Friday June 1, 2012

Umbagog Lake State Park (www.nhstateparks.org) was formerly a private campground. On the mainland, they have three cabins, and 18 sites for RVs or tents, four sites for pop-ups or tents and three tent-only sites.

Amenities include indoor bathrooms, hot showers, a nice beach and play area for kids, a boat launch. And, best of all, there’s almost always a breeze off the lake.

Oh, and there’s NO cell-phone service, so you have to disconnect from the "real" world.

We aren’t usually roadside campers, but this is a great place to start or end an Umbagog Lake adventure. Even on a holiday weekend, it was relaxing, not too crowded or noisy.

The real draw here, however, is the 32 remote tent campsites accessible only by boat. These are on the National Wildlife Refuge, but are administered by the state park.

You can see a map of the whole layout at www.reserveamerica.com (for New Hampshire campsites call 1-877-647-2757) where you make reservations.

Be warned, the remote campsites are very popular in summer and you have to plan ahead.

The state park offers a ferry service ($32-$64) to get you and gear to the campsites and back, or you can load it into your own boat.

This is the perfect spot for kayak or canoe camping. Just be sure your loaded boat can safely handle the winds and waves that Umbagog is famous for.


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More than one overloaded canoe has had to beat a hasty retreat to shore when the wind picked up.

-- Tim Jones