Lake Winnipesaukee New Hampshire
Peaceful and picturesque views from a lakefront cottage in Meredith
Skiing at Loon Mountain Ski Resort in Lincoln
Bridal Veil Falls in the White Mountain National Forest
Boating in Paugus Bay near the village of Weirs Beach
Reflections of autumn foliage color the lake in Meredith
Canterbury Shaker Village, historic community turned into a museum
Endicott Rock State Historic Site along the Weirs Beach shore
Ready to take in relaxing scenery from a porch overlook
Lakeside beaches, shopping, skiing and hiking
Where to Go
Over 40 communities surround the lake. Among the highlights are the boardwalk and waterslide at Weirs Beach, the stunning homes and croquet club in elegant Wolfeboro, the galleries and boutiques in the restored mill village of Meredith and the antique center in Laconia. There’s a zip line in Gilford, a Shaker village in Canterbury and the Castle in the Clouds Estate in Moultonborough. The 150-kilometer Lakes Region Tour Scenic Drive circumnavigates the lake and passes through most of the towns.
Out on the Water
Take a dinner cruise and see why this lake is called the most scenic in New England, or charter a boat and head out to one of the larger islands on the lake for hiking or picnicking. Swimming is also possible in summer, when the water temperature hovers between 20 and 26 degrees Celsius. Fishermen can find salmon, trout, bass, pickerel, perch and several other species. The lake is also a family recreation spot in winter, when ice fishing and ice boating are both popular.
Adventure on Dry Land
Nature and the outdoors can be enjoyed in cold or warm weather. When it’s nice out, head to one of the three major nature preserves in the area: Loon Preservation Center and Markus Wildlife Sanctuary, Stonedam Island or Knights Pond. Learn about the flora and fauna of the Lakes Region at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness. Visit the beach at Ellacoya State Park in Gilford. Go hiking and catch a great view of the lake at Belknap Mountain, Mount Major, West Rattlesnake Mountain, Red Hill or Abenaki Tower. When the snow starts piling up, go snowmobiling, ice skating or cross-country skiing. Some of the top downhill ski areas include Gunstock, Loon and Attitash mountain resorts.
What’s in a name? Depending on who you talk to, Winnipesaukee means "smile of the great spirit" or “beautiful water in a high place.”