Despite spending summers in central New Hampshire his whole life, writer Bill Donahue never had much of a chance to experience Lake Winnipesaukee. That all changed, however, when he moved to the Lakes Region full-time in 2015. “I was intent on learning about the local lake — about its people and its wildlife and its legends,” he recalls in his travel feature for Yankee, “The Many Worlds of Winnipesaukee.”
Donahue fully indulged that urge to explore while reporting his Yankee article. He surveyed Winnipesaukee from the air (on a seaplane tour), from the water (via kayak and motorboat), and from the shore (on a bike ride). He circumnavigated islands and went looking for loons. What he found was a lake that “has always been loved,” as he writes in Yankee. “Even [Winnipesaukee’s] name, given by the Abenaki Indians, who began catching shad here around 8,000 B.C., carries a certain fondness. ‘Winnipesaukee’ likely means either ‘smile of the Great Spirit’ or ‘beautiful water in a high place.’”
To help bring Donahue’s words to life, Yankee senior photographer Mark Fleming made his own pilgrimage to Winnipesaukee. Below are some of our favorite images from his trip to New Hampshire’s great lake; to see the rest and read Donahue’s full story, check out “The Many Worlds of Winnipesaukee” from the May/June 2018 issue of Yankee.