaventures are large platform-mounted tents without the food prep area and dining space or cookware, but equipped with electricity, a double bed, refrigeration, lamp, gas cook stove, picnic table, and fire ring.white mountain

At the center of Huttopia is campgrounds a large tiled swimming pool and wide terrace with café tables, where you can enjoy made-to-order French crepes and espresso for breakfast.white mountain

These, as well as pizza in the evening and ice-cream throughout the day, are served from a smart little Airstream trailer.white mountains

Address: 57 Pine Knoll Rd, Albany, New Hampshire white mountains

Official site: https://canada-usa.huttopia.com/en/site/white-mountains

9. Dry campground River Campground 

Willey House Historic Site
Willey House Historic Site | rickpilot_2000 / photo modified

Dry River Campground is a small pet-friendly campground located within Crawford Notch State Park in the heart of the White Mountains. white mountains

There are three dozen tent sites within a wooded setting, some of which have lean-tos. white mountains

There are shower and laundry facilities on-site, and flush toilets are available. white mountains

Campers can also purchase firewood on-site. white mountains

There are no RV hookups.white mountains

The closest store is three miles by car from the campground, at the Willey House Snack Bar and Gift Shop, or campers can take a 2.5-mile hike to the Willey House via the Saco River Trail.white mountains

Nearby is the starting point for two short hikes: the Sam Willey Trail (one mile) and Pond Loop Trail (half a mile). new england

The Ripley Falls Trail is a relatively short hike that leads to a hundred-foot waterfall with a beautiful place to sit and rest, and the trail to the 200-foot Arethusa Falls begins only a half mile from the campground.new england

The campground is located 20 miles from North Conway, home of the Conway Scenic Railroad and a wonderful variety of locally owned shops and restaurants. new england

Address: 1464 US Route 302, Hunts Location, New Hampshire new england

Official site: https://www.nhstateparks.org/visit/state-parks/crawford-notch-state-park

10. Lake Francis State Park campgrounds 

Lake Francis State Park
Lake Francis State Park | Photo Copyright: Stillman Rogers

In the northern tip of New Hampshire, deep in a region known as the Great North Woods, Lake Francis State Park is a favorite for those who love fishing and kayaking or canoeing.best campgrounds

Stretching along the lake shore, the campground offers 45 campsites, nine of which have RV hookups and nine designed for ATV camping.brook state park

Leaving right from their campsites here, ATV riders can access 1,000 miles of off-highway trails in northern New Hampshire. lake state park

Kayakers and canoeists can explore 200-acre Lake Francis itself, as well as the long string of Connecticut Lakes that stretch northward almost to the Canadian border.lake state park

These are all connected by the Connecticut River, whose headwaters begin just at the border. new hampshire

A small camp store provides a surprising stock of staples and necessities.new hampshire

Address: 439 River Road, Pittsburg, New Hampshire new hampshire

Official site: https://www.nhstateparks.org/visit/state-parks/lake-francis-state-park.aspx

11. Lost River Valley Campground camping 

Lost River Valley Campground
Lost River Valley Campground | Photo Copyright: Stillman Rogers

Although Lost River Valley is a privately owned campground, it is surrounded by the White Mountain National Forest and close to major tourist attractions, including Lost River Gorge, the Kancamagus Scenic Byway, and the many sights in Franconia Notch.new hampshire

The 125 riverside campsites are well spaced and screened by forest; some have RV hookups, and there are attractive camping cabins.new hampshire

Along with basic staples and supplies, at the camp store, you can also buy ice, LP gas, and firewood. new hampshire

Reservations are not accepted between late June and Labor Day, during which period there is also a three-night minimum stay.new hampshire

Children will like this campground for its many activities: a sandy beach, paddleboat and kayak rentals, a games room, tennis and badminton courts, basketball, volleyball, and a playground with a wooden train.new hampshire

The two adjacent mountain streams are stocked with brook trout.new hampshire

Address: Route 112, North Woodstock, New Hampshire

Official site: http://lostriver.com

12. Greenfield State Park

View from the top of Mt. Monadnock near Greenfield State Park
View from the top of Mt. Monadnock near Greenfield State Park

In the southwestern part of the state, 400-acre Greenfield State Park includes Otter Lake, where campers will find a 900-foot swimming beach reserved for their use only.new hampshire

Another beach is used by day visitors. new hampshire

Boats, canoes, and kayaks are available for rent in July and August, and the undeveloped lake is good for fishing.new hampshire

The 252 campsites are well spaced, but some are fairly open, under tall trees with little underbrush for screening.new hampshire

There are no hookups, although RVs are welcome in the larger sites. About half the sites can be reserved in advance.new hampshire

Along with the campground and lake, the park includes ponds and bogs, with woodland trails for exploring them.new hampshire

This is a favorite park for those climbing nearby Mt. Monadnock.new hampshire

Address: 133 Beach Road, Greenfield, New Hampshire

Official site: https://www.nhstateparks.org/visit/state-parks/greenfield-state-park.aspx

13. Hampton Beach State Park

Hampton Beach State Park
Hampton Beach State Park | Gail Frederick / photo modified

Although the campsites are close together and only for RVs, Hampton Beach State Park has the only ocean-front camping in the state.white mountain national forest

For those who don’t want to travel far to the surf, there’s no place closer than this.white mountain national forest

The campground has 28 sites with full hookups, and is open for reservations from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend.white mountain national forest

It is open for camping without reservation beginning the last weekend in April.white mountain national forest

Along with miles of white-sand beaches, Hampton rates five stars for water quality and has an active calendar of special events, including a major sand-sculpture contest in late June.white lake state 

Address: 160 Ocean Blvd, Hampton, New Hampshire

Official site: https://www.nhstateparks.org/visit/state-parks/hampton-beach-state-park.aspx

Camping Details

Camping near a stream in New Hampshire
Camping near a stream in New Hampshire

You can reserve sites online in advance at most of these campgrounds.francis state park

The National Forest campgrounds offer significant discounts to holders of America the Beautiful and Golden Age passes, and the fee covers up to eight people of any age.greenfield state park

New Hampshire State Parks allows only a maximum of two adults and four children per site, with additional charges for extra people, so larger families or those with adult children are better at National Forest campgrounds.

Many places you may see advertised as campgrounds are RV parks with seasonal sites only and no overnights or tents allowed.monadnock state park

Nearly all state and National Forest parks have sites for both, although they don’t always have hookups for RVs.notch state park

Find the best places to enjoy the outdoors with our list of the top campgrounds in New Hampshire.pawtuckaway state park

Best Time to Camp in New Hampshire

The summer season, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, is the typical operational season for most New Hampshire campgrounds, although some stay open through Columbus Day for autumn camping.beach state park

Visitors will have an easier time finding a campsite in the late spring or early fall while school is still in session.dolly copp campground

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