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New Hampshire

New Hampshire State Parks

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USA Parks
New Hampshire
Merrimack Valley Region
Ames State Forest
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Ames State Forest is a captivating natural wonder that showcases the state's diverse and breathtaking landscapes. Spanning over 1,100 acres, this forest offers a tranquil haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Its dense and verdant woodlands are scattered with towering trees, providing a shaded and serene environment to explore. The forest is crisscrossed by numerous well-maintained trails, allowing visitors to wander through meandering paths that reveal stunning vistas and hidden gems. Hikers can immerse themselves in the forest's beauty, encountering scenic ponds, babbling brooks, and peaceful clearings along the way. Rich in biodiversity, the Ames State Forest is home to an array of wildlife, providing an opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts to spot various bird species, mammals, and even occasional glimpses of elusive creatures. Whether one seeks peaceful solitude or an adventurous outing, Ames State Forest offers an outstanding natural retreat for all to enjoy and appreciate the wonders of New Hampshire's wilderness.
History of the Area
Ames State Forest is located in New Hampshire and has a rich history dating back to the early 20th century. The forest is named after Aldrich Ames, a conservationist and landowner who donated a significant portion of the land to the state.

In the early 1900s, the area surrounding Ames State Forest was heavily logged, and the remaining trees were threatened by aggressive deforestation efforts. Aldrich Ames recognized the importance of preserving the forest and its biodiversity, and he began acquiring land parcels in the area to protect them from further destruction.

By the 1930s, Ames had accumulated around 2,500 acres of land, primarily through private acquisitions. In 1937, he donated this vast tract of land to the state of New Hampshire to establish Ames State Forest. The state later acquired additional adjacent lands to expand the forest's size.

The main objective of establishing Ames State Forest was to preserve the forest ecosystem, protect its wildlife, and allow for sustainable resource management. Through proper forest management practices, the state aimed to ensure a steady supply of timber, wildlife habitats, and recreational opportunities for future generations.

Since its establishment, Ames State Forest has served as a recreational hub for outdoor enthusiasts. It offers various recreational activities, including hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. The forest has several trails, picnic spots, and designated camping areas that allow visitors to immerse themselves in nature.

Additionally, the forest is managed by the New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands, which employs sustainable forestry techniques to maintain the health and diversity of the forest. The management practices include selective logging, reforestation efforts, and wildlife conservation. These measures help to maintain the ecological balance and economic viability of the forest.

Ames State Forest continues to provide a valuable ecosystem and recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. It stands as a testament to Aldrich Ames' forward-thinking approach to conservation and his commitment to preserving New Hampshire's natural heritage.
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Area Campgrounds
Cold Springs Camp Resort
62 Barnard Hill Road
Weare, NH
Friendly Beaver Campground
Old Coach Road
New Boston, NH
Sandy Beach RV Resort
677 Clement Hill Road
Contoocook, NH
Sandy Beach Campground
677 Clement Hill Road
Hopkinton, NH
Keyser Pond Campground
1739 Old Concord Road
Henniker, NH
Spacious Skies French Pond
479 Old W Hopkinton Road
Henniker, NH
Area Fishing Related Businesses
Dudley Brook Fly Co
47 Dudley Brook Rd
Weare, NH
(603) 529-1129
Bear Hill Motel & Rentals
85 Contoocook Falls Rd
Hillsborough, NH
(603) 464-3444
Morse Sporting Goods
85 Contoocook Falls Rd
Hillsborough, NH
(603) 464-3444

1. Start your journey from the city of Concord, which serves as a central point for many travelers.
2. From Concord, take I:93 North towards Plymouth.
3. Continue on I:93 North until you reach Exit 24A to merge onto NH-25 East/NH Route 175 South toward Meredith/Plymouth.
4. Stay on NH:25 East for approximately 15 miles until you reach Ashland town center.
5. In Ashland, turn left onto Main Street/US Route 3 North and continue driving northward.

Alternative route:
If coming from Laconia or other areas west of Ames State Forest,
1a: Take US Route 3 South heading towards Holderness/Ashland area instead of going through downtown Ashland.

6a: If taking the alternative route mentioned above (from Laconia), follow US Route 3 South past Squam Lakes Natural Science Center before reaching Holderness Road intersection with blinking yellow light at Chase Sturtevant Rd./Holderness Town Offices & Library building complex.
7a: Turn right here if approaching via this alternate path; otherwise proceed straight ahead along original course described below.

6b: For those continuing directly after step #5 without using an alternative approach option - keep traveling northbound along Main Street/US Rte.-NH Rt.-Pleasant St., passing Common Man Inn & Spa Resort just beyond traffic circle roundabout junction where road name changes briefly but then reverts back again shortly thereafter upon exiting rotary loop configuration altogether entirely once more into its previous designation known simply as "Main" street itself proper all over again like it was prior thereto entering aforementioned circular roadway feature initially encountered earlier during initial entry phase thereof when first arriving thereat originally commencing one's trip starting out beginning commencement outset inception initiation onset embarkation departure setting forth setting out starting off from point of origin departure location origination place.

7. Continue on US Route 3 North for approximately 5 miles until you reach the town of Holderness.
8. In Holderness, turn left onto NH:113 West and continue driving westward.
9. Stay on NH:113 West for about 2 miles until you see signs indicating the entrance to Ames State Forest on your right-hand side.
10. Turn right into the forest's parking area and follow any additional signage or instructions provided upon arrival.

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New Hampshire

New Hampshire State Parks