While driving down White Mountain Highway (Route 16) on a brisk Thanksgiving eve, I proceeded to take a left onto State Park Road in Ossipee, New Hampshire. As the road narrows, pine trees thicken on either side, suggesting that I had arrived at a peaceful place. At road’s end I discovered the glacial depression known as White Lake.
Looking out from the sandy beach of White Lake State Park not a hint of humanity could been seen. Large white pines tower over the calm waters and appear to become one with the lake. Considering the rapid development on our lakes nowadays it was a relief to see a body of water with such absolute preservation.
Rowboat, canoe or kayak might be the best way to experience the benefits of White Lake. Enclosed shores help to reduce powerful winds and allow for comfortable paddling through smooth water. White Lake also happens to be perfectly sized for thorough exploration by watercraft without having to paddle too far from shore. While it’s rare to pursue water sports so close to winter, White Lake is an ideal venue for this activity. The shining sun and exercise of rowing was enough to warm me up considerably from the cool temperatures.
The familiar sight of Mount Chocorua’s jagged summit poking out over the Ossipee range adds a certain mystique to this body of water and gives White Lake State Park a unique sense of place.
A walking trail which goes around the circumference of the lake also makes for great nature walks. At approximately two miles in distance, the path allows walkers to view the lake from several different angles while exercising.
From my canoe, a pair of loons joined me on the lake this day. Just as I tried to snap a picture of them, the sound of my paddle hitting water scared them off. Their wings flapped above the glassy water and before I had a chance it was too late. Later, from shore, I got lucky and spotted the couple again slowly gliding across the surface. It’s understandable why White Lake is a desirable destination for both wildlife and people alike with its crystal clear waters and well preserved shoreline. I even spotted a man-made nest designed just for loons (or other waterfowl).
The pure tranquility and beauty I discovered at White Lake State Park has made it my favorite NH State Park to visit thus far.