It's amazing to think that in the middle of the White Mountains, there are so many beautiful lakes! And there is something very special about spending a hot summer day swimming, fishing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, or just taking in the scenery from one of these pristine bodies of water. Come cool off, relax, and enjoy some of our favorite places to pass the time away.
Ammonoosuc Lake-Carroll, NH: Ammonoosuc Lake feels remote, but is only a 15-minute walk from the AMC’s Highland Center on Route 302. The Lake is accessible from the Ammonoosuc Trail and is a moderately difficult hike of 1.2 miles. It’s a great place to take a dip, and watch for moose, beavers, or wood ducks. Take a quick side walk along the Red Bench Trail which offers incredible views of the Presidential Range. For trail information, visit hikenewengland.com/AmmonoosucLake
Back Lake-Pittsburg: This 348 acre Lake is located in Coos County, near the town of Pittsburg. Back Lake is a great spot for fishing enthusiasts as it is home to several species of fish including; brook, brown, and rainbow trout, smallmouth bass and brown bullhead. To learn of lake access, and fishing seasons see town website pittsburg-nh.com
Chocorua Lake-Tamworth, NH: This picturesque lake is a great spot for swimming, fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. Views of Mount Chocorua command the landscape and makes for a popular destination for photographers. There are a few boat launch areas along the 222 acre lake, as well as several beaches along the Route 16 side. Along with the mountain scenery, the lake is surrounded by beautiful forest that is under the management of the US Forest Service. Fishermen can find brook and rainbow trout, along with catfish, and smallmouth bass. For those hoping to catch a glimpse at some wildlife, you might happen to see osprey, loons, and bald eagles. There are also many hiking trails that start at the lake, including the trail that leads to Mount Chocorua. For more information, visit wikipedia.org/Chocorua_Lake
Conway Lake-Conway and Eaton: Conway Lake is a 1,316 acre lake and has a maximum depth of 45 feet. This lake has a unique history as it was the site of several sawmills and a gristmill in the 1700’s-1800’s. When the train tracks were built in 1865, mill workers were able to float logs down the lake and onto freight cars to be shipped out to train stations throughout New England. On Mill Street, there is a public beach, boat ramp, and the site of the original mill. Besides the history, this lake is sure to please fishermen. Chain pickerel, landlocked salmon, hornpout, bass, and rainbow trout inhabit the lake. Be sure to keep an eye out for Ol’ Pork Chop, a large snapping turtle and local legend. Check out wikipedia.org/Conway_Lake for more information.
Echo Lake-Conway, NH: This is a great family friendly state park for swimming and to enjoy a picnic lunch. There is a scenic trail around this 15 acre lake, which provides stunning views of Cathedral Ledge. A bathhouse and picnic tables are available for public use. For park information, visit nhstateparks.com/echo
Echo Lake-Franconia Notch: This 38 acre body of water is wonderful for swimmers, fishermen, and kayakers. Echo Lake’s beach is also the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic lunch. At the foot of Cannon Mountain, this lake provides beautiful views of Franconia Notch. To learn more, visit cannonmt.com
Forest Lake-Whitefield, NH: Forest Lake covers 196 acres within Forest Lake State Park. Not only can you swim and relax on the 200 foot sandy beach, but you can also fish, boat, and bring a picnic lunch to enjoy this serene park. Besides swimming, fishing, and picnicking, this park also offers mountain biking trails. More information can be found at nhstateparks.org
Lake Francis-Pittsburg and Clarksville: Lake Francis is a reservoir of the Connecticut River, in Coos County. The surface area of this lake covers nearly 2,000 acres. The lake was built in the 1930’s by the Army Corps of Engineers as part of a flood control project. Due to the Murphy Dam, this water in Lake Francis stays cool all summer, and makes an excellent spot for fishing. Fishing Enthusiasts can expect to find rainbow trout, landlocked salmon, lake trout, brown trout, and chain pickerel. For more information visit pittsburg-nh.com
Lonesome Lake-Franconia Notch: Lonesome Lake is a glacial lake on the side of Cannon Mountain. The 1.6 trail to the lake is accessible from the Lafayette Place Trailhead off of I-93S. The trail itself is moderate, but it is a great family-friendly hike, with the promise of a refreshing dip and incredible views of Franconia Ridge. For those looking to make a camping trip out if it, The Lonesome Lake AMC Hut is located next to the lake and offers home-cooked breakfast and dinner in the summer and fall. To learn more, visit blog.nhstateparks.org
Mirror Lake-Woodstock, NH: Located off of Mirror Lake Road, this lake is a popular spot for canoeing and kayaking, fishing, swimming, and paddleboarding. It is approximately 38 acres and there is a small public beach. On a day with little wind, the lake’s surface remains very still and resembles a mirror. The lake is stocked with trout by NH Fish and Game.
Moore Reservoir-Littleton and Dalton, NH: Moore Reservoir was created in 1956 by the Moore Hydroelectric Dam, during the creation of the flood plain project. This lake affords guests stunning views of the White Mountains as well as a great place to fish for pike, bass, and trout. Boating is a popular activity on Moore Reservoir, as is swimming. Learn more at wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore_Reservoir
Profile Lake-Franconia Notch: Located directly below where the Old Man of the Mountain once was, Profile Lake got its name for reflecting the profile of the Old Man’s face. Surrounded by mountains, this 13-acre lake offers breathtaking views and a relaxing spot to fly fish. For more info, visit cannonmt.com
Silver Lake-Madison, NH: This 34-acre lake within Silver Lake Park has a 1,000 foot sandy beach for swimmers to enjoy. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy it at one of the picnic tables, then rent a canoe or kayak right on premise. For those needing to get up and stretch their legs, there is a short, loop trail as well as a system of hiking trails that lead into Spalding Town Forest. To learn more, visit nhstateparks.org/silver-lake-state-park
White Lake-Tamworth, NH: White Lake is part of White Lake State Park and is located only 20 miles south of North Conway. The lake was formed during the last Ice Age and is an example of a glacial lake. When the glacial ice began to melt, a depression was made and gradually filled with water, which created the lake! Not only is this a perfect place to cool off on a hot day, there is also a well-maintained foot path where people can look for loons or signs of beaver. Rent a boat and try some trout fishing. There is also a campground on site that is open through Columbus Day weekend. For more park information or to book a camping site, visit nhstateparks.org/white-lake-state-park
Lakes of the Clouds-Mount Washington, NH: Lakes of the Clouds is technically not a lake, but a series of small ponds located in the col between Mount Washington and Mount Madison. It is at an elevation of 5,032 feet and is formed by the waters of the Ammonoosuc River. While you’re hiking, you may choose to stay at the Lakes of the Clouds Hut, which is owned by the Appalachian Mountain Club.