Parks

A Walk In The Park

From Newburyport through the New Hampshire Seacoast there are no shortages of parks and special places to visit. Here is a few of those options:

* Four Tree Island in Portsmouth: Variously called Three Tree Island or Five Tree Island. The park features great views of the Memorial Bridge, Piscataqua River, Portsmouth Fish Pier, and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Open from dawn to dusk, the island includes a dozen large BBQ area, picnic tables and a grassy play, and public restrooms.

* Great Island Commons in New Castle: One of my favorite spots, Great Island Commons is comprised of 32 acres of seaside greenspace and beach.  Open 365 days a year from 9am to 9pm and it's a great spot for a car picnic on those chilly days or between meetings.. 

* Odiorne State Park in Rye: Odiorne Point, identified by historians as the site where the first European settler, David Thomson, landed in 1623, today is 330-acre state park. The park offers extensive trails, dense vegetation, excellent views of the Atlantic, the remains of military fortifications, the Seacoast Science Center 

* Peirce Island in Portsmouth: Most recently walking trails have been added that connect five waterfront overlooks, making Peirce Island one of the most scenic and accessible parks in the city.The City of Portsmouth operates a boat launch on the side of the island nearest the South End. 

* Prescott Park in Porstmouth: Located at the edge of the Piscataqua River and across from StrawberyBankeMuseum  Prescott Park was donated to the City of Portsmouth around the turn of the century by two sisters, Josie and Sarah Prescott. The popular waterfront park features extensive flower gardens, including large demonstration beds. 

The park also is the site of one of New England’s most popular outdoor summer events, the PrescottParkArtsFestival  which during July and part of August presents a musical and dozens of performances by musicians and theater groups. Since 1974 the festival has drawn more than millions visitors.

* Seacoast Science Center in Rye: Located within Odiorne Point State Park, we provide educational experiences on behalf of New Hampshire State Parks and have been connecting people to the wonders of our coast since 1992. Our live animal exhibits feature the amazing creatures that live in the rapidly changing Gulf of Maine ecosystem. Our engaging programs make learning about the ocean fun for everyone, from pre-K to senior rediscovery. Our hands-on science exhibits, from undersea exploration to marine debris, motivate families to become caretakers of our blue planet.

* Stratham Hill Park: Home to the annual Stratham Fair. This park offers year round hiking trails, perfect for walking, running, biking, and dog walking. There's plenty of parking, with picnic areas, ball fields and a play area for kids. What sets this apart is a multi story steel fire tower affording you with 360 degree views, including Great Bay and beyond. 

* Maudslay Park in Newburyport: For those in MA or looking to head south to Newburyport, Maudslay Park is beautiful spot on the Merrimack River, this park features 19th century gardens and plantings, rolling meadows, towering pines, and one of the largest naturally-occurring stands of mountain laurel in Massachusetts. Most breathtaking are the ornamental trees and masses of azaleas and rhododendrons that bloom in May and June. A wonderful place for walking, biking, horseback riding. or just sitting in the grass.