Traveling to the beaches of New Hampshire this summer? Visiting during foliage season? Check out three historic parks, hiking, history, and a view of the ocean!
Parking – Good. Limited in summer
Accessible – Moderate. Trails are hilly, narrow and include rocky and beach areas. Paved bike trails are suitable for wheelchair/stroller.
History – Old settlement. Discover remnants of houses and equipment belonging to fishermen, coopers and farmers.
Fee – In-season only
- Check tides during your visit. During high tide, the beach is not accessible.
- Boat Put-In Available
- Seacoast Science Center nearby
- Portsmouth Kayak nearby for rentals
- Old stone fireplace hidden in woods
- Clam Worm Holes (worms grow up to 3 feet long!)
- Fort Stark Lighthouse
Parking – Limited to 4 cars off season. Plenty in-season
Accessible – No. Ex-military site with numerous abandoned buildings, and mostly grass trails.
Trails – More a place to explore abandoned military buildings, the water front, and amazing places to take photographs. Wear comfortable shoes. Wet, slippery rocks, and open stairways without railings.
History – Buildings from the late 1800’s, early 1900’s and as recent as the 1940’s. All but the modern buildings are open.
Fee – None
- Bring a flashlight to explore the abandoned buildings.
- Unstaffed park. Open stairways and crumbling buildings may be dangerous for small children.
- If anyone in your party is injured, you are directed to call 9-1-1.
- Lighthouse just off shore
- Jail Cell with Fireplace
Parking – Active military site – plenty of parking.
Accessible – Yes. Grassy areas have hidden sinkholes. Also, turret rooms include stairs to visit upper levels.
History – A portion of this park, built in 1632, was known as Fort William and Mary, and is supposedly haunted. The lighthouse near this fort was featured on Ghost Hunters. Majority of buildings built during Spanish American War and the War of 1812.
Fee – None
- While the sign says this location is not open to the public, if you look closer you’ll see a sign telling visitors to Fort Constitution to follow the blue line to the park.
- In the turret rooms, if you peer through the broken glass you’ll find another lighthouse.
Pets are not allowed on Historic Sites in NH. None of these parks is pet-friendly.
All three parks are accessible year round but may not have staff onsite during winter months.
Visit individual park websites for more information on activities and events planned.
NH State Parks Website
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