Every season in the Lakes Region carries its own kind of charm, but with summer winding down, we want to embrace these warm, sunny days while we can. Thankfully, there is no shortage of seasonal fun on and around the lake! From wandering through storybook-esque nature trails to embarking on a thrilling wilderness adventure, and seasonal activities that bring their own dose of nostalgia now is the time to finish crossing off all the items on your summer bucket list. Keep reading to learn about some of our favorite ways to enjoy the beauty of the Lakes Region.
Get on the Water
The options are endless when it comes to ways to get out on the water this month in the Lakes Region. From kayaking at Mill Falls to canoeing or paddleboarding on Squam Lake and everything in between, you can spend an entire weekend catching and making waves. Stick with a tried and true, or experiment with something new, like eFoiling. A surf-like experience where riders stand on an electric-powered board, allowing them to glide across the water without all of the work of a traditional surfboard. Efoil New Hampshire offers private and group lessons from their boat on Lake Winnipesaukee or you can meet your instructor anywhere in the Lakes Region. The water is warm and the summer days are dwindling. Get in all the lake action you can while it’s still summer!
Sky High Scenery
Embrace the warm weather and clear skies with an outdoor adventure that will lead you to some spectacular photo-worthy spots. A trip to Gunstock Mountain offers countless ways to get a new perspective on the area. Also native to Gunstock Mountain, their Aerial Treetop Adventure is New England’s most extensive aerial obstacle course that features 90 challenges, including eight high ropes courses. Their zipline tour, open Thursday through Monday, takes thrill seekers on a 1.6-mile-long journey as they glide by treetops at speeds up to 70mph.
Ride the Trails
Lace up your sneakers and hit the ground running at any of the Lakes Region’s top trails. Not just for running, Laconia’s WOW Trail is a popular place for bikers, joggers, and walkers to enjoy a 2.5-mile-long scenic path along the railroad tracks. Another local favorite is the Northern Rail Trail, a 58-mile multi-use trail from Lebanon to Boscawen. This family-friendly trail crosses the Mascoma River seven times in the first four miles, giving walkers plenty of quaint water views. For the more adventurous, there is an array of hiking trails to choose from in the Lakes Region, including favorites like Mount Cardigan, Rattlesnake Mountain, and Mount Major.
An idyllic summer afternoon spent sightseeing around some of the region’s notable spots is an idyllic way to immerse yourself in the outdoors while honoring the end of the season. A leisurely 0.6-mile hike through Madison Boulder Natural Area will take you to the largest glacial erratic in North America. Seventeen acres of land surround the boulder that visitors are welcomed to explore. Just 20 minutes north of Madison Boulder lies Diana’s Bath, a short 1-mile long, dog and kid-friendly hiking trail that finishes at the waterfall’s base and is surrounded by small swimming holes. Another historic place that’s well worth a visit is The Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough. Tour the estate via trolley while learning about the history and architecture of the property. Once you’ve reached the castle, take a self-guided tour, check out the Art Gallery in the Carriage House, or order a meal at the Carriage House Restaurant. The property is open Thursday through Monday and often features special events like evening yoga, guided hikes, and Summer Music Nights.
A Taste of Summer
Say goodbye to summer with a taste of nostalgia at any of the Lakes Regions ice cream shops. Kellerhaus at Weirs Beach is the oldest candy and ice cream maker in New Hampshire and offers a rotating list of homemade flavors that diners can enjoy on their own or as a sundae, topped however they please. Liliuokalanis Ice Cream & Coffee Bar on Lake Winnipesaukee is a family-run business with hard serve, soft serve, sherbert, and non-dairy options. Whether you arrive by boat or car, the spectacular lake views add an extra layer of indulgence to the experience. Sawyer’s Dairy Bar in Gilford has been a staple in the Lakes Region since 1945. They don’t just serve ice cream either. They offer a variety of snacks and light bites, including seafood, sandwiches, wraps, and appetizers.
Lastly, one of the simplest ways to spend the final days of summer in the Lakes Region is by taking advantage of the options for outdoor entertainment. Catch a show at Winnipesaukee Playhouse, where they’re currently featuring Lionel Bart’s Oliver, and have two upcoming shows in September: Murder for Two and The Conference of the Birds. Ticket prices range from $25 – $42. Guests of the Summer Music Nights at Castle in the Clouds can listen to music on the patio while nibbling on light bites and sipping on local brews and cocktails. The entertainment changes weekly and features local talent. Purchase your tickets for the Monday and Tuesday shows through September 13th from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.