New Hampshire boasts a stunning array of waterways, from tranquil lakes to beautiful ponds and rivers. Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or a curious first timer, the Granite State has something to offer for everyone. Here are our top three picks for kayaking adventures in New Hampshire for various experience levels:

 

1. Peaceful Paddling on Lake Winnipesaukee’s Bog Pond (Great for Beginners)

 

Nicknamed “The Land of Lakes,” a list of the best places to kayak in New Hampshire wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Lake Winnipesaukee. This massive freshwater lake is 72-square miles in area and is renowned for its scenic beauty.

 

For beginners seeking a truly serene experience, Bog Pond in Danbury offers a classic narrow, channeled marshland environment. This peaceful and quiet ride is perfect for a relaxing paddle surrounded by nature, with views of New Hampshire’s beautiful mountains and great birdwatching opportunities available for casual paddlers seeking calm and quiet waters.

 

There are two loading locations here:

  • The first is easily accessible at a dam near Danbury Wildlife Management Area along Route 104 east from Danbury or south from Bristol on Gould Hill Road.
  • The second is one mile further south, accessible by road and featuring a wooded picnic area. This location is quieter and more rustic, allowing you to paddle for a longer distance.

 

More info about Lake Winnipesaukee’s put-in locations here: https://lakewinnipesaukee.net/places-to-canoe-or-kayak/

 

Recommended Kayak for Lake Winnipesaukee: Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 kayak

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14

 

For the ambitious intermediate kayaker, the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 offers several advantages specifically suited for beginners casually cruising on a calm lake. Boasting 6 horizontal rod lockers, ample tackle compartments, and the Vantage Seating system with breathable mesh and lumbar support, the Pro Angler 14 allows you to bring everything you need for a comfortable and successful kayak fishing expedition.

 

More info about the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14: https://bensonskiandsport.com/product/2023-hobie-mirage-pro-angler-14/

 

2. Exploring the Serene Beauty of Grafton Pond (Ideal for Intermediate Kayakers)

 

For intermediate kayakers seeking a peaceful adventure with fishing opportunities, Grafton Pond is a perfect choice. Nestled within the Grafton Woods State Park, this 300-acre lake boasts a rugged shoreline and dozens of unoccupied islands to explore. Take a dip in the lake as you go or simply relax on one of the islands you encounter.

 

For landlubbers and adventurers alike, Grafton Pond offers a hidden gem: a short hike to a scenic point on the shore, starting about 500 feet south of the parking area at a green Forest Society gate. This optional detour provides a chance to stretch your legs and take in the beauty of the lake from a different perspective.

 

The Forest Society works very hard to preserve the pristine environment of Grafton Pond, so please remember to clean, drain, and inspect your kayak thoroughly before entering the water! This helps prevent the spread of invasive plants and animals and keeps the pond healthy for everyone to enjoy.

 

Visit Grafton Pond Reservation’s Visitor Use Guidelines page for a full list of the rules and regulations that apply.

 

Recommended Kayak for Grafton Pond: Hobie Mirage Outback

Hobie Mirage Outback kayakHobie Mirage Outback

 

For the ambitious intermediate kayaker, check out the Hobie Mirage Outback. From the unmatched stability and effortless forwards and backwards steering of the MirageDrive 180 to the easy maneuverability of its patented Kick-Up Fin Technology and intuitive pedal system, this versatile water wader is ideal for navigating narrow channels and paddling around Grafton Pond’s scenic islands. No need to worry about mastering paddling techniques – just hop in and enjoy the ride!

 

More info about the Hobie Mirage Outback: https://bensonskiandsport.com/product/2024-hobie-mirage-outback/

 

3. Breathtaking Group Adventures on Highland Lake

 

For group and family excursions, a peaceful paddle surrounded by natural beauty awaits you on Highland Lake in Andover, New Hampshire. Often overshadowed by its larger neighbors, this 206-acre, 2.9-mile-long, spring-fed gem offers a serene escape, featuring wide open waters that are ideal for larger groups. Its scenic shorelines are perfect for a leisurely kayaking adventure. Glide across the calm waters, taking in the tranquility of the surrounding landscape.

 

The lake is also teeming with fish – including Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Pickerel, Horned Pout (Bullhead), and Black Crappie – making it a perfect spot for anglers who combine kayaking with casting a line.

 

Public boat access is conveniently located off Channel Road, across from the East Andover Volunteer Fire Department. For those seeking post-paddle relaxation, a public beach with picnic tables is just down the road.

 

Thinking about getting in a bike ride? The Northern Rail Trail offers miles of scenic paths skirting the lake’s edge. Hikers and bikers can enjoy breathtaking views and a variety of terrains. 

 

More info about Highland Lake for kayaking and fishing here: https://www.lakesregion.org/our-lakes/highland-lake/
 

Recommended Kayak for Highland Lake: Hobie Mirage Oasis Tandem 

Hobie Mirage Oasis Tandem Papaya kayak

Hobie Mirage Oasis Tandem

 

For a social paddling experience, consider the Hobie Mirage Oasis Tandem. It’s perfect for exploring Highland Lake with a friend or family member. The Tandem offers ample legroom and adjustable Vantage CT seating for two, ensuring a comfortable paddle for both crew members throughout the day, effortless gliding with the MirageDrive 180 and Kick-Up Fin Technology to help you cover more ground with minimal effort, and robust carrying capacity and ample storage compartments so you can bring everything you need for a weekend camping trip or a well-stocked fishing expedition across the lake’s wide-open waters.

 

More info about the Hobie Mirage Oasis Tandem: https://bensonskiandsport.com/product/2024-hobie-mirage-oasis-tandem/
 

Safety First!

Before you embark on your kayaking adventure, always prioritize safety. Check the weather conditions, wear a life jacket, and let someone know your planned route and estimated return time. With a little preparation and the right kayak, you can experience the beauty of New Hampshire’s wonderous waterways with comfort and confidence!

 

About Benson Ski & Sport

Benson Ski & Sport is committed to embracing an active lifestyle. Seller of winter and summer sports equipment including skis, snowboards, boots, helmets, kayaks, paddleboards, and more. In an effort to be your one-stop-shop for all things ski and sport, we also offer boots fitting services to ensure you have your perfect fit on the slopes. Don’t want to make the investment in equipment yet? Check out our rental and lease programs – there’s something for everyone. Visit our website at bensonskiandsport.com or check out our full stock at our store in Derry, New Hampshire.