Posted by: Jack Spratt | July 23, 2009

Discover Newfound Lake in New Hampshire

Newfound Lake in New Hampshire though part of the Lakes Region is lesser known than its more popular cousins Lake Winnipesaukee, Sunapee and Squam Lakes. And most locals would prefer it to stay that way.

However, it is considered one of the cleanest lakes in New England and has a state park, walking trails, and is away from the tourist and busy vacation centers in central New Hampshire.

I stumbled upon Newfound Lake while taking a family vacation in the region a few years ago. We had spent a pleasant morning at a spot known as “Sculptured Rocks” which are a collection of interesting rock formations and swimming holes sculptured into shapes after thousands of years of river flow. We had spent the morning scrambling over these rocks and plunging into the holes all morning, and then went back into the town of Hebron to grab a sandwich at the general store where we learnt about Newfound Lake.

Well, I suppose I had heard about it before having read up on the Lakes in the region and this did pop up on the radar screen but because we were staying on Lake Winnipesaukee and had visited Squam lakes as well it really didn’t occur to me to go visit yet another lake.

But after chatting with a local in between lunch bites we were convinced to check it out, and what the heck we’re on vacation and no promises to keep and it was just a few miles away. “Take West Shore Road out of the town,” they told us, “and you’ll hit the beach and state park.”

The road out of Hebron did indeed take us on a scenic route around the lake towards our destination of Wellington Beach and State Park. It is an imposing lake surrounded by tall pines and small peaks and well-known by the locals and others that have discovered it, as a great swimming spot. Facilities at the beach include picnic area, pavilions, bathhouses, restrooms and a playground.

We were told that the views of Newfound Lake from Little Sugarloaf Mt. were worth the 1-mile hike to the top. So we looked for Elwell Trail across from the state park and just followed the blazes to stay on the hiking trail. The locals were not wrong about the views from the top – well worth the effort – and it was an easy hike – one that even small children could do.

The trail led on towards Big Sugarloaf Mt. as it saddles the two peaks. I did not have time to do this trail but reputation suggests you get a much broader perspective of the Newfound Lake region and the higher peaks to the northeast – in my notebook of things to do on next visit.

If you’re attracted to the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and think you’ve done it because you did the Lake Winnipesaukee thingy – then think again. And think Newfound Lake. It’s different and if you’re looking for a place to stay in the area check out the Inn at Newfound Lake –it slips right in with the atmosphere.

Spratt “boy” Jack

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