Clough State Park – June 10, 2011
Whether you like to hike, bike, paddle or swim, Clough State Park is your place to explore. The park lies along the 150-acre Everett Lake that was formed in 1963 by the construction of the Everett Dam. The 900-foot sandy beach and picnic area is the centerpiece to an area absolutely filled with trails, secluded beaches, and wildlife.
Starting on top of the Everett Dam, I got a panoramic view of the lake and some of the trails that make up the park below. After getting my bearings, I crossed the huge concrete dam on my bike and descended a trail that led along the banks of the west side of Everett Lake. The trail, an old logging road, was immediately flanked by water on both sides and gave a really cool feeling of almost riding on water.
Following the logging road away from the dam I found a peninsula that jutted out into the lake. Exploring the point, I found walking paths that descended on either side of the peninsula to remote sandy beaches where I took my first dip of the day. The water was warmer than I expected for early June, but still crystal clear. On the beach I dried off, had a snack and watched as waterfowl swooped down to the lake for their own afternoon snacks.
Back on my bike the logging road led away from the lake and towards a series of single-track trails following the Piscataquog River. Cruising beside the riverbank a well-placed rope swing, hanging out over the river caught my eye. My trunks still wet from my first stop, I swung out over the river and plunged into the cool swift water. What a rush! The water was running much colder here, so I hurried to warm up back on the trail.
Following the single-track trail a bit longer I came to a water crossing that would allow me to cycle back around to the east of Everett Lake. Tossing my bike on my shoulders I waded across the river to meet the other side of the trail. Twisting through a vast marsh and then over sandy hills with hidden picnic tables I emerged back at the long sandy beach at the foot of Everett Lake.
Worn out from a long bike ride I set up under the beach side pavilion to relax and refuel. I watched the afternoon sunset off the water, as two teenagers catch and release tiny little fish at the far end of the beach. Before it got too dark I reluctantly packed up my things and rode up the path towards the parking area atop Everett Dam.
New Hampshire State Park Disclaimer: There are no lifeguards on duty at Clough State Park or Everett Lake. Swim at your own Risk.
4 thoughts to “Exploring Clough State Park”
Clough State Park looks like the perfect place to Mountain Bike! As a beginner, I am not big on riding rocky trails. Clough seems to have nice sandy trails that will be easy enough for me and still fun to ride! Plus, you can’t beat jumping into a lake after working up a sweat! Thanks for the insight!!
I’ve been to the park 2 times this year, I just happened by it one day and thought I’d check it out. Beach is not that sandy, the picnic tables are falling apart, no running water available and porta-poties. I did do some walking around and could only imagine what it look like in it’s day, plenty of parking area, large level field, trails, pinic tables, fire pits. The lake is beautiful, water is refreshing and the fishing is ok. I will continue to go there but the state really should fix this park up it could be one of the best in southern NH.
We had our family outing at Clough State Park this year. We used to go there all the time. We had a terrific time . Wonderful weather. It is a great place to bring children also canoes, kayaks. We have been there many times with this year many generation of family members. It was a fantastic time by all.just wish the State would bring the bath houses , and bathroom back. It is a great place for families. We will be there next year,
come on NH…….fix this place up ,,,,,,it is a jewel in the rough…very rough,that is…………..even finding the acess road to the park is a challenge