lilies If you ever find yourself needing a respite from noise and clutter, Clough State Park needs to be on your list. There is no way to get to this portion of NH without driving on winding roads and through historic villages, setting the stage for a relaxing afternoon adventure.

beachCloughClough State Park adjoins the Hopkinton-Everett Dam, which is on Everett Lake in Weare, NH. Created in response to the 1938 floods, which decimated the area, the Army Corps of Engineers created this 2,000 foot long dam to hold back the Piscataqua River and create the 150 acre reservoir.

DamClough State Park offers extensive biking trails around the lake, 200 feet of clean sandy beach front, a boat launch area for canoes and kayaks, and- most amazing to me- silence.

While we visited, there was a large group having a party in the spacious pavilion, about a dozen boaters, many hikers and a few swimmers- but rather than conducting noise as most bodies of water do, the valley of the dam and the cultivated pine trees surrounding us served to buffer nearly all sounds. We heard the wind on the water, and crickets everywhere, but no voices or road traffic or intruding sounds of busy-ness.

View2It was extraordinary, and it slowed all of us down. I could see the balloons and the festivities in the distance, but the sensation of quiet and peace was everywhere.

water2CloughI have confessed in previous posts my difficulty to sit still- so of course we explored the shoreline. We found lazy crayfish under rocks, and Aaron was able to extend his frog-catching season….

AaronFrogClough We also got to rescue a smaller frog from certain doom!

snakeAnd the fields surrounding the beach were full of crickets and butterflies…

fritillaryI hope you don’t mind spiders, because the common garden spider we found below was so beautiful I couldn’t help but feature it here….

SpiderCloughAfter relaxing on the beach, we walked the dam, which led to a lovely small pavilion. From our height we watched a heron fishing in the river, bicyclists enjoying the trails, and again the quiet was pervasive.

cloudsCloughI don’t believe I have ever experienced a park so restful. I would love to know if other readers have had similar experiences, here at Clough or at another favorite State Park.  I have been to other reservoirs created in response to the Hurricane of 1938. There is certainly a peace and a sense of protectiveness at all of them. What a neat byproduct of construction designed to avert further disasters.

DamView1From an engineering standpoint, this place is fascinating, but the intentional recreation area melds form, function and beauty. The next time you need a respite I hope you find your way to resting your back against the huge pine trunks on the beach of Clough State Park.

DamView2   longview    view3 water1Clough  water3

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