Lakes Region Profiles – A profile of the lakes in NH's Lakes Region

By Frank Roche

President, Roche Realty Group, Inc.


With the start of our summer season, there are so many lakes to explore in NH's beautiful Lakes Region. I thought I would provide a brief profile of the major ones that comprise the area.


Lake Winnipesaukee

Area: 44,568 acres; Max depth: 187 feet; Shoreline: 240 miles
; Location: Alton, Center Harbor, Gilford, Laconia, Meredith, Moultonborough, Tuftonboro, Wolfeboro.

Info: Lake Winnipesaukee is NH's largest and most famous lake. It has 72 square miles of surface area, 274 islands and approximately 625 billion gallons of water! Its length is 22.9 miles and its width is 7.5 miles and its average depth is 62 feet. It is a very popular lake for all water sports, with many lakeside restaurants dotting its shoreline. Lake Winnipesaukee is the 6th largest natural lake completely inside US boarders. The largest island on the lake is Long Island (1,186 acres), followed by Bear Island (780 acres), Cow Island (522 acres) and Governors Island (504 acres).

Big Squam Lake

Area: 6,765 acres; Max depth: 98 feet; Shoreline: 60.5 miles; 
Location: Holderness, Center Harbor, Sandwich, Moultonborough.

Info: Squam Lake is New Hampshire's second largest lake with 67 islands to explore. The movie "On Golden Pond" was filmed on this scenic lake. It has a length of 3.7 miles and a width of 3.4 miles.

Lake Winnisquam

Area: 4,264 acres; Max Depth: 154 feet; Shoreline: 28.2 miles; 
Location: Sanbornton, Tilton, Laconia, Meredith, Belmont.

Info: Lake Winnisquam is NH's third largest lake and offers pristine waters, a length of 5.4 miles, a width of 1.7 miles and average depth of 52 feet.

Newfound Lake

Area: 4,105 acres Max depth: 168 feet; Shoreline: 19.8 miles; 
Location: Bristol, Hebron, Alexandria, Bridgewater.

Info: Newfound has a length of 5.7 miles and a width of 2.7 miles, with an average depth of 65 feet. Newfound is one of the cleanest lakes in the United States.

Ossipee Lake

Area: 3,091 acres; Max depth: 73 feet; Shoreline: 10.6 miles; 
Location: Ossipee, Freedom.

Info: Ossipee is moderately developed and many any of the waterfronts have sandy beaches.

Lake Wentworth

Area: 3,018 acres; Max depth: 49 feet; Shoreline: 14 miles; 
Location: Wentworth, Wolfeboro

Info: There are many summer cottages and homes along the shores of Wentworth in the scenic resort town of Wolfeboro, the oldest summer resort in America.

Merrymeeting Lake

Area: 1,111 acres; Max depth: 122 feet; Shoreline: 10.8 miles
Location: New Durham

Info: Merrymeeting Lake feeds into Lake Winnipesaukee and is a very popular destination.

Lake Waukewan 

Area: 912 acres; Max depth: 68 feet; Shoreline: 8.1 miles
; Location: Meredith, New Hampton

Info: Lake Waukewan is 2.1 miles long and has a width of .9 miles. It is Meredith's water supply, featuring clean water and an average depth of 22 feet. Waukewan flows into Meredith Bay of Lake Winnipesaukee through the Inn at Mills Falls.

Webster Lake

Area: 612 acres; Max depth: 40 feet; Shoreline: 4.3 miles
; Location: Franklin.

Info: Webster Lake is a popular quiet lake in Franklin dotted with second and primary homes.

Crystal Lake

Area: 440 acres; Max depth: 51 feet; 
Location: Gilmanton

Info: Crystal Lake flows via the Suncook River into the Merrimack River. This peaceful lake is located in the historic town of Gilmanton and includes a number of vacation properties.

Lake Opechee

Area: 426 acres; Max depth: 65 feet; Shoreline: 5.9 miles
; Location: Laconia

Info: Lake Opechee is 1.9 miles long and is .7 miles wide. Paugus Bay flows into Lake Opechee at the Lakeport Dam and Opechee flows into Lake Winnisquam in downtown Laconia.

Mirror Lake
Area: 377 acres; Max depth: 44 feet; Shoreline: 3.5 miles
; Location: Tuftonboro, Wolfeboro.

Info: Mirror Lake is moderately developed and is heavily wooded.

Lake Kanasatka

Area: 371 acres; Max depth: 30 feet; Shoreline: 5.2 miles; 
Location: Moultonborough

Info: Kanasatka is a peaceful lake with scenic views of Red Hill.


Some of the smaller lakes include: Stinson Lake, Lake Wicwas, White Oak Pond, Pemigewasset Lake, Silver Lake, Rust Pond, Crescent Lake, Hermit Lake, Lake Winona, Shellcamp Lake, Forest Pond, Loon Pond, Duncan Lake, Hawkins Pond, Wakonda Pond and Sawyer Lake.
Whether you love to kayak, windsurf, waterski, or enjoy boating to numerous port towns, our lakes offer a multitude of water sports and recreation to enjoy. Get out and explore the lakes this summer!

Please feel free to visit to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market. Frank Roche is president of Roche Realty Group in Meredith and Laconia and can be reached at 603-279-7046.

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REAL ESTATE - Winni Waterfront Report - May 2016

By ROY SANBORN, Contributing Writer

There were 15 waterfront transactions on Lake Winnipesaukee in May of 2016. The average sales price came in at $983,962 and the median sales price stood at $766,000. This brings us to a total of 52 sales on the big lake this year so far at an average price of $1,136,896. That compares to 34 sales at an average of $1,015,456 for the same period last year. The biggest jump was in the under $1 million category with 37 sales so far this year compared to 24 last year.

The entry-level sale last month was, not surprisingly, on Rattlesnake Island in Alton, #330 to be exact. This is a 1961 vintage two-room cottage... or perhaps more like one big one with 480 feet of space within 20 feet of the water. You've got a Vermont Castings woodstove to stay warm and an "alternative septic system" which from the pictures appears to be an outhouse. But who cares! This is island living and you are on a nice level 0.7 acre lot with 102 feet of frontage and a dock. This is a great starter cabin and an affordable way to get on the lake. This property was first listed in August of 2013 for $295,000 and has been on the market the past few summers since. It was brought on the market this year at $240,000 and sold for $230,000. The total time on market was 567 days and it is currently assessed at $247,900.

The middle of the road sale price wise was at 346 Sewall Road and this is a pretty nice Wolfeboro road to be on. This property was previously offered as part of a larger $2.2 million package but consists of a 1920s 1,300-square-foot, three-bedroom, one-bath year round cottage on a 0.13 acre level lot with 58 feet of frontage, waterside deck and two docks. The home was refurbished in the 1990s and is literally within steps to the water and a short walk to downtown to get ice cream. Pretty cute! It was listed at $798,000 and sold for $766,000 after 102 days on the market. It is currently assessed at $882,600.

The highest sale for the month was at 217 Damon Drive in Alton. This 5,968-square-foot Adirondack was built in 2008 and has five bedrooms, two full baths, two three-quarter baths and two half baths, ensuring that no one will have to stand in line. But there's more, a lot more! A grand foyer, a two-story great room with stone fireplace, beautiful woodwork and floors, gourmet kitchen and pantry, first-floor master suite, office, lower-level family room, screened porch, three-car garage and lots of glass to bring in the views. The house is perched on a beautifully landscaped 1.26 acre lot with 174 feet of frontage providing great views of the Broads. A breakwater and covered dock provides the new owner's boat with plenty of protection from the weather. This property was listed in October of 2014 at $2.749 million, in April of 2015 at the same number, and again this year at the same number. It went under agreement for $2.6 million after 298 days on the market.

Over on Winnisquam there was but one lonely sale at 15 Lakeside Drive in Sanbornton. This 2,668-square-foot contemporary has three bedrooms, two full baths and an open-concept floor plan with cathedral ceilings and great views of the lake. There's a bonus room that could be converted to another bedroom and a lower-level walkout with a family room perfect for rainy day activities. The house sits on a 0.14 acre lot with 50 feet of frontage. I bet someone is going to have a great summer season there! This property was listed back in July of 2014 for $575,000, again in April 2015 for $524,900, and then again in June 2015 for $524,900 with reductions down to $494,000. It attracted a buyer at $490,000 after a total of 555 days on the market. It is currently assessed at $473,300 and is literally within steps to the water and a short walk to downtown to get ice cream. Pretty cute! It was listed at $798,000 and sold for $766,000 after 102 days on the market. It is currently assessed at $882,600.524,900 with reductions down to $494,000. It attracted a buyer at $490,000 after a total of 555 days on the market. It is currently assessed at $473,300.

P​lease feel free to visit to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and comment on this article and others. Data compiled using the NNEREN MLS system as of 6/8/16. ​Roy Sanborn is a sales associate at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-677-7012.

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DuBois — The alpine zone in bloom


Reuben and Gordon at the base of Tuckerman Ravine

By Gordon DuBois

When I reached the alpine region on the Boott Spur Link Trail, I was greeted by a beautiful display of alpine flowers, diapensia and lapland rosebay. With Reuben leading the way, I scrambled up to the higher reaches of the trail. I had forgotten that the alpine zone of the Presidential Range would be ablaze with the flower show of early June. I was overtaken by the brilliant display of these early alpine flowers. It is truly amazing that these beautiful flowers can thrive, let alone even exist in this harsh and extreme environment. Yet, throughout the alpine zone in the Presidential and Franconia Ranges of the White Mountains these amazing plants are in full Bloom: diapensia, Lapland rosebay, mountain avens, cinquefoil, harebell, mountain aster, bog bilberry and many more. During this period, one can witness a marvelous display of flowers that defies the extreme conditions where these plants flourish. A sign at an AMC hut reads, "Welcome to the Alpine Zone. Enjoy the fragile beauty. Be a caring Steward. Stay on the trail or walk on rocks. Help preserve the delicate balance of the Alpine Zone. It's a tough place to grow."

With this in mind, we continued on our journey, with the main objective: the summit of Boott Spur Peak. All along the trail, above tree line, we were accompanied by the flowering diapensia, which resembles a large pin cushion, and the pink flowers of Lapland rosebay. It reminded me of a domestic rock garden. However this garden was not made by man, but by the hand of nature. We were careful to stay on the trail and not trample the delicate plant life around us. Even Reuben was careful where he placed his paws. I always knew he was a smart dog.

We started our day at the Pinkham Notch AMC Visitor Center, hiking the Tuckerman Ravine trail for 2.4 miles. I met a few other early hikers, heading into the ravine to begin their climb of Mount Washington. At the Hermit Lake Shelters, I began my climb to Boott Spur Ridge via the Boott Spur Link trail. With Reuben in the lead, we climbed the steep ascent to Boott Spur trail which would lead us to the peak of Boott Spur (5,500 fet) The trail follows a prominent ridge running south from Mt. Washington, located on the east side of Tuckerman Ravine. The ridge was named for Dr. Francis Boott who was a member of the Bigelow scientific expedition to the White Mountains in 1816. Some speculate that this ridge was the probable route of the first ascent of Mt. Washington by Darby Field in 1642.

As we made our way along the trail, dark storm clouds were gathering to the south, and I became anxious about continuing my venture, knowing that I would be in danger if a storm hit when I was above tree line. I continued on, rushing to make my goal. As many know, the weather can turn quickly in the mountains. However, to my good fortune, the thick bank of clouds began to break up as they blew into Tuckerman and Huntington ravines and Mount Washington above. I was in luck, no storm today, just a minor weather system pulling through. I made the summit of Boott Spur and turned onto the Davis Path, which would lead me to the Tuckerman Ravine trail and back to the Hermit Lake Shelters.

The Davis Path is a 15 mile trail running from Crawford Notch and Rt. 302 to the summit of Mount Washington. It was built by Nathanial T.P. Davis, manager of the Crawford House, and son-in-law to Abel Crawford, patriarch of the region and premier trail builder (Crawford Path). The Davis Path was built as a bridle path to Mount Washington and completed in 1845. In the years following, the trail was used less frequently due to the popularity of the carriage road and the Cog Railroad, and reclaimed by the forest. In 1910 the trail was reopened by the AMC as a foot path to the summit of Mount Washington and now closely follows the route of the original bridal trail.

When I arrived at the junction of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, I considered continuing on to the summit of Mount Washington, but thought better of it, as I have been on the summit many times and it wasn't worth climbing another mile and over 600 feet in elevation. I began my descent into Tuckerman Ravine, excited to view the massive walls of the ravine and the spring runoff tumbling down over the headwall, 1,000 feet to the valley below. The ravine is a classic glacial cirque that was carved out of the southeast slope of Mount Washington during the ice ages. It was named for distinguished botanist Edward Tuckerman, who taught at Amherst College and studied alpine plants and lichens in the area during the 1830s and 40s. He is best known for categorizing botanical life zones in the Presidential Range. Tuckerman Ravine is famous for the huge amounts of snow that blow off Mt. Washington into the bowl-shaped cirque, providing challenging and unique opportunities for skiing enthusiasts. In 1939, at the Third American Inferno Ski Race, 19 year-old Austrian Toni Matt became a ski legend. Starting from the summit of Mt Washington, he hit the Tuckerman headwall and schussed (skied in a straight line) down the headwall close to 85 miles per hour, finishing at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center in just six minutes and 29 seconds.

Unlike Toni Matt, Reuben and I carefully made our way down the Tuckerman Ravine trail. We could see massive ice sheets still hanging on the cliffs. Snow fields lingered in the recesses of the ravine. Indian poke was beginning to unfurl its large deeply veined leaves from the side of trail. Soon they would be in bloom. The famous snow arch that is created by water flowing under many feet of snow had collapsed and was now just huge chunks of ice laying at the bottom of the ravine. I spent a good deal of time gazing at the raw beauty of this magnificent cirque, reluctant to leave. But I must, as darkness was setting in. I slowly hiked out of the ravine, occasionally looking back at the beauty behind me. I paused to eat a snack at the ranger station before beginning my final leg of the hike down to the AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. As I was getting up to leave I met a couple from Norway who shared with me that they had returned to Tuckerman Ravine, drawn back to this very special place, to celebrate their wedding anniversary at this spot where they were married 40 years ago. Tuckerman Ravine and the alpine gardens have a magnetism that draws people from around the world to experience their majestic beauty. Take the opportunity now to visit Tuckerman Ravine and the alpine zone to view the spring flower show. You have one week left.

Gordon has hiked extensively in Northern New England and the Adirondacks of New York State. In 2011 he completed the Appalachian Trail (2,285 miles). He has also hiked the Long Trail in Vermont, The International AT in Quebec, Canada, Cohos Trail in northern New Hampshire and the John Muir Trail in California. Gordon has summited the New Hampshire Hundred Highest peaks, and the New England Hundred Highest in winter. He spends much of his time hiking locally and in the White Mountains with his dog Reuben and especially enjoys hiking in the Lakes Region due to the proximity to his home in New Hampton. He is also a trail maintainer for the BRATTS (Belknap Range Trail Tenders) and can be found often exploring the many hiking trails in the area. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Lapland rosebay

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Susan Estrich - A moment in history

It wasn't a very big-deal election in California, to say the least. I think one person asked me if I voted. And I got one email from an old friend, who said she was thrilled about Hillary Clinton but voted for Bernie Sanders.

Not me. I voted for the first female president of the United States, for the first woman ever to be nominated by a major party. And I did so with a shiver of pride.

Hillary Clinton is not a perfect person; nor is she a perfect candidate. People who don't know her find her stiff and defensive and unlikable, which is kind of funny, because while she has her faults, those are not them. If you asked me, she should have done a mea culpa on the emails on day one, gotten rid of the issue by taking political, not legal, responsibility. But then, I haven't been through the meat grinder she has, where any mistake she admits gets distorted and twisted beyond recognition before an organized group of bloggers and activists ties it around her neck. Some people are right to be paranoid.

No, Clinton isn't perfect, but she is pretty damn good, maybe the most experienced person ever to run for president, and certainly the one who has spent the most time in her life fighting tirelessly for the issues I care about.

We share idols, such as Marian Wright Edelman, the founder of the Children's Defense Fund, the woman who introduced young Sen. Robert F. Kennedy to poverty and deprivation among blacks in the South. Clinton went to work for Marian when she graduated from law school; I went to work for Marian's husband, Peter, the young staffer who made those trips with Robert Kennedy and went on to work for his brother Ted.

I had heard of Hillary forever, or 30 years, anyway: Hillary doing legal aid, Hillary fighting for children's rights here and organizing for children's rights internationally — all long before her husband became a household name.

Which is to say that for decades Hillary Rodham Clinton has been fighting for the things Bernie Sanders just talks about. I like Sanders; he got three bills passed in his decades in the Senate, one of which was about renaming a post office. Meanwhile, Clinton traveled the world and changed it.

I'm tired of women claiming that they don't support Clinton just because she is a woman. And in the next breath, they'll explain why they support someone who went to the same school they did, or grew up in the same town. As if it's okay to recognize ties based on what university you attended (or even what elementary school), but not ties based on gender, even as Clinton's been fighting your fights for all these years.

And truly, she has. She's been attacked as viciously as anyone in American politics. People who should know better, who should show respect, demean themselves by the names they use to refer to her or by the charges they make. She is not a criminal. The dozens of FBI agents investigating her server have found no criminal wrongdoing by her or her staff.

Yes, Clinton and her staff made a mistake — a stupid mistake — by using a private server.

But would this mistake really lead us to make fools of ourselves in the eyes of the world by electing a man who makes penis jokes on television — a man who has no policies on anything except to divide the country as much as he can in the hopes that a small band of angry white men can propel him to the Oval Office?

That's Donald Trump's scheme. But a band of women and men who are equally angry — angry at the prospect that sexism and stupidity would combine to elect a buffoon as president — are ready and willing to meet their attacks.

(Susan Estrich is a professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California Law Center. A best-selling author, lawyer and politician, as well as a teacher, she first gained national prominence as national campaign manager for Dukakis for President in 1988.)

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Pat Buchanan - Trump & the La Raza judge

Before the lynching of The Donald proceeds, what exactly was it he said about that Hispanic judge?

Stated succinctly, Donald Trump said U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over a class-action suit against Trump University, is sticking it to him. And the judge's bias is likely rooted in the fact that he is of Mexican descent.

Can there be any defense of a statement so horrific?

Just this. First, Trump has a perfect right to be angry about the judge's rulings and to question his motives. Second, there are grounds for believing Trump is right.

On May 27, Curiel, at the request of The Washington Post, made public plaintiff accusations against Trump University — that the whole thing was a scam. The Post, which Bob Woodward tells us has 20 reporters digging for dirt in Trump's past, had a field day.

And who is Curiel?

An appointee of President Obama, he has for years been associated with the La Raza Lawyers Association of San Diego, which supports pro-illegal immigrant organizations.

Set aside the folly of letting Clinton surrogates like the Post distract him from the message he should be delivering, what did Trump do to be smeared by a bipartisan media mob as a "racist?"

He attacked the independence of the judiciary, we are told.

But Presidents Jefferson and Jackson attacked the Supreme Court, and FDR, fed up with New Deal programs being struck down, tried to "pack the court" by raising the number of justices to 15 if necessary.

Abraham Lincoln leveled "that eminent tribunal" in his first inaugural, and once considered arresting Chief Justice Roger Taney.

The conservative movement was propelled by attacks on the Warren Court. In the '50s and '60s, "Impeach Earl Warren!" was plastered on billboards and bumper stickers all across God's country.

The judiciary is independent, but that does not mean that federal judges are exempt from the same robust criticism as presidents or members of Congress.

Obama himself attacked the Citizens United decision in a State of the Union address, with the justices sitting right in front of him.

But Trump's real hanging offense was that he brought up the judge's ancestry, as the son of Mexican immigrants, implying that he was something of a judicial version of Univision's Jorge Ramos.

Apparently, it is now not only politically incorrect, but, in Newt Gingrich's term, "inexcusable," to bring up the religious, racial or ethnic background of a judge, or suggest this might influence his actions on the bench.

But these things matter.

Does Newt think that when LBJ appointed Thurgood Marshall, ex-head of the NAACP, to the Supreme Court, he did not think Marshall would bring his unique experience as a black man and civil rights leader to the bench?

Surely, that was among the reasons Marshall was appointed.

When Obama named Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, a woman of Puerto Rican descent who went through college on affirmative action scholarships, did Obama think this would not influence her decision when it came to whether or not to abolish affirmative action?

"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life," Sotomayor said in a speech at Berkeley law school and in other forums.

Translation: Ethnicity matters, and my Latina background helps guide my decisions.

All of us are products of our family, faith, race and ethnic group. And the suggestion in these attacks on Trump that judges and justices always rise about such irrelevant considerations, and decide solely on the merits, is naive nonsense.

There are reasons why defense lawyers seek "changes of venue" and avoid the courtrooms of "hanging judges."

When Obama reflexively called Sgt. Crowley "stupid" after Crowley's 2009 encounter with that black professor at Harvard, and said of Trayvon Martin, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon," was he not speaking as an African-American, as well as a president?

Pressed by John Dickerson on CBS, Trump said it's "possible" a Muslim judge might be biased against him as well.

Another "inexcusable" outrage.

But does anyone think that if Obama appointed a Muslim to the Supreme Court, the LGBT community would not be demanding of all Democratic senators that they receive assurances that the Muslim judge's religious views on homosexuality would never affect his court decisions, before they voted to put him on the bench?

When Richard Nixon appointed Judge Clement Haynsworth to the Supreme Court, it was partly because he was a distinguished jurist of South Carolina ancestry. And the Democrats who tore Haynsworth to pieces did so because they feared he would not repudiate his Southern heritage and any and all ideas and beliefs associated with it.

To many liberals, all white Southern males are citizens under eternal suspicion of being racists. The most depressing thing about this episode is to see Republicans rushing to stomp on Trump, to show the left how well they have mastered their liberal catechism.

(Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three presidents, twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He won the New Hampshire Republican Primary in 1996.)

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