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Pawtuckaway State Park

Merrimack / Seacoast Region

Directions & Trail Description

Location: East of Concord near Nottingham, NH

Length/Configuration: The Park's 5,500 acres offers a variety of loop trails, out and back rides, or combinations of both.

Terrain/Surface: Varied terrain from technical, rocky, singletrack with tough ascents and descents to moderately flat four wheel drive dirt roads and fire roads.

Technical Difficulty: There are trails here for all skill levels. Beginner to Advanced.

Elevation change: 908 feet to the summit of South Mountain.

Trail Use: mountain biking, hiking, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing.

Caution: Bring insect repellent. Buggy due to wetlands. Most of these trails are closed during mud season in early spring. These are multi-use trails. It is your responsibility to ride safely and considerately.




Local Resources: Bike shops, bike clubs, adventure travel, bike tours, bike events, trail maps, bike safety, camping, historical places, where to stay and other related sources visit our Resource Hub.

Pawtuckaway Trail Map

Note: The free trail maps on this website have been simplified to provide an overview with approximate locations of trails and special features. Read Full Disclaimer.


Route I-93 & I-95 are the gateway highways to New Hampshire.
From I-93:Take Route 101 east to Exit 5 and follow signs to Pawtuckaway State Park.
From I-95: Take Route 101 west to Exit 5. From Exit 5 take 156 North approximately 1.5 miles. Turn left onto Mountain Road. The entrance to the Park is about 1 mile ahead on the left.


General Description:

Pawtuckaway State Park is a popular New Hampshire mountain biking destination for local mountain bikers. A multi-use trail system takes you through varied landscapes, including marshlands, woodlands and even a glacially formed boulder field.

For a post ride swim head for the beach on beautiful Pawtuckaway Lake. Facilities include a bathhouse, restrooms,  picnic area, canoe rentals and campstore. Upon entering the water, the soft sand underfoot is welcome relief. Bugs could be annoying here, so bring the insect repellent.

Special points of interest include a mountaintop fire tower; an extensive marsh where beavers, deer, and great blue herons may be seen. A lucky visitor may even catch a glimpse of a deer or moose. The park features a geologically unique field where large boulders called glacial erratics were deposited when glacial ice melted near the end of the Ice Age.

The Trails:

Trails wind through marshland abundant with wildlife and an oak and hemlock forest on what used to be pasture land bounded by stone walls. There is also a Boulder Field with some rocks as tall as thirty feet.

There are trails for mountain bikers of all ability levels on scenic rolling trails and fire roads. It can get extremely rocky in spots. If you are feeling strong enough for the climb up to the 908- foot summit of South Mountain you won't be disappointed with the breathtaking, panoramic view from the fire tower. Cool off after a strenuous climb with a picnic or swim at Lake Pawtuckaway.

It can get very buggy. Bring the insect reppellent so the blood suckers will leave you alone. Some trails may be closed to bikes during summer weekends. Inquire at the Park Information Center.


Mountain Trails:
Shaw Mountain and Devils Den offer some very technical and physically challenging climbs and drops.

Fundy Trail:
Fire road. Nice lake view. Suitable for those who are looking for a nice easy mountain bike ride.

Woronoco Trail: Travels for 2.5 miles in a large half circle through a maze of woods and wetlands. Rough singletrack with many small bridges, boardwalks and raised platforms.


Suggested Loop:

This is for advanced riders in good physical shape. From parking lot turn left on Route 3, left onto the Fundy Trail, left again onto Shaw and again on Mountain Trail back to the where you started.


Note: Trails closed to mountain biking are signed with a "No Bikes" symbol. Most the trails close for "mud season" in the Spring. For more information call the NH Bureau Of Trails (Phone number listed below)


Other Activities: bouldering, swimming, hiking, mountain biking, snowmobiling, cross country skiing.

In the winter, the park's trails offer a variety of terrain for winter sports and the opportunity to observe the winter wildlife near Burnham's Marsh.



For More Information:

Pawtuckaway State Park:
128 Mountain Road
Nottingham, New Hampshire 03290

Phone: (603) 895-3031
Website: Pawtuckaway State Park


DRED - Division of Parks and Recreation:
Bureau Of Trails
PO Box 1856
172 Pembroke Rd
Concord, NH 03302

Phone: 603-271-3254
TTY Users: 711 (AT&T National Relay Services)


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