New Hampshire Parks & Recreation
Facebook Twitter Contact Us Reservations E-Updates
ExploreExperienceWhat's HappeningGet InvolvedWho We AreDividerPartner & Community Resources
  • Explore
  • Explore
  • Explore
← Blog Home

Living in the Great North Woods

Posted on by Discover Power of Parks SCA Interpreters

By Steven Gang, Discover Power of Parks Interpreter at Umbagog Lake State Park

Umbagog Lake is a quiet peaceful place. Pronounced Um-Bay-Gog as per the locals here in the Great North Woods. This may be due to the bays and coves that completely surround the lake or it may be because that is how the Abenaki Indian tribe pronounced it when they named the lake Umbagog meaning shallow water. When looking at the lake or at the State Park campground information you see that it is 12 miles to the furthest campsite so how could the lake be so shallow. Well the southern end is man made and came from the creation of the Errol dam that is located a couple miles down river on the Androscoggin. This made the average depth of the lake 12-14 feet. When venturing to the northern end you can find the “deep hole” where the lake gets up to 40-60 feet. Up here is where you find the Rapid river and Magalloway river entering the lake and the Androscoggin exiting the lake.

Looking down the Magalloway River

Looking down the Magalloway River

Unbeknownst to some, Umbagog is one of the few lakes that has remote camp sites, sites that offer no water spigot, no electricity, and a pit toilet which we here call the “Blue Loo.” To some this is a major deterrent to others this is exactly what they are looking for. This is the only place in the state where you can rent your own personal island for $30 dollars a night, and island where you can see both the sunrise and the sunset on any given day. All of these sites are inaccessible by car so you either have to pack light and paddle to the site or make use of the transportation service offered by the state park.

Remote Campsite on the Lake

Remote Campsite on the Lake

Those of you that are deterred by these great remote sites have the other option of staying on base camp. This is where I spend all my time as the interpreter here as I am camping out the entire summer meeting as many campers as I can. From base camp one can see 3 different Osprey nests, 1/3 of the lake, sometimes eagles and loons, and of course a beautiful sunset over Dixville Notch every evening. During this sunset the 9 pairs of loons on the lake often serenade you as they call out to each other singing the sun down and the stars out. For those of you that enjoy staying up late can enjoy the beautiful night sky where one can even see the Milky Way streak across the constellations.

Looking out on the water at dusk

Looking out on the water at dusk

To pick one thing about Umbagog to be my favorite is impossible. Being on the water, or at a remote site provides great opportunities for peace and relaxation, the base camp offers similar scenic views and a sandy beach to go swimming on, the mornings are full of all sorts of unique bird sounds, and the nights have their loons, owls and stars.

Want to learn more these unique sights and sounds? Visit me at Umbagog Lake State Park and attend a program. Throughout the week I have programs that focus on loons, moose, and birds of prey. I also have a program where we investigate the trees of the campground and even one that focuses on the night sky and the stories behind the constellations.

Umbagog Lake State Park Programs

The camp office with 3 luna moths on it

The camp office with three luna moths on it

Sunset at Umbagog

Sunset at Umbagog

 

Be Sociable, Share!
avatar

About Discover Power of Parks SCA Interpreters

Discover the Power of Parks is presented by New Hampshire State Parks in collaboration with the Student Conservation Association and made possible by generous financial support from Public Service of New Hampshire. The program offers a look into the natural world through hands-on programming. Interpretive programs focus on connecting participants with nature and building appreciation for New Hampshire's unmatched natural heritage. Programs include guided hikes, interpretive tours, and imaginative environmental workshops for children and families. Programs are offered free to guests with paid park admission fee. No pre-registration is required. View all posts by Discover Power of Parks SCA Interpreters →
This entry was posted in Discover the Power of Parks and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>