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QUIET WATER PADDLING
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Fifty-eight Choices

(Update –September 14, 2012))

by Beck


Suggestions, needed changes, or comments

beckanamin@hotmail.com


2012 significant changes

 

Blackwater River - The Bay

Access change, old access closed

(March)

 

Dan Hole Ponds

Deleted - access no longer available

(April)

 

Garland Pond -Wingate Shores Preserve

Name change

(April)

 

Knights Pond

‘Carry-in’ not previously noted

(April)

 

Lee’s Pond (Marcus Wildlife Sanctuary)

Name change

(April)

 

Walker Pond

Added

(April)

 

Meeting House Pond Sanctuary

Significant changes

(May)

 

Pleasant Pond

Deleted

(May)

 

Clark Pond

Significant changes

(June)

 

Pawtuckaway Lake

Additional set of directions

(June)

 

Piscassic River

Deleted

(July)

Many other minor changes and updates
Flagged as (Up to date in 20xx)


Ballard Pond
Delorme 16-E7
Rough relative size – 100 acres

Route I-93, Exit 4 Derry

Route 102 East through Derry

Take Route ‘Bypass 28’ South at small traffic circle (there is no sign – turn right)

Continue to intersection of ‘Bypass 28’ and Route 28 (R 28 is on right)

Turn left on Island Pond Road (Between clam restaurant and trailer sales)

Go approximately 3.5 miles

Ballard StateForest and Sawyers Mill on Left

Unload by Mill, then park across street or along road

Because of the heavy summer traffic on Route 28, and depending on your need for solitude, fishing, or company, you may want to carefully choose when to do this rewarding, matured, attractive, and undeveloped pond.  For solitude and for avoiding vegetation overgrowth, spring and fall would be best.  In season, it is a popular fishing spot for those who want that.  A trail around the pond and the pleasant mill area make it a comfortable spot for family picnics, but no toilet facilities are available.  There are actually two ponds.  Access to the main pond is only through the lower millpond and a short carry across a dam. The millpond is small, narrow, and deeper than the upper pond, relatively free of vegetation other than lily pads.  Putting in at the first dam, you will cross that millpond in a few minutes, cruising through the lily pads and passing folks sitting, walking the trail, or fishing.  At the higher dam, there is an undeveloped carry path on the right.  The informal put in for the second pond brings you to an expanse of vegetation-rich shallow water and its wildlife.  The vegetation does fill in during the summer, but the sharp eye can find a channel through much of it, until reaching the marshier far end.




Bearcamp Pond
Delorme  40-F4
Rough relative size – 200 acres

 
 
(Up to date in 2012

Route 25 North from Moultonborough

Through East Sandwich

At Route 25 mile 74.0, turn left on Bearcamp Pond Road

After .4 miles,two dirt roads are on the left, before a gray shake-shingle house (Linwood House)

First road – public boat access (parking is limited) and put-in

Second road – A beach access restricted to permit holders

This is an aesthetically attractive, somewhat developed, quiet, mountain-surrounded pond with plenty of natural beauty: With nice open water in the middle, a varied heavily wooded shoreline opens to an inlet through a marsh in the northwest part. Since it is locally popular, off-season paddling will provide more privacy, relative solitude, and less parking competition.




Big River
DeLorme 36 K-7
(Updated om August 12, 2011)

Route 28 North from Epsom traffic circle or South from Alton

East on Route 126 at Center Barnstead

Pass Post Office

Across from Fire department on left

Take driveway into Library parking

Fork left on dirt into recreation area

Go left around skating rink to put-in

Upstream is to the left (NE), downstream (South - merges into Suncook River) is to the right


Going downstream (right) from the put-in , you can meander for some time, exploring bays and channels. The privacy and beauty of this little, not “big,” slow current river will surprise you. Be aware of landmarks, because there are several ways to misread the return channel and take unwanted side-trips. A pleasant variety of older evergreen and deciduous trees lines the channel. The water surface, banks and bottom display many forms of life. The bird and frog sounds, alternating sunny and shady zones, and stillness provide idyllic peacefulness. As you pass the civilization at Barnstead Parade, the channel widens to become pond-like and traffic noise enters the picture for a while. The trip ends shortly after that, at a dam beneath the Parade Road bridge at the intersection with Hartshorn Road: a boat ramp at that point would allow you to spot a car there or have an alternate starting point. Paddling at a steady rate, without side exploration, will take about two and a half hours for a round trip. Warning - You need to be alert for the dam: there are no markings, buoys, or signs.

Turning left to go upstream from the put-in, takes you through a narrower channel whose beauty continually increases. Depending on water depth and your willingness to do mild carries and ignore false endings, it can take you on a ways. In spring, you can skim across the few small logs and shallows that may cause a carry in lower water.




Blackwater River – The Bay
DeLorme 35 I-9
Up to date in 2012

Be aware that the previously listed put-in has been closed and posted

Route 4 southeast from Andover or northwest from Salisbury

You could also take Route 11 to Route 4, through Franklin from the East

Put-in is at the bridge crossing the Blackwater River, 1/8 mile northwest of Bay Road

Small parking area is on the south side at the east end of the bridge.

There are two put-ins

At the end of the parking area, alongside the bridge abutment

Put-in is a bit steep and may cause some instability

Across the road at the same end of the bridge

Preferable - a comfortable path to it, more level put-in

Paddling the barely noticeable southward flow from the bridge, the Blackwater River brings you to The Bay in about twenty minutes. It is apparent that downed trees occasionally block the channel, and that someone with a chain saw cuts them and removes the debris. The river is a truly nice paddle: the few houses are unobtrusive, and there are blue herons, ducks, beaver lodges, and some interesting side pools. The Bay itself is a shallow, quiet water, pond-like widening of the river: there are interesting marshland sections, channels to explore, peninsulas, and a varied shoreline. There is no opportunity to take the river south from The Bay: there are impassable shallow rapids in that stretch. Going north from the put-in will take you through narrow meanders that stay close to Route 4. It has not been paddle-tested for you, and it is possible, even likely, that tree falls will block you, but you might enjoy the adventure of trying it.




Brindle Pond
DeLorme 36-J7
Rough relative size – 100 acres

(Updated August 2011)


Route 28 (N) from Chichester, or Pittsfield to Center Barnstead, or south from Alton

Pineo Road (E) (Hard to see. Small road angling off at curve where road narrows. )

Boat launch on left


This is an undiscovered, still wild, treasure. Recent attempts at development did not succeed. One house is in view at the east end, but it is not obtrusive. Shallow with pretty summertime vegetation it is highly varied. Many beaver lodges, a beaver dam at the west end (where route 28 traffic may slightly distract the senses), and wildlife. There are wooded shorelines, areas of swamp vegetation that can be canoe or kayak whacked at some times of year. At the east end, a long marshy channel narrows before ending at a culvert. Grown in during summer, the wide turnaround area at the end is not accessible. You will have to back paddle for a short distance. Low-power motorboats occasionally and lightly use the pond, but it is too stumpy to attract many. Old hunting blinds may offend some folks, but there is no evidence of recent use.




Chocorua Lake
DeLorme 41-C8
Rough relative size – 200 acres

Route 16 (N) from Chocorua

There are two obvious put-ins

An enjoyable lake with good scenery, a great view of picturesque Mount Chocorua , a beach and nice paddling, but the sounds from Route 16 will remind you of civilization most of the time you are there – tourist abundance may also.  Development is not obvious, except for the road-hugging park.




Clark Pond
Delorme 28-K5
Rough relative size - 150 acres

 
 
(Up to date in 2012)

Route I93 Exit 7

Route 101 (E) from I93 for 2.9 Miles

Take Exit 2 from 101 - Hooksett Road

Turn right on Hooksett Road (S)

At 0.1 miles Old Candia road takes you to the north end of the pond and some bike trails

Informal put-in opportunities exist along bike trail to south

Recommended put-in

At 0.7 miles on Hooksett road turn left on Depot Road

Be alert - it comes up suddenly on the down side of a hill

Sign is not visible when leaves are on the trees

You will soon see a large parking area in front of berm on left

Immediately beyond the parking area, find a dirt access road on the left that angles back

Drive up that road to a bike bridge and drop your boat - return to park

Put-in is on a short steep path on large pond side of bike bridge (north side)

Additional put-in for the small pond and short river

Enter the large parking area on left (mentioned above)

Park and carry over the berm

Put-in is at center of berm near a large rock

Warning - debris has collected on the old dam under the bridge. Previously skim-able it is not possible now.

Another option - not particularly good

There are informal put-in opportunities off the biking trail at the north end of the pond off Old Candia Road.


Perspective - This is an interesting quiet water experience, but not among the best. It could be of high value to those who would like to combine some quiet water paddling with hiking, biking, running, or fishing. When you arrive at the Depot Road parking lot, you may find many cars, bicycles, and people who are carrying fishing equipment, but no evidence of boats. Those who fish do it from the berm and the banks of the bike trail bridge. Bike trails extend in many directions, used by hikers, bikers, and runners. One biker said that the northern trail from Old Candia Road goes to Tower Hill Pond and its observation tower. A map of the trails and information is available for download at fomba.org. There is also a large map posted at about 1/4 mile in on the trail directly opposite the parking lot.

The Small Pond - The little pond surrounded by the berm is lily-covered and attractive, but appears to be too small to be worth paddling. However, a short stretch of river that begins at the bridge embankment on the left side of the pond takes you into a very pleasant area and on to another dam and overflow.

The Main Pond - A dammed pond, it has the look and feel of a natural pond. Completely undeveloped, the southern portion has a feeling of isolation and is quiet. It is a truly pleasant place to be, surrounded by varied woodlands. When putting in from the Depot Road bicycle bridge, you will enter open water with pond vegetation along the edges. If there is an opening in the tree debris under the bridge, you may be able to skim into the smaller pond. As you travel north, away from the berm and bridge, you will come upon a shallow and vegetation-thick bay to the left and a narrowing channel straight ahead. Following that channel, you will enter the lush northern marsh and the not-so-lush Route 101 noise. Following that channel to the right, perhaps needing to briefly push through some vegetation, you will find a small island and another channel that heads south from it. It is inviting and fun to paddle, but it becomes increasingly shallow and filled with tree debris before ending.




Copps Marsh Pond
DeLorme 40-K7
Rough relative size – 200 acres

 
 
Up to date in 2012

From Route 25 in Moultonborough, East on Route 109

Or from Route 28 in Wolfeboro, West on Route 109

At intersection of 109 and 109A, briefly east on 109A

.1 mile, look for narrow unmarked dirt road on right

Road is shared by a house with sign that says Colby 356

Put-in is at dam

I may be letting out a secret, because this seems lightly accessed. In the midst of the Lake Winnipesaukee motorized hubbub, this is an isolated and undeveloped marshy lily pond. Small appearing at first approach, it is much larger when you are on it, perhaps 150 acres or more. During spring and late fall, the center of the pond is wide open, with marshy areas along the sides, where nooks, bays, side-channels and irregularities will keep you there a while. Islands, several types of ducks, heron, redwing blackbirds, mountains, bird songs, a wall-to-wall carpet of lily pads showing their white and yellow flowers during the summer, and a variety of movements and buzzings will warm your soul. Though created by damming, the pond has the feeling of a natural and wild isolated northern pond. Few sounds intrude from the outside world, and only occasional hints of buildings on 109A emerge.




Connecticut Lakes                               DeLorme 53 - various sections  

First Connecticut Lake - not for family fun unless you like big, windy, powerboat heavens

Route 3 (N) at The Glen

Second Connecticut Lake - not for family fun unless you like big, windy, powerboat heavens

Route 3 (N) at Idlewild

Third Connecticut Lake - a pleasant smaller lake – about 300 acres with good backdrop.  Not developed.

Route 3 (N) on left near Canadian customs

The first two are huge lakes, if you like that kind of paddling, but not recommended for quiet water aesthetic paddling.  The waves can quickly get nasty, even in moderate winds.  There is some beautiful shoreline paddling where the big boats don’t travel, but paddling it must be balanced against the distances and weather risks.  The third is smaller, and a nice paddle if you are in the area, but not worth a special trip for it.  However, you might want to combine it with a visit to East Inlet, which is worth the trip (Scott Bog also, but it has not been tested out for you).  The Connecticut River in that area is also a nice paddle, but under the frequent spell of traffic noise.




Danbury Bog WMA
DeLorme 35-E8
Rough relative size, none

 
 
Long channel (Replaced ‘Bog Pond,’ July 11, 2010)

Main put-in

Route 140 (W) from Bristol or I93 Exit 23

Left on Gould Hill Road shortly before Danbury center and Route 4

(This is the next left after Ragged Mountain Road)

Dam and put-in are on right at the end of Gould Hill Road

(One way road, Gould Hill Road intersects Ragged Mountain Road at that point).

(It’s a hundred yards in from Ragged Mountain Road)

Alternate put-in

Route 140 (W) from Bristol or I93 Exit 23

Left on Ragged Mountain Road

Look for guardrails where the road bridges the bog - two miles or so

Small put-in and parking area are on left side

(You could leave a second car or a bike there to make it a one-way paddle.)

(Old picnic area (or ‘Park’) is now overgrown)

This is a classic narrow channeled marshland, quiet and mostly unvaried.  Not an exciting place, it is just a good place to simply be with nature. It is a perfect placefor a long paddle in the sun, enjoying the ducks, blackbirds, and water life. You may prefer the second of the two put-ins, since it is more quiet and rustic.  In addition, a wooded picnic area adjoins the put-in parking place. From this more southern put-in you can paddle sinuously south for quite adistance.  Where the channel seemingly abruptly ends, you can carry across the beaver dam and paddle through a small swamp before the channel disappears.  The northern part of the area can be reached either from the first put-in or by passing through a corrugated medal tunnel under the road.  As you head north after the tunnel the channel slowly widens and opens and some houses come into view.  Near the northern put-in, where there is a dam it widens into a pond. This is a perfect location for one way paddling, leaving a bicycle at one end to return to your car.  You could also easily walk the mile between the two.




Dan Hole Ponds
DeLorme 41-I8
Rough relative size – 300 acres

 
 
(Deleted April 2012)

 
 
Access no longer available - Private land




Deering Wildlife Sanctuary
 
(Deleted July 13, 2011)

 
 
No reasonable access to the water - good hiking area




Deering Preserve
DeLorme 26-J7
Rough relative size – 50 acres

(Previously ‘Name Unknown’)
 
(Renamed and updated July 13, 2011)

Hillsborough

Route 149 (S)

Old County Rd. (S)

Falls Rd. (W)

This is shortly after the intersection with Wolf Hill Rd. on the right (if going south)

No formal put-in: the best spot is past the far end of the beaver dam

Parking is ad hoc, perhaps roadside or on the short forestry road to the left

If you visit this little known beaver pond, you will want to send your god (if you have one) a thank-you note. You will be thrilled from the moment you see the nearly century old beaver dam that parallels the road. Although the trip around it takes little more than an hour, it is through islands and marshes, with swallows darting above your head. The variety of surrounding terrain and island vegetation will please your soul. It is just a truly nice place to be. Bring a lunch, because there are plenty of places to get out and enjoy - but, especially here, "pack it out." There is only one house to betray the solitude, perhaps built before the pond and surrounding 200 acres were gifted to the NH Conservancy, and recently became the Deering Preserve. The house is at the far end.




Dubes Pond
Delorme 28-I4
Rough relative size – 100 acres

 
 
Up to date4 in 2012

Exit 9N from I93

Go North on routes 3 and 28 for 1.5 miles (CVS on right)

Turn right (east) on route 27 for 2.5 miles

At a left bend in the road, a secondary parking area is on the right

The pond parking and access comes up suddenly on the left

It is opposite a snowmobile bridge and a snowmobile stop sign on the right

The outflow of the pond passes under that bridge

Across from the bridge, on the left, you will see a low dam and its sluiceway

A short dirt road goes uphill from a parking area on the left

That is the put-in

You can drive up to unload, or easily carry up from the parking area

There is an older, less slopping, informal put-in on a short trail to the right

When you first look at the pond two things will capture your mind, beauty and water skiers (sometimes). If you are put off by the water skiing, you may miss a gem. There is a single defined water skiing channel in the center of the pond. You will soon lose sight of it and will not even hear it after a bit. A marsh to the right will quickly draw you to it. You may already draw a curious beaver out. Enjoy an exploration there and then head north along the shore. You will soon be among islands and heading into the discovery of marshy channels. Eventually you will see a line of tall trees toward the rear of a marsh. You are then in the northwest corner of the pond. If you are an adventurous explorer, and the water level and vegetation allow it, you will find channels through the marsh to those trees: they are on a low ridge. To your delight, you will see another pond across that barrier ridge. It is an easy carry to the other pond, which has no other entry. Both ponds are aesthetically and wildlife rich. Although almost within Manchester, you will feel as if you are far from civilization.

For those who would like to hike while there, there is a well-maintained snowmobile trail next to the put-in.




East Inlet                               DeLorme 53-C9                     Rough relative size – 50 acres plus stream

Route 3 (N) in Connecticut Lakes region

Enter a logging company road on the east side just short of Deer Mountain Campground

Signs will guide you, but take a good map

It is a long way north, just south of Third Connecticut Lake and feeding Second Connecticut Lake. Yet, if you are in the area, this is a wonderful pond and bog with much wildlife.  The stream on the north end will take you farther than you might wish to go.  This is a wildlife management pond created by human damming, but it has a natural tone.  The access road is a little tricky to follow (watch for the sudden turn at an intersection), but it is well maintained.  The area is completely undeveloped.




Everett Lake                          Delorme 27-H12                    Rough relative size – 100 acres

From Goffstown, West on Route 114

(Signs will lead you to Cough State Park)

Right onto Parker Station Road

After a mile, right fork

Another2.5 miles right onto Clough Park Road

Two miles to Park

Option 1 - Enter Park and turn right

Option 2 - Pass Park entrance

Go about two miles

Take Mansion Road, which veers to left

.5 miles Mansion Road veers to right

.5 miles - Go straight on partly maintained road

1.5 miles - Pass gate on left, or enter if open

Continue to bridge and put in there

Option 3 – Just past the usually locked gate in option 2 above

Take unmaintained dirt road (rough) on left

Nice (unintended) parking/picnic area is at end

From the North

Route 13 west from Concord

Route 77 west from Pages Corner

Take Ray Road or Sugar Hill Road south

Turn Left from Sugar Hill for all options above

Or turn right from Ray Road for Northern options, left to enter for Park

Everett Lake feels more like a large pond than a lake.  For a facility constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers, it is amazingly natural and not sterile.  U shaped, the northern tips of the u are the most scenic and natural.  If starting at the Eastern U tip, from the unmaintained road, there are two bays to play in before passing a more formal put-in to the south, a looming dam, and a truly nice beach with all facilities.  Completing the U, you will skirt a perimeter that takes about an hour and a quarter at a moderate pace.  Lilly pads, shoreline flowers, a private natural beach, isolated picnic tables and pleasant scenery will pass by.  Nearing what appears to be the western tip of the U, you may assume as I did that the higher power ordained nothing but white lilies for this water. A patch of yellow lilies, though, may draw you toward it, as if a lure. Rounding a bend behind the yellow patch, a sea of vermillion flowers (Pitcher plants, perhaps, but I am not an expert) draws you into a bay with a pronounced channel. The channel takes you a short way up the Piscataquog River, through accents of pinker flowers. After returning to your car, you may want to take advantage of an additional paddling option at the southern end of Ray Road.  Park by a small dam, then head up a stream to a small pond that has no other access.  Generally a pleasant spot, this lake seems a wonderful family location for a day of sun and paddling.  (If you really want to make it a full day, Stumpfield Marsh (about 100 acres) is a nice small paddle a sort way north of Route 77 via Sugar hill Road)




Exeter River                          DeLorme 23A&B-14  

Routes 27, 101, 108 or other to Exeter

South on 108

Pass Phillips-Exeter Academy

Left on Bell Avenue

Put-in is in Gilman Park

Alternate put-in if you want to camp

Exeter Elms Campground further south on 108

This is a long, winding, slow moving stream.  With no development intruding, other than the unobtrusive campground several miles upriver (south), the bustle of Exeter quickly fades away.  Tall trees, hanging moss, a great variety of plant life in the water and on the shore make it a wonderful treat. Depending on the season, you may come upon ducks, heron, beaver, and many song-birds.  The many side channels, backwaters and marshes could fill a big part of a paddling day.




Garland Pond -
DeLorme 40-H3
Rough relative size – 100 acres

Wingate Shores Preserve
 
(Up to date in 2012)

(Note: There is another Garland Pond, much smaller)

From Moultonborough, at intersection of Routes 109 and 25a

West on Route 25, 1.2 miles

Look for North End Italian restaurant on left

Garland Pond Road is on right opposite it

At first, it appears to be a driveway, but it is not

Pass the house that is on the left

Caution – you may want to walk the first fifty yards before driving

It may appear overgrown, but is not – can have a high center there

The road is good from there

Parking area is in a ways on the right

You may want to carry or wheel the short distance from there to put-in

The road to the small put-in is rough, but it might be OK for you.

This is the second of two huge secrets hidden within the bustling Winnipesaukee/Squam area. Like Copps Pond, it is completely isolated, surrounded by Nature Conservancy land. Partly marshy and mainly open, this is a long pond surrounded by appealing hillsides with varied vegetation. You will feel and be alone here, rapidly loosing the Route 25 traffic noise as you move north. At the northern extremity you can follow a sinuous smooth river for perhaps a mile. You cannot go the distance here, though, without enjoying the skims or carries over beaver dams as you soak up the true wilderness. You will probably want to stop at or after the fifth dam. With a smaller boat, you can go further, but by dam number eight – if you can find it - you may decide that further effort is not worthwhile.




George Pond
Delorme 34-C2
Rough relative size – 100 acres

 
 
(Up to date in 2012)

I89 Exit 12A

Right on George Mills Road for 1.5 miles

Left on Main Street (Route 114) for 2.9 miles

Right on Four Corners Road for 0.8 mile

At stop sign, left to continue on Four Corners Road for 1.0 mile

Left on Route 4A for 6.5 miles

Small parking area and out-in on left

Second put-in - take immediate left on Bog Road for 0.2 miles

This put-in enters water that has less vegetation

(Note - the intersection of 4a and Bog Road is on the map as Fish Market)

A small pond that is a treat you could only discover by “accident.” This is an undeveloped and unspoiled marshy pond with a variety of animal and plant pond life. Using the marshy first put-in, I disturbed about fifteen ducks. The pond that the marsh leads to yielded a kingfisher, redwings, pond-skimming birds of some sort, turtles, and plenty of jumping fish. The serene wildness was a joy. At first seeming small, it increased in size and led to a clear feeder channel that extended to the culvert crossing under bog road. A compulsive paddler could do the perimeter in an hour, or you could piddle-around for two hours if you like. You might choose to combine this with a trip to McDaniel’s Marsh at the far end of Bog Road. On Bog Road, you will also see a Forestry sign for a walk-in to Coles Pond – distance unknown.




Gile Pond
Delorme 34-K6
Rough relative size – 50 acres

(Updated August 19, 2011)


From Interstate 89, Exit 10 at North Sutton

Turn south from ramp to immediate left on Gile Pond Road

At .4 mile turn right on Gile Road

Go .3 mile to put-in ramp on left

(Just a little further is a pine grove that could be good for picnics, and provides added parking.)

Alternate, but less desirable, put-in

Pass Gile Road to parking area on right on Gile pond Rd. at .6 mile from I-89


With the exception of one unobtrusive house across from the put-in, this is a completely undeveloped scenic pond with a backdrop of layered low mountains. Shallow water vegetation surrounds the open water of the middle. A mix of hardwood and softwood trees of varying types, heights, and hues of green provides a delicious aesthetic. It is not a large pond. You could probably paddle the circumference of the open water in well less than an hour, but you would miss the best part. Paddling through the lilies and pickerelweed to stay close to the shoreline vegetation will bring many surprises. At the end furthest from Gile Pond Road, a long shrub-covered berm-like mound separates the pond from a marsh behind it that displays a large expanse of bur reeds. That mound and the entire shoreline are home to a variety of shrubs, including flowering Swamp-loosestrife and Meadow Sweet. Although the pickerelweed and lilies dominate the waters, rushes, cattails, and grasses of several types show up in patches.




Gilman Pond                         DeLorme 37-E8                     Rough relative size – 50 acres

Alton

From Alton, Route 28 North

Pass large Catholic Church on left

Turn right on Gilman’s Corners Road

Watch for a long straight driveway on right  

Recreation area sign on left of driveway near the road. 

Put-in is at end of drive.

Back your car out to the parking area after unloading

Except for a large house set back from the pond at the far end, Gilman’s Pond is undeveloped.  Take note of the huge beaver dam near the put-in and continue down the pond. You will begin on a clear pond with a pleasant view, water lilies, a partially rocky shore, downed trees, and water shrubs.  After the first island that you pass, the pond becomes increasingly shallow and marshy. Depending on the time of year, your playing in the channels may lead you into temptation from a far side return channel.  It will be fun to explore, but a dead end.




Grafton Pond
DeLorme 34-C3
Rough relative size – 250 acres

I89 Exit 12A

Right on George Mills Road for 1.5 miles

Left on Main Street (Route 114) for 2.9 miles

Right on Four Corners Road for 0.8 mile

At stop sign, left to continue on Four Corners Road for 1.0 mile

Left on Route 4A for 4.9 miles

Sharp right on Grafton Pond Road for 1.6 miles

Right hand turn for 0.3 miles to parking lot

Among the best places in New Hampshire, Grafton Pond is an undeveloped delight. Large enough to provide a lot of variety, natural features separate it into small zones, which are calm and peaceful, many feeling enclosed. The scenery is great and includes islands, rocky shores, varied tree types, much wildlife, huge boulders in the water (some of which you can sun on) and peninsula to explore. It is protected, as part of the Grafton Pond Reservation. Bring a picnic and enjoy the picnic area at the boat launch, (sometimes a bit crowded), or sit on the dam and enjoy the sun. Undeveloped and not overused.




Great Bay                               DeLorme 30-I1                      Rough relative size – 4000 acres

1. From Newmarket, Route 108 south

Just before Lamprey River

Left (east) on Bay Road, 4 miles to Adams Point

2. From Newmarket, Route 108 south

Cross Squamscott River Bridge

Put-in is just past bridge –access road not maintained well

3. Put–ins also at Sandy Point and Weeks Point

Route 108 south to Route 33

Route 33 northeast, check map for local roads north, such as Depot Road

4. In Newmarket, on the Lamprey River, near the bridge

This is a magnificent tidal estuary.  Huge, it offers much for all levels of paddling and boating.  For the take-it-light folks, put in at the Adams Point end and head up the tidal part of the Lamprey to Newmarket.  (Adams Points may or may not be the Research where we put in.  If not, the Research is another option.)  It can make for a nice day if you have lunch there and then return with the tide.  You may want to do it the other way, starting at Newmarket and returning or leaving a car or bicycle at Adams Point.  Whatever way you do it, be aware of the tide and plan for it.  You will want to be riding with it, not against it.  Also, be prepared to cross open bay water.  It is often smooth, but gods are sometimes pranksters.




Great Hill Pond
DeLorme 40-C5
Rough relative size – 150 acres

 
 
(Up to date in 2012)

From intersection of Routes 113 and 113A in North Sandwich

North on Route 113A - ‘Chinook Trail’ for 5.5 Miles

Turn right on Pease Hill Road for 0.6 mile

Left on Great Hill Road for 0.4 mile

Left on dirt road – just before a small bridge

Signs say “No Trespassing with Bear Dogs” “No ATV’s”

Pond is 600 feet in

Caution – after 200 feet the road may be too rough and bumpy for low vehicles

There is parking on left - You can carry or wheel in for 400 feet

If you drive the 400 feet, you will find several rough parking spots.

This is a gem of natural beauty nests beneath the Wonalancet and Sandwich Mountains. There is one pleasant and blended-in house. A greatly varied, sometimes marshy, shoreline outlines low tiers of vegetation and an open view of forests and the mountains. A central island and a peninsula provide a nice aesthetic. The peaceful stillness amid a broad range of living things may be the best part.

Please be aware that the land and water are private property, but open to public use: give this gift the respect it deserves. 2012 Note: A disarray of boats remained by the put-in over the winter. I assume the owners are locals who have permission. Hopefully, it will not become a problem.




Hoit Road Marsh   DeLorme 28-B1                   Rough relative size – 200 acres

From Concord Loudon Road North (Route 106)_

106 North to Loudon

At Route 129, left into Loudon

Pass South Village Road on left

Pass Fox Pond Road on left

Pass North Village Road on right

Left on School Street

At about 4 miles School Street Becomes Hoit Road at Concord city line.

Put-in is on the right a short distance beyond the city line

Conveniently located within the city limits of Concord, this is a pleasant, unspectacular, place for quiet paddling.  Yellow and white lilies, blue heron, songbirds, and typical marsh vegetation adorn this seemingly natural (though dammed) location.  The popularity means you will have some company during fishing season and summertime.  The traffic on Hoit Road takes away from the serenity at first, but the sounds disappear quickly.  The pond at the put-in gives way to four shallow, heavily vegetated bays that are fun to explore.  The inlet feeds the second bay on the right, providing additional opportunity for the adventurous.  At first approach, the channel seems blocked by a small downed tree, but it yields easily to a boat bottom.  With a little effort, a kayak can cross the six or so uncompleted beaver dams or downed sapling parts, built up by debris accumulating behind them.  Canoes will have more difficulty.  The fourth bay from the right is the farthest out and largest and has the thickest lily pad cover, making you work a bit for your pleasure.  It is an easy to get to and nice place to paddle. 




Hubbard Pond                       DeLorme 20-H5                     Rough relative size – 200 acres

(Updated in July of 2011)

From Peterborough going south

Route 202 to 119

Left on 119 (go approx 2 miles)

Left on Cathedral Rd.

After nearly a mile, road goes downhill and curves to left

Dirt access road is on right (Y-shaped entrance)

Hubbard Pond is .4 miles in

Road is rough, sometimes wet in spots, but passable for most vehicles

Annett Wayside Park is 500 yards further along Cathedral Road on right

Although dammed, this pond has a natural and appealing feel, and is surrounded by the Annett State Park forest, with no development other than the Rotary International Camp on the south shore. It is a wonderful and relaxing place to be, for paddling or fishing. The intimidating access road and small parking area limit the number of boats on the water. With much variety, a large surface area, islands to land on, bays and marshes, you can spend hours exploring the variations. The marshy areas support varied wildlife and vegetation: some provide shallows for skimming through the grasses and flora (yes, and becoming grounded easily). There is deep open water if you like it, but you can avoid it by sticking to the marshy areas, peninsulas, and islands (with landings) along the edges. If you face westward from the southeast finger, you will find a wonderful view of Mount Monadnock. Caution - You should make sure to fix landmarks in your mind as you leave the channel that takes you from the parking area. As you return, a channel to the right of the channel you entered through will lure you with its peeks at open water ahead: it is a worthwhile dead-end. Turning left to explore it on your way in will reward you, and it will fix the return route in your mind.




Kimball Pond & Conservancy
DeLorme 27-I14
Rough relative size – 50 acres

 
 
(Updated July 13, 2011)

From Dunbarton Center
From Bow Center

Route 13 (S)
Wood Hill Rd. (S)

Black Brook Rd. (E)
Morse Rd. (W)

Snow Rd. (N)
County Rd. (S)

Kimball Pond Rd. (W)

(Camping available by permit from Dunbarton Town Hall)

This is a great undeveloped, midsize, dammed pond with greatly varied features. You can leisurely circle the main pond in an hour and a half. There are bays to explore, though, and two beaver dams at the far end, with the Great Marsh ponds beyond them. Portaging over the dam that is further to the west provides a wealth of paddling opportunity. The bays that lead to those dams fill with vegetation during the summer, but on July 13 both dams were still accessible. You can find the one further to the west (or left of the other) by looking for a notch in the treeline. Across the next bay to the right of that dam, a tree with white and orange signs on it is a benchmark for the more eastern dam. As you approach the signs, a beaver lodge will appear on your right. If you then look to your left, a second notch in the treeline will show you where the dam is. Even so, since vegetation densely fills the marshes behind them, paddling the other side will be better in spring or fall.




Knights Pond
Delorme 37-D9
Rough relative size – 50 acres

(a Conservation Area)
 
(Up to date in 2012)

Recommended put-in: (This is a carry-in or wheel in - perhaps 300 yards)

From Alton

Route 28 (N) (or 28 south from Wolfeboro)

Right on Winnipasaukee Road - Just after the 40 MPH sign as you enter Wolfeboro

(Road name not on Delorme map)

The turn is at sign for ‘Winnepasaukee Estates’ - that sign is near the ground on right

Right on Knights Pond Road after .2 miles

Parking lot is at the end, and the trail is straight across the lot.

On the trail, you will quickly reach a T - turn left (Careful - T may be hard to see on return)

Main put-in: It is a smoother and wider path, and a pleasant walk, but is more than twice as long and is hilly.

From Alton

Route 28 (N) 7.5 miles. (or 28 south from Wolfeboro)

Right on Rines Road (left if from Wolfeboro)

After one mile, bear left at fork

After .5 mile, brown gate at left, turn onto access road

Ends at parking area - trail is on left, .4 miles to pond

Small but beautiful, the pond is surrounded by hiking trails, and there are at least two places on the pond where it would be easy to land for sitting, hiking, or a picnic.  If you put in at the place recommended, you can easily land at the alternate put-in and walk uphill the 700 yards or so to the gate, where trail maps and information are available.  Hemlocks, tall pines, birch, low shrubs, and rocks striped by the changes in water level surround this undisturbed, undeveloped, natural beaver pond.  The pond itself is a treat, with its clear water that exposes the fish, clouds of early summer fish eggs, tree drops, and aqueous vegetation along the shallow edges.  A small nearby mountain enhances the view.  A channel to the right at the opposite end becomes increasingly shallow as you follow it, is vegetation filled as the summer progresses, and is littered with tree parts, but it allows you to come upon a classical and amazing beaver dam that stands high above the water.  There did not seem to be great paddling opportunity that would reward a portage across the dam to paddle the lower water there, but that might vary with time of year and rainfall.




Lee’s Pond
Delorme 40-I4
Rough relative size – 25 acres

Marcus Wildlife Sanctuary
 
(Name change and up to date in 2012)


General - From Route 109 or Route 25i n Moultonborough follow signs to the Loon Center

From Route 109, south on Lee Road and Lee Mills Road toward Loon Center

Right on Blake Road for .2 miles, Access Road on left

From Route 25 in Moultonborough take Blake Road (right if coming from the south)

After .8 miles, Access Road on the right

You will immediately see Lee’s Pond (The name is in wrong place on Delorme maps)

Added options

Continuing along Blake Road .2 miles turn right on Lee Mills Road for the Loon Center

If you continue past the Loon Center, it will take you to a Lake Winnepasaukee bay


As a part of the sanctuary, Lee’s Pond is a protected environment within the otherwise hectic Lake Winnepasaukee region. A natural lake deepened slightly by a dam, it has a large central island, a varied shoreline that invites exploration, some marshes at the northern end – but also some traffic noise from Route 25, woodlands, and rocks that invite maneuvers. Motors are limited to 7.5 horsepower, but I saw none, only two canoes. The nearby Loon Center has wonderful hiking trails and information: It invites picnickers to use its screen-enclosed deck.

While there, I also put in at the public landing on the Winnepasaukee bay at the end of Lee Mills Road and explored it to the left, an area with shallow water and lily pads that did not tempt big motors. Depending on your like or dislike of motors and potentially rougher water, you could go farther out into the bay through its islands and enter Winnipasaukee. I tried to find a route into the marsh that the Loon Center hiking trail skirted: Failing that, I returned with a collection of arm scratches and a kayak carrying broken bush-limbs. I may try it again in spring or fall.




Long Pond - Benton            DeLorme 42-I7                      Rough relative size – 100 acres


Off route 116 between Benton and Boutin Corner

South on Long Pond Road – narrow dirt road  (Previously North South Rd.)

or

From Glencliff on Route 25

North on Long Pond Road (Previously North South Rd.)


Rocks, spruce, birch, water flowers, loons, heron, ducks, beaver, islands, marshes, channels (dead end mostly), and moose (locals say) if you play your cards right.  That is the flavor, but nothing can describe the peacefulness and quiet, when the loons are still, or tranquility of this pond.  Seemingly undiscovered, it maintains its natural beauty with elegance that you may find that is yours to enjoy alone.  There are waterside picnic areas, restrooms, and viewing platforms, just right for some folding chairs at the launch site.  The paddle around is about an hour, if you are an obsessive paddler, or longer if you want to absorb the quietness, or explore the nooks, islands and bays.  I did both.




Manning Lake
DeLorme 36-F5
Rough relative size – 200 acres

(Updated August 2011)


Route 140 from Alton or Belmont to Gilmanton

From the Gilmanton Iron Works Store go .3 miles west toward Belmont

Right on Crystal Lake Rd. (N) (or left if coming from Belmont)

(It, perhaps unnoticeably, becomes Guinea Ridge Rd.)

4.8 miles of paved road

1 mile of dirt road

Right on Manning Lake Road just after campground

.4 miles to boat ramp and parking area on right


With the installation of a motorboat ramp, continual development along half of the south shore, and the replacement of the loon habitat with the boat and swimming docks of a youth camp built in the conservation area, the pristine wilderness feeling is gone. Yet, it is still a good place to paddle, though not always a serene one. The rocky shore with its stripes reflecting the varying water level, clear water, and mountain backdrop provide a comfortable aesthetic. Vegetation along the north side (the conservation area) includes a variety of grasses, what may be hedge hyssop in small patches, lobelia, pickerelweed, rushes, sedges, lilies, rushes, some water crowfoot, and some bottom growth that may be algae. The forests to the north include several evergreen varieties and mixed hardwoods. Beaver activity is still evident near the far end, but during recent visits, no loons or other previous wildlife appeared. If paddling at a moderate speed without pausing to absorb, the round trip will take about 1.5 hours.




Marcus Wildlife Sanctuary                              DeLorme 40-I4                      Rough relative size – 25 acres

General - From Route 109 in or Route 25 in Moultonborough follow signs to the Loon Center

You will be next door to the paddling attractions

From Route 25 in Moultonborough take Blake Road southeast (right if coming from the south)

Look for Access Road on the right

You will immediately see Lee’s Pond (The name is displaced on DeLorme maps)

Continuing along Blake Road takes you to the Loon on a perpendicular road

If you turn right on that perpendicular road, it will take you to a Lake Winnepasaukee bay

Lee’s Pond is a protected environment within the otherwise hectic Lake Winnepasaukee region.  A natural lake deepened slightly by a dam, it has a large central island, a varied shoreline that invites exploration, some marshes at the northern end – but also some traffic noise from Route 25, woodlands, and rocks that invite maneuvers.  Motors are limited to 7.5 horsepower, but I saw none, only two canoes.  The nearby Loon has wonderful hiking trails and information: It invites picnickers to use its screen-enclosed deck.

While there, I also put in at the public landing on Winnepasaukee and explored the bay to the left, which did not tempt big motors.  Circling a small house on an island, I had a delightful conversation with the owner who thanked me for making a channel through the lilies and her teen-aged daughter who waded to pop my displaced skeg back into its normal place.  I tried to find a route into the marsh that the Loon hiking trail skirted:  Failing that, I returned with a collection of arm scratches and a kayak sporting broken bush-limbs.  After the waning of summer growth, I may try it again. 




McDaniel’s Marsh
DeLorme 34-E2 and others
Rough relative size – 500 acres

 
 
(Up to date in 2012)

I89 Exit 12A

Right on George Mills Road for 1.5 miles

Left on Main Street (Route 114) for 2.9 miles

Right on Four Corners Road for 0.8 mile

At stop sign, left to continue on Four Corners Road for 1.0 mile

Left on Route 4A for 6.0 miles

Left on George Hill Road for 4.0 miles

Put-in is at intersection of Bog Road and George Hill Road

An apparently natural marsh, the low dam at the put-in has formed a pond with marshy edges. When you arrive, note the location of tall evergreens on an island directly across the pond. When you arrive at that island, after exploring the pond edges, pass on the right to enter the shallower marshland, noticing the huge beaver lodge on the island’s edge. You may then think that you will spend your day pushing through an apparent wall of pickerel weeds and lilies, but if you bear to the left a good channel will open to view. That will windingly take you to the end of the marsh at its source in an evergreen forest. McDaniel’s has all the features and life of a classical marsh, but provides an openness of view often blocked by high grasses in other marshes. During summer bloom, you will pass through varying “fields” of color, which will alone make the trip worthwhile. If you have time, you might want to combine this with a trip to George Pond at the far end of Bog Road or a hike into Cole Pond halfway along Bog Road.




Meeting House Pond
DeLorme 19-E14
Rough relative size – 50 acres

Kensan Devan and Meetinghouse
 
(Up to date in 2012)

Sanctuary - Audobon Society
 
 

From Marlborough on Route 101

Route 124 (S) for 2.2 miles

(Note: Do not be tempted by Meeting House Road at 0.5 miles - overgrown)

Left on Underwood Road

First parking lot at 0.3 miles

Pine Grove relaxation area and dam, would be nice to picnic in

Informal put-ins on far side of pine grove and on dam

Hike/bike trail across from parking lot

Second parking lot at 0.4 miles

Boat access ramp

Hike/bike trail at head of parking lot

This is a small pond, but well worth the trip. Although a small low dam maintains the water level, the pond has a feeling of natural wildness. The surrounding hills have a great mix of hardwoods and evergreens of varying heights. Although you can circle it in an hour, it has nice marsh and island features with greatly varied shore and water vegetation, and is completely free of development. There is much wildlife, and only bird sounds punctuate the complete quietness that is among the pond’s strongest features. The rough hiking trails along the pond itself are becoming overgrown and are deteriorating, but the bike-able hiking trail from the second parking lot is excellent. I did not hike the trail from the first parking lot: although blocked by a log and a low cable (perhaps to discourage motorized or wheeled things), it appears to be in similar good condition. While there, visit the scenic Meeting House site and cemetery on Frost Hill Rd, which is the next road north of Underwood Road off Route 124.




Merrymeeting Run                              Delorme 37-G8 to 37-H9 

From Alton Bay (Winnepasaukee) to new Durham

See directions below and piece it together any way you like.

If you are willing to do a carry for perhaps a hundred yards going between the Alton recreational facility and the dam, you can pass by the dam and spend a long day on the Merrymeeting - simply combine Merrymeeting River section 1, section 2, and Merrymeeting Marsh #1 (not Merrymeeting Marsh #2).




Merrymeeting Marsh #1                   DeLorme 37-H9

From Alton

Route 11 (East)

Put-in is on the right, clearly marked, just before a bridge

A long, sinuous, marsh meander, for as much of the day as you want to play.  The through channel, paralleling Route 28, veers to the right after a bit, while the channel to the left eventually ends.  It will take a while to lose the initial Route 11 traffic noise, but once you have, both the silence and the sounds will intrigue you.  There are many side channels to trick you and trap you, so keep a wary eye, drag a long string from the boat launch, or drop breadcrumbs on the water.  I have done it several times and still have much exploring to do.  By the way, if you want to see just how dark a marsh can get and how hard it is to follow a channel when it does, lose track of the time as I did one afternoon. 




Merrymeeting Marsh #2                    DeLorme 37-G9                     Rough relative size – 400 acres

From Alton

Old route 11 (Briefly north from the traffic circle, turn right)

Perhaps a couple of miles, road on left (north), unnamed on my map

(Or go on to Brackett Rd. (going north))

(The unnamed road may be Chesley Road)

Follow this road along Merrymeeting Marsh

After a bridge at Merrymeeting Pond on left (or called Marsh Pond)

Begin to look for a left parking area with a large wooden sign

Put-in is hidden at far end of the parking area and down a small hill

This delightful paddle starts out in classic stream beauty.  Before or after the thickness of summer vegetation, and even during it if you are hardy, you can take a side trip just before Merrymeeting Pond to explore a not too obvious route into a beaver dam with a higher pond behind it.  Vegetation is varied and summer birds are fun.  Being a wildlife management area, all sections of Merrymeeting Marsh have waterfowl in season.  I once had a beaver swim along in front, as if guiding me back to the boat launch (or perhaps away from its lodge). 




Merrymeeting River - section 1                       Delorme 37-G8     

From Alton to Alton Bay and Lake Winnepasaukee

Traveling west on Route 11 in Alton

Left turn on route 140

After a short distance, turn right on S Curve Road

Across from Fire Department

Between a Pond and Merrymeeting River

Pass a dam on the left and look for town recreation area on left

Turn into recreation area

Put-in is at end of parking area

(There are public and paid put-ins in Alton Bay – water sometimes rough)

In spite of its proximity to roads, this is a lovely sinuous and mostly narrow paddle.  It takes you under a bridge, through marshy areas, and on to boat yards at the lake.  If adventurous, you could paddle the lake for a short distance to the docks on the left and have lunch at one of the restaurants. 




Merrymeeting River - section 2                       Delorme 37-G8   (Changed June 2010)

From Alton

Traveling west on Route 11 in Alton

Left turn on route 140

Pass the Fire Department on the left and the pond and road on the right

Cross the Merrymeeting River

The put-in is immediately after the bridge on the left                   

(Please take care to leave put-in access open for others)

Alternate put-in is across the bridge, by the Fire Department.

This is a nice slow water paddle from one side of Alton to the other.  Just before the Route 28 bridge there is a kayak rental dock on the right and a path from it that leads to the River Run deli/restaurant.  The rebuild of the bridge and ‘Posted’ signs have eliminated some previous informal landing spots.  When crossing under the bridge, you are then entering the western side of Merrymeeting Marsh #1, where you can paddle to exhaustion of you like.  (See Merrymeeting Marsh #1 above)




Mountain Pond                      DeLorme 45 –F11 Rough relative size – 100 acres  

Chatham

From North Conway, route 16 North

Turn right on 16A after passing through Intervale

At Lower Bartlett, turn right onto Town Hall Road.

(It may become Slippery Brook Road)

After 2.5 miles, the mountain road becomes a dirt road for 4 miles.

There is a well-marked parking area.

The lengthy dirt road drive and the uncomfortable (but not prohibitive) carry make the pond a bit difficult to get to, but it is well worth the prices it exacts.  After 1/4 mile (perhaps fifteen minutes), of carry-in you will come upon a trail that loops around the pond.  Turn left.  About 100 yards along the trail a short trail on the right takes you to the put-in. Staying on the loop trail will take you the camping shelter near the end of the pond, should you want to stay a while.  Mountain Pond’s clear crisp water, partially rocky shoreline, varied vegetation, and natural beauty, are soothing treats, a wonderful place to be. It is not a huge pond, but you will not feel in a hurry to complete your circuit.




Nubanusit Lake                   DeLorme 20-A2                    Rough relative size – 650 acres

Hancock

Route 123 (N)

Hunts Pond Rd. (W)

Kings Highway (N)

A big U-shaped lake it can be fun to paddle but is usually windy and rough.  Developed with many large houses, most of which have boats – some large, it is a popular fishing destination.  It does provide portage access, however, to Spoonwood Lake, (straight across from the boat launch), which is a treat.  There are campsites on Spoonwood, managed and reserved through a private club – membership cost is low (see Spoonwood Pond below). Nubanusit boasts one of the few Bald Eagle nesting trees in New Hampshire (follow the shoreline to the right and honor the roped-off area).  Although there was concern that the Eagles had left after raccoons ravaged their nest, they are still there in 2004.  There are a couple of swimming holes, one with a rope swing, across from the boat ramp.  Be aware that Nubanusit is heavily developed.




Parker Mill Pond (WMA)                   Delorme 20-B6             Small Pond, streams and river
                                                                                                     (Added September 21, 2010)

Bennington                                or                                  Peterborough

Route 202 (S)                                                                Route 202 (N)

Left on Forest Road at stop light                                     Right on Forest Road - 1 mile after Route 123
                                                                              @ Greenfield State Park sign

Pass through covered bridge                                           Pass through covered bridge

Right into small State park for boat ramp                       Right into small State park for boat ramp

Normally considered a put-in for Powder Mill Pond, this is a unique and rich place to paddle in its own right, but is a well-kept secret. The fact that it is the best access to Powder Mill Pond adds to its attractiveness. Putting in at the boat ramp, you have three options. Turning left to pass the small swimming beach (another nice put-in when no one is swimming) you can travel a ways up a stream. As always, how far you will go will depend on the variable water level and degree of vegetation fill at that time. A right turn takes you under the covered bridge to a short stretch of the Contoocook River and Powder Mill Pond, created by a Contoocook river dam at the far end. Having turned right, though, you can choose to turn to the left at the end of initial left side embankment, and then follow a channel through a stretch of marshland with bays and islands. The marshes give way to deciduous woodlands and a slow-flow section of the Contoocook. You can travel a nice distance before it shallows and turns to rock-strewn quickwater. There is an interesting side exploration along the way, accessible through a narrow concrete culvert passing under an old railway track.




Pawtuckaway Lake
DeLorme 29-H9
Rough relative size – 900 acres

(Big lake – this is a good place to put in)

 
 
(Up to date in 2012)

From the North

In Epsom on routes 4, 202, and 9

Route 107 south

At about 5 miles Route 107 and 43 merge in Deerfield

At about 6 miles turn left on Parade Road

It becomes Deerfield Road at the Parade

4.6 miles on Deerfield Road to boat launch sign and road to the right

0.5 mile road becomes rough, but is OK

From the south

Take I93 Exit 7 for route 101 East

Go 14.7 miles to Exit 5 and route 107

Travel 15.1 miles north to route 156

Turn right on route 156 toward Nottingham for 5.9 miles

Turn left on Deerfield Road for 1.8 miles

Look for boat launch sign and road to left

0.5 mile road becomes rough, but is OK

This can be a beautiful place to be, but the open water can get rough in the wind. If you stay at the northwest end, you can convince yourself that it is totally undeveloped, while absorbing Mother Nature's good stuff. If you wander around, the route back to the put-in is not obvious. Be careful to note landmarks for your return trip. If you want to explore further, go down the west side and enjoy the islands. At the south end, you will find a big campground and facilities, and some nice paddling through bays, some of which are developed. The east shore is heavily developed.

Pawtuckaway has many features for off-water exploration, including a fire tower that is open to the public, gentle hiking trails, a road to a delightful small wood-pond that you could canoe or kayak, and many roads to walk.




Pillsbury State Park Ponds   (This is not Pillsbury Pond)            DeLorme 26-D2    

Rough relative size of largest pond – 200 acres

Washington

Route 31 (N)

A delight for anyone, the ponds at Pillsbury State Park can be a family delight.  Even the drive will lift your spirits as you move more deeply into nature and ascend into changing vegetation.  Scenic picnic areas and a playground enhance the potential water adventures.  This is a lightly developed, dispersed park, with primitive (toilets available, but no showers or other amenities) sites on and off the waterfront and a separated group camping area.  Some sites are isolated from the others and some are across water. Portage trails are available between the ponds and at least three ponds are accessible directly by car.  In a beautiful unspoiled natural setting, the small ponds offer a variety of experience.  It is a great place for picnicking and pop-in paddling, or a longer adventure of exploration. During my first paddle, loons allowed me to watch them feed small fish to their young.  The largest beaver I have ever seen paddled alongside, quietly exchanging fifteen minutes of coexistence on the planet with another grandfather.




Piscassic River                     DeLorme 29-J12 (Name not on map) 

(Deleted July 2012 -inconsistent with Quiet Waters goals)




Pleasant Pond
DeLorme 27-G8
Rough relative size – 50 acres

(Deleted May 2012 - No longer recommended, due to small size and development)




Powder Mill Pond Delorme 20-B6 Rough relative size - 350 acres

(Added - September 2010)

Put-in #1

Bennington

Route 202 (S)

Look for Route 137 sign

Small parking area on right

 

 

Put-in #2

Continue South on Route 202

 

 

Left on Forest Road at stop light

 

Pass through covered bridge

Right into small State park for boat ramp

 

 

or

 

 

 

Carry across road and old rail tracks

 

 

 

@ Greenfield State Park sign

 

 

 

 

Turn right to paddle up Contoocook River to the pond

 

Peterborough

Route 202 (N)

Just after Route 137 intersection

Small parking area on left

 

 

 

Not as far north on Route 202 several miles before 137

 

Right on Forest Road - 1 mile after Route 123

 

Pass through covered bridge

Right into small State park for boat ramp

 

The southern put-in is preferable. It provides more parking, a greater range of options (see Parker Mill Pond description), and is away from traffic noise. Powder Mill Pond is a broad and open pond just southwest of Crotched Mountain. Although partially developed, mostly on the southern portion of the west side, and traffic noisy at the north put-in, it is a pleasant and extensive place to paddle. With two large islands in the northern part, many bays, several inlets, varied vegetation, clear water, and the background of Crotched Mountain it has aesthetic appeal. You will find informal camping areas on the islands, but if you intend to use them check for overnight parking restrictions. Caution is advisable on windy days. Being broad and open, the water can become choppy and the terrain will channel a wind from the north down the Contoocook River into your face. Great value is added by the connection to Parker Mill Pond Wildlife Management Area - a gem in its own right, with its access to an extension of the Contoocook River. The prohibition against gasoline motors preserves the quietness of both pond areas.




Powwow River
Delorme 23-D12
Rough relative size - 2 miles long

(Added July 2011)

107 south from Northwood or 125 south from Rochester

to Kingston

Continue 3 miles south of the intersection of 107 and 125

Left on New Boston Road at traffic light

Go .5 mile to put-in at a bridge


The Powwow River connects Powwow Pond and Country Pond. Powwow Pond itself is pleasant, shallow, lily covered, and comfortable, but housing development on one side reduces the naturalness. The presence of large motorboats at the entrance to Country Pond discouraged further exploration.


Some suggest that vegetation growth precludes summer paddling on the river, and on arrival on July 9, the breadth of the lily-choked river did appear to be impassable. On the water, however, the channel quickly becomes visible and it is deep enough through most of its length to be likely to stay open for the summer. However, as you approach Country Pond the water becomes shallower and the channel becomes more faint. Passing through will require more effort by summer’s end. Side channels and bays will have open water only in spring and fall.


The river is a continually changing mix of marshland and broadening sinuous lazy river, bordered by a varying mix of hardwood, evergreens, shoreline shrubs, and grasses. From the start, you travel though a colorful expanse of arrowhead, pickerelweed, purple loosestrife, and pink, yellow, and white water lilies. Farther along, grasses, rushes, pondweed, floating hearts, water-shield, and various submerged plants intermix. The standard cast of characters is present in blue heron, ducks, redwing blackbirds, water skimming insect hunters, and box turtles. On this auspicious July day, though, a couple in a canoe said to look for the bald eagle perched ahead. After giving up the search for it, a large bird suddenly appeared high above the river, soaring into the distance as only an eagle can. Maybe it was and maybe not.




Robartwood Pond and Campton Bog                                 DeLorme 39-F10 

I93 Exit 27

Bog Road West (there is a sign on the ramp)

2.4 Miles to Beech Hill Road on left

Access is immediately visible

(I prefer the grassy slope to the right, where the water is shallow.)

A quiet water paddler’s playground, this pretty pond (with houses only near the put-in) soon becomes a wide meandering channel through marshes.  You may be thrilled to hear the water flowing over the nearly two foot high beaver dam at the pond’s end before you actually see it.   To the left of that dam is a short portage to the raised Campton Bog (think which end of your boat you will want in the water – little turnaround space).  With its many bays and channels, the bog is a treat.  When you think you have run out of water, look for a narrow channel on the right:  It will provide some more play time. 




Salmon Falls River
DeLorme 37-F14
(Up to date in 2012)

(small section of marshy paddling)

Route 125 south from Union (2 miles)

Or Route 125 north from Milton (4 miles from RV center)

Turn east at large sign pointing to Milton Mills (unnamed road) for 2.6 miles

At Milton Mills, bear right on Main Street for 0.3 miles

Main Street bears to left at General Store

Pass Post Office on right and Trading Post on left

At Trading Post, Main Street becomes Jug Hill Road

Continue on Jug Hill Road for 0.3 mile,

Turn right on Hopper Road

The first put-in is about 0.5 mile up Hopper Road, by a bridge, above a dam

The second put-in is 0.5 mile farther along the road, but has less parking.

This is the better end to paddle.

This is not a large area, but it is unspoiled and fun to paddle. After putting in, head north to get the most wilderness, moving away from the road and minor development. After a short marshy paddle from the more northerly put-in, a broad channel will narrow at a beaver dam. During high water, you can paddle over it. The rest of the time you will carry, but it is fun and worth the effort. The channel narrows and becomes lightly sinuous, with marshy side channels, some deceptive. Numerous redwing blackbirds, swallows, dragonflies and other things of the air will greet and accompany you. About halfway up, a false channel will pull you to the right towards some cabins, but it is fun to explore. The main channel is to the left through marsh, with opportunity for playing. Toward the end of the marsh, the roles reverse with a smaller channel pulling you to the left. The slightly longer and more open paddling opportunity is on the right. Both channels end at newer beaver dams. You can cross, but you will not yet find much paddling beyond them. The dam at the more southern put-in would be a nice place to picnic.




Shellcamp Pond
DeLorme 36-I4
Rough relative size – 150 acres

(Updated August 2011)

107 from Laconia or Pittsfield or 140 from Alton or Belmont

To Gilmanton Corner at intersection of routes 140 and 107

West on route 140 (toward Belmont) .1 mile

Left on Meadow Pond Rd.

1 mile to parking and ramp on right


Due to development that has continued along the south shore, this pleasant pond with an irregular shoreline and varied vegetation is a good local choice, but not worthy of long travel. The home building is not intrusive for much of the distance, but becomes more open and apparent as you approach the far end. The presence of motorboats may make off-season paddling preferable. The mixed deciduous forest would make it a good fall foliage choice.

Although now more developed, it is still a good place for paddling. The north shore abuts the Meadow Pond State Forest with its widely varied mix of trees. Unlike the south shore, which is deep, its shallow waters provide a continuous wide band of vegetation. You will skim through grasses, rushes, lilies, watershield, pikerelweed, and arrowhead, and will come across small patches of more unusual finds. There are two large marshes with many channels to explore. You will want to stay on the north side, except to make a circle around the island (“Posted” - no landing) with its varied features and vegetation. You can be sure of a smooth and gentle paddle, even on days when wind whips up the nearby big lakes. A round trip at a moderate paddling rate, without pausing for explorations, will take about an hour.




Spoonwood Pond                  DeLorme 20-A2                    Rough relative size – 150 acres

Hancock

Route 123 (N)

Hunts Pond Rd. (W)

Kings Highway (N)

Paddle across Nubanusit (heading at 1:00 before you) or turn right from the boat launch to follow the shore.

At opposite shore, use short, marked portage trail or carry over dam

A quiet, nature-sweet, moderate sized pond with interesting features, accessible only by a short portage across a dam separating it from Nubanusit Lake.  It is a good place to spend a day. There are campsites, but they are reserved for members of the Harris, a nature group that manages the pond. The nearby Harris Center has hiking trails and other activities.  To reach Spoonwood, you cross Nubanusit Lake, which is always windy and sometimes rough, but a nice place to be.  Nubanusit boasts one of the few Bald Eagle nesting trees in New Hampshire.  Spoonwood Pond itself is not developed, but Nubanusit is. 




Stumpfield Marsh                Delorme   27-F10     Rough relative size – 100 acres

Route 9/202 east from Henniker, about 5 miles

Right on Stumpfield Road,just before bridge over Hopkinton Lake

or

I89 west from I93 south of Concord

At exit 5 enter route 9/202 west

After crossing Hopkinton Lake at 1.5 miles

Turn left on Stumpfield Road

Stumpfield Marsh sign and road are on the right at about 1.7 miles

Just before a long set of guardrails

 The parking area adjoins an area of needle-covered ground under a grove of tall white pines, which could be a nice spot for a light picnic near a crystal-clear stream and the sounds of the water flowing across the beaver dam.  From the easy put-in, three elusive and shallow channels lead into the natural and undeveloped beaver marsh.  The one at about 11:00 from the put-in is the easiest to find and has slightly deeper water.  The marsh is not large, but there are plenty of opportunities for exploring channels, weaving around hummocks and islands, and finding hidden coves, all while surrounded by a pleasant and interesting variety of vegetation.  Spring or fall may be better than summer for your excursion, unless you truly enjoy the sound of hull against lily-pads, the moderate effort required for paddling through the lily leaves, pickerel weed, and tall grasses.  Even in the more open spring or fall water, you will probably chuckle over the sudden hang-ups on unseen mud hummocks or logs.  There are many delights while on the water, including silver dollar sized floating snail shells - complete with matching snails, four huge heron nests in two barren tall trees, and at least two beaver lodges.  Perhaps you will even have the treat of seeing three huge herons in another barren tree, or the high-soaring hunter circling above.  The inlet was not accessible during August, but it would be a good guess that the marsh will growing season, maybe even opening to the inlet.  




Umbagog Lake                      DeLorme 51-F10 (A big lake – this is a good put-in place)

Rough relative size – 8000 acres

Errol

Route 16 (N)

Pass dam

Look carefully for lightly used roadway on right

Often thought of as too windy and rough, except for passing-through adventure travel, Umbagog has some beautiful tranquil spots.  If you put in at the (fairly well hidden and lightly used) boat launch at the wide spot on the Androscoggin River (west of what is called Sweet Meadow on the maps) then paddle east, you will have great treats in store.  Those treats are more likely to include Moose than most New Hampshire paddling places.  There are marshes to explore on the way and it is a nice section of the river.  When you enter Umbagog, you are in an island area that is fun to paddle and has campsites (Reservations needed from the State during active times).  Much of the northern sector is good paddling.  You can also go farther north to the ranger station for a put-in and come down the Magalloway river, but the scenery becomes repetitive.  It is not a fast river in that section.  The Magalloway River and some sections of Umbagog have development in some places, but not in the northwest section of the lake. 




Walker Pond
Delorme 27-A11
Rough relative size – 150 acres

 
 
(Added in April 2012)

From Salisbury at intersection of Routes 127 and 4 (Country Store and gas station).

South on 127 for 4.5 miles

Left on Long Street

There is a T at about 1.3 miles - Turn right on Water Street (it still seems to be Long Street)

At about 1.5 miles from there, Water Street turns sharply left

Take the smaller street to the right (signs may be confusing)

Pass brick building on right at 0.1 miles (alternate less-attractive put-in to right of building)

Main put-in is further on right at a blue trail marker sign - 0.1 miles

Several rough parking spots

This is a truly pleasant medium sized pond. The western side has been developed, but only one house is obtrusive. Motors are restricted to 6 HP. Having a broad and open center, the irregular shoreline is rough and rocky, with many remnants of tree falls in and out of the water. A narrow pass at the south end takes you into a long shallow, and stump-filled outflow bay, which exhibits a huge beaver lodge built against a boulder like a lean-to. Slow paddling is wise: depending on the light conditions, you will feel the many submerged trunks and branches before you see them. The trunks seem on a mission to arrest you, while the branches seem dedicated to tipping you, yet it is a great place to paddle. At its end, you will hear the water flowing over an aging dam.

At the northern end, there is a broad marsh with an inflow channel on its eastern side. The channel appears to remain open for some distance, but since a storm was coming up, providing a strong in-your-face-wind and a heavy chop for my return to the put-in, I needed to leave exploration of it for another day.




White Oak Pond
DeLorme 39-I14
Rough relative size – 300 acres

 
 
(Up to date in 2012)

In Holderness at intersection of 113 and Routes 3/25

East on Routes 3/25 toward Meredith - 1.7 miles

Shepard Hill Road intersects at reverse angle on right

Put-in is next to small dam at that intersection

Parking is just past the intersection across from Cromwell Point

The road traffic and the development around the put-in may give you a negative first impression, but both rapidly disappear. There are a few small docks scattered about the lightly developed pond, but there are no powerboats: Although there is an expanse of open water, motors are limited to 7.5 horsepower. A truly nice, quiet, mountain-surrounded pond with heavily wooded shoreline, this has several islands, backwaters, bays, and a long input channel eventually interrupted by a beaver dam. I did not cross the dam during my trip, but there is at least some paddling opportunity on the other (higher) side.




WickwasLake
Delorme 35-B14
Rough relative size – 350 acres

 
 
(Up to date in 2012)

I-93 to exit 23

East on Route 104 for 4.9 miles

Right on Meredith Center Rd. for 0.9 miles

Right on Chemung Rd. for 1.0 mile

Put-in is at Pickering Park on right

Roadside parking is across the street

A very appealing lake with much variety, including marshes, short streams, and islands. Nice wooded shoreline, although now partially developed. Since this has the attributes of a larger pond, it is best to find a time when motorboat traffic is likely to be lower, unless you enjoy their company. Seasonally aesthetic and quiet in the spring and fall.




Willard Pond                         DeLorme 26-K4                     Rough relative size – 100 acres

Route 123 (S) from Route 9 to South Stoddard

Willard Pond Road on left (if headed south)

This is a delightful place to be.  Usually calm it has many interesting features, great backdrop, and lots of nature in the raw.  An Audobon Preserve, it has only one house, near the boat ramp.  People swim at the boat ramp and there are plenty of islands and rocks for additional swims in the Pond.  To round out a day bring a picnic, and use the hiking trails around the pound or up the mountain.  You will return, probably more than a second trip. 


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