5 March 2015 | Posted By: Victoria Weiss
This winter has been brutal for East Coast residents, but that doesnâ€™t mean you should hibernate! This past weekend, pilots from across the Northeast flocked to Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire to land on the only ice runway in the continental United States.
The Alton Bay Seaplane Base, a state-owned public seaplane base on Lake Winnipesaukee, is usually a warm weather destination for pilots. However, when the ice reaches a thickness of at least 12 inches and the Federal Aviation Administration gives the green light, it transforms into an ice runway. The 3,000-foot strip is plowed regularly to remove snow from the iceâ€™s surface and opens daily from January to March, weather permitting. This winter, frequent snowstorms and high winds have created hazardous conditions, forcing the runway to remain closed for most of the season. So, when this past weekend brought clear skies, over 100 pilots from as far away as New Jersey jumped at the chance to land on the frozen lake. After all, itâ€™s not every day that a non-amphibious plane can touch down on a body of water. Pilots swapped stories and compared vessels atop frozen Lake Winnipesaukee before taking off for home via the spectacular ice runway.
For many, lakes are often considered warm weather destinations. But, anyone who has ever been to the snow-covered Lakes Region will tell you that itâ€™s just as fun-filled in the winter as it is in the more temperate months. From ice hockey to ice skating and from ice fishing to ice runways, there is no shortage of things to do! And, if you think the areaâ€™s winter activities sound enticing, you should come up and experience the other countless adventures to be had during spring, summer and fall. Talk about versatile!
If youâ€™re looking for four-season fun, Meredith Bay offers easy access to all the activities that abound on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. Schedule your tour today and start enjoying your fun, carefree lakeside lifestyle.