Needing to unwind after hours of raking acorns, I headed over to Ellacoya State Park for a peaceful stroll on Lake Winnipesaukee. Set on the Southwest shores of NH’s biggest lake, the park is an idyllic spot for waterfront recreation. In mid-August I’ve often watched Timberman Triathletes swim, bike, and run here, dripping with sweat as family members cheer them on. Unfortunately summer jobs and school have cut short my days of lounging on this beach and I haven’t visited the park in years.
With summer crowds gone Fall is a particularly good season to enjoy Ellacoya. There’s plenty of room to wander the sandy shores and 60 degree temperatures make walking comfortable. While roaming the park, I became fascinated by the shimmering blue water and turning colors of trees from orange to red. The repetitive motion of waves crashing into shore has a soothing effect as well. From a picnic table I could see the distant mountain ranges which nurture the lake with fresh water. Mount Washington can even be spotted towering over its neighboring peaks. The panoramic views available from Ellacoya make it one of the best public beaches on Winnipesaukee and possibly the entire Lakes Region.
Ellacoya is also home to a beautiful lakeside RV campground. In addition to its prime waterfront location there are convenience stores, restaurants and late night entertainment available in the nearby Gilford area. During fall, the RV Park has a relaxed atmosphere. For campers (and park staff) it’s a pleasant change of pace from the busy summer tourist season.
From the RV Park, a charming footbridge spans a gentle steam and leads to the main beach area where public come to picnic, grill, swim or simply relax.
While there are no mountain bike trails to ride or peaks to climb, Ellacoya still provides an opportunity to enjoy several natural landscapes in a short visit. The mountain views, vast lakefront and babbling brook are just a few of the features to take in here. Walking through Ellacoya State Park also gave me a chance to reflect on summer and think about the year to come. A simple stroll in the park is exactly what I needed to recharge before winter arrives.