Date Of Visit: September 23, 2017
Location: 301 Wentworth Rd. (Route 1B), New Castle, NH, (1 hour northeast of Boston, MA, 1 hour southeast of Concord, NH)
Hours: Open daily 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.
New Castle Residents:
– No admission charge if vehicle has current resident sticker.
– Residents may invite up to 25 guests at no charge – Over 25 guests, admission fees apply.
– Resident must be present for all guests.
– Admission charged from May to the end of September.
General Admission Fees
0-5 yrs old free
6 to 65 years old $4.00
65 and older $2.00
Parking: There are about 50 or more parking spots available in the parking area
Handicapped Accessible: Yes
Dog Friendly: Yes, seasonally (pets are not allowed in the park or on the beach from May 15 to September 15)
Website: Great Island Common
Highlights: lighthouses, beach, places to grill, pavilions
- When you enter the park, you must turn right. The parking area is at the end of the circular paved road
- If you want to use a pavilion, you may have to call ahead and reserve the area
No other name than Great Common Island may be more apt for this park. Except it’s not really an island. But, it is great.
The park, with attached beach, sits on the shore of New Castle ( a small town of 968 according to their 2010 census) just outside of Portsmouth, NH). The park and beach area are only 32 acres. But what it lacks in area it makes up for in beauty and charm.
The park offers some great views of the water. It is a good place to watch the waves crash against the rocks, although the waves weren’t too strong during my visit.
Great Island Common is popular with fishing enthusiasts, boaters and the occasional bird.
You can view two lighthouses from Great Island Common.
Whaleback Lighthouse was established in 1830. The granite lighthouse that stands there now was built in 1872 and it was automated in 1963.
Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, just down the road from the park, is also visible from Great Island Common. During the summer, there are open houses at the lighthouse on Sundays from mid May to late October from 1-5. Since I was visiting on a Saturday I was not able to attend the open house. Next to the lighthouse (to the left of the lighthouse in the photo above) is Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor and Fort Constitution. In the distance, past the lighthouse, you can see the foliage has just started to begin.
Wood Island Life Saving Station in Kittery, Maine, is also visible from the park. In 1827, Wood Island was given to the federal government so the U.S. Navy could build barracks. However, it would eventually be used to quarantine Spanish-American War prisoners who had Yellow Fever. It is presently not in use.
One of the biggest attractions at the park is a sculpture of a painter by an easel working on the scenic skyline.
Pretty good painting of me. It looks so life-like.
Great Island Common is not just a park. A beach is also attached to the park.
The park is spacious for kids to play in with lots of big trees for shade.
Erected in 1984, the memorial honors all of the people of New Castle who have served the country in all wars and conflicts. Two benches sit next to the memorial, one on each side of it.
Great Island Common is dog friendly except from May 15 to September 15. Luckily, I was able to visit the week after ban ended. It was a picture perfect day with a calm breeze. So, it was a great day to bring your dog out!
Miley is a 8 year old Yorkie Poodle.
Tuck is a 6 month Cocka Poo (Cocker Spaniel & Poodle mix)
Remy (on the left) is a 10 year old Puggle and Phoebe (On the right) is a 1 and a half year old Puggle.
Jaelo (pronounced “J Lo”)is a 10 year old Puggle.
Below is a video by the shore of Great Island Common.
Posted below is a drone video of the Great Island Common area on Paul Moore’s YouTube page