There is nothing like the peace and quiet of waking up on an island in the summer; before the motorboats rumble, before the kids on the beach start yelling, and before the rush of the day rolls over you.
Leave Your Car Behind (and your cell phone!)
To get perfect peace, you need to leave the electronic and gas controlled comforts of home behind. The Squam Lake Association offers 12 campsites scattered across two islands (Moon and Bowman) and a State Forest for the perfect getaway. Granted, the State Forest is accessible by car, but to access the islands, paddle out on a kayak, canoe or sailboat. If you’ve got your own, that’s great, but boats can also be rented from Squam Lake Association (SLA), including Necky and Wilderness Systems kayaks, Old Towne canoes, and Vanguard Sailboats. Make sure to reserve your boat early for an overnight trip or you’ll be stuck.
When I stayed at Moon Island one Labor Day weekend, we towed two extra canoes behind our kayaks, taking turns pulling as we paddled. They were filled with our drinking water, firewood (purchased locally to avoid invasive species), and coolers filled with our food for the weekend. We also brought tents, tarps, and all the other equipment we needed, firmly secured in dry bags. Amazingly enough, even on Labor Day weekend we had the island to ourselves! Cool nights for sleeping, and some of the warmest NH lake water I’ve ever experienced.
Bring Your Dog!
At Bowman Island and Chamberlain-Reynolds Memorial Forest pets are allowed on leash. It’s a two mile plus paddle to the islands, so make sure your dog is “sea-worthy” before heading out. If your dog is a barker, consider leaving them at a local kennel rather than bringing them along. “Let nature’s sounds prevail…” is a serious request, and barking dogs (along with loud radios and ringing cell phones) take away from the wilderness experience. Some things to remember for pets:
- Water and food dishes
- Water toys
- approved PFD for your dog
Don’t leave your dog on the island while you’re out paddling and enjoying the beach. It’s not allowed, and if you’ve brought your dog on vacation, let him/her enjoy the stay as well!
The Squam Lake area is filled with wildlife, activities, and events! A few example of animals you may see:
- Bald Eagles
- Black Bear
- Red Fox
For a more hands-on and up close experience, check out the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center nearby to see live animals in their natural habitat. A great stop if you’ve got kids along for the trip.
Common Questions – Common Answers
- Bathrooms are provided at each camping area
- There are no shower facilities. Use solar showers, or bathe in the lake! Eco-friendly bio-degradable soap protects the environment.
- Watch wildlife from a distance!
If you love the water, and want to reconnect with nature, rent a kayak and paddle out to Moon or Bowman Island for a few days. It’ll be a visit you never forget.
New England Forestry
The Whole Dog Journal
Squam Lake Natural Science Center
Read other Pet-Related Articles by Madeline Anderson-Balmer
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Benefits of Adopting an Adult Dog
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