Lake House At Ferry Point
Fall Foliage is Changing in New Hampshire 18 Sep 2016, 10:00 pm
Warm summer breezes have seamlessly transitioned to crisp autumn air. Fall is officially here, and fall foliage season in New Hampshire is underway. Though the entire New Englund region is renowned for its vibrant displays of reds, oranges, greens, and yellows, there are perhaps no regions more picturesque than New Hampshire’s Lakes Region in the fall. Whether you choose to get out on the lakes themselves or hike above them for a birds-eye view of the colorful displays, you can’t beat a fall getaway to the Lakes Region. Book your stay at Lake Winnisquam’s only waterfront Bed and Breakfast, and experience a delightful fall in New Hampshire.
It’s pretty hard to go wrong during the fall in the Lakes Region. Everywhere you turn, you’ll be rewarded with dazzling displays of fiery reds and oranges, mixed with bright pops of yellows and greens. From the shores of our Lakefront Bed and Breakfast, you can enjoy these colorful displays without going far. Stay close to the property, get out on the water, or get the best views by hiking up in the surrounding mountains. Here are our favorite ways to experience the beautiful fall foliage season in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire:
- Get out on the water with Squam Lake Cruises. You’ll enjoy a comfortable 1 ½ hour boat tour around beautiful Squam Lake. Along the way, you’ll enjoy stunning fall foliage reflected into the still waters of the lakes. You’ll also be treated to a tour of historic homes, scenic mountain views, and remarkable wildlife, including Loons.
- Hike the West Rattlesnake Mountain Trail. Hiking a quick mile up this trail will treat you to some incredible views. The trip up includes both stairs and plenty of rocks along the pathway, but it’s beyond worth it. Views from the top include Squam Lake and Lake Winnipesaukee, as well as the fiery hillsides all around you.
- Cruise Lake Winnipesaukee. Take a cruise on the historic boat M/S Mount Washington around Lake Winnipesaukee, which in and of itself has been a tourist attraction for decades. This boat has been in service since 1940, but the service has been around since 1872. Though you’ll be on a crowded boat with about 1,250 other visitors in search of some spectacular fall foliage, the journey along the 21-mile long Lake Winnipesaukee is still worth every second.
- From spring through fall, the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad takes visitors on excursions around Lake Winnipesaukee. The journey is a delightful trip, that offers visitors a choice between one and two hour trips along the 7-mile waterfront journey. In the fall, foliage trains offer visitors different routes, including a four-hour trip from Meredith to Livermore Falls, as well as an all-day excursion to Lincoln. It’s both a relaxing and beautiful way to experience fall foliage.
Everyone wants to enjoy the splendid beauty of fall foliage in New England. There’s no better place to do this than in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, which has one of the longest lasting color displays. Enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty of Mother Nature by day, and relax in the luxurious accommodations of our New Hampshire Inn by night. There’s no better place to be this fall. Book your room at our Lakes Region Bed and Breakfast today.
Breweries and Wineries in the Lakes Region 25 Aug 2016, 10:00 pm
Labor Day is just around the corner, which to many marks the unofficial end of summer. However, in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, there are still a few more weeks to enjoy a blissful summer getaway before the dramatic colors fall set in and another winter comes knocking at our door. There are few things better than a day spent hiking in the mountains of New Hampshire or boating around these beautiful lakes. Follow these great adventures up with an afternoon at local wineries or breweries, and you’ll be wishing summer would never end. Take advantage of these last weeks of summer, and book your room at our Lakefront Bed and Breakfast today.
Lakes Region Wineries & Breweries
There is nothing better than enjoying the scenic lake views of New Hampshires Lakes Region while sipping a delicious glass of wine or a frosty craft beer. Local wineries and breweries are a fantastic way to wind down a day in the Lakes Region, no matter the reason for your visit. Despite the challenging short and cool growing season, New Hampshire’s industry is steadily growing, and now includes 7 wineries in the Lakes Region itself.
- Haunted Whisper Vineyards & Spirits: This wonderful winery is also a distillery. They currently produce rum & brandy based spirits, and will soon be adding whiskies & moonshine to their repertoire. Their wines range from delicious dry & sweet, reds and whites, to a variety of fruit wines. They are open 5 days a week through November.
- Hermit Woods Winery: The unique wines made at Hermit Woods are award-winning and handcrafted, each made from a unique combination of locally sourced fruit, honey, and flowers. Their wines are all vegan (with the exception of honey wines), gluten-free, raw, and mostly organic. They offer tastings during opening hours, as well as winery tours on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Coffin Cellars: Coffin Cellars features wines made from fruits and berries, most of which are locally grown. Complimentary tastings are offered on Saturdays and Sundays through November.
- Gilmanton Winery: This Lakes Region Winery has a tremendous variety of wine available for tasting, all of which can be sampled in their tasting room during opening hours. There is also a wonderful restaurant on site.
- Newfound Lake Vineyards: This is the newest winery & vineyard in the Lakes Region, and offers a selection of hand-crafted red and white varietals made from the grapes grown in their four-acre vineyard, as well as fruit wines made from locally grown fruit.
- Sap House Meadery: Though it doesn’t produce traditional wine, the Sap House Meadery is definitely worth the visit. Mead is the oldest fermented drink in the world, and predates both wine and beer. They offer tours and tastings, and also have a pub that serves up a delicious menu.
- Woodstock Inn, Station, & Brewery: Of all the breweries in New Hampshire, this is one of the finest. Located near White Mountain, Woodstock Inn Brewery is a definite must-stop for those returning from a long an arduous adventure in the mountains. The brewery, having been in business for 21 years, has grown into a thirty-barrel production brewery, crafting more than a dozen year-round and seasonal beers. The restaurant, housed in a one-time train depot, serves a menu filled with mouth-watering appetizers, homemade soups, sandwiches, burgers and delectable entrees.
- The Lone Wolf Brewing Company: This brewery, which brews only 1 barrel at a time for maximum efficiency and flavor, features a variety of beers and 8 rotating drafts in their tap room. They also offers growlers of their beer to go.
- Squam Brewing: Squam Brewing is one of the smallest breweries in the country, but don’t let that deter you from a visit. The brewery currently brews and bottles 6 different craft beers, and is a not-to-be-missed local brewing experience.
- Shackett’s Brewing Company: This brewery is dedicated to creating artisanal ales and an unlimited amount of one-of-a-kind, whimsical beers. They offer both tastings and growler fills in their taproom. They are only open Fridays and Saturdays, but it’s well worth the stop.
Once you’ve had your fill of our local wineries and breweries, head back to the quiet, restful accommodations at the Lakes Region’s only Lakefront Bed and Breakfast. Enjoy the quiet, scenic property on the shores of Lake Winnisquam, and experience a restful retreat in the Lakes Region. Book your stay at our luxurious Bed and Breakfast today.
Enjoy Calmer Waters on Lake Winnisquam 17 Jul 2016, 10:00 pm
The Lake House at Ferry Point is a beautiful lakeside Bed and Breakfast, located on charming Lake Winnisquam. Lake Winnipesaukee, our nearby and much larger neighbor certainly has a bigger claim to fame. However, we most certainly would argue that Lake Winnesquam is the best place to be in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region this summer. Why? Well, for that, you must read further. But trust us when we say that the lake activities are far superior on the smaller Lake Winnisquam. We also own the distinction of being the only lakeside Bed and Breakfast in the entirety of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. Book your stay with us this summer, and see for yourself how special this lake truly is.
So to answer the question “Why Lake Winnesquam?”, we must first point out its size relative to it’s larger companion, Lake Winnipesaukee. Oftentimes, we seem to think that bigger is better when it comes to lakes. In fact, we find the opposite to be true. Most of the tourists visiting New Hampshire’s Lakes Region are drawn to the size and abundant opportunities found on Lake Winnipesaukee. That leaves our charming Lake Winnisquam much more quiet; perfect for the relaxing escape that many visitors to the Lakes Region are looking for.
Here, you will enjoy idyllic views of the glistening lake water, with the looming guardian mountains in the distance. Lake Winnisquam’s clear and pristine water is ideal for nature lovers, but also perfect for those seeking a little action out on the water without all the traffic and boat wakes found on the larger lakes. Many of the hiking or biking trails in the area offer breathtaking views back over the lake, and a dip into the cool, refreshing waters of the lake is the perfect compliment to a hot summer day. No matter what it is, one day on these restful, quiet waters, and you’ll quickly see why it’s better here.
The Lakes Region is famous for its water sports during the summer months. From kayaking, canoeing, and Stand-Up Paddle boarding (SUPing), to tubing, waterskiing, and fishing, Lake Winnisquam has it all. Winnisquam Marine offers rentals of both motorized and non-motorized boats. Once on the lake, feel free to explore the 5.4 mile long lake and 28 miles of shoreline. Along the way, you’ll find the charming towns of Sanbornton, Tilton, Laconia, Meredith, and Belmont, in addition to five islands in the lake itself. The Winnesquam Sandbar is also a fun and popular place to stop for a rest along the lake.
There’s so much to explore, you won’t be able to see it all in one trip. Let us show you why Lake Winnisquam is the better place to be this summer. Book your room at our New Hampshire Bed and Breakfast today.
Hiking Trails in the Lakes Region 29 Jun 2016, 10:00 pm
The warm summer months are finally here. That means it’s time to escape the hectic everyday and head to the Lakes Region for endless fun in the summer sun. The Lakes region in New Hampshire, filled with exciting things to do and an abundance of natural beauty to enjoy, is the perfect getaway destination any time of year. There are 273 lakes and ponds to enjoy and miles upon miles of hiking trails to explore in the Lakes Region this summer. The Lake House at Ferry Point just so happens to be located right on the shores of Lake Winnesquam, marking it as the only lakefront Bed and Breakfast in the entire Lakes Region. Book your stay with us this summer, and enjoy the quiet, restful ambience of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region.
The hiking trails in the Lakes Region are scenic and varied. Whether you’d rather hike along the shores of lakes like Winnipesaukee, Winnisquam or Newfound Lake, or up through mountains like Mount Major, Belknap Mountain, and Rattlesnake Mountain, the hiking trails are seemingly endless. In total, there are hundreds of miles of hiking trails to explore, many suitable for all levels of experienced hikers. Two of the most popular hiking areas are White Mountain National Forest, and the Belknap Mountain Range.
Belknap Mountain Range
- Belknap Mountain, at 2382 ft. is the highest point in the county, and it’s separation from the White Mountains makes it one of the fifty most prominent peaks in New England. On clear days, you can often see snow-capped Mount Washington in the distance, part of the Ossipee Mountain Range.
- Mount Major is one of the most popular hiking trails in New Hampshire’s Lakes region. It’s not surprising considering you’ll be rewarded with some of the best in southern New Hampshire, especially for the amount of effort required to get to the top. The 2.5 hour long trip is a little more challenging than Belknap Mountain, but the views from the top are extraordinary.
- Gunstock Mountain and Mount Rowe are popular hiking trails. From the parking lot of the Gunstock Mountain Resort, you can easily reach the summit of Mount Rowe. Continuing on the Ridge Trail takes you across ledges and blueberry fields, and into a hardwood growth forest before heading back up onto the ridge and on to Gunstock Summer, where more great views of Lake Winnipesaukee, Mount Shaw and the Ossipee Range, the White Mountain Presidential Range and Mount Washington await.
- The Belknap Range Trail extends from the Gunstock Mountain Resort to Mt. Major parking area using all or part of several other trails along the way. Between the Gunstock Mountain Resort and Mt.Anna, you’ll find easier trails, while what remains is more moderate in difficulty. The area between Mt. Anna and Mt. Major is the most difficult section along the entire trail.
- The trail to Middle & North Sugarloaf is one of the best hikes in the White Mountain National Forest. A short 2.6 miles brings you to the summit of Middle Sugarloaf, which offers some of the finest views in the White Mountains. Go a little further to North Sugarloaf, and you’ll find excellent views from two different viewpoints
- The views from Mount Carrigain can easily be considered the finest in all of the White Mountain National Forest.
- Mount Washington is New England’s tallest mountain, and is climbed by thousands of well-conditioned each year. The effort to get to the top is extremely challenging, but the views are absolutely fantastic.
- Located just north of Squam Lake is Rattlesnake Trail, where you will certainly find the most quintessentially beautiful view of the lakes from the top. Photographs will never do these views justice, as it must be seen in person.
Though there’s not room to mention them all, there are some truly incredible hiking trails in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. No matter which you choose, the stunning beauty of this area will surely captivate you, and keep you coming back time and time again. Book your stay at our Lake Winnesquam Bed and Breakfast today.
Leaf “Peeping” and Fall Color in New Hampshire 19 Sep 2015, 10:06 am
When the sun starts to sink a little lower and the days are shortening, the annual pilgrimage of leaf “peepers” in search of the best Fall color moves into full swing across New Hampshire. When thinking about the best places to enjoy the autumn colors, everyone knows that New Hampshire is one of the best in the country. But did you know that one of the longest lasting color displays occurs in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region?
Each year from late September through late October people from all over the world visit the Lakes Region for nature’s final celebration before buttoning up for the impending snow season. What gives the Lakes Region its lingering foliage season is its protection from the weather that knocks leaves from their branches prematurely. The region, which, along with our favorite Lake Winnisquam, includes Kezar Lake, Pleasant Lake, Highland Lake, Lake Sunapee, Lake Ossipee, Squam Lake, Mirror Lake, Newfound Lake and the big lake — Lake Winnipesaukee — is somewhat protected from the punishing coastal winds. That, along with its relatively low elevation, gives the best chance for a long leaf season.
The best views of the colorful wonderland is from the middle of any of the lakes, either by kayak or motorized means. The red color of the maple trees along with the vibrant yellows and oranges of birch and oak trees intermixed with the greens of the white pines make a display that reflects in the lake water, and is unlike anywhere else. If you are not up for the paddle, a private charter boat ride on Squam Lake with Cindy O’Leary at Experience Squam is always a guest favorite.
Truly awe-inspiring views of the colors can be found by hiking
any one of hundreds of trails in the Lakes Region. From Mt.
Major, to the Winnipesaukee River Trail, there are hiking options
for all skill and fitness levels. Even walking the back roads
close to the Lake House can give you impressively colorful scenes
of New England
If boating and hiking feels like too much exertion for a good leaf peeping, tour the lakes region from a fall foliage train. The Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad offers train trips through late October , and you can choose from several tours, from a quick, 80-minute trip alongside the pemigewasset River to a four-hour tour up Ashland Hill that includes a lunch stop.
Bald Eagle Watching on Squam Lake 10 Apr 2015, 1:40 pm
A beautiful pair of bald eagles has been nesting just North of us at Squam Lake for 13 years running. Consider adding this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to your Lakes Region vacation agenda!
The wildlife in and around our lakes is diverse and abundant, but nothing causes quite as much excitement and stir as spotting our famous pair of nesting bald eagles! It is an absolute favorite among our guests, with folks talking about their experience and memories for years to come.
If you are planning a trip to The Lake House at Ferry Point or are visiting the Lakes Region, we highly recommend that you consider booking a tour to see these beautiful creatures in their native environment. You may even get a sneak peak at one of their chicks or fledglings in the Spring if you’re lucky!
A Little History on Bald Eagles and Squam Lake
As our national bird, bald eagles are the epitome of American pride. These majestic birds, which mate for life, were put on the endangered species list back in 1995. Thankfully, due to aggressive conservation efforts, they made a comeback and their numbers continue to grow in New Hampshire and other indigenous areas. In fact, in 2007 they were removed from the federal endangered and threatened species list.
They are still listed as threatened on the NH state endangered and threatened species list, but studies show very encouraging results. The NH Audubon recently completed its annual Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey with a new state record high of 90 bald eagles counted in one day. This is a 34% increase over last year, when observers counted 67 birds! This trend is promising for conservationists who have been tracking eagle populations since 1981. Over the last decade, the NH population growth has been extremely robust, doubling roughly every 5 years.
Our pair of bald eagles arrived at Squam Lake in 2003 to nest and successfully fledged one chick that first year. The pattern has continued for the last 13 years, with almost 20 chicks having hatched. We have experienced a few scares over the years — in 2007 the pair used an alternate nest on Long Island, but did not successfully produce chicks. Then in 2013, the nest failed due to extremely cold weather and ice. This year, the pair is back and getting their nest ready to mate again.
Having these birds breeding in their natural habitat and so close by is beyond exciting. We have even been lucky enough to spot a bald eagle in a tree at our next door neighbor’s house next door!
Booking a Tour to See the Bald Eagles on Squam Lake
If seeing bald eagles get you just as excited as us, we have a great recommendation for you. Come stay with us this spring and book an Ultimate Spring Excursion with our friends over at Experience Squam.
The Experience Squam Ultimate Spring Excursion features a scenic tour of the lake during the best time for viewing our nesting pair of bald eagles. Participants often see mergansers, blue heron, cormorants and groups of loons gathering. With luck, you might even see a flight school expedition for the young loons learning to fly!
Large groups of migratory birds often stop to rest along their journey south, which can be a spectacular sight. You will tour historic Church Island, stroll along the Chamberlain Reynolds boarded swamp walk and see sights from scenes in the movie, On Golden Pond.
I think we have all had enough with this winter, so let’s make a date to enjoy some spring weather and celebrate our beautiful bald eagle family!
If you would like to book a spring stay with us at the Lake House at Ferry Point, check out our rooms and view any current special offers.
Photo Credit: Images Courtesy of Experience Squam
Why Stay at a B&B? 6 Feb 2015, 7:02 am
Staying at a Bed & Breakfast is a lovely alternative to traditional hotel stays. From amenities to cost to location, B&Bs offer many benefits and attractions that big hotel chains cannot.
Are you planning a weekend getaway and tired of the same old thing? Before you start clicking on the rates of popular hotel chains, try booking a bed and breakfast instead. You can stay in a beautiful room, at the home of someone who knows the area best and have a truly distinct experience.
Many B&B’s like The Lake House at Ferry Point are situated in historic homes with unique decor, period furnishings, marvelous architecture and beautiful gardens. Booking a bed and breakfast can be a unique travel experience, adding a level of enhancement to any stay.
Top Ten Reasons to Choose a B&B over a Standard Hotel
- Cost savings. Many B&Bs are more affordable than traditional hotels and the rooms are unique and often far superior.
- Your homemade breakfast is included in the price of your stay and is made with farm fresh ingredients. Imagine waking up each morning to the smell of homemade muffins, French toast or frittatas — all made from scratch. B&B owners offer creative breakfasts that often feature locally sourced ingredients and are without equal compared to any hotel continental breakfast. At The Lake House, John’s Quiche Lorraine or Sautéed Strawberries are sure to be a favorite.
- B&Bs are more romantic. There is no denying it… spending the night in a bed and breakfast with your partner is more romantic than your average hotel room. B&B rooms are created with romance in mind and many B&Bs cater to this by offering romantic packages and extra amenities. Just ask!
- You will get more intimate and individualized service. When you stay at a bed and breakfast like The Lake House, you are dealing with the person who owns the business and has a vested interest in making your experience one to remember. They are often the receptionist, the chef, the concierge, the cleaning service and the bell hop all rolled into one. Owners know the local flair like no one else and will make sure all your expectations are met.
- The amenities are better and come without additional fees. Many B&Bs offer complimentary ‘extras’ that traditional hotels do not. Here at The Lake House, we have kayaks, a small beach and many activities and games that are sure to keep you busy!
- You may find a hidden gem. Unlike hotels, B&Bs are often found off the beaten path. This provides you with a great opportunity to see less traveled parts of the community that you would otherwise miss. Did you know we are the only lakefront bed and breakfast in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region?
- You want to do WHAT? There’s a B&B for that. We have all seen the commercials for ‘there’s an app for that’, and B&Bs are no different. Whether you want to have private fly fishing lessons, go skiing in the mountains, kayak for the first time, or hang out with like-minded individuals, there is a B&B for that!
- You may experience unexpected luxuries. Each B&B is as unique as the individual owner, offering a truly different experience. Our rooms are stocked with Tarocco bath and beauty products, the softest sheets around and you can nibble on homemade brownies or cookies at any time of day!
- B&Bs are a great for staycations! Sometimes you just need a night away from the daily grind of life. If you do not have the budget or time to travel, a local B&B is a great alternative. You get a romantic evening away, individualized attention, maybe a little pampering and hopefully insight into your local community that is new to you.
- You are supporting a small business. When you stay at a bed and breakfast, you are supporting a small business owner who spends their days and nights providing service and luxuries to their customers. The best reward for their blood, sweat and tears is when you select their property for your stay.
Sound good to you? Book a room at The Lake House at Ferry Point and experience a level of customer service like never before.
The Great Rotary Ice Fishing Derby 24 Jan 2014, 1:23 pm
Every February in New Hampshire, ice fishers from all over gather for the Great Rotary Ice Fishing Derby run by the Meredith Rotary Club. This year the contest is the weekend of February 8 and 9. Anglers fish lakes and ponds up and down the state, looking for big fish to take to be weighed at Derby headquarters in Meredith. A great place to fish the Derby lies right outside the door of the Lake House at Ferry Point: Lake Winnisquam. This premier lake trout and salmon water also produces big rainbow trout and perch.
Why fish the Derby? Ice fishing is a wonderful activity for kids. Children under 16 don’t need a license and there’s plenty to keep little folks occupied out on the ice. While watching tip ups, games can be played, skating can be done and snowball fights can be waged with abandon. Have a kid work a hole cut in the shallows and they’ll be rapt, face down, shading the hole to watch passing smelt, squealing with excitement as fish come in to nose the bait.
Its also worth taking the kids to Derby HQ to see their eyes grow wide at the big fish on the leaderboard. In addition, on Meredith Bay, NH Fish & Game holds a free ice fishing clinic for children, run by their “Let’s Go Fishing” instructors.
Another reason to go: the simple, stark beauty of Winnisquam in wintertime. Sunrises and sunsets in frosty haze over acres of wide open frozen lake are dazzling. The crack and report of lake ice settling is the only thing that interrupts the deafening silence, save for distant laughter of anglers gathering for another day of fun on the lake… and maybe the echoing thud-wunk of someone working a “spud” or ice chisel.
Pay close attention to the shallows early in the morning. Cut holes early, set tipups and keep a sharp eye. Winnisquam’s shallows team with bait fish, mostly smelt. These are prime food for trout and salmon in the lake. Rainbow trout, the prized fish of the Derby, love smelt.
Finally, your Derby ticket, which can be purchased online or at area tackle dealers and shops or at Derby HQ, benefits Rotary charities. That’s a wonderful reason to get out and play, knowing that your fun is also for a good cause. Well over a million dollars have gone to area charities over the years thanks to the Derby.
Oh… and one more thing, if you do catch a big fish, you could be in for a cash prize. Over $50,000 is awarded to anglers over Derby weekend… a little cake “icing” on an outing that’s easy to set up and always a blast on Winnisquam.
Be safe on the ice! Safety tips, via NH Fish and Game (pdf)
Meredith Rotary Club Ice Fishing Derby info
Licensing info – NH F&G
About the author: Andy Mack Jr is a member of the Granite State Ambassadors and grew up on a family apple farm in Londonderry NH. He is a radio broadcaster and writer. The native Granite Stater has a passion for New Hampshire’s unique places, outdoors spaces, angling, culture and the arts. More at www.andymackjr.com
Why Visit New Hampshire’s Lakes Region? 11 Aug 2013, 9:41 am
The Lakes Region of New Hampshire and the Lake House at Ferry Point Inn make for an amazing, yet lesser-known summer getaway destination.
The Lakes Region comes to life in the summer time, welcoming visitors from all over the world. Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest lake in the region, home to such treasures as Wolfeboro and its antique boat museum, Meredith, with its shops and scenic beauty, and Moultonborough, with the Loon Center where you can learn all about these precious birds. Squam lake boasts as the location where the movie “On Golden Pond” was filmed. Filming locations can be visited along with Bald Eagles, and Church Island, which was the first boys sleep-away camp in the nation. Church Island still holds non-denominational services every Sunday between Memorial Day and Labor Day! Experience Squam Boat Excursions and The Squam Lake Natural Science Center are wonderful places to spend a day seeing exotic animals and taking a boat tour. Lake Winnisquam is a quieter lake which has a sandbar that is the hot meeting spot for boaters. In summer dozens of boats pull up to the sand bar and drop anchor. Volley ball is often played on the sand bar, and the local deli even delivers pizzas and sandwiches to those who order in advance. Another summer feature on Lake Winnisquam is the ice cream boat. When you hear the familiar tunes from childhood summers, look to the water rather than the street, because the ice cream boat is close at hand.
The Lake House at Ferry Point, located in Sanbornton, NH, began construction prior to 1800. It started out as a two room cottage on Lake Winnisquam, and, over the years, grew to the current structure that consists of 12 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms. Once owned by the Pillsbury family as a summer escape, the Lake House at Ferry Point is named in honor of the “horse powered” ferry that crossed Lake Winnisquam a Century ago. The ferry was powered by two horses that walked on treadmills on either side of the boat, propelling it and its occupants between Tilton, NH and Laconia, NH.
All in all, New Hampshire’s lakes region is a wonderful place year round, and is relatively unknown by many. Yours to discover!
#Bed and Breakfast
Circumnavigating Lake Winnipesaukee By Motorcycle: One Great Ride 3 Jun 2013, 7:50 am
Bike Week is fast upon us. The Laconia Motorcycle Rally is a long tradition that harkens back to the days when rallies were held on dirt tracks in Laconia.
The gatherings associated with those races have grown vastly over the many years of the rally and have now become the week long celebration of everything on two (and sometimes three) wheels, informally known as Bike Week. There are extensive races hosted at the NASCAR mecca: NH Motor Speedway in Loudon. There’s a raucous hill climb at Gunstock, parties, fields of vendors, and tons of fun at Bike Week’s epicenter at Weirs Beach on Winnipesaukee. All of this truly stems from, and is in celebration of, one thing: the joys of taking to the open road on a motorcycle. And the best thing about that is there are no shortage of fantastic rides in and around New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. If allowed the time and space, tens – if not hundreds – of great rides could be chronicled. One ride stands out from the list:
Circumnavigating Lake Winnipesaukee
More than a few folks do this over the course of Bike Week. The best part of this ride is that you can pick it up from anywhere, from any side of the lake. For context, let’s figure on riding over from The Lake House at Ferry Point Inn. Work your way back out to the Winnisquam Trading Post and Route 3. Take a left and head towards Laconia. A couple of miles down, just after the Belknap Mall, take a right onto the Laconia Bypass/Rte 11. Take this to its end, in sight of Laconia Airport. Take a left onto 11 (yes, you’re still on 11). From here, it’s a pleasant, winding course to Winnipesaukee’s southernmost reaches at the end of finger-like Alton Bay. There are several spectacular views along this route with plenty of places to pull off. Alton is a charming little village with docks, marinas, a country store and some nice places to eat. This is one of the MS Mt. Washington‘s stops and there’s some chance you’ll get a look at that magnificent boat (note: add a cruise to your itinerary. Plan on picking it up from Weirs Beach).
From Alton, you have two choices, either follow 11 through quaint Alton and pick up Rte 28 North at the Alton Circle, or skirt the close side of the lake by hooking a left onto the more rural 28A, right at the bottom of the bay, which will also connect you to 28 a bit further up.
Route 28 is wide and welcoming, with long hills that will again provide you with brief peeks at the lake as you approach Wolfeboro. As you get into town, stay straight on Rte 109 (28 goes off to the right towards Ossipee). Traffic will slow with summer tourists, but that will give you ample reason to stop and get a view of Wolfeboro Bay. This fine old community is the oldest resort community in the United States, and has attracted tourists since the days they arrived by steam locomotive to cruise the lake in paddle wheelers. Good lunch spots with decks over looking the water include: The Downtown Grille Cafe and Jo Green’s Garden Cafe. Stop at Black’s Gift Shop for a paper or souvenir, or hit Bailey’s Bubble, next door, for a homemade ice cream.
From Wolfeboro, continue on 28 north through Tuftonboro and Melvin Village. You’ll cruise past handsome colonial homes and wind through rural countryside. It’s recommended here that you consider adding a “spur” to your circuitous route. Castle In The Clouds is a short way up Rte 171 in Tuftonboro, just off 109. This Arts and Crafts period mansion, perched on a mountain ridge, features mind-blowing views of Winnipesaukee and a terrific cafe.
Route 109 will eventually end at a “T” in Moultonboro on Rte 25. At this point, you’re at the northern reaches of Winnipesaukee, which is tipped with three long bays: Moultonboro Bay, Center Harbor, and Meredith Bay. Take a left on Rte 25 and head towards Meredith. Recommended stops: The Loon Center, where you can stretch your legs and learn about these beautiful birds; the classic New England style country store in Moultonboro itself, or, depending on the time of day, get an ice cream further down the road in Center Harbor – or visit Canoe restaurant, also in Center Harbor. Canoe serves excellent meals, but one dish alone is worth the entire trip: Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese.
More winding roads and hills await, which will bring you to downtown Meredith. This is where you hang a left from Rte 25, onto Rte 3 South. Again, no shortage of things to do in Meredith. Shop the town itself and visit the Mill Falls Marketplace, grab a libation at the Town Docks, or bayside dinner at Lago.
Heading south on Route 3 from Meredith, you’ll immediately come upon Laconia Harley Davidson. They do Bike Week big and they’re totally worth a stop.
Further down still, past farms and sweeping views of Meredith Bay, you’re approaching Bike Week’s epicenter: Weirs Beach. There’s always a party at the Broken Spoke, and if the weather’s good, the party’s outside, too. Just after that, it’s Funspot, listed in the Guinness Book as the largest arcade in the world. There are 20 lanes of ten pin and candlepin bowling here, too, as well as the DA Long Tavern. Beyond that you go down a long hill to Weirs Beach. This is where it’s at: acres of vendors, thousands of bikes, a long boardwalk with a spectacular view of Meredith Bay, an old-school drive in theater, the home dock of the MS Mt. Washington. It’s everyone comes to see and to be seen. Grab a bite and a drink at the Weirs Beach Lobster Pound and people watch. It’s crazy with people, but a ton of fun.
From Weirs Beach, cruise south on Rte 3 and you’ll eventually pick up Rte 11 at Laconia airport. Take a right and look for the entrance for Rte 11/Laconia Bypass on your left, just after the airport. Congratulations! You’ve circumnavigated Winnipesaukee. There’s a good chance you’ll want to do it again the next day…maybe clockwise this time?
- Lake Winnipesaukee map
- Laconia Motorcycle Week
- Castle in the Clouds
- MS Mt. Washington
- The Loon Center
About the author: Andy Mack Jr is a member of the Granite State Ambassadors and grew up on a family apple farm in Londonderry NH. He is a radio broadcaster and writer. The native Granite Stater has a passion for New Hampshire’s unique places, outdoors spaces, angling, culture and the arts. More at www.andymackjr.com