Pawtuckaway South Mountain

19 04 2008

NH - Deerfield - Pawtuckaway South Mountain

  • Location: Pawtuckaway State Park, Deerfield, NH
  • Owner: New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation 
  • Highlights: A moderate climb up one of the three peaks in this park; panoramic views available from thesummit fire tower or nearby ledges which include distant mountains, the other two peaks in Pawtuckaway and surrounding towns
  • Directions (from Boston): 67 miles, 1 hour 22 minutes
  • Once on Reservation Road, turn right at a fork (just after Longview Road), following Reservation Road for 1.1 mi.  (There is a small, brown sign for a fire tower at the fork.)  NOTE: Reservation Road becomes dirt before the turn.   At this point, you are in the reservation.  Follow Reservation Road to the second dirt road turnoff and park at that intersection.  NOTE: Either of the turnoffs enter onto a loop that will take you to trailheads for Middle and North mountains as well as a closer trailhead for South Mountain.
  • The Trail: 1.9 miles
    1. From the parking area head past a gate (which may be closed or open) following the dirt road. 
    2. After a very short distance, turn right onto the trail.
    3. After following the trail for a little bit, you will encounter a split.  Although the trail leading left is marked with a sign for the fire tower, the righthand trail will also work (it’s a little steeper and has more rock to navigate around.)
    4. I stayed on the left trail following it by a marsh, keeping the mountain ridge to the right. 
    5. After climbing uphill a bit, the trail enters out into a parking area (this is accessable from the loop roads mentioned in the directions section).  From the parking area, follow a trail to the right.
    6. This trail climbs somewhat steeply until it emerges at a clearing containing the fire tower.  Off to the right is a ledge with an open view although from the fire tower base, the view is slightly masked by trees.  Hikers can climb the fire tower for a 360 degree view, although there are also excellent vistas from ledge surrounding the summit for the faint of heart. 
    7. Comming down Pawtuckaway South, I decided to follow the ridge trail which exits from the opposite side of the fire tower from which you arrived. 
    8. This trail gradually winds its way through rocky sections, progessivly droping back down the mountain.
    9. After descending, it meets up with another trail (by a marker 5).  Do not turn on this trail.   
    10. A short while later, it joins the initial trail at the split described in step 2. 
    11. From here it is a short walk back to the dirt road which leads to the parking area. 


  • Here is a link to a map showing some of the roads and trails around the Pawtuckaway mountains, from user NoRain
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