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Old 04-21-2011, 02:53 PM   #1
Skippermark
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Default Kayak boat launches & paddle suggestions

I searched and found a thread regarding legal kayak launches, but they it's almost 3 years old so I wasn't sure if the info is still accurate.

I'm looking for places to launch from that are preferably free. Lots of launches that charge for trailers don't charge for car top boats. We'll be staying in the Center Harbor area, but would like to go to different places different days.

We'd like to paddle around the Weirs/Channel area, Meredith, Center Harbor and Wolfeboro. I know about the Back Bay launch but aren't sure exactly where it is. I also know about the Meredith/Center Harbor town launches but don't know if Kayaks are free or how much the launch fee is if not free.

We want to stay close to shore but would enjoy paddling around different islands if it doesn't involve long paddles across open water.

Any help would be great. Thanks!
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Old 04-21-2011, 04:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippermark View Post
I searched and found a thread regarding legal kayak launches, but they it's almost 3 years old so I wasn't sure if the info is still accurate.

I'm looking for places to launch from that are preferably free. Lots of launches that charge for trailers don't charge for car top boats. We'll be staying in the Center Harbor area, but would like to go to different places different days.

We'd like to paddle around the Weirs/Channel area, Meredith, Center Harbor and Wolfeboro. I know about the Back Bay launch but aren't sure exactly where it is. I also know about the Meredith/Center Harbor town launches but don't know if Kayaks are free or how much the launch fee is if not free.

We want to stay close to shore but would enjoy paddling around different islands if it doesn't involve long paddles across open water.

Any help would be great. Thanks!
Hi SKippermark, and welcome to Lake Winnipesaukee.
You should be okay with the info that you looked up. However, more important to your enjoyment and safety!!

#1. Get a Lake Winnipesaukee map; http://www.winnipesaukee.com/index.php?pageid=store . Now if you should already have an up to date Lake map, scratch #1.

#2. And I will stress to you, stay away from the Weirs Channel on the Friday through Monday, busy boat traffic times. Unless of course you are one of those extreem kayak'ers, what went over Niagara Falls and are still here with us asking for direction.

Remember that we all want you to enjoy this Great Lake with us!
Regards,
Terry
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:03 PM   #3
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Default Lee's Mill

I would check out Lee's Mill in Moultonborough, It is a great area to canoe. I am don't think that ramp is attended but may require a resident sticker.
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:40 PM   #4
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Here's five kayak/canoe freebie launch areas.
............................

Meredith - Lake Winnipesaukee: Way down toward the end of Meredith Neck at the Cattle Landing town dock and town parking lot which has room for about fifty cars. Directly across Cattle Landing Rd from the dirt parking lot is a 75' concrete town dock and a five foot opening in the adjoining fence for hand carried kayaks and canoes. It puts you in the water directly across from the southern end of Bear island and relatively close (one to three miles) to Mark and Timber Islands which are all private property. About a one 1/2 mile paddle away is the small public dock and public island hiking trail area at Stonedam Island and Sally's Gut. From there, it's about one mile across the Meredith Bay to Weirs Beach in case you want to get a pizza or something.

The Cattle Landing town dock and boat launch has no sign what-so-ever that let's anyone know what it is, so watch for the small ugly concrete, Fairpoint Communications utility building with a payphone that is directly on the water, and immediately close to the Meredith public dock and public unpaved parking lot.

From Route 25 and the BarnZ Movie Cinema in Meredith close to the big intersection of Routes 3 & 25 proceed right turn, down Pleasant St (25-mph police speed traps) - Meredith Neck Rd - to Cattle Landing Rd, which are all one long windy road for about SEVEN miles till you get to the Cattle Landing-Town of Meredith-town dock, public parking lot & public kayak-canoe launch hand carry put-in.

For emergency rescues the N H Marine Patrol patrols the lake and responds to 911 phone calls for help plus there's almost always motor-boaters who are very happy to help rescue a kayak/canoe/ small sailboat that's flipped over or something. Those friendly motor-boaters will be lined up about five boats deep, all in a neat line, because they all want to help out with a kayak flip-over, especially when the water is still cold!

No charge to use or park and no residency stickers needed at the Cattle Landing.
..............................

Meredith - Cattle Landing - Bear Island loop

Bear Island is the biggest island in Lake Winnipesaukee and it's about SEVEN miles to paddle all around it. Since it's a loop, you finish where you started, back at the Cattle Landing parking lot, and it keeps you close to shore and away from the weekend motor-boat traffic that's out in the big water areas.

While Bear Island is almost totally private property, the post office and post office dock up at the north end and within the no wake zone are owned by the Town of Meredith so that could be a kayaker leg-stretcher spot, plus it's about the half way point for paddling all around the island.

...............................

Alton - Gilford town line to Diamond Island loop

With parking for just three vehicles, the Town of Alton has a town waterfront smallish wood elevated deck, that is available to the public no-charge, that sits on the border at the Gilford - Alton border. Watch closely for the sign there that says Town of Alton Property. From here it's maybe one mile out, across the open water, to Diamond Island which is surrounded by a very big water, open area of the lake. Take a gander at the infamous shoreline granite rocky outcropping where a super-duper, big & very expensive (maybe $200,000?) 32' Formula boat made a deadly smashup on June 15, 2008 at 2am and went a long way to politically cement the existing Winnipesaukee 45-mph speed limits.

On a sunny and calm morning, it's a very scenic and wide-open paddle!
.....................................

Meredith - Lake Winnipesaukee - Leavitt Beach swimming area

Leavitt Beach has a sandy beach, picnic tables, toilets, lifeguards, and at the back of the dirt parking lot, there a one lane all-dirt 1/4 mile old road that winds through a swamp on an elevated roadway down to a hand carry boat launch suitable for kayaks/canoes.

Take a right off Route 25 about one mile south of the Center Harbor-Meredith town line, and watch for the small green street sign that says Leavitt Beach on Route 25. It's at the apex of a 45-mph Route 25 curve and easy to pass and miss the turn-off there.

...............................

Laconia - Winnipesaukee River: Located close to the Laconia City Hall is the Winnipesaukee River concrete & granite, award winning, designer canoe and kayak launch put-in ramp. It is located about 50-yards below the Avery Dam and the river flows underneath about six different bridges for one mile on its' way into Lake Winnisquam, which is a very large lake. In April, you should expect the river to be flowing pretty fast, maybe 10-12-mph, even though there are basically no rapids because every rock obstruction has been removed from the river over the years.

If you get in trouble with the fast current/cold water then a phone call to 911 - Laconia Fire Dept should get a very fast response from the Laconia rescue squad which practices on the river with a small Zodiak rescue motor boat. Such a conversation could go like this: Hello Fire Dept, we are stuck in a canoe underneath a very low bridge on this river somewhere and the water is VERY fast and VERY cold, so's how about that? Say buddy, what's up with a good, fast rescue?

The Winnipesaukee River can be both a cold water or a warm water fishery depending on the time of year and there's plenty people who go fishing there.

No charge to use and no residency sticker needed. If all the parking spots along the nearby road are full, then there's free parking at nearby Laconia City Hall.
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Last edited by fatlazyless; 04-25-2011 at 05:52 AM.
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Old 04-24-2011, 03:09 PM   #5
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Default Don't limit yourself to Winnie

With a kayak or lightweight canoe you have access to a ton of places us power boaters do not. Don't pass up small ponds where there is plenty of wildlife to be seen or even the Great Bay area. Check around for Great Bay guided tours or explore on your own.

Guess it's time to throw my canoe and wife's kayak in.
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Old 04-24-2011, 06:04 PM   #6
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I agree with most of the suggestions.
Watch the wind forecasts. First day I had my kayak, about 10 years ago, I wanted to put it in on Lake Winnipesaukee at Meredith Launching ramp, but wind was very strong out of north/northwest. I concluded, I'd be paddling back in to the wind and white caps! I went to Waukewan's boat launching ramp. I had a strenuous paddle in to the wind, a rest in lee of an island, and then a great "sail" surfing the white caps with the wind back.

I have used Moultonboro's Lee's Mill area many times; I have friends who have summer cottages nearby. The paddling is far more protected and has many areas to explore.

Go out on Lake Wicwas from Meredith Center and Chemung Road is very pleasant, the lake seen when on Rt. 104.

Also another small lake, Kanasatka, is visible off Rt 25 just east of Center Harbor; maybe launching off Bean Road. There are launching areas & places for Squam. The State Highway Map will reveal many water bodies; there is a booklet called Gazateer, with much more detail and has indications of launching. I've also put in to Pemigiwasset River at public ramp in New Hampton, just west of i-93; ramp can be seen when driving Rt 104 towards Bristol; paddle upstream, but current is not strong. Very pleasant; I've been with friends who live a mile from there.

Remember, the Lake maps designed for navigation are referred to as Charts and show all the navigation markers, and are available laminated - waterproof & folded. Carry a compass. I suggest connecting a line to your bow, and keeping remainder in cockpit, in case you need to be towed. Wear your flotation device. I have a recycled plastic 2-quart mayonaise jar, I put my small camera and maybe cell phone to stay dry, putting it under my bungy cord across deck in front of me. If you jacket has front pockets, you can use zip bags. Common sense should prevail.....
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:27 PM   #7
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Default launch

i believe the question is where to launch for free correct?..almost all the town boat launches that cost say $20 or you need a facility sticker are free for kayaks and canoes. and public docks as well.. take it outa the truck, walk down the dock and drop her in. its a public dock therefore you can do this without charge. there are such locations in the weirs, meredith bay, wolfboro, center harbor, alton bay, and im such much more
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:32 PM   #8
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Default launch

i believe the question is where to launch for free correct?..almost all the town boat launches that cost say $20 or you need a facility sticker are free for kayaks and canoes. and public docks as well.. take it outa the truck, walk down the dock and drop her in. its a public dock therefore you can do this without charge. there are such locations in the weirs, meredith bay, wolfboro, center harbor, alton bay, and im such much more
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:17 PM   #9
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This should get you on the water.

http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Outd...ites_table.htm
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaBene View Post
I would check out Lee's Mill in Moultonborough, It is a great area to canoe. I am don't think that ramp is attended but may require a resident sticker.
Lee's Mill is the best ramp on the lake. It's free with plenty of parking. You can park there without a sticker too. Lots of calm water in that area. Look for the very top of the lak on your map...
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Old 05-04-2011, 03:43 PM   #11
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Default Kayak boat launches

For Skippermark: Back Bay launch ramp in Wolfeboro is located just past the Railroad Depot building. From Main Street you turn down the street beside Black's Paper and Gift Shop, go past Bradley's Hardware, and the launch ramp is about 50 yards on your left. It is free, no sticker needed, just be careful where you park - the police enforce the parking time limits. As an added bonus there are public restrooms at the end of the Railroad Depot building. Be careful when paddling in Wolfeboro Bay, not as crazy as Weirs, but still a place to be careful.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:42 AM   #12
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Cool Lees Mills Kayak launching

We find that when putting the kayak in at Lees Mills it is better to launch from the sandy "beach" area than the cement boat ramp. Less scratching on the bottom of the kayak and easier in and out. Head out to Badger Island, owned by the LRCT, and a great place for a picnic and a swim in nice weather.
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