Odiorne Point State Park Trail

Portsmouth, New Hampshire 3803

Odiorne Point State Park Trail

Odiorne Point State Park Trail Professional Review and Guide

"Odiorne Point State Park in Rye, between Portsmouth and Rye Beach on New Hampshire’s sliver of coastline, is a perfect place to be after fresh snow falls on the southern seacoast. Get there quickly, because the snow never lasts long along the shore!) A network of walking paths skirt the scenic shoreline, wind through upland forests and meadows, and twist around freshwater and saltwater marshes and a pond. This is a great snowshoe hike for families, with added bonuses; tidepooling at the park is fantastic, and the on-site Science Center (with special programs, exhibits, and touch tanks) is open year-round.

The pristine, 300-acre park was once the site of a well-to-do summer colony and resort hotel. Today, it is the largest undeveloped stretch of shore on New Hampshire’s 18-mile coast and home to a variety of habitats. Standing on the rocky shoreline, you’ll face the edge of the Gulf of Maine and the mouth of the Piscataqua River. The Gulf of Maine is a semi-enclosed sea bounded to the south and east by tall underwater banks of land that form a barrier to the North Atlantic. It is said to be one of the world’s most biologically productive environments, home to more than 300 animals and thousands of invertebrate and plant species."

More Odiorne Point State Park Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Ocean waves crashing on a pebble beach,the salty smell of the sea, bell buoys and horns with the fog rolling in, and gulls keeping watch over foaming surf. Perhaps not the first images that come to mind when you think about hiking in New Hampshire, but Odiorne Point is just the ticket for a substantial change of pace.

Add to this a brand new science center, and you have a perfect day hike designed for the entire family. Special attractions: Ocean frontage, tide pools, fresh and salt water marshes, and a science center especially for children."

"Odiorne Point State Park’s 135 acres include 2 miles of seashore, the largest undeveloped coastal tract in New Hampshire. Extending from Odiorne Point to the Witch Creek salt marsh, the park is an ironic blend of serene, natural beach, once called Pannaway by Native Americans, and concrete casements from the long abandoned World War II coastal defense installation of Fort Dearborn.

You’ll want to visit at low tide so that the kids can explore Odiorne Point’s tide pools and the beach’s wrack line, the ribbon of shells, seaweed, driftwood, and smooth stones left by the retreating sea. Check the Seacoast Science Center’s website for tide information. Wear sneakers or rubber-soled shoes, and bring a camera and a picnic lunch to spread out on one of the seaside picnic tables."

"A history-laden walk through seven habitats alongside the picturesque Gulf of Maine. The Seacoast Science Center building is an updated extension of the original stone 1923 Sugen House. During World War II the house served as officers’ quarters; in the 1960s it became the park manager’s residence. The complex you see today has several exhibit halls. Sugen Galleries describe 350 years of Odiorne people and life.

American Indians called this land Panaway— where the water spreads out. In addition to exhibits on salt marshes and meadows are a number of display tanks. Children can crawl beneath one tank for a different perspective, peer into a 1,000-gallon tank with important marine animals of the Gulf of Maine, or delight in the tide pool tank. Special Features: Seacoast Science Center exhibits and indoor tide pool, picturesque Portsmouth-area shoreline, and World War II bunkers."

"For a relaxed time alone, with a mate, or with youngsters on single-speed bikes, the smooth, flat terrain offers plenty of enjoyment. The day won't be spent entirely on the bicycle either, as there is a park museum and science center, picnic area, fields, and a playground. Trail Surface: Singletrack, doubletrack, woodland paths, and paved recreation path"

"A history-laden walk through seven habitats along the picturesque Gulf of Maine. This is one of our favorite coastal walks. Once, Odiorne Point was covered by dense ancient cedar forests that extended ten miles straight out to the Isles of Shoals, until the last Ice Age dramatically transformed the landscape. As the ice retreated north it left a jumbled beach scape of sedimentary glacial quartz sandstone, shale, and lime rock, scraped off from the land to the north and deposited here.

The Odiorne Point Trail starts behind the visitor center on the ocean side, entering two of the park’s seven different habitats—the Gulf of Maine ocean and rocky shore intertidal areas. Walk through a tight canopy of sumac along the shoreline. Through the foliage you’ll glimpse herring gulls and perhaps a cormorant spreading its large dark wings to dry out as it perches on a barnacled ledge."

Odiorne Point State Park Trail Reviews

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9/5/2009
Definitely not a "hike" but a great walk with lots of things to see for the kids. To the north, at the end of the walk, there are some really nice (and quiet) beaches.
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5/29/2006
Suited to family picknicks and walking, this ride is just as advertised: flat, short, and a bit scenic. It was just the place to drag my wife and trailer-bound daughter as was proven when we ran into 3 other child-trailers at the breakwater.
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Odiorne Point State Park Trail Photos

Trail Information

Portsmouth
Nearby City
3.25
Distance
Minimal
Elevation Gain
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Easy
Skill Level
2 hours
Duration
Winter
Season
Odiorne Point State Park
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Oct 2018