Lake Sunapee Region
With three lighthouses along its 18 miles of shoreline, Lake Sunapee is the state’s sixth-largest lake, though many fans think it is the best lake in the Granite State. The lake sits at the base of some the state’s best recreational trails, below one of the top ski resorts in the Northeast on Mount Sunapee. On nearby Mount Kearsarge, the area’s dominant geographical peak, there are miles of trails for hikers, bikers, and snowmobilers. Kearsarge’s 2,920-foot summit, in fact, is the high point along the 75-mile Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway hiking trail which links 10 towns and encircles the region. The mountain is home to Winslow State Park and Rollins State Park.
Kearsarge also has a 3 ½-mile-long scenic auto road that rises from the entrance of Winslow Park to parking near a picnic area, which has southern views westward toward Mount Monadnock and eastward vistas toward the state’s coastal plain. Summit-seekers are rewarded on many clear days with views of skyscrapers in Boston, Mass., from the mountain’s rocky top. The history of the mountains and Lake Sunapee is presented on tours and exhibits.
Guided lake tours are offered by Sunapee Cruises, which has two excursion boats, the Mount Sunapee II Tour Boat and the M.V. Kearsarge Restaurant. The area also features several museums. The Sunapee Historical Society runs the Flanders-Osborne Museum, which is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the history of the region, especially of Lake Sunapee and the town of Sunapee.
The historic estate and gardens of John Milton Hay is a delightful opportunity to explore the early 20th-century summer estate of diplomat and statesman John Milton Hay. Known as The Fells, this 83.5 acres is home to tranquil gardens and the chance to tour the 22-room Colonial Revival home. The Fells is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. https://thefells.org The John Hay National Wildlife Refuge Ecology Center builds on the Hay family’s deep longstanding commitment to land conservation, ecology and environmental education. Explore the property and enjoy the Woodland Trails. https://thefells.org/nature-trails The trail offers scenic vistas and wildlife viewing.
The Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum in Warner highlights the histories of local and national American Indian tribes. The museum’s Medicine Woods Nature Trail offers a self-guided 2½-acre outdoor museum with more than 100 native plants that were used by native people for dyes, food, and building materials. In the winter months, Mount Sunapee Resort, a state-owned ski area in Newbury and Goshen, is a prime destination.
For more, visit:
– The Lake Sunapee Chamber of Commerce at www.lakesunapeeregionchamber.com.
– The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway at www.srkg.com.
– The New Hampshire State Parks website at www.nhstateparks.org.
– Sunapee Cruises at www.sunapeecruises.com.
– The Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum at www.indianmuseum.org.
– The Sunapee Historical Society and its museum at www.sunapeehistoricalsociety.org.
– Mount Sunapee Resort at www.mountsunapee.com.