Pillsbury State Park


Believe it or not, I’ve never been camping before. I’ve lived in New Hampshire my entire life and the closest I’ve ever been to camping was 6th grade environmental camp up in Freedom, NH at Camp Cody.

When I got furloughed, I decided that this was going to be my summer to go camping finally. My gracious sister invited me to go with her and her family to Pillsbury State Park up in Washington, NH. The specific campsite we had, was recommended to her by a friend so we had high expectations. I’d say they were met!

Pond view from our campsite!

Our site was number 28 if you’re looking to have a similar experience to us. It was right next to the babbling brook that flowed from the small pond to the big pond. We were adjacent to a little beach on the smaller pond. Perfect spot for lawn games and just general relaxing!

The first day was spent getting things unpacked and set up. Even though the trip was only 2 nights, we wanted to be sure things were in their proper place. After a good dinner of burgers and cheesy potatoes, we crawled into our tents to sleep. I could NOT sleep. First night sleeping in a tent and every little noise had me wide awake.

The next morning, we ate breakfast then decided to go canoeing/kayaking. As we were getting ready to leave, one of the staff members came over to let us know there was a wood delivery truck that was going to be blocking our parking spot so if we needed to leave, now was the time to do it. We told him we were going to rent kayaks and he politely informed us they were not renting kayaks or canoes due to the pandemic. Luckily, we brought a canoe. So we decided to canoe in shifts.

While my brother-in-law and nephew canoed, my sister and I took “The Narrows” trail. Yeah, it was pretty narrow. However, it was so beautiful. It took you right along the pond and had plenty of opportunities for expansive views of the pond.

Finally we got to canoe. It was a perfect day for canoeing! There are two “halves” of the pond separated by rocks but can easily be maneuvered through in a canoe or kayak. We were out on the water for about an hour.

We returned to the campsite for lunch then geared up to head over to Lake Sunapee. A reservation in Pillsbury State Park also gets you a reservation at Lake Sunapee! We were there at like 3pm and it wasn’t terribly crowded. The water was a comfortable temperature, too.

That night, I was just drifting off to sleep when I felt something wet on my face. My instincts kicked in, I immediately sat up and yelled “RAIN!”. So we all got up and put the rain tarp on the tent. Of course the second we were done with that, it stopped raining.

The next morning, I had to be back in the land of internet for a professional development workshop so I was out by 7am or so.

Overall: I would definitely go back here. We scoped out some other camp sites that looked nice so I’d definitely want to try those out. I’d love to kayak there as well. Canoeing is a lot of work! Also the lady in the park store isn’t super helpful (or the one we interacted with) so make sure you kind of know some things before you go. It’s dog friendly, kid friendly, and an all around good time!

Happy camping!

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