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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; -71.18111Coordinates: 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" (PDF). 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" (PDF). 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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40 news items

WMUR Manchester

WMUR Manchester
Fri, 24 Jul 2015 20:56:15 -0700

It also noted fecal bacteria advisories for Pawtuckaway State Park Beach in Nottingham, Silver Lake State Park Beach in Hollis, Sanbornton Town Beach on Hermit Lake, Crystal Lake in Gilmanton and two beaches in Laconia: Bond Beach on Opechee Bay ...
The Union Leader
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 10:43:31 -0700

Water advisories put up at three NH beaches ahead of holiday. Source: http://www.nh1.com/news/water-advisories-put-up-in-nh-state-beaches/. The NH Department of Environmental Services put up a water advisory for bacteria at Pawtuckaway State Park ...
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 ...

WCVB Boston

WCVB Boston
Sun, 03 May 2015 07:34:31 -0700

NOTTINGHAM, N.H. —New Hampshire Fish and Game officials say they rescued a man who was suffering medical issues while hiking at Pawtuckaway State Park in Nottingham. Authorities say a hiking companion of Gabriel Williams of Exeter called for help ...

Concord Monitor

Concord Monitor
Thu, 04 Jun 2015 10:05:59 -0700

A man plays cards with his young daughter while camping in Crawford Notch State Park in new Hampshire's White Mountains. A young family camping in the campground in New Hampshire's Pawtuckaway State Park. A girl emerges from her family's tent in ...

The Union Leader

The Union Leader
Sat, 14 Mar 2015 22:37:02 -0700

The forested property is next to Pawtuckaway State Park. It's private land, but through the generosity of the landowner, Helen Fernald, and the town's commitment conserving its special places, the land is close to being protected from development ...

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.

WMUR Manchester

WMUR Manchester
Tue, 16 Jun 2015 20:56:15 -0700

Two Acadian flycatchers, a Cerulian warbler and an evening grosbeak were all seen at Pawtuckaway State Park in Nottingham on June 7. An Acadian flycatcher was heard singing along Brindle Pond Road in Barnstead about a tenth of a mile from Peacham ...

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