Looking to buy in the Lake Sunapee region?
Great choice, I love this area too.
I’m Alicia Zanderigo, and as part of the team at Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty in New London, I’d like to help you find the perfect home.
About Alicia Z:
Alicia grew up in New Hampshire and is a graduate from the University of New Hampshire. Alicia’s passion for the area along with her professional experience as an event planner for Microsoft is a perfect match with real estate. Her keen eye for detail and unique ability to deliver on her clients’ vision gives her a unique and diverse skill set. In addition, her ability to prioritize communication, build strong relationships and her extensive marketing skills are huge benefits to her clients. It never takes long for her clients to be completely won over by her passion and desire to help them in the buying or selling process in this wonderful four-season area. In her free time, you’ll find Alicia out on the golf course, skiing Mount Sunapee, enjoying Lake Sunapee or exploring one of the many area hiking trails.
Contact Alicia Z:
Alicia Zanderigo, Realtor®
Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty
firstname.lastname@example.org | c. (603) 721-2702
Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated.
Learn More About Lake Sunapee
Lake Sunapee is a 4100-acre glacial lake located in central New Hampshire. The glistening waters stretch over 10 miles from Georges Mills Harbor to Newbury Harbor. Early conservation efforts have resulted in generous stretches of shoreline forever protected from development. The forward-thinking Lake Sunapee Protective Association has been encouraging stewardship of the Class A waters since 1898.
Local treasures include The Fells- a historic estate and gardens offering a wide-range of cultural and environmental programs for all ages on Lake Sunapee’s eastern shore. Mt. Sunapee rises 2700′ and offers over 230 skiable acres on the south shore.
In summer antique Chris-Craft boats ply the waters. Sunapee Harbor is a favorite gathering spot for a kale salad, a game of checkers on the green or a possible Steven Tyler sighting.
In the autumn plan to hike some of the 75 miles of interconnected greenbelt trails – or take a yoga class on top of Mt. Sunapee.
Winter brings kite sailers and skaters and bonfires at the State Beach. In springtime, the Eagles soar low and the loons arrive.
If you ever tire of the lake – the New London village is a 5-minute drive offering great shopping and summer theater. Dartmouth College is 20 minutes north. Manchester/Boston Airport is 45 minutes south. Lake Sunapee is a 90-minute easy drive to Downtown Boston.
Fun Facts About Lake Sunapee
Lake Sunapee is the 5th largest lake in the State of New Hampshire. The lake is approximately 10 miles long and 2.5 miles wide and covers an area of 6.5 square miles or 4136 acres. Depths reach 140’. There are eight islands and several peninsulas and lake fingers which yield to a total shoreline of some 70 miles There are seven sandy beach areas, some with restricted town and public access.
There are six boat ramps to access the lake at Sunapee Harbor, Georges Mills, Newbury and Mt. Sunapee State Park, Burkehaven Marina and a private marina. The lake contains three lighthouses on the National Register. The driving distance around the lake is 25 miles. There are approximately 1100 homes on the lakeshore and eight communities that offer shared access to private shoreline.
Lake Sunapee History
Lake Sunapee was formed around 11,000 years ago when glaciers left huge rocks all around the wooded areas once the ice melted. The Native Americans have been said to have named the lake calling it Soo-Nipi because of the geese that fly overhead when they are migrating south. In addition, Lake Sunapee is also shaped like a goose flying.
After the B&M Railroad extended into Newbury, Lake Sunapee became a common vacation spot prior to cars being manufactured. To handle the crowd of new people, there was a steamboat built for the lake. The ships would bring people from the southern part of the lake to the area where the cottages and hotels were.
MV Kearsarge was manufactured in 1897 at 70 feet long and was able to carry 250 passengers. It would set sail every day in the summer. Later, in 1965, the MV Mount Sunapee was launched. It was 50 feet long and does passenger cruises in the summer.
Mount Sunapee History
In 1909, summer resident Herbert Welsh asked area residents to help save Mount Sunapee from lumbering operations. Through his efforts and the Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests, 656 acres were acquired. This included the summit, Lake Solitude and almost the entire north side. By 1934, the Society has acquired 1,185 acres on the mountain, which was turned over to the State of New Hampshire for a state park in 1948. On December 26, 1948 Mount Sunapee opened with the 3,300 foot North Peak single chair, three trails, two rope tows and the North Peak Lodge.
Today, Mount Sunapee Resort has three lodges, the Spruce Lodge, the Base Lodge and the Summit Lodge, 66 trails spread over 230 acres of skiable terrain. 26% of the trails are rated as easy, 49% are rated as intermediate, and 25% are rated as advanced. There are three terrain parks, and 97% of the terrain has snowmaking installed on it. Sunapee has ten lifts—two detachable quads, one fixed-grip quad, two triples, a double, and four surface lifts.
Lake Sunapee Activities
Here’s a compilation of fun activities and a variety of things you might uncover if you were to search ‘Lake Sunapee things to do?’and poke around for a few hours. We decided to make it easy by putting it all in one place for you 🙂
Mount Sunapee Resort
Mount Sunapee is the perfect 4 season mountain. It has a great balance of easy, intermediate and expert runs, and those just learning to ski will really appreciate the separate South Peak learning area. The mountain has 66 trails spread out over 233 acres of skiable terrain and 2,700 foot summit elevation. The terrain park is awesome including a 300-foot half pipe, quarter pipe, 5 boxes, 2 rails, and 6 jumps.
Pats Peak Mountain (20 minutes away) offers skiing and snow tubing. Reservations are recommended as tubing sessions often sell out. The price is $20 for a Two-Hour Session and $22 for an Four-Hour Session.
Okemo Mountain is owned by the same management of Mount Sunapee and is just over an hour away so can be a day trip. They offer skiing, tubing and other activities.
Town of Sunapee: Ice Skating Rink is located in the parking lot of the Ben Mere Park (above the gazebo in Sunapee Harbor).
Town of Newport: Ice Skating Rink & skate rentals are located at the Newport Town Common in Newport.
Town of New London: Bob Andrews Memorial Ice Rink. Hours of operations is daily from 9am-9pm. Rentals are available just across the street at Village Sports in New London.
Snowmobile Rentals in Vermont – Killington•Okemo Backcountry Tour | Plymouth, Vermont
Snow-Country is located on the Vast Main Corridor Trail Route 12
- Half Day 8am – 12 pm or 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm | $145.00
- Full Day – 8am – 4pm | $235.00
Lake Sunapee Snowmobile Club: Club trails can be found in Bradford, Grantham, Newbury, Newport, Springfield, Sunapee, Sutton and Washington; spanning over 85 miles, all the way to Canada!
Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
Cross country skis, snowshoes and ice skate rentals are available at Village Sports in New London, NH.
Trails available at Pine Hill Ski Club (20K of trails), Dexter’s Inn (30K of trails), and
Eastman Cross Country Center (36K of trails), both offer day passes.
Eastman Cross Country Center: 6 Clubhouse Lane, Grantham, NH
Dexter’s Inn Trails (Sunapee)
Dexter’s cross-country ski & snowshoe trails wind their way through forests & fields with minimal road crossings. There are approximately 20 km of trails that are groomed and open to both inn guests and the public. Cost: $10 trail fee. Equipment rentals $15.
Pine Hill Ski Club (New London)
Located off Sandpit Rd, New London. 20 km of trails. Rentals available at Village Sports in New London. Parking is located at Mt. Road in New London. Moonlight cross-country skiing 7pm every Saturday night. Cost: Day pass $10. Season pass $85.
New London Recreation Department
The Spring Ledge Ski and Snowshoe Trail is located at the New London Middle SChool. 10 km of trails. Parking is at the Middle School. Cost: FREE!
Mount Sunapee Adventure Park
With ziplines up to 1,000 feet long and high ropes courses 40 feet in the air, plus, downhill mountain biking, 18-hole disc golf, several climbing walls and gravity jumps there is something for every excitement level at the Adventure Park.
Mount Sunapee Aerial Sky Rides
Enjoy the beautiful summer scenery from the summit of Mount Sunapee! The quad chair lift runs on most weekends in the summer.
Mount Sunapee Yoga
Take a yoga class at the summit of Mount Sunapee between July and October. Classes are held Wednesday and Saturday mornings and are $15/class. From the summit you can also take a 1 mile hike to Lake Solitude for incredible views to the southeast.
Explore the Water
Sargent’s Marina offers boat, water skis, knee boards, wake boards, tubes, kayak, canoe and paddleboard rentals. Only place on the lake that offers boat rentals. 15 min. drive.
Kayak & paddle board rentals at Village Sports in New London, NH.
Tour the lake on Sunapee Cruises – Enjoy a 90 min. narrated tour of beautiful Lake Sunapee for $20. Family Passes are $55 for 2 adults and 2 children. They also offer dinner cruises. – Amazing way to learn the history of the Lake!
Rejuvenate at a local Spa
If the scenic views and pristine waters isn’t relaxing enough, visit one of the local spa’s for a day of relaxation. The two local spas are Sunapee Lake Massage, just minutes down the road in the plaza across from Newbury Harbor and the Spa at Mountain Edge, located at the Mountain Edge Resort & Spa before Mount Sunapee.
Local museums and history hot spots:
The Fells Historic Estate & Gardens (thefells.org) – Take a trip back in history and explore what is was like to live on Lake Sunapee in the early 1900s at the Fells. The Fells was originally the estate of John Milton Hay. It has over 83 acres of beauty and serenity and is a must see in Newbury. Explore the estate by taking a historic garden tour, tour of the Main House or a leisurely stroll on your own.
Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum (indianmuseum.org). The museum has a collection of pottery, basketry, and embroidery from the Seminole, Navajo and Cherokee cultures, a full-scale tipi, feather headdresses from the Plains Indians, harpoon heads, fur-lined moccasins and stone sculptures from the tribes of the Northwest Indians and more. There is also a ceremonial room that showcases the instruments, pipes, and regalia used in ceremonies of all types. The Medicine Woods Nature Trail offers a self-guided 2 1/2 acre outdoor museum that highlights over 100 native plants that were used by native people for dyes, food, and building materials.
New London Historical Society
Visit one of Sixteen buildings that host exhibits that depict aspects of 19th century life in the New London area. Most of the structures date from the early or mid-1800s. The Meeting House, Hearse House, and Violin Shop are modern reproductions. The Transportation Building is a climate-controlled museum opened in 2001.
The New London Historical Village is open Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. Visit the Transportation building or take a guided tour of the buildings. Our 10-acre property is always open to visitors from sunrise to sunset year round. Come and stroll the grounds or bring a picnic.
Bell Cove Caboose Museum
The Bell Cove Historic Caboose Museum, known locally as The Newbury Caboose, is the vintage red caboose on NH State Route 103 in the small park at the southern tip of Lake Sunapee. It’s very near the Newbury Information Booth. It’s on the site of the former Newbury Station. The Newbury Caboose is open between late May and mid-October on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. It contains a good amount of memorabilia from the B&M Railroad’s Concord-Claremont line that operated from 1870’s to the 1950’s bringing big-city vacationers to the Dartmouth-Sunapee Region. Picnic tables are just outside of the caboose so it’s a great spot to enjoy lunch while overlooking the Lake.
Arts & Culture
The Sunapee Region has a thriving arts scene, led by the Center for the Arts Lake Sunapee Region (centerfortheartsnh.org). The Center maintains a calendar of arts events around the region, including holiday celebrations, special performances and art openings.
Liberty Arts Center (58 North Main Street, Newport, NH 03773)
Hours: Tues.-Friday: 11:00am to 4:00pm. Saturday: 10:00 am-2:00pm
New London Barn Playhouseoffers vibrant theater and special events just 15 minutes away in New London.
Dartmouth College Hood Museum of Art – Just 45 minutes away among Dartmouth’s campus is the Hood Museum that hosts a permanent collection of more than 65,000 works of art and artifacts from all over the world, including important works by Picasso and several prints by artists like Rembrandt and Goya. Their collection of historical artifacts includes a mid-19th century Concord Coach, and a rather large assortment of scientific instruments that date back to 1769, the year the college was founded.
Lake Sunapee Winter Hiking – Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Coalition
Winter is usually a slow season for hikers, but not at SRKG. They have planned a series of hikes, some of which are along the Greenway Trail, where the goal is just to get outdoors and have fun and exercise. Check out the online Events Calendar for the hike schedule.
Country Club of New Hampshire – Sutton, NH
Twice rated one of the Top 75 public courses in the U.S. by Golf Digest, this 18 hole course offers 7,000 yards of challenging terrain & lush greens at the foot of majestic Mt. Kearsarge. There is a hotel and restaurant on site.
Eastman Golf Links – Grantham, NH
Located in the heart of the Eastman Community, this public course is a popular golf destination for players from both the Lake Sunapee and Upper Valley regions. The New England Golf Guide gave Eastman Golf Links a 4 star rating. In 2015 the course was designated a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.
Twin Lake Village Golf Course – New London, NH
Open to the public – this 9 hole, par three course located on Little Lake Sunapee’s northern shore offers a gorgeous setting for a relaxing golf experience. Golfers of all ages enjoy the variety of terrain with meandering brooks, stone bridges and lake views. Popular with golfers of all ages.
Newport Golf club – Newport, NH
Newport Golf Club is an 18 hole golf course nestled in the heart of the Lake Sunapee Region. Our championship length course conditions allow average rounds to be played in 4 hours. We have been a golf club for more than 70 years. Our facilities include a snack bar, lounge and a banquet facility that can accommodate outings up to 200 people.
Lake Sunapee Country Club – New London, NH
Built in the 1920’s this legendary Donald Ross 18 hole course offers exceptional play for expert and novice alike. The serene rural setting offers spectacular views of Mt. Kearsarge and a top notch restaurant is open year round. The Seasons condominium community nestles along fairways providing units with gorgeous views of lush and winding fairways. Although it is a private club, there are opportunities for public play on certain dates each year.
Baker Hill – Newbury, NH
This 18 hole private course offers 260 acres and opened in 2002. Designed by Rees Jones, the son of legendary golf course architect Robert Trent Jones – the course winds around gorgeous former farmland overlooking the Lake Sunapee Broads. This private equity club is limited to 225 members – thus enabling members to simply “walk-on” with no tee times.
Dexter’s Inn in Sunapee has three tennis courts available by reservation M-F with limited availability on weekends. Enjoy great views of Mount Sunapee from this vantage point which is surrounded by pretty gardens and manicured lawns. The Inn has 12 racquets for you to use if you forgot yours!.
Dexter’s Inn (www.dextersnh.com)
Innkeepers: Penny and John Augustine
258 Stagecoach Road, Sunapee, NH 03782 USA
Horseback Riding at Granite Rose Morgans
Lessons and Trail Rides available at the Morgan Horse Farm!
Granite Rose Morgans
Bradford, NH 03221
The three dominate trails on Mt. Kearsarge are the Class 1-2 Wilmot Trail, Class 1 Barlow Trail, and the Class 1 (virtual walk up) Warner Trail. On a clear day, the summit has spectacular views of the White Mountains and Mt. Cardigan in the north, the Green Mountains and Mt. Sunapee in the west and the Monadnock Region and the Merrimack Valley in the south.
South side can be accessed from Rollins State Park. North side can be accessed from Winslow State Park. Both parks allow leashed pets.
If you’re a family looking for a quick hike to stretch your legs, get some great photos, experience a nice view, or even enjoy a picnic – Mt. Kearsarge is always a great option. For an easier hike that’s only about ½ mile to the top (you read that right, you’ll be driving most of the way up) start at Rollins State Park. For a slightly harder hike (especially for little feet) take the 2.9 mile Winslow and Barlow Trail Loop. While both hikes are great family hikes, this trail – with steep sections and granite steps – is great for families with slightly longer legs and bigger feet! Great for: Families
Hikes ranging from 2 miles to 6.5 miles with multiple opportunities to add distance by exploring various trails from the summit or by visiting Lake Solitude
Mt. Sunapee, while popularly known for winter skiing, is also a local favorite when it comes to hiking, picnicking, and nature-watching. With multiple peaks, a remote lake, babbling brooks, thousands of acres, and wildlifem galore – Mt. Sunapee offers the full New England hiking experience. Most hikes to the summit use the Summit Trail, or ski-trails. From the summit, you can reach a variety of additional trails (outlined below) as well as Lake Solitude -a true hidden gem in the Sunapee Region.
Summit trail: The main hiking trail to the summit (as the name implies), this trail is a 2 mile hike straight to the summit after being joined by the Sunapee, Ragged, Kearsarge Greenway Trail at the ¼ mile mark. To keep on towards the summit, stay left at this point.
Solitude Trail: The Solitude trail starts east of the summit, with a 1 mile hike to an overlook of Lake Solitude. From the overlook, all you have left is another .6 mile hike to the lake itself. Because the lake is an important habitat to some rare species, swimming is not permitted.
Newbury Trail: Continuing from the Solitude Trail, the Newbury trail is another 2 miles trail that takes you away from the ski area base. Its trail-head (at the bottom) is near the south end of Lake Sunapee (off Route 103) in Newbury Village. If you’re driving to this trail head, you’ll find it about 3 miles from the State Park (43.31380°N / 72.0745°W)
Eagles Nest: A short trail off of a lower section of the Newbury Trail, Eagles Nest will give you a great view of Lake Sunapee and the Harbor in the village of Newbury.
The Andrew Brook Trail: With a trailhead off of Mountain Road, south of Newbury Harbor on Route 103 – this 6.5 mile trail offers a quieter, more challenging approach to the summit.
Rim Trail: A .9 mile trail connected to the base of the Sun-Bowl Chairlift that will take you to the mid-point of the Newbury Trail.
Mt. Cardigan is well known for its great views due to a 3,121 foot summit that’s all granite, with hardly any tree-cover. It’s panoramic view spans west-central New Hampshire, including vistas of Monadnock, the White Mountains, and views that stretch as far as Vermont and Maine.
The West Ridge Trail
Dayhike, 3.3 Miles, 25 miles from Hanover
Use the West Ridge Trail with its log staircases and wooden bridges to snake your way up 1,200 vertical feet in 1.5 miles (Cardigans most direct route) for a classic New England hike shaded by yellow and white birch, maples, and beech trees. Adding distance to this hike can be easily done with a quick detour to the top of Firescrew Mountain via Mowgli’s trail (for an added couple miles).Great for: Families and more!
“The East Side”
Dayhike: Multiple lengths ranging from 5 miles to 7.6 miles
For more experienced hikers, the east side of Mt. Cardigan is far more challenging. On this side of the mountain, you’ll find the American Mountain Club’s 1000 acre Cardigan Reservation (home to one of their amazing AMC Lodge’s) and a multitude of loop-options for longer day-hikes and even some over-night hiking opportunities. Many hikers and outdoor enthusiasts enjoy AMC’s Cardigan lodge to wake up at the foot of the mountain and get an early start exploring the park’s many, many acres. Learn more about staying at the AMC Cardigan lodge in the New Hampshite State Park’s blog.
The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway
An expansive network of trails, pathways, and old roadways perfect for hiking and biking with a total distance of 75 miles, the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway (otherwise known as SRK Greenway) – as outlined by the association’s website (www.SRKG.com) is a “forever green, great circle of trail corridors and conserved lands, providing walkers with minimally developed access to the mountains, lakes, vistas, and historical sites of the region.” It is an incredible resource to the Lake Sunapee Region, offering anyone ample opportunity to get outside and enjoy nature and access to some of the best scenery in the region – from views of the lakes region to picturesque New England forests and old carriage roads.
The greenway takes hikers through forests, over mountains and down old roads long forgotten by cars and motorcycles. While overnight camping is prohibited, its network of trails can be used to put together a longer day hike or any number of quick excursions suitable for hikers of all ages and experience levels.
Take a Scenic Drive
New Hampshire has long been known for its beautiful mountains, lakes and rivers but we often forget to appreciate the scenic roads that take us to and from these landmarks. For those of you that are new to the Lake Sunapee Region I decided to highlight a few of my favorite drives near the lake, in the surrounding towns of New London, Sunapee, Georges Mills and Newbury. Taking a drive around Lake Sunapee itself is a great place to start.
The loop around Lake Sunapee winds through a few of the areas cute towns and the primary portion of the Lake Sunapee Scenic Byway. Roads along this Lake Sunapee loop include Route 103, 103A, 103B, and 11. I would suggest exploring all of the Lake Sunapee Scenic Byway if you have time. These additional routes include Route 11 toward the town of Wendell, King Hill Road toward Crockett Corner and 114 or “Newport Road” in New London. I promise that you won’t be disappointed in this beautiful stretch of road. If you really want to shake things up (and don’t mind a bit of mud on your car) than you should consider exploring some of these back roads around Lake Sunapee.
The roads to explore are:
- Baker Hill Road in Newbury
- Keyser Street in Sutton
- Hominy Pot Road in New London
- Penacook Road in Sutton
- Haynes Road in Newbury
- Morgan Hill Road in New London
- Burkehaven Hill Loop – which is a 3.6 mile connected road leading south from Sunapee Harbor
These lovely roads should give you a good taste of New Hampshire’s rural roots! I hope this list takes you to new places and helps you get to know the Lake Sunapee Region. Keep in mind that access to all of this natural beauty could be right out your front door if you own real estate in the Lake Sunapee area!
LOCAL EVENTS FOR EACH TIME OF THE YEAR:
Mount Sunapee Annual Dummy Big Air Contest (March)
If you are looking for some entertainment for the whole family, come watch as dummy skiers and snowboarders are launched off a huge ramp. Even if your dummy doesn’t get an award for highest air, don’t despair, as prizes are also given for the best designed dummies and best crash. You might just be the lucky winner this year. MountSunapee.com
Keep your eyes peeled for Springfest at Mt. Sunapee. Shed some winter pounds this spring by skiing the Mt. Sunapee slopes. Then take a break from skiing and grab some food while listening to some music from some talented singers. Be sure to get your tickets for the concert ahead of time, they sell out fast!
Annual Slushcup (April)
The Mount Sunapee Annual Slushcup is an event that you don’t want to miss. It’s one of the most popular events in the Lake Sunapee area and has locals attending every year. Come and watch as 200 skiers and snowboarders try to skim across a pond – it’s either sink or skim! You better hope you skim since the pond is only a whopping 36 degrees. Brrrr. Prizes are awarded for best splash, best skim, and best costume.
Annual Cardboard Sled Race (April)
How well can you build a sled? If you are up for a challenge, then attend the annual Mount Sunapee cardboard sled race where contestants compete on original sleds made out of only cardboard, tape, paint, and wax. Awards are given to the fastest sled and best self-destruction of a sled. MountSunapee.com
Annual 5k Black Fly Blitz (May)
There is no better way to get ready for those summer beach days than participating in the Annual 5k Black Fly Blitz. Whether you decide to run or walk, you can enjoy the race in scenic Wilmot. Be sure to stay after the race for music, games, and much more. You can register at: wilmotcommunityassociation.org
Lobster and Clambake (June)
What’s a better way to kick off the summer than with fresh seafood? If you have a hankering for seafood, you will definitely get your fill at Mount Sunapee’s clambake. Featuring littleneck clams, lobster, corn on the cob, potatoes, corn bread, and salad.
Also includes cocktail hour with appetizers. End the evening with a chairlift ride to the summit, and if you time it right, you might even get to watch the sunset as you ride up Mt. Sunapee. For prices and times check out: MountSunapee.com/SummitDinners
Sunapee Lions Motor Vehicle Show (June)
If you like cars and motorcycles, then you don’t want to miss this antique show. The Antique & Motor Vehicle Show features cars, hot rods, trucks, and motorcycles. Trophies will be presented for the favorites in each class.
There are also a variety of vendors and a motorcycle keg rolling contest that will have you cheering for your favorite contestants. You also get free Aerial Skyride ticket when you pay admission for the show. For ticket costs, dates, and more details check out: SunapeeLions.com
Aerial Sky Ride (June)
If you are looking for a romantic date night or some peace to yourself, check out the aerial sky ride at Mount Sunapee most weekends thruout the summer. You can connect with nature while enjoying the idyllic summer views and drinking some wine as you ride the chairlift. For more information go to MountSunapee.com: MountSunapee.com/Skyrides
Annual Strawberry Festival (June)
Follow your sweet tooth to the Annual Strawberry Festival in New London, afestival that offers something for everyone and is great for the whole family. Check out the variety of vendors, music, art, kid’s games, and food. Don’t leave this festival without trying one of the delicious homemade strawberry desserts. Listen to the master gardener explain how to grow your own strawberries or take a horse and buggy ride. Take the kids to see the alpaca, and go to the General Store for some penny candy. For more information: LakeSunapeeNH.org/strawberry-festival/
4th Of July Celebration (July)
One of the best firework shows is at Lake Sunapee Harbor. Come join the 4th of July celebration that offers a variety of activities for the family. The Sunapee Harbor fireworks are usually a day or two before the 4th, 2018 date hasn’t been posted yet.
Participate in the Watermelon Race at Burkehaven Field (July)
Watch fireworks and an Independence Day parade. After the parade, head over to Veteran’s Field to celebrate Firemen’s Day for a fun day of games, crafts, and food.
League of NH Craftsmen’s Annual Craftsmen’s Fair (August)
Looking for unique crafts that are made by passionate designers? Come to the oldest continuous craft fair running in the country. For nine days starting in the first week of August, over 350 craftspeople from all over the country showcase their work. Watch craft demonstrations, and participate in workshops (great for all ages) where you can make your own piece of craft in a workshop with a master craftsman.The fair is located at the Mount Sunapee Resort Adventure Park, featuring a canopy zip line, a treetop obstacle course, miniature golf and more.
Annual Lake Sunapee Sailing Day (August)
This is not your typical sailing day. Come and play your hand in the Poker Cruise. You will start at Lake Sunapee harbor, and from there, you will follow the map to four points on the lake, where you will be given playing cards at each point (from a power boat decorated with balloons). All sailboats and cruisers are welcome. The Lake Sunapee Cruising Fleet is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to the sport of sailboat racing on Lake Sunapee. For more information: visit www.LSCF.us
Annual Kearsarge Klassic Bike Randonnee (September)
If you love to bike, you don’t want to miss this all day bike event. The Annual Kearsarge Klassic Bike Randonnee gives bikers a chance to challenge themselves on varying levels of difficulty while enjoying the scenic routes. The race will begin and end at the New London Historical Society. Get revved up with a homemade breakfast, lunch, and dinner made for all participants.
Mount Sunapee Annual Fall Festival Pig Roast and BBQ (October)
If you are visiting the Lake Sunapee area this fall, you definitely should participate in the Annual Fall Festival Pig Roast and BBQ for some comfort food and entertainment. There’s no better way to celebrate fall than with a hay wagon ride, delicious barbeque and corn bread, and live music.
The sky rides are available for individuals interested in kicking back and examining the fall foliage – a great opportunity to take pictures. Your kids won’t be bored at this fall event; there is a variety of games including: 2-person wheelbarrow race, water balloon toss, pumpkin carving contest, donut on a string, and more. This is a terrific event to share with family and friends, so don’t miss out!
Wilmot Scarecrow Festival (October)
Get your creativity on in this Annual Wilmot Scarecrow Festival. Place your decorative scarecrow in your front yard or at the WCA’s Red Barn (64 Village Road, Wilmot). Scarecrows will be judged by the Wilmot Garden Club. For more information check out: www.wilmotcommunityassociation.org
Annual Chocolate Fest Challenge (October)
If you are a chocoholic, then you will want to clear your schedule for the Annual Chocolate Fest Challenge at Mount Sunapee Resort. Here, you will step into a chocolate lover’s dream as chocolatiers and pastry chefs make divine treats for you to try so you can vote for your favorite.
The tantalizing chocolate displays will have you coming off your diets and reaching for the samples. Along with the participants, a panel of New Hampshire judges will vote and prizes will be awarded for best chocolate and best display.
There is also a silent auction and chairlift rides. So, munch on some chocolate and listen to some live music at this tasty fest that you don’t want to miss.
Annual Sunapee Turkey Trot (November)
Before the snow hits, bring your friends and family to the Lake Sunapee Turkey Trot 5k (or the 1k Chicken Run). Dress up in your best costume and hit the pavement with your fellow runners. The award ceremony takes place after the race; a prize will be given for best costume. Register at: SunapeeTurkeyTrot.com.
MORE IDEAS FOR THINGS TO DO:
Cross the Cornish-Windsor
There is no covered bridge that stops people in their tracks like the Cornish-Windsor Bridge. The 449’5″ span that crosses the Connecticut River is truly a sight to see. The bridge happens to be the longest 2-span covered bridge in the world and the longest covered bridge in the country. But there is something special about this bridge; magical even. Perhaps it’s the history that the wood breathes. Maybe it’s the sign that reads “Walk your horses or pay two dollars fine,” or the exquisite construction that has held the bridge together since 1866. Cross the bridge by car (turn your lights on), and you are deposited in Windsor, Vt., in minutes. How you get there — via this bridge; that’s where the magic is.
Swim with the Sculptures
Take a dip in the cool waters of the Cockermouth River at the Sculptured Rocks Natural Area in Groton. The area is a great swimming spot for the whole family. The kids will enjoy jumping and diving from the rocks and cliffs. The water is clear, and the exquisite natural artistry of the rocks makes this a one-of-a-kind spot.
Head for the Hill
Take a ride to the top of Mount Kearsarge. The 3½ mile scenic auto road at Rollins State Park in Warner takes you to a picnic area near the top of the 2,937-foot mountain. From there, a ½-mile hike to the summit brings you to a lookout tower where you can see all the way to the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the City of Boston to the south and the Green Mountains of Vermont to the west.
Alyson’s Orchard in Walpole is possibly one of the best places in the Granite State to pick apples. They have more than 50 varieties of them, including Baldwins, Ginger Golds, McIntosh, Redcort, and many others that we’ve never heard of but can’t wait to try! The orchard, which overlooks the Connecticut River, also features pears, grapes, plums and peaches. So, there’s something for everyone.
Other great Apple Orchards to check out:
- Riverview Farm (Plainfield, NH – 45 minutes away) – Corn Maze, berry and apple picking, cider & more!
- Mt. Pleasant Orchard (Grafton, NH – 40 minutes away)
- Poverty Lane Orchards & Farnum Hill Ciders (Lebanon, NH – 35 minutes away)
Blueberry Picking (August – September)
- Riverview Farm (Plainfield, NH – 45 minutes away)
- Bartlett’s Blueberry Farm (Newport, NH – 8 minutes away)
- Blue Moon Berry Farm (Warner, NH – 20 minutes away)
Explore a Corn Maze
- Riverview Farm
- Beech Hill Farm & Ice Cream – Opens 3 corn mazes starting August 1st (Hopkinton, NH – 35 minutes away)
Check out a local Brewery!
- Henniker Brewing Company (Henniker, NH – 22 minutes away)
- River Roost Brewery (White River, VT – 40 minutes away)
- Harpoon Brewery (Windsor, VT – 50 minutes away)
Although there is no shortage of antiques in the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee region, there is no place like Prospect Hill Antiques in Georges Mills. You will be amazed at the sheer size of this place, which is tucked away in an enormous horse barn atop a hill. The horse stalls are crammed full with hand-picked items from Ireland, England, France, Holland and Belgium. Prospect Hill Antiques features 12,000 square feet of antique furniture, fine quality replicas and decorative accessories. Among the accessories, you’ll find clocks, ironwork, wooden signs, baskets and Nicholas Mosse Pottery in more than 50 shapes and 30 patterns.
American Renaissance Sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens had a summer home in the town of Cornish, where he founded the “Cornish Colony.” His home is a National Historic Site and features a spectacular setting of expansive gardens with various features such as a cutting garden, “birch allee,” pagodas, perennial beds, a sweeping great lawn, water features and several of his incredible sculptures. More than 100 of his prestigious sculptures can be seen here too. The man was a legend, becoming a part of the Hall of Fame for Great Americans after his death. He even had a sylish signature. What’s not to love? Visit his gardens and take in the bountiful views of the surrounding area from his lofty perch.
Wade into Wadleigh
Wadleigh State Park, located in the small town of Sutton, is a superb day trip destination for families. Swim, canoe or kayak in the clear blue waters of Kezar Lake or have a picnic beneath the tall pines at this peaceful state park. The park is also part of the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway, which links four state parks: Sunapee, Winslow, Wadleigh and Rollins as well as three state forests: Gile, Kearsarge and Shadow Hill, and one Wildlife Management Area, Bog Mountain. The trail, which flows through ten towns, is popular with hikers and offers sweeping view of lakes, mountains and historical sites.
Sugar Shack Attack
Visit New Hampshire’s “King of Maple Syrup” on Route 103 in Newbury. Sweet Maples Sugarhouse offers tours on weekends during March and April when they are boiling the sweet stuff. Come see how it’s made, then pour it over vanilla ice-cream, taste some maple cotton candy (really), and try/buy all sorts of oh-you-can’t-imagine how tasty maple treats. It’s a great learning experience for the kids. Just watch out — too much maple madness and you’ll find a new meaning to the term “sugar high” on the drive home. Find other sugar shacks sprinkled throughout the region at the New Hampshire Maple Producers website and be sure to call ahead to make sure they are boiling sap since the season may differ slightly from year to year.
Go Flower Picking
Spring Ledge Farm in New London is one of the few places around where you can pick your own fresh flowers from their gardens. How cool is that? They have over 1/3 of an acre of flower beds with 248 varieties of flowers, including ten types of sunflowers! Get lost in their not-so-secret gardens. In season you can also pick your own strawberries, grab a bakers dozen of corn and other fresh fruits and veggies from their farm stand.
Drive through Washington
Take a ride through the rural town of Washington. It has one of the most picturesque town commons in the state thanks to a historic Town Hall that was built in 1787 and a small but notable cluster of traditional white New England style civic buildings. The town has two small villages; East Washington which sits along a brook scattered with old mill sites, and Washington Center, where you’ll find the Town Common. While you are there, spend some time at Pillsbury State Park and do some warm-water fishing in its pristine waters.
Hike Mount Monadnock
This mountain, located in Jaffrey, is considered one of the most climbed mountain peaks in the world. Join the 125,000+ people per year that climb this mountain, and take in the panoramic site of all six New England states on a clear day.
See the Clydesdales
Anheuser Busch’s Clydesdales have long been a symbol of the beer plant. Get to their Merrimack facility, and see them in person. On some weekends, you can have your photo taken with these beautiful horses. While you are there, take a free tour of the plant.