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Slowly the moose wades through the grasses at the edge of Mirror Lake, tipping his huge head down to drink. On the opposite shore a kayaker glides into the spring fed lake, sharing the water with a pair of loons. The mist is rising from the surface of the water, and the sun is just beginning to glow. It is morning on Mirror Lake in the foothills of New Hampshire's White Mountains, and the day is brand new with calm, quiet natural beauty stretching endlessly ahead. With 54 acres of water wrapped in a tree-lined shoreline, Mirror Lake is the perfect place for a tranquil New England getaway.
Mirror Lake is a natural spring-fed lake just outside the town of Whitefield in western New Hampshire. The lake straddles two of New Hampshire's tourism regions: White Mountains and Great North Woods. It has an average depth of eight feet and a maximum depth of 23 feet. While its size is not conducive to waterskiing, it is a great lake to explore by canoe or kayak. Access is from a town-maintained gravel boat launch. It is also possible to windsurf on the lake, and a sand beach provides a place for swimming and sunbathing.
The lake is considered a cold water fishery, and Mirror Lake has plenty of fish to challenge anglers. Healthy populations of largemouth bass, chain pickerel and brown bullhead can all be found in the lake. Fly fishermen can spend mornings on Mirror Lake fishing for the abundant brown trout, brook trout and rainbow trout that live in the lake. Mirror Lake is also home to a variety of wildlife including moose, deer, and wild turkeys, and occasionally lucky visitors will see eagles soaring over the lake.
Vacation rentals and real estate for sale are tucked in among the trees that surround Mirror Lake. The lake, however, still has an isolated feel, and most amenities a visitor might want can be found to the south in the town of Whitefield. Whitefield is a quaint New England town with antique shops, restaurants and small town charm.
Mirror Lake is a four-season destination with fishing and paddling in the spring, summer and fall. Fall is also the perfect time to enjoy the changing leaves either from the hiking trails around the lake or from the scenic Kancamagus Highway nearby. The 26.5 mile-long highway winds through the White Mountains and is a designated scenic byway. The White Mountains provide ample opportunities for winter recreation, and Mirror Lake is a fantastic home base. Both downhill skiing and cross country skiing can be found near the lake, and there are trails for snowmobiles and snow shoes as well. Recognized by rock climbers for its granite pitches, Mount Washington rounds out the recreation opportunities.
Franconia Notch State Park is an easy day trip from Mirror Lake. Perhaps best known for the Old Man of the Mountain, the stone profile that graces New Hampshire's quarter, the state park offers a wide variety of activities for visitors. Gorges, natural waterfalls and beautiful scenery are all accessible from hiking trails that cross the park. Unfortunately, the 'Old Man' fell on May 3, 2003, but the state park is still a great place to visit.
Nestled in the natural beauty of the White Mountains, Mirror Lake is an ideal private, tranquil western New Hampshire getaway. With its clean, clear water and abundant fishing combined with the charming New England countryside and towns, Mirror Lake is a destination sure to please the entire family.
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