Posted by: Jack Spratt | June 22, 2009

What’s to Love or Hate about Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire

Over the years I’ve had a lot of trips to Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, and seen it in just about every season. It’s the largest lake in the so called Lakes Region and one of the deepest. This is one of those places in New England you either love or hate. I took that straight out of my journal entry back in the 90’s.

What’s there to love about Lake Winnipesaukee?

If you have a boat then the lake really welcomes you. There are plenty of water sports and activities to do on the lake and the only thing to remember is the traffic can be high at times so you have your wits about you. Jet skis in particular always seem dangerous to me.

The Lake has a number of towns dotted around the lake where you can lodge or get dinner. These include Meredith, Weirs Beach, Alton, and Wolfeboro – there are some smaller ones but I forget their names. There is no shortage of places to stay and you can rent a house much cheaper here than on Cape Cod.

For food Weirs Beach is your “fish and chip” town, but for fine dining Meredith and Wolfeboro take the cap. And of course there is everything in between.

You can take a lake cruise on the M/S Mount Washington for a view of the multi-million dollar homes and see the town from a different perspective. This is a pleasant cruise for a few hours and on a hot day you’ll get some cooling breeze of the lake.

Also leaving from the same location in Weirs Beach as the cruise ship is the railroad trip along the shoreline and back. At times I think it went slower than the cruise ship but nonetheless it was a good waste of time.

The surrounding mountain ranges are really foothills of the White Mountains and most trails are easy to hike but give you excellent views. But if you want an easy hike with great view try the Rattlesnake Trail out near Squam Lakes – in about 15-minutes of walking you have some of the best views south of Mount Washington.

And if you need to pick up supplies or get to a large supermarket or discount store then Laconia is just a short hop away from Lake Winnipesaukee.

What is not to like about Lake Winnipesaukee?

Weirs Beach I guess.  It’s not my favorite place on the Lake. Somewhat tacky and brash and just an okay place to take kids for entertainment – and parking can be a frustrating experience in summer.

If it rains there’s not a heck of a lot to do as it really is geared up for outdoor activities. I know we had a few days rain once and I was struggling to keep my sanity – but the same could be said of the Cape as well but at least you can go down to the beach and watch the storm.

There’s more to like about Lake Winnipesaukee than dislike. People tell me that you either love the coast or love the lakes and mountains. I think this is a lot of BS – I know plenty – and I include myself in this – that loves both.

But for me Lake Winnipesaukee can’t hold a candle to Cape Cod or the Maine coast or lakes. But I keep going back there as my travels take me through it.. or around it.

Jack Spratt

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