A few weeks ago we headed out to Lake Tarleton in Piermont and Warren, New Hampshire (PDF Map). Just getting there was an adventure because recent torrential rains had washed out several roads in the region. When we turned onto Route 25C, a road block caused us to try some back roads to get around, but those proved inaccessible too. We had watched several cars drive right around the road block on 25C, so we inquired at the local store about whether the road was passable to Lake Tarleton. A customer said it was, and we decided to be rebels like everyone else. We made it, but the road was in rough shape. Washouts on both sides of the road made parts of the road one lane only as it wound through massive sink holes and cave-in’s.
We made a quick pit stop at Lake Tarleton State Park to check out the amenities (beach and picnicking – no boat launch) and then headed further down the road to New Hampshire Fish and Game’s boat launch. There were several other boaters (motorized and non-motorized) when we arrived who warned us of choppy waters.
We got in the boat and ventured to the shallow area first to stay out of the windy main lake. We caught a couple of fish and enjoyed hiding among the alders. But we wanted to explore more, so with confident paddling skills we headed to the southern shore with the strong northwesterly wind carrying us on big waves.
We found a stream inlet and enjoyed the small sheltered moment before deciding to go ashore where we found a camp spot. At the time we wondered if this was private or federal land. We did a little research when we got home and found that this land is mostly federal land but was part of a huge land deal (over 5,000 acres) starting in the mid-1990’s. Several NGO’s raised money in order to prevent a large private development project. Today the lake is also monitored by an active Lake Association.
Feeling brave we followed the northern shoreline into the wind, but the waves crashing onto the boat made us all feel a bit uneasy. Well, mostly Lindsay was concerned since she sat in the back and had a front row seat of a bouncy 4 year old. So we made our way back toward the boat launch but we weren’t ready to get off the water yet, so we went back into the shallows west of the parking lot.
We found where a great blue heron had been hiding, but we spooked him up and out of the area. We caught and released several more small fish and tried to make our way further into the wetland in several spots.
As we packed up the boat to leave, the water looked calmer out in the middle of the lake, promising the new kayak arrivers to have a quieter paddle than us. There is very little development along the shore of this 334 acre lake that boasts impressive views of the foothills that bound the western flanks of Mount Moosilauke. We will have to come back on a calmer day to check out more of the northeast side of the lake where more hidden coves and wetlands welcome further exploration.