The Lake Sunapee Region is a place with wonderful mountain views, sparkling lakes for swimming, sailing, boating and fishing; and beautiful beaches for soaking up the summer sunshine. Here, Mt. Sunapee, Mt. Kearsarge, Ragged Mt. and Mt. Cardigan preside over a landscape that in late September and early October catches fire with the changing colors of deciduous trees. Walking, hiking and biking are the most popular ways to enjoy the fall foliage. But, you can also have a grand view of the lake and mountains aboard one of the tour boats on Lake Sunapee.
The area has been a popular tourism destination for more than 100 years. At the turn of the century, affluent city-dwellers packed up their households and spent the entire summer because of its spectacular scenery, pristine lakes and abundant recreational opportunities. The area is just 90 minutes from Boston, 40 minutes from Manchester and 30 minutes from the state capital of Concord. Today, the area has also become a popular destination for families thanks to its excellent quality of life.
Mt. Sunapee has been one of New England's favorite winter resort areas since the days when T-bars pulled skiers on wooden skis to the summit. The Mt. Sunapee Resort has invested more than $9 million in capital improvements in the last two years to provide the most up-to-date facilities and skiing experience. The mountain offers visitors a breathtaking 360-degree view overlooking beautiful Lake Sunapee.
New London, just east of Mt. Sunapee, is known as "The Snowshoe Capital of America". You can rent snowshoes, get a lesson (it's easy) and head to the miles and miles of trails that will take you through the woods, up the hills, by the lakes and marshes surrounding the town. You will see evidence of moose, possibly flocks of wild turkeys and other wildlife.
There are two cross-country touring centers in the area: Norsk Ski Touring Center in New London and Eastman Ski Touring Center in Grantham. Norsk offers 85km of groomed trails, lessons, rentals and moonlit tours. Eastman has 30km of groomed trails, lessons, rentals and tours are available.
Besides skiing and snowshoeing, the lakes and ponds, along with several of the villages, offer ice-skating. New London and Newport provide wonderful ice rinks on the town green. Also, there's ice fishing on most of the lakes and ponds. In addition to the outdoor activities, there are a lot of other things to do, with fine dining, casual pubs, movies, swimming, bowling and plenty of exciting night life close by. And, everywhere you go, you'll find a friendly smile, a helping hand and a warm reception.
In April, the lakes will start to thaw, providing fisherman the thrill of catching a land-locked salmon. The days will warm and bikers will start touring the back roads, traveling from village to village. Hiking in the woods, hills and mountains can be a bit muddy, but the scenery and views will be worth it. By late April-early May, the area's four golf courses will be open. In the summer, you can bring or rent a canoe to visit those out-of-the-way ponds where you might get a glimpse of the area's beautiful loons.
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