Located in the northern community of Gorham, NH, Moose Brook State Park is a wonderful spot to visit and spend a few days. Known for its camping and incredible biking, you can without a doubt have a wonderful time staying right within the park’s borders. However, its proximity to the White Mountains and amazing hiking is also equally as wonderful. In fact, we think this is one of the best places to stay in New Hampshire, since it allows you great things to do in the area within a short drive.
While Gorham, NH isn’t too far off the beaten path, it does take a bit of time here. However, once you are here you’ll find yourself off any major roads and away from any traffic noise, making it exactly what you are looking for in a state park-quiet and solitude while also having nearby amenities.
The park isn’t overly large, but there is still plenty to do. We hope this guide helps you plan out what things to do in Moose Brook State Park!
MOOSE BROOK STATE PARK HISTORY
Using federal relief funds, the land that eventually became Moose Brook State Park was purchased in 1934. Only two years later, Moose Brook State Park opened to the public.
The federal government continued to help with the state park development. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) created rustic-architecture buildings, including the swimming area, campground, bathhouse and the office. Along with Monadnock State Park and White Lake State Park, this was one of the three main campgrounds that were located in the state.
Today, thousands of visitors come to the 755-acre Moose Brook State Park. While there are many other state parks in the state to choose from, in our opinion, this remains one of the best!
You can read more about the history of Moose Brook State Park in the NH State Parks Mid-Century Modern Historic study, courtesy of NH State Parks.
ACTIVITIES IN MOOSE BROOK STATE PARK
Moose Brook State Park map, courtesy of New Hampshire State Parks and the Coos Cycling Club
While many state parks across the country have a main water feature around which the activities are centered, you won’t find such a body of water in Moose Brook State Park. However, there is a plethora of things to do here if you love to get outdoors, be it on a bike or on foot.
While visiting Moose Brook State Park, the activities that we recommend checking out include:
- Though not a large area, swimming in Moose Brook State Park is a popular activity. Where Moose Brook and Perkins Brook meet, a small swimming hole has been formed. It’s not going to be super warm water, but it’s clean and great to hang out in after a day of hiking or biking. There is a small sand beach and a nice grassy area as well. It’s located right behind the administration building along Berry Farm Road.
- If you are a fan of mountain biking, then Moose Brook State Park is a hidden gem. You can download a full trail map for Moose Brook State Park here. There are over 20 miles of groomed mountain biking trails that can keep you busy for the better part of a day, if not more. Trails range from easy and flat, to steep with roots and rocks to navigate around. Again, this is highly recommended, and well worth the entry fee alone!
THE BEST HIKES IN MOOSE BROOK STATE PARK
While the White Mountains of New Hampshire are known for amazing hikes, there are some good options right inside of Moose Brook State Park if you are looking for something a bit more tame and less time consuming. These are especially good if you are also going to spend the day biking and need to conserve a bit of energy!
Our recommendations for hiking include:
- The Perkins Path and Perimeter Path Loop is a moderate, 2.2-mile round-trip hike with about 200 feet of elevation gain. The trail gradually gains in elevation as it heads to the northwest on Perkins Path, before returning on the CCC Perimeter Path. The trailhead begins at the Moose Brook State Park Office.
- The Berry Farm Road and Perimeter Path Loop is a great option if you are looking for something that will take a few hours. This 4.0-mile hike has nearly 650 feet in elevation gain. Starting from the park office, this trail heads to the northeast for 1.1-miles before getting to a fork. You can take a left to stay on Berry Farm Road, which continues to climb steadily until the 2.2-mile point. Here it turns to the CCC Perimeter Path and returns to the fork. This hike doesn’t have amazing views, but it is a nice walk through the woods. The trail is mostly an old road or a bike path. The trailhead begins at the Moose Brook State Park Office.
While these hikes are a couple options that you can consider, there are numerous trails and junctions of other trails in the park. You can just head out with some, food, water and a map and you can end up hiking on trails for the better part of the day! You also want to be prepared with bug spray, as it can be buggy in the woods here!
WHAT IS THERE TO DO NEAR MOOSE BROOK STATE PARK?
While the activities in the park are mainly focused around the amazing biking and a few short hikes, there is a plethora of activities to do outside of the park that you really should check out, but they are mainly focused around the White Mountains. They include:
- White Mountain National Forest. The White Mountains of New Hampshire are renowned for their breathtaking, yet quite challenging hiking trails. Mount Washington, the tallest peak of New Hampshire, sits atop the Presidential Range. While you can drive up to Mount Washington on the auto road, you can also hike up over 200 different trails to the surrounding peaks. People spend their entire lives hiking “the Whites” and never running out of trails. Just be sure you are prepared, as the hiking is challenging, terrain is unforgiving and you can have some unpredictable weather.
- Just to the north of Moose Brook State Park is Jericho Mountain State Park. At more than 7,000 acres, it’s nearly 10 times the size of Moose Brook State Park. It has good hiking and camping opportunities, but is known for the ATV, OHV and snowmobiling trails.
HOW TO GET TO MOOSE BROOK STATE PARK AND OTHER TRAVEL INFORMATION
Moose Brook State Park is pretty far north in New Hampshire. While not hard to get to, it does take a bit of time. Plan on taking in some of the sights on the way up, though, as this area of the country is beautiful.
- Here are the directions from Boston to Moose Brook State Park. The drive will take nearly 3 hours. You can expect traffic all the way up to about Concord, NH, before it calms down.
- If you are coming from the east on backroads, here are directions from Portland, Maine to Moose Brook State Park. This will take about 2 hours and is on state highways. Though not fast traveling, you won’t see much in the way of traffic for the most part.
ENTRANCE FEES AND REQUIRED PASSES FOR MOOSE BROOK STATE PARK
To enter the park there is a nominal fee that they ask for at the front gate. You pay by the person, and the pass is good for the entire day. If camping, you do not need to pay a fee.
MOOSE BROOK STATE PARK CAMPING
Moose Brook State Park Camping map, courtesy of New Hampshire State Parks
Camping in Moose Brook State Park is great. There is only one campground and it fills up fast, but if you can get a spot you will love your time here.
- Accessible via: Vehicle
- Reservations: Offered in from mid-May to October) White Lake State Park Campground Reservations.
- Capacity: 56 sites.
- Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / No.
- Toilets / Showers: Flush toilets and showers.
- Additional details: Most of the sites in Moose Brook State Park are wooded and relatively large. Entry into the sites may require a bit of careful driving / backing in if your rig is large, but call ahead to the campground for details if you have questions. The facilities are not new, but everything is kept really clean.
BEST TIME TO VISIT MOOSE BROOK STATE PARK
Moose Brook State Park is great to visit during all times of the year, but there are definitely “seasons” for each activity. The fall is our favorite, with the amazing colors in both the park and the surrounding mountains, you will not have a problem getting great photos. The area is pretty dry in the summer and fall, making it great for biking too. If you are coming here for snowmobiling, then visiting in January and February is your best bet, to allow for the snow pack to settle in.
VISITING MOOSE BROOK STATE PARK IN THE WINTER
Moose Brook State Park is open for recreation all year, but the park is not staffed in between early November and mid-May. Be sure to take extra care when visiting the park, and plan on having equipment for self-rescue should you get in trouble.
ARE PETS ALLOWED IN MOOSE BROOK STATE PARK?
Pets are allowed in Moose Brook State Park on trails and in the campground. They are not allowed at the beach. Where they are allowed, they must be leashed.
RELATED INFORMATION ON NEW HAMPSHIRE FROM JUST GO TRAVEL STUDIOS
- In addition to this article, we have a number of other New Hampshire blogs that you will want to check out.
- Our “home” national park is just to the northeast, and you can check out our numerous blogs on Acadia National Park.
- After you return, check us out and we can turn one of your favorite photos (from anywhere in the world) into a custom, vintage travel poster, including customized wording!