Kayaking Anyone? Local Recommendations for your Paddling Pleasure

Photo courtesy of the Forest Society

Top Recommendations

Kayaking with a view.  We've got you covered. Here are top recommendations from kayakers in the area.

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Grafton Pond

Grafton pond in Grafton was the top favorite of locals for its views and overall kayaking experience.  People love that motorized boat use is restricted here, so the kayaking experience is really peaceful.  You can read more about why it's one kayaker's favorite spot here.  Also considered a great beginner lake.  Come early - it gets busy.

North Hartland Dam

Not only does this have great kayaking, but you can also swim, have kids play on the playground, eat a meal under the pavilion, and enjoy the use of flush toilets! $5 a vehicle.

More Local Ideas

The Connecticut River. Put in on route 12A above the covered bridge.  I've kayaked the river and found it fun and relaxing.  LL Bean teaches classes at the Wilder boat launch on the Connecticut River.

Silver Lake in Barnard is beautiful.  Great for beginners.

McDaniel's Marsh in Springfield, NHGreat for Beginners. Not much water traffic and an easy in and out.

Goose Pond in Canaan.

Keysar Lake in SuttonThis is off Exit 10 has an island in the middle to picnic for lunch.  Only a half an hour from the Upper Valley.  Access from Wadleigh State Park.  I always wanted to try out this park.

Clark Pond in Canaan is quiet with loons.

Lake Fairlee is a quiet lake with woods surrounding it.

Crystal Lake in Enfield.

Beyond Upper Valley

Lake Gunnison

This lake is located in Goshen, NH and is fondly nicknamed the 'Goshen Ocean.'  You can read about directions to water access here.  Kayakers and swimmers alike love this like because there are no motorized boats allowed. This lake also has a 3 mile trail around it.  

Newfound Lake

A kayaking favorite beyond the Upper Valley with great views and clear water.  Newfound Lake is considered one of the deepest lakes in NH and one of the cleanest in the world. Wow! Just an hour from Lebanon, this could be a great early morning out or day trip.

Chittendon Reservoir

Located an hour and 1/2 from Lebanon, is great for kayakers.  It is surrounded by the Green Mtn. National Forest and mostly undeveloped, maintaining a peaceful kayaking experience.  There are many coves and bays to explore and wildlife abounds. Leffert's Pond is next door and is also a great spot for kayaking.  Both the reservoir and Leffert pond share a parking lot.  You can rent kayak's nearby too. Make a day of it and do some hiking too. Rutland City Forest, Calvin Coolidge State Forest, Calvin Coolidge State Park, Pymsbury Wildlife Management Area, Brandon Town Forest and Branbury State Park all are close by with hiking and biking trails.  Wow.  Add this to my day trip list! You can see some trails around Leffert's Pond here and directions.

Lake Sunapee

I love biking around the lake so I can only image how much more fun kayaking this lake would be.  There are multiple points of entry and lots of beautiful houses to see.   Grab some gelato after your paddle.  If you want more specific information on where to put in and take out your kayak, Boston Kayaker has a cool map to see.  The Lake Sunapee Association has a map of all the public boat launches here.

Kent Pond and Colton Pond

These ponds on Route 100 in Killington are a great place to kayak and only an hour from Lebanon.  Right across from Kent Pond is Gifford Woods State Park, which trails open for day hiking and cabins for lodging.   The appalachian trail is on the shoreline too.Make a day of it or overnight and rent from the Kayak King if you don't have a kayak.  Kayaking on Kent pond is easy and protected from the wind, according to Kayak King, which makes it great for kids to kayak too.  Picnic or swim (I hear the water is warmer).

No Kayak? No Problem

Rent a kayak and life vest at these locations:

Ledyard Canoe Club in Hanover by the bridge between NH and VT.


Storrs Pond

Silver Lake

Treasure Island

Full Service Kayaking... shuttle, boat, life vest, lessons...

Wilderness Trails in Quechee

Great River Outfitters

LL Bean

What's your favorite? Favorite memory or annual trip/experience/outing?

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