Best Free Camping in New Hampshire

Free Camping in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is a small New England state nestled between Vermont and Maine that is sometimes overlooked, but campers who have discovered its beauty frequently trek back for more.

Pitching your tent or parking your RV in the National Forest is a popular option, as approximately 85% of New Hampshire is covered by forests.

Many east-coast residents find themselves planning a camping trip to New Hampshire, as it is only a 1 ½  hour drive from Portland, Maine (on the coast) or a 5 ½ hour scenic drive from New York City, New York.

Where can I camp for free in New Hampshire?

Are you looking for the best free camping in NH? Here are several options for you to try, whether you are camping in a tent or looking for camping areas where you can boondock in your RV.

White Mountain National Forest

Dispersed camping (undeveloped camping, without amenities) is an option in some areas in New Hampshire, including the White Mountain National Forest and some areas along the Appalachian Trail. Over 160 miles of the trail passes through New Hampshire.

White Mountain National Forest is one of only two New England National Forests (the other is Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont). This area allows for dispersed camping in established sites 200 feet away from water sources, trails, and developed campgrounds.

A popular area of the forest is the Pemigewasset Wilderness section, which has approximately 60 miles of maintained hiking trails.

Parking Lots

Occasionally, travelers will opt to stay overnight in a parking lot. If you opt for this route, be sure to get permission from management or security before setting up for the evening.

Wherever you decide to stay, make sure to practice the Leave No Trace principles by picking up all trash and leaving the area in excellent shape for the next camper to enjoy.

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Recent New Hampshire Free Campsite Reviews

Bethlehem, NH

Gale River Campground

Sep 13, 2022


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This is a beautiful place- but I cannot give it a FULL 5 stars like I originally was going to. I was staying here on my trip through New Hampshire, and was invested in staying the full 2 weeks. I asked the ranger, and he said to “show that you are still occupying the lot, leave your camp gear up, that way no one will come and take your lot”. I...
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1 review
Bethlehem, NH

Haystack Road

May 04, 2022

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Still closed for the winter (by gate) as of 4/30/2022.

1 review
Bethlehem, NH

Gale River Campground

Nov 02, 2021

"Not for bigger RVs"

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We did not stay here. We had planned to stay but there were very few spots that would accommodate our 38 foot Class A. We also discovered that after the first few spots, there is very little room to turn around. We were able to get turned around after a 12 point turn at the end of the road. We did encounter a very belligerent local that...
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Rebooting Us
5 reviews
West Lebanon, NH


Oct 16, 2021

"Nice overnight location"

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Plenty of space and level enough. I called to make sure they allowed overnight parking and the lady was so nice. Said yes and to just park in the back of the parking lot. We arrived around 7 and there was 1 other camper there. Went inside to pick up a few things and came out to about 4-5 more rigs. The store closed at 9. There was some traffic...
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8 reviews
Bethlehem, NH

Haystack Road

Aug 24, 2021

"Nice Sites, Beautiful Area"

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Great area with 6-8 camping sites all spread out - lots of privacy. Some sites you can drive onto and some have rocks blocking off the site with parking next to the road. Was pretty busy, so it may be hard to get a spot. Signal was spotty - we have a WeBoost and got 3 bars of Verizon LTE with it. Without the WeBoost, it was 1 bar or no bars. A...
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22 reviews