Winter Activities in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire
If the winter Olympics has inspired you to try out some new winter sports, or if you’re an active person looking for the perfect place to buy a four-season vacation home, you should know that the Lakes Region of New Hampshire abounds with fun winter activities for everyone! Here, there are just as many exciting outdoor adventures to be had in the winter as there are in the summer. So, with activities to choose from like skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, snowmobiling and more, you’ll never get the winter blues while spending time in the Lakes Region.
Some of the most popular things to do in the Lakes Region take place on the snow-covered mountains and in the beautiful old growth forests that make New Hampshire such a magical place to be, especially in the winter season. Many of New England’s best mountain resorts are located in and around the Lakes Region, so hitting the high slopes or cross-country skiing can be a daily activity. Just a 15-minute drive from the Meredith Bay community is Gunstock Mountain Resort, which offers a wide variety of sports for every season. In the winter at Gunstock, you can snow tube, ski, snowboard, snowshoe, cross-country ski or even glide by the snow-covered trees in mid-air on the zip line.
If you want to test your skills in the White Mountains, take a day trip up to Loon Mountain Resort and experience a beautiful run from the 3,050ft. summit. If you have little ones in tow, take a tour of Loon’s Ice Castle—the first of its kind on the east coast. Built by Brent Christense, a Utah-based artist, using a latticework of icicles, the ice fortress’ walls reach 25ft. high. At night, the Ice Castle is colorfully lit up to look like a glowing, frozen Narnia!
No matter which mountain you choose, New Hampshire offers some of the best slopes in New England. And whether you’re a pro at a particular winter sport or just polishing some of your beginner skills, the Lakes Region has something to offer everyone setting out to have a great time in the snow!
Another popular winter activity in New Hampshire is ice fishing, and what better place to do it than on New England’s largest lake, Lake Winnipesaukee! Once just a social event for the Ojibwa Indians on the Midwest’s Great Lakes, it has evolved into a nationwide, modern sport that’s enjoyed by many active fishermen and first-timers alike. Ice fishing is a great way to take in the spectacular winter scenery while socializing or enjoying quiet solitude—plus, there’s always the anticipation and thrill of the catch.
Each February, people from all over the country swarm to Meredith, New Hampshire for the annual Great Rotary Ice Fishing Derby. This event transforms the ice-covered Lake into a city of colorful fishing shanties and the fierce competition can be felt in the air. If you’ve never been ice fishing before, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department offers free seminars and classes each year.
The town of Meredith, NH is the host to another one of the biggest annual winter events in the Lakes Region, The New England Pond Hockey Classic. This weekend event brings hockey players young and old from every corner of New England for a competitive, fun, and nostalgic pond hockey experience. The ice atop Meredith Bay is transformed into nearly 20 individual rinks and over 200 participating teams play for their chance to win the championship trophy. Even if you aren’t a hockey player yourself, this event is just as fun for spectators as it is for the players.
If hockey or ice skating is one of your favorite winter activities, there are frozen lakes and ponds throughout the Lakes Region that are perfect for an outdoor skating experience with family and friends. Or, if you’re new to skating, there are several rinks throughout the Lakes Region that offer lessons and public skating times. No matter your skill level, and whether it’s for leisure or sport, ice skating is a 3,000-year-old pastime that is guaranteed to please today’s winter fun seekers.
Spending time outdoors isn’t the only way to enjoy all that winter has to offer. Some of the best memories can be made right in the comfort of your own home. A favorite pastime for many is spending quality time with family and friends in front of the fireplace playing board games, telling scary stories, or simply relaxing under a cozy blanket with a hot cup of tea and a great book.
If you’re looking for some indoor activities to do in town, there are wonderful attractions like museums, theaters, spas, and restaurants in Meredith, NH. If you’re looking for a respite from the chilly temperatures, spend an afternoon relaxing in the steam room or enjoying a full body massage at Cascade Spa. Or, if you have a gang of restless kids who need to expend their seemingly endless supply of energy, take a trip to Fun Spot, the world’s largest arcade. From bowling to bingo to mini-golf, your kids will be whipped after a winter’s day of non-stop fun.
Taking to the slopes, ice fishing, ice skating, and playing indoors are just some of the exciting winter activities available just minutes from Meredith Bay. There are countless other winter adventures for exercise or relaxation to fill your stay with endless fun. So whether you’re training to be the next Bode Miller or simply taking a peaceful winter stroll, there is no better place than the Lakes Region of New Hampshire to bask in the beauty that is winter in New England. And no better place than Meredith Bay for your four-season base of operations!