Franconia Notch State Park

For a quintessential Franconia Notch experience, follow the Basin Cascade trail. It is a moderate 2.6 miles hike that starts with a beautiful natural 10-foot waterfall. You can either follow the trail into the woods or branch out to a place where you can walk out to the Pemigewasset river.

Wellington State Park

Wellington State Park has the largest freshwater swimming beach in New Hampshire, and one of the deepest/clearest lakes in the state, so there are plenty of water-related activities to do here (there’s a kayak rental shop). There are also hiking trails that loop around the lake, picnic areas, volleyball and horseshoe courts.

Crawford Notch State Park

This park has numerous hiking trails that offer beautiful views of the White Mountains, and the highest waterfall in the state, Arethusa Falls. Dry River Campground is also in the park — this is not one of those campgrounds where it’s a little community of trailers and tents. You are in the woods so you can get a peaceful experience.

Echo Lake State Park

Photo: VisitNH – New Hampshire

This is a great place for families. Here you can take a dip in the lake and have a picnic on the beach, or you can hike one of the many hiking trails that offer one-of-a-kind views of the Saco River and the White Mountains.

White Lake State Park

This park has some long history behind it. During the Ice Age, most of New Hampshire was covered in glaciers. As the Ice Age came to an end, the glaciers receded, leaving depressions. The leftover ice melted, filled these depressions and created White Lake. The park has many activities including swimming, fishing, boat rentals, easy hikes.