Tarleton Take Two

Last year we visited and blogged about a canoe trip to Lake Tarleton (read about it here), but it was so windy that day we were forced to stay near the boat launch for fear of tipping the boat in the white-caps. We finally had the chance to venture back there recently on an absolutely beautiful day.

Lake Tarleton is in Piermont and Warren, New Hampshire tucked amongst the hills. There is a large boat launch and parking area managed by the NH Fish and Game Department. It was busy on the day we arrived with trucks pulling trailers and car-top boats too. We quickly pulled the canoe off the car and slid into the water to join the rest of the canoes, kayaks, and motorboats. Luckily the lake is large enough, 334 acres, that you can find your own cove and stay away from most of the boat traffic.

We decided to head west from the boat launch and follow the shoreline. A pair of loons bobbed above and below the water nearby and a great blue heron flew by, reminding us of the biodiversity in and around the lake.

We heard a spirited chanting coming from shore as we passed by a boy’s camp, otherwise the lake was fairly quiet, that is until we reached the State Park beach which was busy with swimmers and picnic goers. Some families were even swimming near the dam so we pulled ashore and checked out the dam and outlet. Andrew heard that there might be some interesting paddling along this outlet and we promised to do that one day when Alden could handle a kayak on his own.

We continued following the shoreline around the entire lake, although now the sun was directly hitting us. That didn’t stop us from exploring and we found a great little shallow cove. As we headed toward the beaver dam inlet we saw lots of fish and a turtle who quickly buried itself in the mud. Andrew carefully stood in canoe and confirmed that the beaver dam had created a wetland. We hung out for a while there and netted eastern newts and spied on a family of Canada geese, who only seemed slightly concerned about our existence.

Just as we headed out of this wildlife-friendly cove, another great blue heron flew in, perhaps the same one we had seen earlier in the day. We eventually paddled our way back to the boat launch, again squeezing in between other kayaks and motorboats who were also done for the day. Once again this beautiful lake didn’t disappoint.

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