The Winnipesaukee River is a 10.5-mile-long (16.9 km) river that connects Lake Winnipesaukee with the Pemigewasset and Merrimack rivers in Franklin, New Hampshire. The river is in the Lakes Region of central New Hampshire. The river's drainage area is approximately 488 square miles (1,264 km2).
The river has two distinct sections. The upstream section consists of a series of river courses connecting a chain of lakes, beginning with Lake Winnipesaukee. From the dam at the outlet of Lake Winnipesaukee in the Lakeport section of Laconia, the river almost immediately enters Opechee Bay. 1 mile (1.6 km) down the lake, the river exits over a dam and drops through the center of Laconia, its banks lined by industrial buildings from the 19th century that were constructed to take advantage of the river's power. The 1 mile (1.6 km) section through Laconia ends at Winnisquam Lake, the fourth-largest lake in New Hampshire. A 5-mile (8 km) stretch across Winnisquam leads to the dam at the lake's outlet and a short descent to Silver Lake.
The river's lower section begins at the natural outlet of Silver Lake, on the boundary between Belmont and Tilton, New Hampshire. The river passes through the center of the twin towns of Tilton and Northfield, then descends through a narrow valley to Franklin where additional small dams use the river's power. From Tilton to Franklin, the river has a drop of up to 90 feet per mile (17 m/km), with challenging rapids for sport boaters who put in at Cross Mill Bridge and take out at the U.S. Route 3 Sanborn Bridge in downtown Franklin. A USGS water gage is in Tilton
The Winnipesaukee River joins the Pemigewasset River just downstream from the center of Franklin, forming the Merrimack River.
Belknap Mountain is a mountain located in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States, south of Lake Winnipesaukee. Like the county, the mountain and the associated surrounding Belknap Mountains are named after Jeremy Belknap (1744–1798), a renowned preacher, historian, and author of The History of New Hampshire. The mountain is within Belknap Mountain State Forest.
The peak of Belknap Mountain is the highest point in the county. Although of only modest elevation, the isolation of the Belknap Mountains gives Belknap Mountain 1,850 ft (560 m) of relative height above the low ground separating it from the White Mountains, making it one of the fifty most topographically prominent peaks in New England. Belknap Mountain is flanked to the northwest by Gunstock Mountain, the site of the Gunstock Mountain Resort ski area. The summit of Belknap Mountain features an active fire tower.
Belknap Mountain stands within the watershed of the Merrimack River, which drains into the Gulf of Maine in Massachusetts. The east and northeast sides of Belknap Mountain drain into Poorfarm Brook, thence into Lake Winnipesaukee, the Winnipesaukee River, and the Merrimack. The west side drains into Gunstock River, thence into Lake Winnipesaukee. The south side drains into Manning Lake, thence into Crystal Lake, the source of the Suncook River, and thence into the Merrimack River.Belknap Mountains
The Belknap Mountains are a small mountain range in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire in the United States. The range lies in the towns of Gilford, Gilmanton, and Alton in Belknap County. The highest peak, Belknap Mountain, with an elevation of 2,382 feet (726 m) above sea level, is the highest point in Belknap County. Belknap Mountain State Forest covers the central part of the range, including the summit and slopes of Belknap Mountain.
The range extends for approximately 8 miles (13 km) in an arc that begins at New Hampshire Route 11A in Gilford and runs south, then curves east through the northern end of Gilmanton, before ending in the town of Alton, where it overlooks Alton Bay of Lake Winnipesaukee.
The named summits in the range, from northwest to southeast, are Mount Rowe (1,690 ft or 520 m), Gunstock Mountain (2,240 ft or 680 m), Belknap Mountain, Straightback Mountain (1,890 ft or 580 m), and Mount Major (1,786 ft or 544 m). A cluster of several unofficially named summits with elevations ranging from 1,806 to 2,001 feet (550 to 610 m) are on the main crest of the range between Belknap Mountain and Straightback Mountain, surrounding Round Pond, itself located near the crest of the range at 1,652 feet (504 m) above sea level. A secondary ridge extends southwest from Belknap Mountain to the Gilford/Gilmanton line, containing, from north to south, the summits of Piper Mountain (2,044 ft or 623 m) and Whiteface Mountain (1,670 ft or 510 m).The range is entirely in the Merrimack River watershed. The northeast side of the range drains via several small brooks to Lake Winnipesaukee, the outlet of which is the Winnipesaukee River, which drains westward to form the Merrimack. The west side of the range drains via the Gunstock River into Lake Winnipesaukee, and the extreme southwest end of the range, near Whiteface Mountain, drains west via the Tioga River to the Winnipesaukee River. The south side of the range, including Round Pond, drains south via the Suncook River to the Merrimack.
Mount Rowe and Gunstock Mountain form the slopes of Gunstock Mountain Resort, a major ski area for central New Hampshire.Gunstock Mountain
Gunstock Mountain is the second highest peak in the Belknap Mountains of central New Hampshire with an elevation greater than 2240 feet (683 m). It is located 1 mile (1.6 km) north of Belknap Mountain, the highest point in the range. It is home to the Gunstock Mountain Resort ski area. The ski resort has been written up in national ski magazines for its views of Lake Winnipesaukee.
Gunstock Mountain stands within the watershed of the Merrimack River, which drains into the Gulf of Maine in Massachusetts. The east side of the mountain, on which the ski resorted is located, drains into Poorfarm Brook, thence into Lake Winnipesaukee, the Winnipesaukee River, and the Merrimack. The west side of the mountain drains into the Gunstock River, thence into Lake Winnipesaukee.Lake Winnipesaukee
Lake Winnipesaukee () is the largest lake in the U.S. state of New Hampshire, located in the Lakes Region. It is approximately 21 miles (34 km) long (northwest-southeast) and from 1 to 9 miles (1.6 to 14.5 km) wide (northeast-southwest), covering 69 square miles (179 km2)—71 square miles (184 km2) when Paugus Bay is included—with a maximum depth of 180 feet (55 m). The center area of the lake is called The Broads.The lake contains at least 264 islands, half of which are less than a quarter-acre in size, and is indented by several peninsulas, yielding a total shoreline of approximately 288 miles (463 km). The driving distance around the lake is 63 miles (101 km). It is 504 feet (154 m) above sea level. Winnipesaukee is the third-largest lake in New England after Lake Champlain and Moosehead Lake.
Outflow is regulated by the Lakeport Dam in Lakeport, New Hampshire, on the Winnipesaukee River.Lochmere, New Hampshire
Lochmere is an unincorporated community in the towns of Tilton and Belmont in Belknap County, New Hampshire, in the United States. It is located along U.S. Route 3 and New Hampshire Route 11, which connect the village with Laconia to the northeast and to the center of Tilton and to Franklin to the southwest. It is close to the Winnipesaukee River as it connects the outlet of Winnisquam Lake to the north with Silver Lake to the south.
Lochmere has a separate ZIP code (03252) from the rest of the town of Tilton.Mount Major
Mount Major is a mountain located in Alton, New Hampshire, south of Lake Winnipesaukee and northeast of Straightback Mountain in the Belknap Range.
The scenic, rocky summit is a popular hiking destination, accessible by multiple trails including the Mount Major Trail, the Brook Trail, and the Boulder Loop.
The north, east and south faces of Mount Major drain into Lake Winnipesaukee, thence via the Winnipesaukee River into the Merrimack River and finally into the Gulf of Maine in Massachusetts. The west ridge of Mount Major rises only 186 feet (57 m) feet above the col with the higher Straightback Mountain.Mount Shaw
Mount Shaw is a mountain located in the towns of Moultonborough and Tuftonboro in Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States. It is part of the remains of an ancient volcanic ring dike. With a summit elevation of 2,990 feet (911 m), it is the highest of the Ossipee Mountains.
The Ossipee ring-dike complex of central New Hampshire is a visible remnant of a Cretaceous stratovolcano, ca. 125 Ma, a member of the later White Mountain igneous province. The complex is circular as viewed on maps and has a diameter of 9 miles (14 km). The ring-dike complex is easy to identify within web-browsed satellite images, the southeast edge located about 5 miles (8 km) northwest of the town center of Ossipee.
Although of only moderate elevation, the isolation of the mountain range gives Shaw 2,330 ft (710 m) of prominence above the low ground separating it from the White Mountains, making it one of twelve peaks in New Hampshire with a prominence over 2,000 feet (610 m).Mount Shaw is located within the Castle in the Clouds estate. Its north and southeast sides drain into the Lovell and Dan Hole rivers, thence into the Ossipee River, Saco River and the Gulf of Maine. The southwest side drains into the Melvin River which flows into Lake Winnipesaukee, thence into the Winnipesaukee River, Merrimack River, and into the Gulf of Maine in Massachusetts.Northfield, New Hampshire
Northfield is a town in Merrimack County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 4,829 at the 2010 census.Opechee Bay
Opechee Bay is a 449-acre (1.82 km2) lake located in Belknap County in the Lakes Region of central New Hampshire, United States, in the city of Laconia. It is located directly downstream from Paugus Bay and Lake Winnipesaukee, and it connects by a one-mile segment of the Winnipesaukee River through the center of Laconia to Winnisquam Lake.
The lake is classified as a cold- and warmwater fishery, with observed species including brook trout, rainbow trout, land-locked salmon, lake trout, lake whitefish, smallmouth and largemouth bass, chain pickerel, horned pout, white perch, black crappie, and bluegill.Paugus Bay
Paugus Bay is a 1,227-acre (4.97 km2) water body located in Belknap County in the Lakes Region of central New Hampshire, United States, in the city of Laconia. A short channel at its north end connects it with Lake Winnipesaukee in the village of Weirs Beach, and a dam on its southern end separates it from Opechee Bay in the village of Lakeport. The bay is named after Chief Paugus, who fought in the Battle of Pequawket during Dummer's War. The 19th-century construction of the dam in Lakeport raised the elevation of Paugus Bay to that of Lake Winnipesaukee. Water flowing out of Paugus Bay travels down the Winnipesaukee River to the Merrimack River.
The bay is classified as a cold- and warmwater fishery, with observed species including brook trout, rainbow trout, lake trout, land-locked salmon, lake whitefish, smallmouth and largemouth bass, chain pickerel, white perch, black crappie, bluegill, and horned pout.Pemigewasset River
The Pemigewasset River , known locally as "The Pemi", is a river in the state of New Hampshire, the United States. It is 65.0 miles (104.6 km) in length and (with its tributaries) drains approximately 1,021 square miles (2,644 km2). The name "Pemigewasset" comes from the Abenaki word bemijijoasek [bəmidzidzoasək], meaning "where side (entering) current is".Sulphite Railroad Bridge
The Sulphite Railroad Bridge, also known locally as the Upside-Down Covered Bridge is a historic railroad bridge in Franklin, New Hampshire. The bridge was built c. 1896-7 to carry the tracks of the Boston and Maine Railroad across the Winnipesaukee River between Franklin and Tilton. The bridge is believed to be the only surviving "upside down" covered railroad bridge in the United States, in which the rail bed is laid on top of the bridge roof, whose purpose is to shelter the trusses below. The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. The bridge, unused since 1973, is not in good condition, having been subjected to graffiti, vandalism, and arson, as well as the elements.Tilton, New Hampshire
Tilton is a town on the Winnipesaukee River in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 3,567 at the 2010 census. It includes the village of Lochmere. Tilton is home to the Tilton School, a private preparatory school.Tilton Island Park Bridge
The Tilton Island Park Bridge is a foot bridge in Tilton, New Hampshire. It spans a portion of the Winnipesaukee River just east of downtown Tilton, providing access to Tilton Island Park, located on an island in the river. Built in 1881, it is a rare surviving example of a bridge with cast iron components, designed by a distinctive patent issued in 1858 to Lucius Truesdell. The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.Tilton Northfield, New Hampshire
Tilton Northfield is a census-designated place (CDP) representing two adjacent villages in the towns of Tilton in Belknap County and Northfield in Merrimack County in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. The CDP encompasses the town centers of both Tilton and Northfield, located on either side of the Winnipesaukee River. The population was 3,075 at the 2010 census.Tioga River (New Hampshire)
The Tioga River is a 12.8-mile-long (20.6 km) river located in the Lakes Region of central New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Winnipesaukee River, part of the Merrimack River watershed.
The Tioga River rises on the western slopes of the Belknap Mountains in Gilmanton, New Hampshire. Flowing west, the river quickly enters the town of Belmont, where it spends most of its existence. The river passes through Badger Pond shortly before reaching the village proper of Belmont, which was sited along the Tioga River in the 19th century for its waterpower. The river continues west, reaching a broad wetland along the Belmont-Northfield town line, and ends at the Winnipesaukee River near the outlet of Silver Lake.
New Hampshire Route 140 follows the general course of the river from Belmont village to the Winnipesaukee.Webster Lake (New Hampshire)
Webster Lake is a 606-acre (2.45 km2) water body in Merrimack County in the central portion of the U.S. state of New Hampshire, in the city of Franklin. Water from Webster Lake flows to the Pemigewasset River shortly above its confluence with the Winnipesaukee River to form the Merrimack.
Webster Lake has two public beaches operated by the city of Franklin, one on either side of the lake. Webster Lake is surrounded by forests, and roads follow most of the lakeshore, allowing frequent views. There is boating access adjacent to Lagace Beach on New Hampshire Route 11.
The lake is classified as a warmwater fishery, with observed species including rainbow trout, brown trout, smallmouth and largemouth bass, chain pickerel, horned pout, and white perch.Wickwas Lake
Wickwas Lake or Wicwas Lake is a 350-acre (1.4 km2) water body in Belknap County in the Lakes Region of central New Hampshire, United States, in the town of Meredith. Water from Wickwas Lake flows south to Winnisquam Lake, then to the Winnipesaukee River, and ultimately to the Merrimack River.
The lake is classified as a warm-water fishery, with observed species including smallmouth and largemouth bass, chain pickerel, horned pout, and black crappie.Longstanding disagreement about how to spell the name of the lake led locals in 2019 to request that the state officially designate it as "Wicwas" without a K.Winnisquam Lake
Winnisquam Lake is in Belknap County in the Lakes Region of central New Hampshire, United States, in the communities of Meredith, Laconia, Sanbornton, Belmont, and Tilton. At 4,214 acres (1,705 ha), it is the fourth-largest lake entirely in New Hampshire. The lake is roughly triangular in shape, with the vertexes pointing north, east, and south. The lake lies along the path of the Winnipesaukee River, which enters the lake from its eastern corner and carries water from Lake Winnipesaukee via Paugus Bay and Opechee Bay. The river also flows south out of Winnisquam's southern corner, eventually joining the Merrimack River. The lake extends several miles north from the course of the Winnipesaukee River, which forms the lake's southeastern side, with the northern point being formed by the confluence of several smaller creeks near the village of Meredith Center. The lake has a maximum depth of 170 feet (52 m).The lake is only a few miles from Interstate 93 via Exit 20 for U.S. Route 3 and New Hampshire Route 11. Winnisquam has two basins, a larger northern basin and a smaller southern one, with a bridge carrying Routes 3 and 11 separating them. The village of Winnisquam is at the bridge.
The Abenaki people occupied the Winnisquam and Winnipesaukee area until colonists arrived in the mid-18th century. Winnisquam's surrounding county, Belknap, was founded in 1840 and named after Jeremy Belknap, a Congregational clergyman and prominent historian.Winnisquam Lake is home to many species of fish. Cold water species include rainbow trout, lake trout, landlocked salmon, and whitefish. The warm water species include small- and largemouth bass, pickerel, horned pout, white perch, northern pike, walleye, black crappie, bluegill, and yellow perch. Remote lake and brook trout stocking is common when authorities find it necessary.
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