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Pawtuckaway State Park
New Hampshire State Park
Pawtuckaway campsite.JPG
Country United States
State New Hampshire
County Rockingham County
Town Nottingham, Deerfield
Coordinates 43°6′7″N 71°10′52″W / 43.10194°N 71.18111°W / 43.10194; -71.18111
Area 22.22 km2 (9 sq mi)
IUCN category V - Protected Landscape/Seascape
Website: Pawtuckaway State Park

Pawtuckaway State Park is a 5,000-acre (20 km2) preserve in New Hampshire, United States. It is one of the largest state parks in southeastern New Hampshire[1] and is named for Pawtuckaway Lake and the Pawtuckaway Mountains. The park extends from the west shore of the lake to the west side of the mountains.


1957 topographic map, showing lake and ring dike

The Pawtuckaway Mountains are a small, rocky, circular range that form the outline of an ancient volcanic ring dike[2][3] dating from 130—110 million years ago (Cretaceous).[4] The ring dike, first completely mapped in 1944,[4] is a smaller and more accessible example of the same kind of geological process that formed the Ossipee Mountains to the north. The inner ring is roughly one mile in diameter, while the outer is measured at almost two miles.

Earthquakes occurred in the vicinity of the ring dike in the summer and fall of 1845. Known as the Deerfield explosions, they were described as subterranean noises often as loud as the report of a 12 pounder cannon when heard at a distance of half a mile but without echoes.[5] They were the subject of much speculation at the time.[6]


The park lies within the Northeastern coastal forests ecoregion.[7]


Aerial map of Pawtuckaway Lake and part of Pawtuckaway State Park (green overlay); the southeast quarter of the ring dike is visible in the upper left corner

Hiking trails lead to the approximately 900-foot (270 m) summits of North and South Pawtuckaway mountains and connect the ring dike area to the lake. The lake is a 783-acre (317 ha) water body with numerous islands and coves and is a popular boating, fishing, and swimming destination. Since orienteering enthusiasts made an orienteering map of the park in 1992,[8] the park has become a venue for major orienteering meets, including foot orienteering and canoe orienteering.[9] The venue is shared by several orienteering clubs in New England, including Cambridge Sports Union, New England Orienteering Club, and Up North Orienteers.[8] The Pawtuckaway ring dike includes a boulder field of interest to bouldering climbers,[10] and the park is a popular destination for geocaching.

Park amenities include 195 campsites, 15 miles (24 km) of hiking trails,[1] a boat launch, a swimming beach, camp store, ball field, playground, bathhouse, shelters, picnic tables, and canoe and rowboat rentals.[11]


  1. ^ a b New Hampshire GRANIT database
  2. ^ Sherry Godlewski (Fall 2003). "Pawtuckaway Rocks". Bear-Paw Print (Deerfield, New Hampshire, USA: Bear-Paw Regional Greenways) III (II): 1 and 4. 
  3. ^ "Pawtuckaway Ring Dike". Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  4. ^ a b G. Nelson Eby (August 1995). "Third Hutton Symposium on Granites and Related Rocks: Pre-Conference Field Trip: Part I: White Mountain Magma Series". p. 23. Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
  5. ^ Moore, Jacob Bailey (1893). History of the town of Candia, Rockingham County, N.H.: from its first settlement to the present time. Manchester, New Hampshire: George Waldo Browne. pp. 325–327. 
  6. ^ "New Hampshire correspondence [Letters concerning the Deerfield explosions]". New York Municipal Gazette I (46): 660–661. February 1, 1847. 
  7. ^ Olson, D. M, E. Dinerstein, et al (2001). "Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Life on Earth". BioScience 51 (11): 933–938. doi:10.1641/0006-3568(2001)051[0933:TEOTWA]2.0.CO;2. 
  8. ^ a b "UNO Map List". Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  9. ^ "Gould Home Page, Orienteering Section, Introduction". Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  10. ^ "Pawtuckaway Ring Dike". Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
  11. ^ "Pawtuckaway State Park", New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pawtuckaway_State_Park — Please support Wikipedia.
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1841 videos foundNext > 

3 Pawtuckaway Favorites

Interpretive Ranger, Emily Barry highlights some of her favorite spots in Pawtuckaway State Park including a walk down Fundy Trail to Burnham's Marsh, apprec...

Bigfoot Field Work in Pawtuckaway State Park

The Crypto Crew. Follow up field work or a reported bigfoot sighting in Pawtuckyaway State Park in New Hampshire. This was conducted back in Feb. of 2014. W...

Pawtuckaway state park 2011

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Camping at Pawtuckaway State Park

Camping and hiking at New Hampshire's Pawtuckaway State Park.

Atlas (v6) @ Pawtuckaway State Park, NH

It's cold... and lonely... and sometimes you don't get what you want. Atlas (v6) @ Pawtuckaway State Park, NH.

Boulder Field, Pawtuckaway State Park, New Hampshire

This was our second attempt to find the cache in Devil's Den. We had a great day with our friends (2 and 4 legged), playing on the boulders and going in and ...

Pawtuckaway State Park

Music: "Windswept" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licens...

Pawtuckaway State Park


Common Loon @ Pawtuckaway State Park NH

Filming a Loon from kayak~

Camping at Pawtuckaway State Park NH

Camping and hiking at New Hampshire's Pawtuckaway State Park. Great place to enjoy nature, enjoy!

1841 videos foundNext > 

39 news items

WMUR Manchester
Sat, 20 Sep 2014 21:50:22 -0700

NOTTINGHAM, N.H. —Nottingham officials rescued a family of seven from the Pawtuckaway State Park Saturday after they became stranded in the dark. Authorities said three adults and four children were walking along the trails when it got dark earlier ...

Foster's Daily Democrat

Foster's Daily Democrat
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 12:03:45 -0800

EPPING – The largest project undertaken by the Southeast Land Trust – the conservation of 1,100 acres owned by the Harvey Family of Epping – got a big boost last week: a $400,000 grant from LCHIP, the state's program for natural, cultural, and historic ...
Boston Globe
Sat, 02 Aug 2014 13:53:17 -0700

CONQUER A PEAK: PAWTUCKAWAY STATE PARK. Located only 70 miles from Boston, this 5,500-acre state park offers a trio of hike-able mountain peaks, suitable for families with older, agile kids. Among these, we like 2.4-mile (one-way) Mountain Trail, ...

WMUR Manchester

WMUR Manchester
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:33:45 -0700

NOTTINGHAM, N.H. —Pawtuckaway State Park beach and a handful of other lake beaches in New Hampshire have posted advisories against swimming, this week. Escape Outside with WMUR.com. View content about the great outdoors from Paula Tracy.
Boston Globe
Sat, 29 Mar 2014 15:15:42 -0700

It's never too early to start thinking about summer vacation, especially if your getaway includes an overnight visit to a state park. Many are already accepting reservations and fill up fast. No wonder: New England states are dotted with some of the ...
Concord Monitor
Thu, 08 May 2014 14:26:24 -0700

Pawtuckaway State Park is close to where we live, so we have come out regularly over the years to hike with the kids and the dogs. We've been up all three peaks countless times: North Mountain, with its steep, meandering ascent that keeps fooling you ...
Concord Monitor
Mon, 04 Aug 2014 21:11:17 -0700

Last week, the DES lifted a similar two-week-long advisory at Pawtuckaway State Park in Nottingham. “It seems to have some sort of goose problem, around 40 resident geese,” Carlson said. The birds' feces can lead to the above-normal bacteria count ...
Concord Monitor
Wed, 11 Jun 2014 13:05:42 -0700

Check out the glacial erratics at Pawtuckaway State Park in Nottingham.  Fly a kite.  Go to the hot air balloon festival in Hillsboro (July) or Pittsfield (August).  Go to a flea market.  Have a yard sale.  Visit the McLane Audubon Center.  Go on ...

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