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Newfound Lake: Most Beautiful Lake in New Hampshire

Newfound Lake: Most Beautiful Lake in New Hampshire
17 votes, 3.88 avg. rating (77% score)
Michael Vermouth and Denise Brown of Newfound Woodworks (newfound.com) paddle the lake's glistening waters in handbuilt cedar-strip kayaks.

Photo/Art by Rob Bossi
Michael Vermouth and Denise Brown of Newfound Woodworks (newfound.com) paddle the lake’s glistening waters in handbuilt cedar-strip kayaks.

Woods and water are essential to a New England summer vacation, and, standing near the tip of Paradise Point on New Hampshire’s Newfound Lake, just west of Lake Winnipesaukee, I realize I’ve happily found summer. I arrived here by walking 10 minutes through hushed woods, where the hemlocks and moss captured the sounds of my every footstep. Along the way, I could smell the luxuriant scent of the forest.

And then, as if a curtain of light had been lifted in the woods: the water.

Ask any resident around Newfound Lake about its water and you’ll get an earful. The glacial lake, which is 2-1/2 miles wide and seven miles long, reaches depths of up to 180 feet and is fed by eight springs. You’ll hear that the water is considered the most pristine in the state. You’ll also hear that this isn’t by chance — the Newfound Lake Region Association remains diligent in monitoring the lake, keeping milfoil at bay, and ensuring it stays this way. From Paradise Point, you may observe that this is no small challenge. This is not a wilderness lake. Motorboats crease the lake’s surface all summer; cottages line the distant shore.

A small lake provides a series of small adventures, not a single large one. That’s certainly the case here. You could spend a week making small forays on the water and into the forest.

I dropped my suitcases at The Inn on Newfound Lake on the eastern shore, which in some form has been welcoming guests since 1840. With its floral wallpaper, it still has the feel of a New England boardinghouse, with creaky stairs and smallish rooms. (Some still have their bathrooms across the hall.) The inn is just across the road from the lake and looks out toward Mount Cardigan beyond the western shore. A refreshing dip in those cleansing waters from the inn’s sandy beach is a good way to start an adventure here.

Then to Paradise Point, the New Hampshire Audubon preserve up at the head of the lake. The preserve consists of just 43 acres, but this encompasses 3,500 feet of untouched shorefront. Bring a picnic. Take a hike. Rent a kayak or canoe from the nature center or launch your own craft and see how the shoreline looks when viewed from the outside in.

Keep driving counterclockwise around the lake and you’ll soon come to the timeless village of Hebron. There’s a grassy, irregular square with a small gazebo, a church, and a country store, all awash in white clapboard.

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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6 Responses to Newfound Lake: Most Beautiful Lake in New Hampshire

  1. kathie marion March 12, 2008 at 5:50 pm #

    i have been going to newfound lake for thirty years since i was a baby and never heard of the sculptured rocks before. we have trip planned for july and my 7 year old can’t wait. anyone have ant other hidden jems?

  2. Leslie Lafrenais April 21, 2009 at 2:37 pm #

    I have been coming to Newfound Lake since i was a twinkle in my father’s eye, and i am now 65. My children and grandchildren have also been coming along. We have been staying at Camp Wulamat, where my grandparents had been going since the late 1930s, and my sister and I and out families have been renting cabins ever since. It is the most beautiful lake i have ever seen, it is crystal clear all over except where the depth is aroundd 180 feet, and I’m sure that if you were tall enough to stand there you would see your toenails very well. It is so beautiful there surrounded by the mountain, with the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets, seeing a rainstorm coming across the lake, white caps on a windy day, along with the beautiful sails of the sailboats. The camp Wulamat used to be a boyscout camp, and has cabins which for the most part, are still the same ones. which have been upgraded. Refrigerators used to be on the porch outside, actually ice boxes. The ice man used to come a few times a week to deliver ice for everyone, there are tin wood stoves in each cabin, still, to take the evening and morning chill out of the cabin. They have indoor plumbing, but if you want hot water, you can take a large bucket to the main lodge where there is a spigot where you can retrieve hot water,
    for dishes. There is a large shower building for bathing. There is a huge recreation hall where the guests get together for weekily bingo game, and an evening for dancing. It is a wonderful family camp where everyone basically goes there the same time every year and are forever neighbors. At night or early in the morning, you can smell the wood stoves, and perhaps bacon cooking. All cabins have screened in porches, I can’t say enough about the area and the lake. If you just mention newfound lake to anyone who might have ever been there even for one day or afternoon ride, they will never be able to say enough about the area as I can’t. I hope I can continue going there a lot longer. I was very sad to hear about the Old Man o9f the Mountain,, falling down, which happened on my grandfather’s birthday on May 3. This was the grandfather who used to take us there as children. It was my other special place to go in New Hampshire, I would even make a special trip there often through the year to see both. Well, I could go on forever about this magnificent place. There aren’t enough words or pictures to describe all of its beauty, and nature. Thank you for the opportunity, and if you ever have a chance to go, Start in Bristol, and follow the road around the lake to see it all, Not a place to be missed in life.

  3. Peter Ronayne May 6, 2009 at 6:26 pm #

    does anyone have a phone number for Camp Wulamat — the one mentioned above, not the campground version. I used to go there as a kid and would love to try to take my young family sometime. but I can’t find contact info anywhere on the web (I did place a call to the Newfound Chamber of Commerce). Thanks (pronayne@gmail.com)

  4. Merryl January 25, 2014 at 7:55 am #

    I love Newfound Lake. It is so beautiful. Both of my kids learned to swim in its cold, clean water.
    My only gripe is that there be a moratorium on any more building near or around the lake.
    I met a woman yesterday, she dated a boy who lived near the lake 40 plus years ago.
    Recently, she returned to the area and was shocked by the development that was allowed.
    It seems that any tiny piece of land is ripe for development.
    If we all love the lake, and we do, than let’s stop allowing more cottages, camps and homes to be built.
    Keep Newfound beautiful and pristine!

  5. trish January 25, 2014 at 10:52 am #

    Camp Islamist is now called Bristol Shores and is a trailer park of sorts… it’s been 5 years since u posted but I just got this today so…whatever I rd worth. You can by the trailer fully furnished for pretty cheap these days, and taxes depend on how close to the water you are.Once place if you’re not lucky enough to be in a family that’s been there for generations thanks to Nana and Grampy… we are at the foot of the lake!

  6. Maureen Mann January 26, 2014 at 4:59 am #

    Love This BEAUTIFUL Lake! We Built There 8 Years Ago After Renting For So Many Years. What A Very Special Place….Feeling Blessed To Be A Part Of It!

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