There’s nothing quite like sleeping on the shores of New Hampshire’s largest lake, and campgrounds provide some of the best access to the beautiful body of water. And while a long hotel stay can cost you, campgrounds are an affordable option for those looking to vacation on the lake. With just under 200 miles of shoreline, Winnipesaukee offers a camping experience to suit any type of vacation, from a peaceful getaway in the woods to an active vacation near one of the busy surrounding towns. To get you started, here are six of our favorite waterfront Lake Winnipesaukee campgrounds.
For those in search of a peaceful getaway, this campground, located just 600 feet from the lake in Alton Bay, has seasonal and overnight tent sites that are very private and secluded. There’s still plenty to do, however – swimming, a free boat launch, restaurants, arcades, public boat docks, and Saturday night entertainment is all within walking distance. This 10-acre campground has been operating since 1960, so you know it keeps families coming back year after year.
Whether you prefer the waterfront or the woods, there’s a campsite to suit you at Long Island Bridge Campground. The sites are accessible for RVs, trailers, popups, and tents, and there are cabins and trailers for rent for those who prefer less of a roughing-it experience. While you’re there, enjoy the private sandy beach, playground, basketball and volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, modern restrooms with hot showers, canoe and kayak rentals, and nearby fishing and boating.
A short walk from the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, and a brief drive drive from Moultonborough-area entertainment, Bear’s Pine Woods Campground is nestled among towering pines, immersing guests in nature. Many modern conveniences are also readily available, of course, including laundry, free hot showers, restrooms, a game room, a snack store, community lounge, main lounge, sport courts, playground, and large in-ground pool and patio area. A nature trail from the site meanders toward beautiful Braun Bay. Rental units that can sleep up to six people are also available.
Those who prefer plenty of activity will love Paugus Bay Campground, just an easy walk down a wooden walking path from popular Weirs Beach and its attractions. There’s a full line-up of campground activities offered throughout the summer, as well as a playground, pavilion, shuffleboard court, recreation hall, boat docks, jet ski slips, a swimming area, and sports courts. For those who prefer a little more seclusion, wooded and private campsites are also available.
Looking for a unique camping experience? Try vacationing on an island. The Three Mile Island Camp is a family-oriented facility run by the Appalachian Mountain Club. The shorefront camp is situated on 43 island acres, and while not immediately accessible to in-town conveniences, has enough hiking, swimming, boating, and waterfront activities to keep you well-entertained. Family-style meals allow campers to get to know one another. The camp includes 47 cabins, a main house, a recreation hall, outhouses, individual docks, and sport courts.
With 55 wooded acres just up the hill from Lake Winnipesaukee, Harbor Hill Camping Area is the perfect escape for those who don’t need direct access to the lake. Clean restrooms with private showers, free wifi, a swimming pool, dish-washing sinks, electric outlets, a fully equipped store, a spacious recreation hall, and laundry facilities allow you to make your own choices about just how much “roughing it” you prefer.
Would you stay at one of these Lake Winnipesaukee campgrounds?