Once again, It was time for my buddy and I to take our yearly trip. We either paddle, or backpack...sometimes a combination of the two which we like to call, "surf and turf". This year we decided to go check out Lake Umbagog in scenic northern New Hampshire. The lake lies on the border of NH and Maine just east of Errol, NH.
It's a fairly large lake with numerous islands and rocky coves. The scenery makes up for it's lack of any kind of real challenge although, when the wind whips up, you can expect to paddle through waves and whitecaps that will have you clenching your teeth and throw you around like a rag doll.
There are three rivers that empty into the lake. All of which are quiet water paddling for quite a way. Their sheer beauty is unmatched. We had expressed concern that we would get bored paddling the same water for a week straight. But by jumping around from campsite to campsite, touring the river systems and playing in the wind, we kept ourselves busy. The fishing was awesome also. I use a handline I tow behind my Kayak and paddle slow around rocky outcrops and points. I can't tell how many Smallmouth Bass I hooked on my floating Rapala. A few of them made for some tasty dinners. In the evenings I would handline while also working with a lightweight rod and reel from my cockpit.
At night, after a long day paddling, and dinner, there is nothing like "rock sitting" to watch the last part of the day, and hear the loons calling. The star watching (and brandy sippin') is incredible in this region and you get the feeling of solitude that is hard to find on the East coast.
For hardcore paddlers, I would suggest 3 days at the most at this lake, unless your a fisherman. What I really think this is best for, is for the more family oriented trip. I plan to take my kids back and take our time again because they can handle moving across a lake this size (12 miles long), and stay busy. The campsites are clean and comfortable. With picnic table and fire ring per site, and scattered ,open air, toilets.
We always take our trip after Labor Day and hardly see anyone. However, these sites have that look of constant usage. I would definitely reserve ahead if going before mid-Sept.
I have a Chesapeake 17 that I built. We call it the "Family Truckster" because of it's gear hauling capacity. My Friend Mike has a Valley Products Nordkapp HM.
The remote, "Paddle in" sites are $20 a night and they have a reservation system online through their State Parks website. The website has descriptions of the campsites as well, as far as what kind of shoreline you will land on...water depth...and overall description of the physical features of each site.
From Berlin NH, take route 16 to route 26 east. Go 9 miles to the campground. It's easy to find and the drive there is incredibly beautiful.