Lake House At Ferry Point

100 Lower Bay Road, Sanbornton, New Hampshire 03269
Innkeeper(s): John and Cindy Becker

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.

Autumn on Squam Lake with Experience Squam

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

  1. Cost savings. Many B&Bs are more affordable than traditional hotels and the rooms are unique and often far superior.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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?
  7. 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!
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Roger Proulx and Friends

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

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!


#New Hampshire


#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?


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

Peach Melba French Toast ala Lake House at Ferry Point 25 Mar 2013, 8:14 am

One of our signature breakfast dishes is our Peach Melba French Toast.  This guest favorite is a twist on a classic dessert with an interesting back story.

The Peach Melba is a classic dessert, invented in 1892 by the French chef Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel in London to honor the Australian soprano, Dame Nellie Melba.  Escoffier created his new dessert, and displayed it in an ice sculpture of a swan. The swan carried peaches which rested on a bed of vanilla ice cream, topped with spun sugar. In 1900, Escoffier revised his creation for the occasion of the opening of the Carlton Hotel, where he was head chef.  In his updated version of the dessert, he omitted the ice swan and topped the peaches with raspberry purée.

We have taken inspiration from this wonderful ice cream treat to make a special breakfast for our guests.  So, here is the recipe for you to make this delicious breakfast at home.

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 Tsp water
  • sliced peaches (fresh or canned)
  • sliced bread (enough to cover 9×13 baking dish)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1-3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • fresh raspberries
  • Raspberry coulis

  1. In a saucepan, melt butter and add water.  When melted, add brown sugar and bring to  a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Pour the brown sugar mixture into a 9×13 baking dish and spread to cover bottom of dish completely.
  3. Place peaches in layer over brown sugar and cover completely with sliced bread
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Pour mixture over bread.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until bread is golden brown.
  6. Carefully cut and lift out pieces, flipping them over so that peaches are face up.
  7. Drizzle raspberry coulis over french toast and place fresh raspberries on top.


When selecting bread for this recipe, I recommend that you choose a heartier bread with a little more body than white bread.  I commonly use 12 grain, oat nut, or thick cut french bread.

I hope you enjoy serving this dish to your family and friends!

– John


Maple Weekend Right Around the Corner 11 Mar 2013, 8:08 am

New Hampshire’s Maple Weekend, March 23 & 24th, 2013

Right around the time that the cracks form on Old Man Winter’s armor comes the sweetest time of year in New Hampshire. Snow still coats the ground. The nights are frosty. But as the days continue to stretch towards summer, daytime temps creep above the freezing mark. Before the first crocus pokes through the snow and hibernating animals wake from winter’s sleep, sap starts to flow in the sugar maples and an age old tradition reawakens. It’s maple sugaring season.

Hardy New Hampshire maple producers tap trees, set lines and buckets and collect the sweet sap of the sugar maple. Carting the sap back to the sugar house, they boil it down with great care to make maple syrup. Approximately 40 gallons of sap must be collected to make a single gallon of delicious, sweet, maple syrup. It’s hard work. Maplers wade through the snowdrifts to reach trees marching up hillsides, totter back down with heavy buckets, or clamber into the back of a 4WD pickup to pump sap from collection tanks. They labor long nights at the boiler: reducing, finishing, filtering and bottling the sweet product. No one gets rich doing this work. One mapler told me that when he calculates all his time put into the process, he figures he makes nearly minimum wage. Then his eyes twinkle with pride as he offers a taste of his fine product. This is something that is done for the love of it and for the gratification of keeping tradition alive.


The craft of producing New Hampshire’s maple is celebrated each year by producers all over the state during Maple Weekend, being held the weekend of March 23rd & 24th, 2013. According to the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association, 110 sugar houses participated in Maple Weekend in 2012, holding open houses all over the state.


Not far from The Lake House at Ferry Point is Just Maple, at Green Acres Farm in Tilton. Their sweet maple syrup is served here at breakfast. At their Tilton farm, owners Roger and Barbara Proulx hold a warm and welcoming open house each year. The annual event features local entertainment, maple demonstrations, tours and sampling. Admission is free.


At Just Maple, there is a tidy little store, chock full of delicious goodies, housed in a handsome post and beam barn. The star of the weekend is the sugar house, constructed in the traditional style with large vents in the roof to allow steam from the evaporator to escape. The boiler is wood fired and the smell of the sweet steam and wood smoke is enchanting. At Just Maple, they produce many different maple products; from syrup to maple cream and candies, to maple coated nuts and kettle corn. Highly recommended, try the maple cotton candy. Its “guilty pleasure” defined.


Experience a time honored tradition of New England hospitality. Visit New Hampshire for Maple Weekend!



NH Maple Producers Association


Just Maple at Green Acres Farm, 475 School St, Tilton NH map


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


Tough Mudder comes to the Lakes Region 10 Mar 2013, 9:08 am

Tough Mudder comes to New Hampshire’s Lakes Region on June 1-2, 2013.

Tough Mudder, as the name implies, is likely the toughest event on the planet.  Over the past three years, it has built a series of more than 50 events around the globe, and this year Gunstock Mountain will be hosting the event in the Lakes Region. More than 12,000 participants are expected throughout the weekend.

This is not your average mud run or spirit-crushing road race. Tough Mudder is a 10- to 12-mile obstacle course challenge designed by British Special Forces.  Participants will charge onto the course with fellow Mudders and challenge 20 to 25 obstacles, each designed to test strength in a very different way. Participants will brave freezing cold water, thick mud, underwater tunnels, high ropes, multiple cargo nets, and a gauntlet of electrified wires to earn the coveted orange headband and the right to be called a Tough Mudder.

Some of the obstacles that participants face are cleverly named, but incredibly challenging just the same:

  • Twinkle Toes – a slippery log bridge over icy water
  • BerlinWalls – a 12 foot wall to scale
  • Electric Eel – a freezing pool of water to crawl through with electric wires dangling above
  • Boa Constrictor – a series of “uncomfortably tight” pipes to crawl trough up-hill
  • Electric Shock Therapy – A sprint through mud with curtains of 10k volt wires to keep you awake
  • Fire Walker – a run through a trench of kerosene-soaked straw, blazing in four-foot high flames licking around your feet and legs and behind

Come and enjoy the Tough Mudder. As a contestant or a spectator, the event is surely going to be something you will remember, and yet another reason to enjoy the Lakes Region throughout the year.

Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby 2 Mar 2013, 7:00 am

   When the Lakes Region Goes to the Dogs: The Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby.

A gust of wind picks up snow in a cloud of gritty white, which billowing, hurries across the frozen field. Except for the wind, there is nearly no sound. But wait… in the distance, borne on the icy wind, suddenly there is a cacophony of barking dogs. There is almost a musical quality to the sound, which falls somewhere between barks and howls and is nearly rhythmic. There’s movement, along ways off.

Then, as if emerging from the pages of a Jack London novel, on the distant side of the field, a musher guides his dogs through the yawning expanse of white. They’re moving with speed that’s shocking, covering the distance smoothly and swiftly. They draw closer and closer, the dogs becoming louder until you can hear their hurried footfall… then suddenly, the team flies past with a swoosh.

This isn’t Alaska and it’s not the Iditarod. This is New Hampshire. But th

at team is one of the top dogsled teams in the world. This is more than a race: it’s the Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Race, this year, taking place Now through Sunday in Laconia.

The World Championship Sled Dog Derby originally was scheduled for the weekend of February 8 but was postponed due to lack of snow, and again because the trails were coated with thick ice. But last weekend’s snowstorm left a strong base, and the trail is in great shape for racing that began yesterday.

According to the Lakes Region Sled Dog Club, the first races in Laconia were held in 1929. The Club was formed shortly thereafter and the words “World Championship” were added to the race’s title in ’36. Even in the early days of the

race, it was an international competition, with mushers from all over the United States and Canada,

as well as entrants from Germany, Finland and Norway. The mushers race under the rules originally established by the Nome Kennel Club in 1908, and the race features four classes of competitors: Unlimited, 6-Dog, 3-Dog Junior and One-Dog.

On years where conditions are favorable, the race starts and begins in downtown Laconia. This year, the starting line will be just outside of town, at the north end of Old Main St

reet in Laconia, across from the State Correctional Facility. The Unlimited race will run all three days on a 15 mile course that winds around Laconia Club, follows the shore of Paugus Bay on Winnipesaukee and then dashes through the fields along Rte 106 Parade Road.

Tips for Viewing the Races

The dogs themselves are a wonder to behold. They’re beautiful specimens and clearly are very well cared for. To see them in their element, racing across the snow, it will quickly become clear to you that this is where the dogs are the happiest – cutting loose in the New Hampshire winter wonderland. You’ll see the joy in their faces! Parade Road has several spots where you can get a good view of the action.  Best bring a camera that has a good telephoto lens if you want to take pictures.

This year, a local radio station, Newstalk 1490 WEMJ AM (Laconia) will provide full coverage of all the action, so if you want the entire experience, bring a portable radio with you. Wear layers of warm clothing and consider bringing your snowshoes or cross country skis so you have an opportunity to follow the action from different vantage points – just be sure to stay clear of the sled dog trail. It’s high speed traffic!

The tradition, the action, the beauty of the environment, the powerful dog sled teams and the international flavor of this event make the Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby just one more reason to love New Hampshire’s winter. Come and experience this unique event! For more information visit the Lakes Region Sled Dog Club’s web site


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


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