Pawtuckaway State Park is the perfect place to spend a day, weekend, or vacation with the family. Abundant in wildlife and diverse in ecosystems, the park offers a range of scenery and recreational opportunities. In addition to Pawtuckaway Lake, there are countless smaller lakes, ponds, and marshland to explore, with trails that lead visitors through the forest and up the mountains. According to the New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau, the mountains in the western part of the park “are part of an unusual geologic feature called a 'ring-dike, and are essentially the remains of an ancient volcano."
Spend the day hiking to the 1915 fire tower on South Mountain for the best views in the park, or head down to the water to fish. There are canoe, kayak, and paddleboard rentals available, and the sandy beach has lifeguards on duty during the summer. This gorgeous beach is very popular, so arrive early on weekends and holidays to swim because the beach’s capacity is limited. The picnic area is conveniently located near the beach and a large playground for the kids, and a bridge allows you to explore the tiny nearby island to look for loons. For the wildlife enthusiasts and birders, take a walk on the Fundy Trail to watch for animals and birds at Burnham’s Marsh. With so many activities to choose from, you may want to extend your stay by camping in the park’s 192-site campground. Many of the sites are on or near the water, and there are five cabins with electricity for groups of six or less.