The Monadnock Region, a “lakes region” of its own…

Over the past few summers we have blogged several times about kayaking which has quickly become one of our favorite warm weather activities.  This summer we have added to our list or revisited Half Moon Pond in Peterborough, Silver Lake in Harrisville, Highland Lake in Stoddard and Willard Pond in Antrim.

What an awesome day to be on the water…with Mt Monadnock as a backdrop

When considering how many lakes, ponds and rivers we have already explored and how many are still on the “to-do list”, it occurred to us that the Monadnock Region has a lot of great ponds and lakes for fishing, swimming and kayaking, canoeing, SUPing and boating.

  • There are more than forty significant ponds and lakes in the region that offer boat access
  • Ten of those forty lakes and ponds are more than 300 acres in size…
  • …totaling over 8,000 acres of lakes and ponds to enjoy (unscientific research) 🙂
  • Within just a ten mile radius of the B&B we have access to over 4,000 acres of that water and that doesn’t include the Contoocook River!

Whether you are looking for large open lakes like the 700+ acre Lake Nubanusit or something more intimate like the 100+ acre Willard Pond there are options to fit your desires.  We have been paddling for quite a few years now and are still barely scratching the surface of what the Monadnock Region has to offer.  So come on out, bring your “yak” or floating vessel of choice and start exploring.  You won’t be disappointed.

Silver Lake had plenty of neat small coves to explore!

Silver Lake: we had a fabulous two hours exploring Silver Lake.  Silver Lake has plenty of homes dotting the Southern shorelines but the Northern half is less developed and there were several islands, rock outcroppings, and small coves/inlets to paddle in and around.  It wasn’t until we were halfway up the Western shore that we looked back South and discovered a fabulous view of Grand Monadnock.  The Northwest shoreline of the lake is home to an Audubon Society conservation area and we crossed paths with a loon (I wasn’t fast enough to get his picture).

Silver Lake views
We ended the excursion by taking a short dip in the lake to cool off.  I could not imagine paddling here on weekends when the summer homes are all occupied but if you are here midweek…this would be a great day out!

Highland Lake: I paddled here with our niece while Paula picked blueberries at nearby Pitcher Mountain.  It was a Sunday afternoon and I was shocked at how not-busy the lake was.  At seven hundred acres the lake feels huge and has tons of shoreline to explore because it is very narrow and extremely tall (perhaps seven miles tall).  I have now been on this lake twice totaling about four hours and have maybe explored sixty percent of the shoreline.  One of the lake houses has a small island off its shore and they have built a bridge across to it…we were able to paddle under it which was fun.

Rob going under a small foot bridge

Willard Pond: we paddled here this past weekend and it was a treat.  It is such a peaceful place where we spotted turtles and herons but stopped to watch a beaver for a while and then spent a long while watching a pair of loons with their two youths.  It was very exciting as the pair did not have any viable eggs last season and apparently two chicks in one season can be rare.  To end the day we had a sun shower with a rainbow as a highlight.  We never get tired of returning to this pond!

Rainbow after sun shower on Willard Pond

I know I mentioned swimming above.  Some wonderful spots open for swimming include Silver Lake in Harrisville, Willard Pond and Gregg Lake in Antrim, Contoocook Lake in Jaffrey, Otter Lake in Greenfield and Beard Brook in Hillsborough.