5 Great Places for Paddling in NH

As the summer heat settles in over the Granite State, it’s time to get out the paddles and hit the water.  Here are 5 great places to do some paddling in New Hampshire.

1.) Umbagog Lake

UmbagogsmallerIt feels like the beginning of a horror movie.  You are being taken out into the middle of a giant lake on a pontoon boat to be dropped for three days. You have a kayak, but it’s miles and miles to the closest civilization. In all reality, you are entirely alone.

That is exactly what my husband and I experienced when we were dropped at our remote camp site in Umbagog Lake. If you make it to only one of these spots this summer, make it this one. Straddling the border with Maine, Umbagog Lake was recently acquired by the New Hampshire State Park System and is home to the Umbagog  National Wildlife Refuge. The lake runs nearly 11 miles north to south, and wildlife is abundant. While the long stretch of calm water with satisfy the paddler’s soul, the richness of nature surrounding the lake will amaze.

Located in Cambridge, NH, access to the boat launch can be found in Umbagog Lake State Park off Route 26.

2.) Spofford Lake

Located just west of Keene along Route 9A, Spofford Lake offers six miles around its circumference to release your paddling energy. Boat launch access is available along Route 9A just west of Wares Grove Beach. Known for its good fishing, be sure to pack your rod and reel.

3.) Squam Lake

For all of you movie buffs, this one is for you. The filming location for On Golden PondSquam Lake will not disappoint. Whether just going to enjoy some paddling, engage in some fishing, or to catch the call of the loon, Squam Lake is the perfect spot for a little time on the water. Located in the northern part of the Lakes Region, Squam Lake is just off Exit 24 from Interstate 93. The boat launch is accessed from US 3 in Holderness.

4.) Bow Lake

This will be a spot that I will be visiting this summer. Located near Northwood, Bow Lake offers beautiful views and easy-flowing waters. Navigate the many islands found within its expanse and enjoy the wildlife that call it home. Park in Bow Lake Village off of 202A to access the boat launch.

5.) Pillsbury State Park

PillsburysmallerWhen you say let’s go paddling, Pillsbury State Park may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but having recently visited the park, I can assure you it should be. Located south of Mt. Sunapee State Park in Washington, NH, Pillsbury State Park offers a variety of paddling experiences. And with rentals available on site, you don’t even need to bring your own equipment. Don’t miss this hidden wonder. The boat launch is located in the day use area of the park off of Route 31.

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