New Hampshire

The Top 10 Best Campgrounds in New Hampshire

by Sarah Lamagna
Updated September 29, 2022

Photo: Ethan Quin

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It might be called the Granite State, but New Hampshire also has national forests, beautiful ridgelines, and beaches galore.

Luckily for you, there are campgrounds among all the different types of ecosystems found throughout the state. There’s also no need to “rough it” as there are plenty of options to choose from if you’re not feeling like sleeping on the ground or battling with mosquitos all night. Of course, there are also more remote and rugged options for you to choose from too.

No matter what time you visit New Hampshire, there are some unique places for you to camp. So before you take that scenic drive or swim in that watering hole or hike that mountain or see what all the hype is about in the fall, make sure you first have a place to rest your head. Check out the recommendations for the best campgrounds in New Hampshire below!

1. Sugarloaf Campgrounds

sugarloaf campgrounds new hampshire
Photo: Ethan Quin

Why you should camp here: easy access to one of the most beautiful hikes to do in the autumn.

  • Reservations accepted: Yes
  • Best season: Summer, Fall
  • Campsite type: tent, car camping, RV, pop-up
  • RV hookups: No

The Sugarloaf I and Sugarloaf II Campgrounds are one of the best in the state with unparalleled access to popular trailheads across the White Mountains. The trail to Middle Sugarloaf Mountain is a popular one to do in the fall with sweeping vistas of the autumn colors across the mountains. The campgrounds are located adjacent to the Zealand River and day use picnic area.

Both campgrounds have 26 sites with a variety of tent-only/RV sites alongside some sites that are given on a first-come, first-serve basis (for those who like to wait to the last minute). As with many of the more popular campgrounds in the state, weekends tend to fill up fast here.

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Related Read: 7 Magical Treehouse Rentals in New Hampshire

2. White Lake State Park

 

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Why you should camp here: there’s a swimming beach, hiking trails, fishing spots, and boat rentals all in one place.

  • Reservations accepted: Yes
  • Best season: Summer, Fall
  • Campsite type: tent, car camping, RV, pop-up
  • RV hookups: No

New Hampshire might only have 18 miles of coastline, but there are hundreds of lakes to be found across the state. Many of the lakes have beaches on their shores and White Lake State Park is no different.

Best of all, camping here gives you early access to the beach which can get crowded during popular times of the year and on weekends. Stake out your spot before the rest of the day-use visitors arrive.

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Related Read: 10 Best Hikes in Vermont for Woodsy Explorations

3. Huttopia

new hampshire campground in fall
Photo: Huttopia

Why you should camp here: get homemade pizza from the back of a retro Airstream.

  • Reservations accepted: Yes
  • Best season: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • Campsite type: canvas safari tents, chalets
  • RV hookups: No

Staying at Huttopia isn’t your typical camping experience. Or maybe it is if you consider real beds, running toilets, and access to a ping pong table camping. This experience is best for families who want to immerse themselves in nature but aren’t sure how the kids are going to like it.

Huttopia is located on the shores of Iona Lake where you can swim or head to the heated saltwater pool if you’re scared the Swamp Thing might snatch you under the water. To keep everyone entertained, Huttopia also provides daily yoga, magic shows, and movie nights!

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Related Read: 11 Luxurious Glamping Spots in New Hampshire

4. Lost River Valley Campground

lost river valley campground new hampshire
Photo: Lost River Valley Campground

Why you should camp here: perfect for fishing enthusiasts who can try their hand at catching some of the brook trout on the river flowing through the campground.

  • Reservations accepted: Yes
  • Best season: Summer, Fall
  • Campsite type: Tent, RV, car camping, cabins, pop-up
  • RV hookups: Yes

The Lost River Valley Campground sits in the heart of the White Mountains surrounded by national forest lands. It’s a popular spot for families and for good reason. It’s got a sandy beach with paddle boat rentals as well as a huge playground complete with a wooden ship and train car for them to romp around on.

This place sells out fast and is usually completely booked up when reservations open early in the year. So don’t hesitate when reservations go live.

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5. Northstar Campground

Why you should camp here: so many activities like tetherball, horshoes, wiffle ball, and croquet.

  • Reservations accepted: Yes
  • Best season: Summer, Fall
  • Campsite type: Tent, RV, car camping, pop-up
  • RV hookups: Yes

One of the most family-friendly campgrounds sits in central New Hampshire. Northstar Campground is full of activities and entertainment for all ages. From the many on-site games like volleyball or wiffleball to the endless enjoyment to be had at Lake Sunapee, this place has got it all.

If all else fails, there’s also a Wi-Fi hotspot so you don’t have to spend oodles of money on roaming charges when your kiddo wants to watch a gazillion episodes of Bluey.

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Related Read: 11 Best Glamping Destinations in Maine

6. Israel River Campground

 

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Why you should camp here: two words — hot tub.

  • Reservations accepted: Yes
  • Best season: Summer, Fall
  • Campsite type: Tent, RV, car camping, pop-up
  • RV hookups: Yes

After tubing down the Israel River, make sure to set up shop at Israel River Campground. Although the campground keeps guests entertained with shuffleboard, a playground, a lending library, and a heated pool, there’s also plenty to see outside the property.

Santa’s Village is only six miles from the campground is a favorite among families that visit New Hampshire. You can also take the Cog Railway up Mount Washington or brave the auto road which was recently paved the entire way!

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7. Hampton Beach Campground

 

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Why you should camp here: the only RV-focused beachfront campground in New Hampshire.

  • Reservations accepted: Yes
  • Best season: Summer
  • Campsite type: RV-only
  • RV hookups: Yes

If you’re keen to stay on the ocean, look no further than the Hampton Beach Campground. It’s the only oceanfront campground that is RV-only so you’ll be surrounded by like-minded people.

This place gets crowded in the summer with day-use visitors so make sure to claim your suntanning spot early before they all arrive. Make sure to spend some time walking the main beachfront road of the town of Hampton Beach to get the full experience!

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Related Read: 8 Best Beach Camping Spots in New England for an Oceanfront Getaway

8. Lafayette Place Campground

 

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Why you should camp here: the best basecamp for romping around Franconia Notch State Park.

  • Reservations accepted: Yes
  • Best season: Summer, Fall
  • Campsite type: tent
  • RV hookups: No

Franconia Notch State Park has some of the most scenic trails in the entire state. Choose between traversing the Flume Gorge or hiking the Rim Trail at the top of Cannon Mountain (pro tip: take the aerial tramway to the top) or swimming at Echo Lake.

The campground is also at the start of the Lonesome Lake trailhead which has gorgeous views of Franconia Ridge: the most gorgeous ridgeline in the state. For the more adventurous (and experienced) hikers, do the trek up Mount Lafayette and across the ridge to see what all the hype is about.

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9. Umbagog Lake Campground

Umbagog Lake Campground
Photo: Sarah Bray

Why you should camp here: rent one of the four remote cabins accessible only by boat for a unique experience.

  • Reservations accepted: Yes
  • Best season: Spring, summer, fall
  • Campsite type: Tent, RV, car camping, cabins
  • RV hookups: Yes

You’d think that with so little coastline that New Hampshire would be lacking in the waterfront camping department. Alas, that is not the case. Umbagog Lake Campground is just one more place that you can pitch your tent and then go for a quick dip.

This New Hampshire state park has more than just swimming to wet your adventure pallet — did you get the pun? It also has some of the best fishing, boating, and hiking trails in the area!

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Related Read: The 12 Best Cabin Rentals in New Hampshire

10. Moose Hillock Camping Resort

Moose Hillock Camping Resort
Photo: Moose Hillock Camping Resort

Why you should camp here: hands-down, has the best water park of any campground in the state.

  • Reservations accepted: Yes
  • Best season: Spring, summer, fall
  • Campsite type: Tent, RV, car camping, pop-up, cabins
  • RV hookups: Yes

Not a lot of campgrounds offer golf cart rentals because the property is that large. But the privately-owned Moose Hillock Camping Resort does! It’s one of many extras you can deem necessary during your stay. The best part has got to be the tropical lagoon complete with a Spanish Galleon, a pirate ship! It’s got a tunnel waterslide that traverses the masts of the abandoned ship and is a favorite among residents.

There are weekly movie nights at the pool too – just make sure to keep an eye on how wrinkly your skin is getting while watching The Goonies on the large screen.

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