Odiorne Point State Park
Odiorne Point is open daily year-round. Picnickers can enjoy sweeping views of the ocean and rocky shore, and explorers can uncover evidence of past military occupation. An extensive network of trails wind through the dense vegetation and traverse the park. The Seacoast Science Center which is located in the park has exhibits relating to the natural and human history of Odiorne and the seacoast area.
Other activities in the park include boating, fishing, hiking, biking, nature walks, and cross country skiing. Amenities offered include picnic tables, a boat launch, restrooms, a paved bicycle path, interpretive displays, and educational programs.
Location: Route 1A, Rye
Activities: Picnicking, boating, fishing, hiking, biking, nature walk, cross country skiing
Amenities: Picnic tables, boat launch, restrooms, paved bicycle path, interpretive displays, education programs
Operation Schedule: Year-round
Acreage: 331.5 acres
Waterfront: Atlantic Ocean & Little Harbor
In the dense growth of shrubs and vines covering much of the park's 330 acres, remnants of Odiorne's past silently remain ... reminders of other eras and stark contrasts ... idyllic summer estates and gaunt reminders of coastal fortifications. In terms of man and his settlement of this coastal land, Odiorne Point remained a true wilderness until almost 400 years ago. During summer migrations, Native Americans of Pennacook and Abnaki tribes visited the area which they called Pannaway. Permanent settlement began in the 1600s.
In 1623 an agent of England's Council for New England came to fish and trade in the New World. David Thomson journeyed to New England on the ship Jonathan to establish the first New Hampshire settlement at what would become Odiorne Point. Many others followed, and the original settlement grew and spread along the coast and up the river.
John Odiorne joined the settlement in 1660. He acquired several acres of land from the shoreline west into the marshes beyond. Like the others, he farmed and fished. The Odiornes remained on the property for several generations, always a part of the continuing changes in the Odiorne Point community.
By the 1700s the settlement was well established, but the governing and trading activities had moved north into the deep harbor area of Strawbery Banke (now Portsmouth). The farms of Odiorne Point helped to feed the burgeoning port of Portsmouth for about 150 years.
After the Civil War, farming gradually gave way to a colony of hotels and large summer homes. Generations of families spent their summers by the sea. In this era of large seaside resorts, a grand hotel called the Sagamore House was built on the property. Over the years, smaller parcels of land were sold for summer homes and estates. Formal gardens and tree-lined drives ornamented the properties. By the late 1930s, 17 families lived on Odiorne Point, including an eighth generation descendent of John Odiorne and the last of the Odiornes to live on the ancestral homestead.World War II brought drastic changes to the landscape and to the lives of these people who loved their land by the sea. In 1942, the federal government purchased all the property from Little Harbor to the Sunken Forest, as well as the adjacent marshland. Within a month the Odiornes and their neighbors were gone.
Military structures were quickly built to house personnel, armaments and supplies. Massive concrete casements, often called bunkers, were constructed and camouflaged with thick vegetation. Because of their open aspect to the sea, many of the estates were demolished, and Route 1A was closed. Odiorne Point became known as Fort Dearborn, and for nearly 20 years, was part of the chain of coastal defenses that protected Portsmouth Harbor and the Naval Shipyard. In the late 1950s, Fort Dearborn was declared surplus property. It was sold to the State of N.H. for $91,000 in 1961.
New Hampshire State Parks
Located near the banks of the Androscoggin River, Nansen Wayside Park is a popular place for picnicking, fishing, and boating.READER COMMENTS: 0
Umbagog Lake State Park is one of the newly acquired parks in the state system. The Division began managing the park in 1998. The...READER COMMENTS: 0
Coleman State Park lies on the shore of Little Diamond Pond in Stewartstown, twelve miles east of Colebrook in New Hampshire's...READER COMMENTS: 0
Beaver Brook Falls Wayside is 7.3 acres in size and is a popular place for hiking. The Park has a scenic picnic area with picnic...READER COMMENTS: 0
On a bluff overlooking scenic Androscoggin River. The park lies within the Thirteen Mile Woods.READER COMMENTS: 0
Winslow State Park is located on the northwest slope of Mt. Kearsarge in Wilmot, New Hampshire. The picnic area is on an...READER COMMENTS: 0
Sculptured Rocks Natural Area is a unique example of nature's powerful yet delicate artistry. The Cockermouth River carved a...READER COMMENTS: 0
Located in the town of Warner, Rollins State Park is situated on the south slope of Mt. Kearsarge.READER COMMENTS: 0
Heavily wooded and sprinkled with several ponds and wetlands, Pillsbury State Park is one of the more primitive and lesser known...READER COMMENTS: 0
This major recreation area in the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region offers year-round activities. In the winter, alpine skiing is...READER COMMENTS: 0
Gardner Memorial Wayside Park is part of Gile State Forest, which spans 6,675 acres. The Wayside includes a memorial to Walter C.READER COMMENTS: 0
Located in the heart of the popular White Mountain National Forest. Franconia Notch is a spectacular mountain pass traversed by a...READER COMMENTS: 0
Wallis Sands is a wonderful family beach! It's not too large and is bordered on both sides by a barrier of rocks. It has a waist...READER COMMENTS: 0
Ocean swimming, metered parking, parking along highway, lifeguards, restrooms. Great family beach with an oceanfront setting.READER COMMENTS: 0
North Beach is a great family location with an Atlantic ocean-front setting - its sandy beach is ideal for swimming and...READER COMMENTS: 0
Jenness State Beach is a fun-filled swimming and sunbathing destination. The guarded beachfront offers a wonderful opportunity...READER COMMENTS: 0
Hampton Beach State Park provides year-round recreation, with Atlantic ocean-front facilities situated along miles of sandy...READER COMMENTS: 0
Small park located on the shore of scenic Lake Wentworth. Swimming, fishing, picnicking, bathhouse. Site of summer estate of...READER COMMENTS: 0
Located on the shore of Newfound Lake in Bristol, 204-acre Wellington State Park boasts the largest freshwater swimming beach in...READER COMMENTS: 0
Ellacoya State Park is located in Gilford on the southwest shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire's largest lake. The...READER COMMENTS: 0
Wadleigh State Park offers swimming on beautiful Kezar Lake. Tall pine trees shade the picnic sites located adjacent to the...READER COMMENTS: 0
Mount Washington State Park, a 59-acre parcel perched on the summit of the Northeast's highest peak, is surrounded by the...READER COMMENTS: 0
Located in the White Mountains Region, just north of the Presidential Range, Moose Brook State Park is in an area of unparalleled...READER COMMENTS: 0
This 48-acre undeveloped park is easy to get to on Route 25C in Piermont. Lake Tarleton, at 315 acres, offers an unguarded...READER COMMENTS: 0
Forest Lake State Park, one of the ten original state parks, was created in 1935. The park spans 397 acres and its 200-foot...READER COMMENTS: 0
This seven-acre memorial park, established in 1979 as a gift from the Bretton Woods Corporation, honors the late President Dwight...READER COMMENTS: 0
Located just two miles from the shopping mecca of North Conway, Echo Lake is a great place to take the family for a swim and...READER COMMENTS: 0
6 miles of unspoiled rugged natural beauty in scenic mountain pass. Ideal for hiking, fishing and photography. Crossed by trails,...READER COMMENTS: 0
Bedell Bridge State Park, located along the Connecticut River, is 38 acres in size and a great place for picnicking, fishing, or...READER COMMENTS: 0
Rye Harbor State Park affords scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Rye Harbor, also called Ragged Neck. Favorite activities...READER COMMENTS: 0
Odiorne Point is open daily year-round. Picnickers can enjoy sweeping views of the ocean and rocky shore, and explorers can...READER COMMENTS: 0
Kingston State Park is only 14 miles from the New Hampshire seacoast and is close to many attractions such as Canobie Lake Park,...READER COMMENTS: 0
Rhododendron State Park is named after the 16-acre grove of Rhododendron Maximum, which is the focal point of the park. A 0.6...READER COMMENTS: 0
Pisgah State Park includes over 13,500 acres of rough forested terrain, encompassing a complete watershed north of the Ashuelot...READER COMMENTS: 0
With its 5,000 acres of protected highlands, 3,165-ft. Mt. Monadnock was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1987. There...READER COMMENTS: 0
Located on the 2,290-foot summit and flank of Pack Monadnock in Peterborough, Miller is the oldest state park in New Hampshire. A...READER COMMENTS: 0
Tucked away in this 400-acre park in the southwest corner of the Granite State are ponds, bogs and a forest that extends to the...READER COMMENTS: 0
Chesterfield Gorge Natural Area spans 13 acres. It offers great opportunities for hiking, as you explore the footpaths along the...READER COMMENTS: 0
Near the Cathedral of the Pines National Shrine. Located in Annett State Forest.READER COMMENTS: 0
Silver Lake State Park spans 80 acres and its sandy 1,000-foot beach curves along 34-acre Silver Lake. Popular activities in the...READER COMMENTS: 0
Pawtuckaway State Park offers a variety of landscapes, with something to do and see for everyone. There are many opportunities...READER COMMENTS: 0
This wooded park with pond and wetlands is excellent for nature walks. Universally accessible trails and fishing.READER COMMENTS: 0
Located about five miles east of the town of Weare, Clough State Park is located on the shore of Everett Lake, a 150-acre lake...READER COMMENTS: 0
Bear Brook, with nearly 10,000 acres, is the largest developed state park in New Hampshire. Located in the southeast region of...READER COMMENTS: 0
Some of the best swimming in the White Mountain region can be found in 140-acre White Lake State Park in Tamworth.READER COMMENTS: 0
Madison Boulder is the largest known erratic in New England, and among the largest in the world. Madison Boulder is a huge...READER COMMENTS: 0
Cardigan State Park spans 5,655 acres and is an excellent area for hiking. A mountain road leads to trails on the west slope of...READER COMMENTS: 0
Ahern State Park spans 128 acres, with 3,500 feet of shoreline on Lake Winnisquam. Activites in the park include fishing,...READER COMMENTS: 0
Mollidgewock State Park lies along the shore of the Androscoggin River within Thirteen Mile Woods Scenic Area, approximately 28...READER COMMENTS: 0
Milan Hill State Park Campground is located near popular areas for fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and wildlife viewing. From this...
Experts weigh in on UNH logo designs
Texting + driving = deadly consequences
UPDATED: Derry marks a soldier's death
Memorial Day Observances 2013
NH tobacco cash proves a windfall
UPDATED: Derry marks a soldier's death
Congo war's legacy follows survivor to NH
Experts weigh in on UNH logo designs