Pawtuckaway State Park

Pawtuckaway State Park, Nottingham: Hours, Address, Pawtuckaway State Park Reviews: 4.5/5

Pawtuckaway State Park
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM

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166 reviews
Very good

John B
81 contributions
Sep 2021 • Friends
Pawtuckaway state park campground is a little less finished than some but we loved it. There any many lake side camp spaces and they are fantastic. You can launch paddle vehicles from your site or swim. We SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) twice a day.

Easy access to Maine, ocean or UNH.
Written September 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Deerfield, NH104 contributions
May 2013
We hiked the Pawtuckaway Mountain Fire Tower from the Reservation Road/ Deerfield side. The hike is fairly short, about an hour round trip. We has fantastic visibility. There were numerous hummingbirds, soaring hawks, lots of lady slippers in the all, a perfect little afternoon hike.
Written May 28, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

New England2,859 contributions
Jul 2011 • Family
I've camped here three or four times and love it. It's beautiful, especially sites near the water. You need to book well in advance for the highly desired sites. Too bad they don't allow little dogs.

The beach is grand, you can rent canoes, the lake is striking, the water is clear and swimable, and there's plenty to see. We've ridden bikes and hiked up to the fire tower where hummingbirds flock around a number of feeders.

As luck would have it, we've visited a couple times on the July 4th weekend. This is when the beach becomes a bathroom for 1000s of locals who bring their food, barbecues, and boom boxes for daylong celebrations. Until just recently, alcohol was permitted, and the beach was totally trashed. Last year, without alcohol, it was still partially trashed. It really makes you wonder how and why people can treat nature like a dumping ground. Needless to say, we wouldn't swim at the beach during this time but rather off the dock from our site or off the canoe that we rented.

On July 3rd and 4th, there's fireworks across the lake. It makes for a fun night.

All in all, a great campground.
Written April 19, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Salem, MA38 contributions
Jul 2018 • Couples
First of all, this is just my opinion. Don’t let the 3 stars fool you - the park is beautiful and the trail to the fire tower is awesome! (There were some people hanging out and laying around on the deck just below the fire tower enclosure with some gear so we didn’t go up. Rumor has it that the tower can be rented as a campsite, but I have no confirmation on that.)
The 3 stars is just for our experience at the cabin we rented. (Cabin 4) The 2 cabins right next to us apparently had a couple of families that seemed to forget they were out in the woods/nature as they had a large movie screen put up between the trees, multi-colored dancing lights flashing and reflecting through the entire forest, music and commotion all through about 11pm.
It seems like the whole park campground areas are set up to have everyone right on top of one another. That’s great for those that want their camping trips to resemble that of an urban block party, but we prefer more of a serene scene when we get away into nature. (And this was a Monday evening. I can’t imagine what the weekends are like.)
We’ve camped in places that have close camps sites before, but never an experience like this. Just seemed very disrespectful. And that doesn’t fall so much on the park, except I thought there were limits to how many people could be at one site, let alone two sites together.
We took a ride around the other areas of the park’s campgrounds to see if there were any sites that were more remote or at least separated enough from the adjacent sites, thinking maybe we would pick a different site for a future trip, but it seems all of them are right on top of each other and most packed with families and groups with every modern luxury you can imagine.
Again, if that’s you’re thing, you’ll love this park. We prefer peace, quiet and respect for being out in nature as opposed to an all night disco party atmosphere when we’re out in the woods.
Again, the park itself is beautiful with some amazing trails and the person working the store counter was very nice and polite. We would definitely come back for some of the trails but won’t be back to camp overnight.
(Oh, the cabins themselves are very nice and comfortable with plenty of room. Cabin 5 is the only one that is set off away from the others. We were in Cabin 4.)
Written July 19, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Atkinson, NH63 contributions
May 2015 • Couples
Went camping over Memorial Day weekend. Loved the large beach, being able to bring your own kayaks and enjoy the lake, nice spacious tent sites but thats where the nice part of it ends. If you want to enjoy the peaceful sounds of nature you might want to make sure quiet time is really enforced! We were camped near Site 96 and in the early evening the noise from that site was loudly obnoxious. There must have been about 25 partiers or more blaring there music for all to hear not being considerate whatsoever to anyone. It was like being camped next to a frat house. Quiet time came and I thought at 10 PM it would be enforced so went to bed and it got louder into the early morning hours and no one did anything about it. I could not sleep. The next day went to the office to complain and told them the site number of the loud campers and the girl stated that they would look into it and this year they are strictly enforcing that campers adhere to the quiet time or be told to leave. I had hope but it quickly went away when once again another night of party animal campers and no one enforcing quiet time. Please Pawtuckaway clean up your act for it really is a nice place to go to.
Written May 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Boston, MA101 contributions
Sep 2013 • Family
Like any scary movie it was okay at first, we camped there for a weekend. bathrooms were adequate and our campsite was a good spot next to water with a firepit. There is a playground and a picnic table area for the kids. fishing is allowed, they have a camp store and canoe rentals. My BIG PROBLEM was after 20 minutes of being in the water i pulled my 3 year old daughter out and discovered her legs full of leeches, in between her toes was a nightmare. at first i thought it was mud thats how bad it was. thank god my husband has a strong stomach cause he had to pull some out that made their way under her skin. Needless to say my kids were freaked out and never want to go camping again!
Written November 4, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Salem, MA208 contributions
Jun 2011 • Friends
My friends and I have been going camping at Pawtuckaway State Park for the past few seasons. We've tried other campgrounds, but the proximity to Boston combined with the large number of waterfront sites, keeps us coming back to Pawtuckaway.

The best campsites are on Horse Island. The sites are very private and heavily wooded, but still have a large clearing for most equipment. We bring a large tent, a pop-up shade tent as well as a screen house for the picnic table and can fit on most campsites. Some campsites, like #25 have a smaller clearing than others. Obviously ideally you should book a waterfront site, but if none are available most sites are good. The only site I would specifically avoid is #40. This "site" is essentially the trail to the bathroom. It also contains a large swamp. If this were the only site available, I'd stay home.

Booking a waterfront site usually requires booking a couple months in advance, and also usually requires a 3 night minimum.

The bathroom buildings are usually very clean, although still campground bathroom buildings, so spiders are everywhere. The showers have hot water (which are coin operated) and some of the bathrooms have hot water sinks, though not all.

I only went to the beach once and it was extremely crowded with people who just came for the day. Since then I’ve kayaked out to the lake islands and gone swimming from there.

The camp store has a little bit of everything, but it is extremely expensive....especially for camp essentials such as smores ingredients. But the wood at the camp store is the same price as the supermarket in town, so we do get the wood there. There is a supermarket in Raymond about 10 minutes from the campground and a Ben Franklin and dollar store across the street. You should be able to get all your food and anything you may have forgotten in Raymond.

Kayak rentals are available at the camp store for an hourly rate. This is an inexpensive way to kayak. But, if you have a waterfront site, there is a place called Mountain Road Trading Post just outside the park that will rent you a kayak for the week or weekend. They will put the kayak on your roof and it is quick to make the drive back to your campsite. This is much more economical over the whole weekend and doesn’t leave you keeping tabs on the time with an hourly rental.

We’ve hiked some of the trails and find them to be pretty good. Depending on the season, some like the Fundy Trail can be pretty buggy and the trail up to the fire tower can be pretty challenging for people not used to hiking. But overall, there is a good mix of trails for all comfort levels.

We have three more weekends booked this summer. Can’t wait!
Written June 28, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Boston, MA20 contributions
Aug 2016 • Family
Book well in advance.
Fishing from campsite....loved that. You can buy bait from the camp store on premises. Some campsites were not level so make sure your car has a great emergency break.
Showers were something out of a horror show due to the iron deposits from the water.
We were there over Labor Day weekend....and at one point were down to one working toilet in the bathhouse. By morning they were all fixed.
There was no facility to wash dishes so plan time I will bring disposable stuff. There were plenty of water facilities for toting water back to your campsite.
Lovely beach and place to rent canoes and kayaks. Rentals seemed reasonably priced.
Labor Day weekend we had noisy neighbors who were up partying well past midnight. The park could have done a much better job enforcing quiet hours.
Written April 12, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Boston, MA91 contributions
Sep 2016 • Couples
Spent Labor Day weekend here. Camp Site 158 on Big Island. This was a great site set back from road and nestled in the woods. It would not have been as private if site 159 had been occupied. There was a lot of trash on ground from previous campers. Wish I had brought a rake. Bathroom just down the road had a great shower. Lots of hot water and no cost. The bathroom itself was buggy but typical for campground. Single spigot sinks with cold water only. One thing I noticed was that there did not seem to be any rangers checking around for noise issues. We were woken up At 1am Sunday morning by loud screaming and yelling that went on for some time. The lake was nice, but crowded. We walked around the whole campground and decided the sites at Neal's Cove were by far the nicest! Will try to plan ahead to camp there next time.
Written September 6, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Larissa M
South Windsor, CT138 contributions
May 2015 • Family
We stayed on horse island on site #32 and really enjoyed our stay!! We'll be going back there next year. The site was a good size (fit our 8-person tent, canopy over the picnic table, large camp kitchen, and lots of chairs around the campfire.

Some of the pros:
-bathrooms and showers were cleaned regularly and well maintained
-good size showers with dressing area
-some campsites on horse island are right on the water, some with access for putting kayaks in the water
-the lake is large and beautiful
-the lake beach is big and has a good store
-playground for the kids was big and looked pretty new - great for playing in!
-it's about 30 minutes from the New Hampshire beaches, which was a fun day trip location
-great hikes in the area
-the camp stores were well stocked
-close enough to stores and pharmacies in the city, in case of needs that come up

Some of the cons:
-a couple of the water front sites were very windy
-could hear coyotes and loons loudly at night
-when the lake beach is empty, the geese take over and there is poop all over the sand
-quiet hours were not strictly enforced - one of the neighbor campsites was partying very loudly until midnight

Overall, our family and friends loved staying there, as it was pretty, comfortable, and had lots to do.
Written July 2, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Pawtuckaway State Park

Pawtuckaway State Park is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM