Lake Tarleton State Park – July 28, 2011

Sitting on the far western edge of the White Mountain National Forest, Lake Tarleton is a small alpine lake that enjoys spectacular views of the nearby mountains.  A secluded sandy beach and a public boat ramp sit on opposite ends of the lake and make up the 48-acre Lake Tarleton State Park.  Other than a lakeside youth summer camp the shores along the lake are entirely undeveloped, and home only to moose, bear, and osprey.

With sunny skies I launched my kayak from the boat ramp on the south shore of the lake.  The crystal clear water caught my attention first, and paddling along the shallow shoreline I was amazed to see straight to the bottom.  As I got closer to the center of the lake the views of Mount Moosilauke and Mount Mist opened up to form an impressive backdrop just above the lake.

Paddling north towards the Lake Tarleton State Park beach I met my first company on the water when I passed the Kingswood Camp for Boys.  Teenagers at the helm of Sunfish sailboats and windsurfers cruised past my kayak heading back in to camp for their lunch call.  With the campers out of the water the entire lake was mine.

I continued paddling along the shoreline until I pulled into the calm, quiet cove surrounding the beach at the head of the lake.  Chasing the geese away I set up to for a quick lunch on the sandy beach before circling back around the lake in my kayak.

Just as I was getting back to the boat ramp, and reaching the end of my time on the water, a family of Loons popped up alongside of me.  A mother with two little ones close behind led me back in to shore where I loaded my kayak.

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