Family Travel Stories

Our boating trip to Bow Lake in Strafford, NH

Beautiful Bow Lake in Strafford, NH

Beautiful Bow Lake in Strafford, NH

After a long break from boating due to the weather, we finally made it back out onto the water. This time we ventured onto Bow Lake in Strafford, New Hampshire. The day was sunny and warm, but windy. Bow Lake is approximately 1,140 acres and reaches a depth of 65 feet. There is a good portion of the lake which has a depth of less then 10 feet, mainly around the islands. Bow Lake has an old stone dam where the Isinglass River begins its approximate 18 mile journey until it joins the Cocheco River.

The boat launch is about 3.8 miles from the intersection of Route 4 and Route 9 in Northwood. Take Route 9 and Route 202 a short distance until you come to Route 202A. Turn left onto Route 202A and follow until you reach Province Road. Turn left onto Province Road and another quick left onto Water Street. A right turn will bring you to the parking lot. The boat launch is approximately 1,200 feet up on the right.

Once the boat was in the water, I parked the vehicle and trailer and walked back. Then we were off. This was the first trip out since we hit the rock at Swain’s Lake. We slowly made our way from the boat launch around the islands and rock outcropping and onto the open water. This trip we were joined by my wife’s mother.  We cruised around, swam and the kids used there play fishing poles. My mother-in-law enjoyed sitting on the bow seats as we cruised around. The swimming was great, but because of the wind the boat drifted rather quickly. We still need to purchase an anchor! We found a small island with shallow water and sand. Our oldest boy, Jacob, loved playing in this area. He would dive down and look for rocks.

We were on our way back to the launch later in the afternoon when our youngest boy, Lucas, fell asleep. We decided to slowly tour around the islands again. We followed another boat through a narrow section, since they knew where they were going……or so we hoped.  There were a variety of houses on this lake, some even on islands. We really enjoyed our time on this lake.

Bow Lake is probably my favorite lake that we have been on so far. I wish the parking was closer to the boat launch though. There is a public dock closer to the parking area near the dam, which you can bring the boat up to and be picked up. Once my wife is more comfortable driving the boat, we will load and unload this way.

We have since visited this lake with friends. We were planning on going to a more northern lake, but Hurricane Hanna changed our plans. On Sunday afternoon the skies cleared and we decided to still go out.  The water level was high and the water was very choppy because of the wind. We still had a great time. Jacob made sure we returned to the shallow area where the kids could get out of the boat and play.

The kids enjoying the sunshine on Bow Lake.

The kids enjoying the sunshine on Bow Lake.

Author: rbisson

I am a licensed land surveyor in New Hampshire and Maine, enjoy the outdoors and being with my wife and two boys.

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