Family Travel Stories

Last boat trip of the season to see the foliage

View of Milton, New Hampshire

Columbus Day Weekend is usually peak foliage in New Hampshire. We decided to take the boat out for one last trip before storing for the winter. With the fall colors close to peak, an autumn cruise seemed like a good idea. The weather was clear, beautiful and warm. 

We decided to go to Milton Three Ponds. A dam on the Salmon Falls River makes up Milton Pond, Town House Pond and Northeast Pond between Milton, New Hampshire and Lebanon, Maine. There is a boat launch at the town beach off of the White Mountain Highway in Milton. The entrance had a closed sign and a locked gate when we arrived. We proceeded to Everett’s Cove Marina off New Bridge Road in Lebanon.

To get to the launch we took Exit 17 off Route 16, headed east on Farmington Road to the White Mountain Highway, a.k.a. Route 125. Turned left on the White Mountain Highway and proceed approximately 3.25 miles. Turned right onto Town House Road and continued until crossing the Salmon Falls River and into Maine. The boat launch is immediately on the left. It cost $10 to use their boat launch, parking lot and the dock adjacent to the launch. This is the first launch where we were able to load the boat from a dock instead of from the water. They also gave us a map of the pond and some navigating tips.

Shore line along Lebanon, Maine

We headed north into Northeast Pond. The boys enjoyed going back and forth over the imaginary line between Maine and New Hampshire. Jacob continuously asked which state we were in. The northerly end of Northeast Pond is where the Salmon Falls River enters the ponds. It gets shallow with water vegetation below the surface. One spot was only sand and we were able to see open clam shells and what appeared to be large snail shells. The water was too cold to get a closer look.

We then headed south past the marina and under the Town House Road bridge. We stopped along the way so the kids could use their fishing poles. Since we were not able to swim this time, the kids played more with the “boat toys”, large animals, trucks, etc., that stay on the boat and float.

We cruised around Milton Pond checking out the fall foliage. As nice as it was on the water one last time, it was starting to get late in the afternoon and time to head back. We went back under the bridge and continued past the marina to the deep part of Northeast Pond for one last time to crank up the speed.

We headed back to the marina and tied the boat up to the dock. Lucas and I went to get the trailer and the owner of Everett’s Cove Marina helped us load the boat. Once loaded, we started to head home. We stopped off at the Pink Cadillac DIner in Rochester, New Hampshire for dinner. By the way, the Pink Cadillac DIner has good food at affordable prices.

Well, it is time to park the boat for the winter. Hopefully next year we can get out more often and go to some lakes in northern New Hampshire. If you know of any good boating lakes, please email Give us a description of where the boat launch is located. Thank you and have fun skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, etc. this winter.

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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