The leaves have returned to the trees, the flowers are in full bloom and it’s time to put your boat in the water and take your dog on a brand new adventure!
Whether it uses a motor, a sail or a paddle, your boat is your first class ticket to seeing the beautiful waterways of the Lakes Region the way they were meant to be seen. It doesn’t matter if you’re a local or if you’re just visiting, navigating the pristine waterways of Lake Winnipesaukee is truly an experience you’ll never forget, and who better to share in your water bound adventures than your faithful pup?
Boating with your dog is a seriously underrated pastime, and to give you a little boost out the door here are the top four boating destinations for you to explore with your dog near Lake Winnipesaukee this summer.
1. Weirs Beach
Weirs Beach is a must visit destination in New Hampshire. One of the most popular beaches in Belknap County, Weirs Beach is at the top of the list for most people visiting Laconia in the summer months. Especially during June when the town is filled with motorcycle enthusiasts checking out all the bikes at the annual Motorcycle Week.
Easily accessible by paddle powered watercraft, Weirs Beach is the perfect place to soak up some sun with your dog and play a game of splash filled fetch at sunset after swimming hours. You’re dog will have a blast running along the beautiful sand beach and diving into the sky blue fresh water.
You can also take your dog on a beautiful walk along the pier and explore the nearby shops or grab something to eat on the patio of Boardwalk Bar and Grill, an extremely dog friendly restaurant that’s just across the street. Who knows, maybe you’ll get to leave with a doggy bag!
2. Harilla Landing & Seagull Rock
Harilla Landing public boat ramp is a terrific starting point for any water bound adventures. For those of you with larger motorized boats this is a perfect spot to get your vessel in the water and take your pup on a stunning cruise through one of New Hampshire most iconic archipelagos.
Harilla landing is located in a picturesque enclave of islands which opens into Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire’s largest inland body of water. There are endless islands to weave through with rich old growth trees and a fantastic array of wildlife for your keen eyed dog to spot along the way. Your dog will love the wind whipping through his fur as you bounce through the wake of passing boats.
If you and your dog are up for a bit of a scavenger hunt try finding Seagull Rock. Nestled somewhere between Dow Island and Whortleberry Island this small mysterious location is a designated historic landmark only reachable by boat, definitely worth the hunt!
Harilla Landing offers one of the best vantage points for exploring Lake Winnipesaukee and soaking in its striking natural beauty with your four legged companion.
3. Downtown Laconia
One of the most unique characteristics of life in the Lake Winnipesaukee region is that you can go anywhere by boat, and in most cases taking your boat will be faster than driving your car. If the seclusion of nature is getting a little too, well, secluded, then grab your dog, hop in your boat on Lake Opechee and in no time at all you can be in bustling downtown Laconia. This radiant lakeside town hosts a thriving local culture and a deep-rooted history that is not to be missed!
The streets of Laconia offer the scenic views of a vibrant beach town, so grab the leash and enjoy your walk past historic century homes and the personality-driven small businesses that populate this spectacular corner of New Hampshire. If all that walking makes your dog’s stomach growl try taking a rest at Happy Cow Ice Cream Shop on Union Ave and get some delicious cones for two, your dog will thank you!
4. Wolfeboro and the Sewall Woods
This day trip is maybe the best way for you and your dog to experience the raw natural beauty of New Hampshire and it’s perfect for people with boats of all sizes. It will take you from the windswept waterways, through a pleasant little town and then into one of New Hampshire’s most popular forest trails where you and your dog can explore the wilderness to your heart’s content.
Launch your boat in Lake Winnipesaukee and float across the placid waters, past the island cottage retreats and toward Winnipesaukee’s eastern shores where you’ll enter the clear waters of Wolfeboro Bay. From there you and your dog can dock your boat at the Wolfeboro public docks and begin the rest of your expedition on foot.
Known as the oldest summer resort in America, Wolfeboro is an irresistible town with colonial beauty and many dog-friendly patios. The downtown area is all situated along Wolfeboro Bay making the town easily walkable and an ideal place to take your dog for a stroll. Spend the afternoon soaking in all the historic landmarks and architectural beauty Wolfeboro has to offer before popping into Seven Suns for a relaxing cup of locally roasted coffee on their patio with your outdoorsy pup.
Once you’ve had your caffeine fix take your dog for a short 15 minute walk along Sewall Road and hike the always wonderful Sewall Woods trails. The trails are hilly and thick in the summer months and staying hydrated is a must for you and your dog so make sure you bring some reusable water bottles and a drinking dish in case your dog gets thirsty on the go. You’ll both love venturing into the woodland and listening to the calls of local birds while the wind sweeps through the towering trees on a hot summer afternoon.
There’s no limit to the beauty of the Lake Winnipesaukee region and wherever you and your dog decide to dock your boat this summer you’ll be overwhelmed with the diversity of activities awaiting you. The vistas of Lake Winnipesaukee will have you and your pup returning again and again.