View Full Version : Campsite and Kayaks

Pete Hogan
06-16-2011, 06:29 AM
We are interested in a trip to New Hampshire for some camping and flat water kayaking. Anyone have recommendations on beautiful campgrounds with possible lakefront sites? Thanks for your ideas.

Tom Rankin
06-16-2011, 06:34 AM
We are interested in a trip to New Hampshire for some camping and flat water kayaking. Anyone have recommendations on beautiful campgrounds with possible lakefront sites? Thanks for your ideas.Lake Winnipesaukee has such places. I don't have anything specific, but it certainly will have the views.

06-16-2011, 08:21 AM
When I drive from northern Vermont to Maine I often take route 16 which follows the Magalloway river for a while, because it is in my opinion one of the prettiest drives I have done anywhere. Although I have not done it yet, I always say to myself I should bring my kayak here someday. Near Errol, there appears to be numerous options.
Caveate I have not been to the state park, but it is on my hit list someday.

06-16-2011, 10:50 AM
Hard to beat Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge. The state of NH has remote campsites located around the lake, they are primitive, just a cleared spot and maybe a picnic table. There is power boat traffic on the lake but nothing compared to southern NH. There are some nice paddles up the Magalloway with some slightly faster water.

Richardson Lake, just over the border is even wilder than Umbagog, there are some primative sites administered by South Arm Campround that are very well spaced. Richardson has some incredible sandy beaches later in the season (they are both hydro dam controlled lakes so the water level varies seasonally).

Last place to go is Flagstaff lake in Maine (a couple of hours east), you can camp anywhere as long as you dont have a campfire. There are a couple of established sites but most just pull up a stretch of shore. No cost for camping and no services. Due to its depth and large maount of floating obstructions, power boats rarely go on the lake.

Both lakes are large and relatviely shallow plus oriented to get the breeze/wind in the afternoon so it can get choppy especially in the afternoon. Many mornings, they are "glass"

06-16-2011, 10:51 AM
I believe many would say the #1 place for lakeside kayaking in NH is probably Umbago Lake State Park (http://www.nhstateparks.org/explore/state-parks/umbagog-lake-state-park.aspx). I haven't stayed there personally, but have heard nothing but good things, especially with regard to the "33 remote campsites in isolated locations around Umbagog Lake accessible only by boat."

If you can be convinced to drive a little (okay, a couple hours) further up to Eustis, Maine, Cathedral Pines Campground (http://www.gopinescamping.com/) is one of the finest developed lakeside car-camping campgrounds. The sites are intermixed under majestic, towering pine trees, they have lakefront sites as well as their own little beach, and out on Flagstaff Lake the view is of the Bigelows. Highly, highly recommended.

The view from the campground beach:

Edit: heh-heh, peakbagger wrote his while I was writing mine!

06-16-2011, 11:40 AM
If you want the campground experience Cathedral Pines is a nice place but like any other developed campground , the goal is to maximize the number of campsites in a given area so there isnt a lot of privacy. The odds of getting a lakefront site are poor. They do have all the amenities.

06-16-2011, 11:43 AM
I paddled both Lake Umbagog and Flagstaff last year. The site on Umbagog was nice; fire ring (and someone left wood!) picnic table, tent platform and privy. Launched from the Fish and Wildlife ramp and paddled down the Malgalloway. very nice. from flagstaff, we launched from Cathedral Pines camp ground which was also a nice place to stay.

06-18-2011, 10:20 AM
We've paddle camped on Umbagog and Magalloway a few times and it is all that others have raved about. You do need to reserve campsites through Reserve America (http://http://www.reserveamerica.com/)

I can't think of a comparable experience elsewhere in New Hampshire unless there is a campground (as opposed to independent campsite) that hapens to be on a body of water.

On the other hand, look at the DeLorme atlas for Maine, select an area and look for campsites located on lakes or ponds. Many are free, first come first served. Just be aware that some campsites may require a fire permit and that in no case should you bring firewood with you.