Nature Trails at Odiorne Point – Rye, NH

For those of you on the North Shore looking for something different to do outside with the family, you may want to check out Odiorne Point State Park. Located in Rye, New Hampshire, this 330 acre state park has lots to offer.  Since we’ve moved north to Amesbury, Odiorne has become a regular spot for us to take the kids during the warmer weather.

By way of background, Odiorne Point is one of the first settlements by English colonists in New Hampshire following the arrival of the ship Jonathan in 1623.

The large property was owned by the Odiorne family for a number of generations, using the land for farming and seaside cottages until  the federal government purchased the property in 1942 to establish several military bunkers on site. Renamed Fort Dearborn, the property served as a coastal defense to protect Porstmouth Harbor and the Naval Shipyard. Finally, in 1961, the property was sold back to the State of New Hampshire.

This spot is great for a number of reasons. First, it’s right along the coast off of Route 1A and the trip up along the ocean is one of the best drives in New England.

Second, the park has a large number of nature/bike trails that wind in and out of the coastline, offering a great mix of scenery. Today, there were a large amount of people out on the beach, picnicking, and bike-riding.

The nature trails are particularly good for young kids because they are so flat and wide open with plenty of things to see and benches to stop for a snack. Today we saw lots of ducks and birds throughout the park.

Lastly, Odiorne is home to the Seacoast Science Center, a great little spot that has a marine life touch tank, a small, but decent aquarium, and Tofu, a young humpback whale skeleton that our boys enjoyed.

The museum is $5 per adult and $2 for kids between the ages of 3-8. It’s a nice little spot, but I’m not sure that it’s worth the admission for much more.

If you’re heading to Odiorne, be sure to grab a map beforehand so that you can take advantage of all the park has to offer. Every time we go to the park, we always end up somewhere different.

As I’ve said before, I suggest you make a day out of it by driving up along Route 1A past Hampton Beach to the park. We really enjoy driving north onto Newcastle (which also has a fantastic park) and then to Portsmouth for a bite at the Friendly Toast or Flatbread, if the line’s not to long.

2 Responses to “Nature Trails at Odiorne Point – Rye, NH”
  1. Just went there last week – agree that the price of admission for the Science Center is a little steep for what they have. The park looks beautiful, we didn’t make it past the playground but will check it out more later.

  2. Sue says:

    How far could you follow the trail at Odiorne? Is it wide enough for a double stroller?

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