Tag Archives: NH Lakes

Kayaking Chocorua Lake – Tamworth, NH

The beautiful views of Mt. Chocorua, clear water, and the fact motors are not allowed here, are the top reasons to kayak Chocorua Lake and its adjoining neighbor, Little Lake.  At only 222 acres, Chocorua Lake is small and shallow but its views are large, reason enough to paddle here.

Although Rte. 16 traffic can often be heard from the lake, once you paddle out into the middle, or over to the western side of the lake, you’ll feel like your paddling a much more secluded body of water.

If you love mountain views as much as I do, its a fantastic place to paddle for a couple of hours, or longer, if you decide to have lunch and swim.

WHY PADDLE HERE?For mountain scenery, exercise, relaxation, family fun or a fall foliage paddle.

THE PADDLING ROUTE – We launched into Chocorua Lake from one of the several access spots adjacent to the parking area.  Once on the water, we couldn’t resist immediately paddling to the center of the lake to take in the wonderful views of Mt. Chocorua and its surrounding peaks.

We paddled across the lake, along the westerly shore and under the bridge into Little Lake.  We paddled around Little Lake for a while and then back under the bridge returning to Chocorua Lake.  We paddled along Chocorua’s eastern shore and then back to the middle one last time before landing back where we launched.

CAUTIONS! – Winds and rapidly changing weather.  Also, be careful of the bees when paddling near the pickerelweed in adjoining Little Lake.

PARKING & LAUNCH – Chocorua Lake Conservancy owns and maintains the public access to Chocorua Lake located on the east side of the lake along Old Route 16 where you will find parking and several areas to access the lake.  There are more parking and access areas on the southern end of the lake near the bridge to Little Lake.  Watch the signage to avoid parking in the Tamworth residents only section.

RESTROOMS- Yes, there are portable toilets located at both parking areas.

WHEN TO VISIT- Anytime during spring, summer or fall is a great time to paddle here.  Parking spaces are more prevalent during early morning or late afternoon hours.

NH FISH AND GAME MAP – Click Here –

DIRECTIONS – Click Here –

Kayaking Conway Lake – Center Conway, NH

WHY PADDLE HERE?For mountain scenery, exercise, relaxation, family fun or a fall foliage paddle.

THE PADDLING ROUTE  Today’s paddling goal was to enter the main body of water to enjoy the mountain views and paddle along the eastern shoreline.  The boat launch is located at the end of a finger and to enter the main body of the lake you must paddle out of the finger.  Once leaving the boat launch, paddle straight bypassing an additional finger located on the left not far from the launch.  Continued paddling following the shoreline.  As the course turns right paddle along the left shoreline.  Shortly, you will see mountains in the distance and you will be entering the main area of the lake.  Turn left to paddle along the eastern shoreline.  Conway Lake is large with many coves, fingers and islands to explore however the lake is heavily developed and the islands are privately owned.  Due to its size, Conway Lake is best paddled in multiple trips.  There is an additional boat launch located on the southern end of the lake in Eaton, NH.

Kayaking-Conway-Lake
Rocks and trees

CAUTIONS!  Watch out for rocks and fallen trees at and below the waterline.  Boat traffic can be heavy especially on summer weekends and holidays.  Winds and rapidly changing weather conditions can be a challenge.   As with any large body of water, I don’t recommend paddling here on windy days.

LAUNCH & PARKING – The Town of Conway, NH maintains a public boat launch located on Mill St. in Center Conway, NH.   A parking lot for vehicles and trailers is located diagonally across the street from the boat launch.  The boat launch itself is small and has room for only one trailer or vehicle at a time.  Access to the ramp is located at the edge of the street and street traffic must stop when vehicle with trailers start to back down the ramp.  On weekends and holidays you may find vehicles, with or without trailers, lined up on the side of the roadway waiting their turn to back down the street to the boat ramp.  Do not bring you kayak trailer here if you are not completely comfortable backing without a turnaround area.  There is no fee to park or launch.

RESTROOMS  YES, there are portable toilets located in the parking lot across the street from the boat launch.

WHEN TO VISIT –  Avoid weekends and holidays if you can.  As with any tourist area, the parking lot fills up fast and there will be a waiting line to access the boat launch area.  A fall foliage paddle on Conway Lake is particularly beautiful with its mountain views.

NH FISH & GAME MAP – Click Here.

DIRECTIONS – Click Here.

Kayaking Pawtuckaway Lake – Fundy Cove Launch – Nottingham, NH

Fundy Cove is located on the northern end of Pawtuckaway Lake where you’ll find little to no development compared to the southern end of the lake which is heavily developed and home to the ever popular Pawtuckaway State Park.  Fundy Cove and the northern end of the lake are generally considered the quieter sections with plenty of coves to explore, and a few islands to paddle around.  The northern end is popular for fishing, so even though its quieter, you won’t be alone on weekends during the summer season.

WHY PADDLE HERE? – For a less developed shoreline, fishing, exercise, relaxation or a fall foliage paddle.

THE PADDLING ROUTE – Considering we have paddled this lake many times and today’s goal was to get a bit of exercise, we opted to paddle all the way to the southern end of the lake instead of just paddling the northern end.  Once launching, we paddled out into Fundy Cove and then followed the shoreline passing Log Cabin Island and continuing south till reaching the main beach area at Pawtuckaway State Park.  After a break, we paddled around Horse Island and then paddled north returning to Fundy Cove.  It’s approximately a 3mi/4.8km paddle from Fundy Cove to the main beach area.

CAUTIONS! Watch out for rocks at and just below the waterline.  Motor boat traffic can be heavy on summer weekends and holidays.  As with any large body of water don’t paddle here on windy days.  If it’s breezy, you are better off paddling the southern end of the lake, launching instead from Neil’s Cove in Pawtuckaway State Park.   

LAUNCH & PARKING – The town of Nottingham, NH maintains a public boat launch with a circular driveway and parking lot at Fundy Cove located at the northern end of Pawtuckaway Lake.  There is a lake host present at the launch to inspect boats and kayaks for invasive plant species.  There is no fee to park or launch.

RESTROOMS – YES. There is an outhouse facility at the boat launch. Additional restroom/changing facilities are located at the opposite end of the lake at the main beach of Pawtuckaway State Park.

WHEN TO VISIT – Avoid holiday weekends if you can.  Late afternoon paddlers experience less boat traffic.  After Labor day, the lake is very quiet and a fall foliage paddle here is pleasant.

NH FISH & GAME LAKE MAP  Click Here.

DIRECTIONS – Click Here.

 

Kayaking Lake Winnipesaukee – Ellacoya State Park – Gilford, NH

If you are paddling with children this is a perfect place to spend a family day.  The park’s main draw for families is the sandy beach on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee with its beautiful views.  Perfect to relax on while you watch the children swim and play.  For tweens and teenagers who are strong swimmers, there is a floating dock to explore and hang out on just off shore from the beach area.  There are restrooms/changing rooms for park guests as well as a park store and a foot rinsing station,  a personal favorite of parents to help keep sand out of vehicles after a day of fun.

WHY PADDLE HERE? – For scenic beauty, exercise, relaxation and family fun.

THE PADDLING ROUTE – Once launching from the boat launch you have a choice of either heading left (west) or right (east).  Regardless of the direction you choose follow the shoreline for as long as your heart desires, or until your arms tire, then turn around and head back to the boat launch area for a nice lunch, a swim and some well deserved relaxation.  After your break re-launch and head out in the opposite direction for a second and final paddle.

Ellacoya State Park
Boat Traffic

CAUTIONS!Boat traffic is especially busy on summer weekends and holidays.  Winds, as with any large body of water, I don’t recommend paddling here on windy days.  If you find that it is windy once you have launched, paddle against the wind so you will be returning with the wind in you favor.  Don’t overestimate you fitness level, it’s a big lake, keep track of how long or far you have paddled remembering that you’ll be more fatigued on the way back.

LAUNCH & PARKING – The park’s boat launch is located in the designated RV Camping portion of the park.  Drop all your gear off with your boat at the launch as you will have to park your vehicle and trailer in the main parking area and walk back to the RV portion of the park where the boat launch is located.  There is a day use fee to park and launch your kayaks.  For fees and general park information, Click Here.

Ellacoya
Restrooms at Kayak Launch

RESTROOMS – YES!  Restrooms are located adjacent to the boat launch area with additional restrooms at the main beach area.

WHEN TO VISIT – Avoid weekends and holidays if you can.  Visiting prior to the week of July 4th and after the third week of August will help to ensure a relaxing visit with plenty of parking and no waiting lines at the boat launch.  In fact, the last time we paddled here in late August on a weekday, we practically had the park to ourselves!

ELLACOYA PARK MAP – Click Here.

DIRECTIONS – Click here.

Kayaking Pawtuckaway Lake – Pawtuckaway State Park – Neil’s Cove Launch – Nottingham, NH

WHY PADDLE HERE? – For exercise, relaxation, family fun or a fall foliage paddle.

THE PADDLING ROUTE – Once launching we headed out of Neil’s Cove and paddled left bypassing the main beach area and then circling around Horse Island.  We paddled south around the small islands on the southern end of the lake before heading to the main beach to take a break.  After our break we paddled into Mountain Cove for a bit and then paddled back to Neil’s Cove.

CAUTIONS! Rocks at and just below the waterline.  Motor boat traffic, especially on weekends and holidays.  Winds, as with any large body of water, don’t  paddle here on windy days.

LAUNCH & PARKING – Pawtuckaway State Park maintains a boat launch with a large parking lot at Neil’s Cove.  The launch itself is not paved, nor is the access way from the paved parking lot.

At the launch there is room to turn your trailer around if there are no other vehicles present at the time.  The launch area is wooded and mosquitos are a nuisance so don’t forget to pack bug spray.

Access to the launch is via the state park entrance.  You must pay the entrance fee to use the boat launch.

If you plan on camping in the park, try to reserve a waterfront site on Horse Island that you can launch your kayak from.  If you aren’t that lucky, don’t worry, there is an additional boat launch on Horse Island reserved for campers only.  For fees and other park information, Click Here.

RESTROOMS – YES! Restroom/Changing facilities are located at the main beach.  There are no restrooms at the boat launch but the main beach is just a few minutes paddle from the launch.

WHEN TO VISIT – Avoid summer weekends and holidays if you can.  Late afternoon paddlers experience much less crowds.  A fall foliage paddle here is pleasant.

NH FISH & GAME LAKE MAP  Click Here.

PAWTUCKAWAY STATE PARK CAMPGROUND MAP  Click Here.

DIRECTIONS – Click Here.