As full-time RV’ers we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series where we explore the “Off the Beaten Path” of every state. We love the big popular stuff like everyone else, but there is just something incredible about discovering something unique, different and maybe a little “off the beaten path”. We certainly can’t explore them all, but we’d love you to include your favorites below too. Each series will include at least 1 epic boondocking area, some complete with pictures and all with GPS coordinates.
When traveling to New Hampshire, you definitely want to explore the more popular places, because in this small state, even those popular things are still unique and on the quiet side. Check out The Lost River Gorge, and take a train ride the Conway Railroad.
The Basin in Franconia Notch State Park – Lincoln
The Basin, a 30-foot-wide, 15-foot-deep bowl hewn from a torrent of rushing water pouring down the face of a granite cliffs, is a geological masterpiece. Dating back to the Ice Age . Parking is accessible in both directions via exit 34A off I-93. A gentle, paved hike leads from the parking lot to The Basin itself. Dog friendly.There are 2 viewing areas. One is handicap accessible. The walk to the basin is less than 10 minutes and there is a parking area. Don’t miss the amazing Baby Flume waterfall as well. These are natural waterfalls created by the rushing waters of the Pemigewasset
Sculptured Rocks – Hebron
This narrow canyon has been carved by the river over thousands of years into spectacular and strange formations. A short walk from a back road near Newfound Lakenthe wonders of the Sculptured Rocks geological site are not obviously apparent. However, once standing next to the little canyon or atop the short bridge across, you can see the incredible shapes the river has carved in the rocks. After crossing the bridge, there are many trails to explore. Leave plenty of time as it’s definitely hard to stop taking pictures! There’s a sign next to the road and plenty of parking. On the way, there is one of the most beautiful lakes in New Hampshire, Newfound Lake. Make sure to save some time to visit this too!
Ruggles Mine, Grafton
(2020 update! I was told this place had closed so I did some research. It has been closed for a little bit, but in September of 2019 it was bought by new owners who are working to re-open this amazing place! So please check out the information before heading here). This place is just not something you can even describe. You have to see it! I see there are some great YouTube videos out there that people have done, so if you find this fascinating, make sure you watch some of those videos. At Ruggles Mine you could quite literally find a hidden gem, since the mine is full of over 150 types of minerals. Even if you don’t, you’ll enjoy the stunning scenery. During certain times the floor of the mine will gather water, and that makes it even more scenic.
America’s Stonehenge, Salem
This mysterious man-made site features walls, chambers and ceremonial sites that are over 4,000 years old! Some say that this is the oldest man-made construction in the U.S. I think the only downfall to this was the cost. If you’re a family going to see this, it’s not cheap. It was $12 per adults, children were $7.50 (under 5 were free). Really amazing history, but the cost seemed high to me!
Parkers Pancakes – Mason
No visit to NH would be complete without some pancakes and homemade syrup! Located in Mason, Parker’s serves up pumpkin pancakes and maple coffee. The family business also runs a Sugar House and the Corn Crib Gift Shop. It’s a perfect way to spend the afternoon.
Garmin Falls – Wilton
Super short walk of just 0.1 mile one-way to upper falls; 0.25 mile one-way to the base of the main falls. If you’ve read any of my blogs before, you know that waterfalls are my happy place. I’ve said it before, they are the place where I feel the most at peace with everything around me. It’s where I feel centered, and clear minded. This is a beautiful short, easy walk and well worth the few minutes to get to the falls. Take a lunch. Enjoy a whole afternoon here. It’s really one of the off the beaten path places you won’t regret.
(Sorry … no pictures of this place) Story Land is a theme park located in Glen, New Hampshire. In the few years prior to opening, the founders, Bob and Ruth Morrell, had purchased a large number of dolls from Germany based on storybook characters. Unfortunately I have had the fear of dolls passed up to me. Yes, UP! Our youngest daughter has a huge fear of dolls and so raising her made me look at them as a little more creepy than I had before having her, and therefore, I just don’t put myself in places where there are dolls. BUT with that being said, its super fun for kids, AND you get to stay in your RV in the parking lot FREE for a night or two.
- Story Land Parking Lot (see above)
- Rochester Park & Ride – These seem to be a “thing” in NH. And at most you can spend the night at. Sadly, NH doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of disbursed camping, but these park and rides are actually pretty ok! This is big rig friendly, and GPS: 43.292794, -71.000173.
- Walmart – any of them.
We’d love to hear your off the beaten path places in New Hampshire. Please share so we can all enjoy too! If you haven’t seen some of our previous blog posts in this series, here are just a few below.