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Old 04-22-2015, 09:43 PM   #1
fatlazyless
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Default ... Downing's Landing?

Believe the NH Fish & Game purchased Downing's Landing on the southern most tip of Lake Winnipesaukee on Alton Bay back in November, 2012 to be constructed into a free-to-use, state boat launch.

So, what's the situation there in terms of a boat launch and parking ..... how is the boat launch, user experience? ..... what is it like? ..... has any new construction been made by the State of NH since it was purchased?
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:07 PM   #2
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Default Always able to launch there...

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Originally Posted by fatlazyless View Post
Believe the NH Fish & Game purchased Downing's Landing on the southern most tip of Lake Winnipesaukee on Alton Bay back in November, 2012 to be constructed into a free-to-use, state boat launch.

So, what's the situation there in terms of a boat launch and parking ..... how is the boat launch, user experience? ..... what is it like? ..... has any new construction been made by the State of NH since it was purchased?
When F&G bought Downing's, boats have been able to launch and park there. Only problem is that when Downing's had it, there were signs for "no power loading" and most people obeyed.

Now, no signs and far too many power load, leaving prop wake holes in the launch area.
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Old 04-23-2015, 06:13 AM   #3
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Default

Looking at old photos, Downing's used to be a green grass field with a big flag pole, and a railroad train for kids that went all around the perimeter of the grass field. With the passing of time, the grass field got paved with asphalt to be used for parking vehicles and boat trailers.

Now that the launch ramp has a different operation and owned by the State, was wondering if the lot could be restored back to a grass field, making it a local 'postage stamp' sized, scenic waterfront park with appropriate park benches and decorative plantings to enhance the area ..... as opposed to a parking area?

Just keep the launch ramp and dock, but restore the asphalt parking lot to a grassy decorative public park, and make vehicles with boat trailers go park somewhere else not so far away .... a short walk away to a satellite parking lot with more space. Seems like that local area would benefit big with a green pocket park as opposed to an asphalt parking lot directly on the waterfront.

That's how it is set up in Meredith at the Town of Meredith boat launch next to Hesky Park. They got a green park area immediately next to the town boat launch, and make the cars with boat trailers park a couple blocks away in a town lot that's removed from the waterfront and it works out very good. Just seems like a similar situation could be a good improvement for the Alton Bay area there which is all totally built out and congested with boat marinas with no public green space on the waterfront.
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Last edited by fatlazyless; 04-23-2015 at 07:09 AM.
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:16 AM   #4
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Default No offence, FLL, But...

...The allure of the Downing property was the parking for those who launch at the ramp. Your idea of a "nearby" satellite parking lot would be about a mile away, negating the handiness of the property as is.

Immediately adjacent to the Downing property is the Alton Town Beach and next to it is Harmony Park, complete with a couple of picnic tables, with its own parking area across the street from the beach and park, and a rest room area there as well.

Across the Bay is the Railroad park area, with several businesses, another boat ramp without parking nearby, a bandstand, and picnic tables.

Perhaps if FLL were to get in his 20 year old car maintained by Walmart, and drive to the McDonald's at the Alton Circle, he would see that Alton Bay has a good mix of convenience for boaters and a place to bring families along the bay.

FLL, I think the residents of Alton don't need to turn the bay area into another Merideth. We pretty much like the bay as it is.
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:33 AM   #5
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Default Alton Parking

I have not used that Downings ramp for many years. At that time when the lot was full there was parking at "Letter S Road" which is about a mile away.

That is a considerable walk and if the people with you cannot operate the boat, or drive the towing vehicle with the trailer, the boat has to sit at the dock until you get back. On a busy weekend that is a long time to tie up a dock.

The ramp across the bay is very steep. I have launched there. I remember the front wheels of the towing vehicle kept locking up as I backed down when I stepped on the brake and all the weight shfted to the rear. The trailer surge brakes don't work in reverse.

Neither situation is ideal but both ramps are probably the best that they can be given the limited space available.
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Old 04-23-2015, 09:08 AM   #6
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Smile Resurrect Ames Farm Launch ?

Do I dare start this thread? Ames Farm was just a great way to quickly, with a good deal of organization, launch, park vehicle and trailer, and get under way.
I think it got a little out of control with the BB tournaments, but if that volume could be somewhat restricted ("lot full") I would think the neighbors could live with that. I don't know the local dynamic, but the place was always clean, plenty of room to park, and the cement ramps were in great shape. The ramp lizzard had plenty to do with the flow, and productivity of the process.
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Old 04-23-2015, 09:19 AM   #7
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Do I dare start this thread? Ames Farm was just a great way to quickly, with a good deal of organization, launch, park vehicle and trailer, and get under way.
I think it got a little out of control with the BB tournaments, but if that volume could be somewhat restricted ("lot full") I would think the neighbors could live with that. I don't know the local dynamic, but the place was always clean, plenty of room to park, and the cement ramps were in great shape. The ramp lizzard had plenty to do with the flow, and productivity of the process.
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:24 AM   #8
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Default

i launched at drownings last Sunday for the first time in over a year and was disappointed in the huge hole at the end of the concrete to a point where the was concerned about my axle. I've seen the huge boats power loading out of there....too bad. State probably need to extend concrete 20 ft or staff the launch. I wont launch there again
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Old 04-23-2015, 04:42 PM   #9
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Default downings parking

I don't understand why you can't park a trailer across from Shibleys where the snow mobile trailers park instead of walking a mile to Letter S road. Downing lot gets full fast.Wynn
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Old 04-23-2015, 06:10 PM   #10
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Default Downing's Dock

The State ramp is OK for the Price---0$, Yes, parking is terrible unless your like me who get there 2 hours before sunrise. If your looking for a great place to launch and park my suggestion is using West Alton Marina. Cost is 20$ but your secluded from wind and waves and parking is more than plentiful. Not to mention the Restrooms are always clean and there's fuel in case you forgot to fill the boat on the way up.

Just my 2 cents.

Steve
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Old 04-23-2015, 06:37 PM   #11
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Default You can drop your trailer on the letter S road...

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I don't understand why you can't park a trailer across from Shibleys where the snow mobile trailers park instead of walking a mile to Letter S road. Downing lot gets full fast.Wynn
...and drive back down to the bay and park your tow vehicle.

Boat trailer parking would take up far more room than the snowmobile trailer parking would.

In the summer, the regular parking can fill up quickly, and the parking along the street can be pretty full also. Trying to get a tow vehicle with a trailer for a 25-30 ft boat out of that area could be interesting, with vehicles parked along rte 11 on the campground side.

Additionally, snowmobile trailers are in all likelihood only a day time park, while boat trailers are often times, especially on weekends, there for overnight parking, which is prohibited in the bay.

JMHO.
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Old 04-10-2016, 01:33 PM   #12
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Default Chain Link Fence?

We noticed today that there is construction style fence surrounding the buildings at Downings, does anybody know what the plans are? Demolition?
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Old 04-11-2016, 10:49 AM   #13
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Default

Looked like they were just doing some repair work when I was there last Thurs. Sure wish they would fix the boat ramp
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:48 AM   #14
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Default Busy

I will second everyone else's opinion about Downing's being very busy. We were up at the lake on 4-10 and on 4-17 and it was very busy by 8am on both days (granted the weather was very nice). We just launch at the state launch and it is fine if you have very good brakes. If we need to haul something over to the island we use West Alton. It is $25 to launch, but they are very accommodating, especially early season when you can park very close to the launch.
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:01 AM   #15
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Smile I got my answer !

Looks like the "repair work" is proceeding !

As I said this morning... this is very bittersweet. It is a good thing to clean things up but I spent many summer mornings back in the late '60's and early '70's sweeping out the arcade and cleaning the glass on the pinball machines when I was a "dockboy" for Lester Downing ! (of course that was after we shoveled out the boat ramp- $1.00 in and out!)

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Looked like they were just doing some repair work when I was there last Thurs. Sure wish they would fix the boat ramp
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Old 04-22-2016, 09:15 AM   #16
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Default Gone

As of yesterday afternoon the entire building had been demolished. Still lots of debris on the ground, but I suspect that will be cleaned up quickly.
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Old 04-22-2016, 11:34 AM   #17
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Default Downing landing

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as of yesterday afternoon the entire building had been demolished. Still lots of debris on the ground, but i suspect that will be cleaned up quickly.
all thats keeping the garbage out of the lake is that little orange fence. No e.p.a. In alton ??, try that on your water front.
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