What to do and see in New Hampshire, United States: The Best Nature & Wildlife Areas

December 28, 2021 Stefan Strunk

If you are looking for diversity, you will certainly find it in New Hampshire. From lakes to beaches, waterfalls to woods and mountains to sea coast, the state has huge potential for outdoor vacations, including downhill or cross-country skiing in winter. With no less than seventy-five state parks that offer natural areas, hiking trails, beaches and historic sites, New Hampshire caters for a variety of tastes. Crawford Notch State Park in Harts Location has picturesque waterfalls, wonderful mountain views and opportunities for viewing wildlife. You can go hiking and fishing there as well as pay a visit to the historic Willey House. Monadnock State Park, unlike some other state parks, is open all year round for hiking. Want to go swimming? You will find five state park beaches along the coast of New Hampshire, such as Wallis Sands with its view of the rocky Isles of Shoals. On North Hampton State Beach and Jenness Beach you can have a picnic as well as a swim. When you've finally had your fill of fresh air, head for the Museum of New Hampshire History in Concord with exhibits focusing on heritage and traditions; children should enjoy them just as much as adults.
Restaurants in New Hampshire

1. White Mountain National Forest

Kancamagus Highway Supervisors Office, NH 03246-2741 +1 603-536-6100 http://www.fs.usda.gov/whitemountain
Excellent
87%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 236 reviews

White Mountain National Forest

Great outdoors activities all year long.

Reviewed By WaitForIttttt - Hazlet, United States

My husband and I visited White Mountain National Forest this week for some pandemic-safe hiking because we heard it was forecasted to be peak foliage. We were so glad we did because the scenery was breathtaking, featuring all the gorgeous colors of autumn. There were tons of beautiful overlooks to stop at and a diverse selection of trails. We decided to hike the Champney Falls Trail and it was a lovely trail that followed the brook through the leaves to the waterfall. This Forest is definitely a must-see in Autumn!

2. Beaver Brook Falls Natural Area

432 Nh-145, Colebrook, NH 03576-3142 +1 603-323-2087 http://www.nhstateparks.org/visit/state-parks/beaver-brook-falls-wayside
Excellent
80%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 71 reviews

Beaver Brook Falls Natural Area

Popular scenic hiking area.

Reviewed By Jimbilly - Beverly Hills, United States

View these beautiful road side falls from your car or up close the choice is yours. Between the roadside parking and the falls there is a grassy area with picnic tables and a nice bench facing the falls. There are two short trails leading up to the base of falls with the right-side one the most used. Very easy to navigate. Take a break and enjoy the beauty of this beautiful waterfall.

3. Mollidgewock State Park

1437 Berlin Rd, Errol, NH 03579-6107 +1 603-482-3373 http://www.nhstateparks.org/visit/state-parks/mollidgewock-state-park.aspx
Excellent
80%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 5 reviews

Mollidgewock State Park

4. Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge

2756 Dam Rd, Errol, NH 03579-4007 +1 603-482-3415 http://www.fws.gov/northeast/lakeumbagog/
Excellent
80%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 15 reviews

Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge

Reviewed By PaleoGypsy - Philadelphia, United States

During the period of Covid-19, the Visitor’s Center and lavatories are closed. The portage areas and parking lots remain open to the public. A port-a-potty is available. Bring your own hand wipes and hand sanitizer. Having some extra toilet paper on hand is a good idea. Even though the Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge is tucked into a rural part of New Hampshire, the adjacent road of Route 16 is kind of dangerous. The speed limit is 55 mph. Be on heightened alert for the quickly-moving lumber trucks and pick-up trucks. The locals, who are accustomed to driving past Lake Umbagog daily, are accustomed to the curves in the road. If you plan to paddle, know of the locations of the portage areas before you go. They come up quickly, and parking spaces are limited. Plus, your cellular phone will not work in these dead zones. Make sure that you avoid parking in the portage areas. Understand the areas consistent of the no wake zones. As the weather changes quickly in this area, check the weather report before you venture out for the day. Maybe, you’ll get lucky and see a moose.

5. Massabesic Audubon Center

26 Audubon Way, Auburn, NH 03032-3109 +1 603-668-2045 [email protected] http://nhaudubon.org
Excellent
82%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 22 reviews

Massabesic Audubon Center

The Massabesic Audubon Center is located on a historic farm site just minutes from downtown Manchester and bordered by acres of rolling fields, forest, wetlands, a pond, streams, and marshes. The site has been preserved as a wildlife sanctuary that encompasses a diverse array of upland habitats. There are more than five miles of trails for hiking at any time of year.

Reviewed By mountlombard - Sandown, United States

Beautiful fall day so we hiked out to battery point and kids explored the shoreline where the water has receded. The center itself was closed.

6. Grafton Pond Reservation

Grafton Pond Road, Enfield, NH 03748
Excellent
75%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 4 reviews

Grafton Pond Reservation

7. Paradise Point Nature Center

North Shore Road, Hebron, NH http://newhampshireaudubon.org/center_newf.php#top
Excellent
38%
Good
63%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 8 reviews

Paradise Point Nature Center

8. Milan Hill State Park

72 Fire Tower Rd, Milan, NH 03588 +1 603-449-2429 http://www.nhstateparks.org/visit/state-parks/milan-hill-state-park.aspx
Excellent
50%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 4 reviews

Milan Hill State Park

9. Beaver Brook Reservation

117 Ridge Rd, Hollis, NH 03049-6425 +1 603-465-7787 http://www.beaverbrook.org
Excellent
78%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 49 reviews

Beaver Brook Reservation

The expansive and diverse trail network throughout this recreation area offers great hiking in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter.

Reviewed By sabinej382 - Shawnee, United States

Beaver Brook Reservation has many trails to walk on with ample opportunity for early risers to watch the local wild life. The fall colors are amazing.

10. Susan N. McLane Audubon Center and Silk Farm Wildlife Sanctuary

84 Silk Farm Rd, Concord, NH 03301-8311 +1 603-224-9909 [email protected] http://www.nhaudubon.org/
Excellent
62%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 42 reviews

Susan N. McLane Audubon Center and Silk Farm Wildlife Sanctuary

Offers information about New Hampshire sanctuaries and has an observation area and trails.

Reviewed By 646lorit - Dawsonville, United States

Just a few minutes off the highway, the Audubon Center is a "must-see" for nature lovers. There are several well maintained hiking trails. We took the yellow trail through a beautiful woodland to the pond. The trail is well marked and mostly level, but the protruding roots and rocks demand hikers' attention. In the welcome center there is a classroom where visitors can get up close to study preserved animals. This was one of my favorite spots. There is also a building in the back where injured raptor are housed. The 90 minutes we were here were well spent. Our thanks to those who care for this land and it's animals.

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