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Tucked away in the heart of the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee region just two hours from Boston and minutes from the Vermont border, Eastman Lake is a fantastic year-round destination. With over 320 acres of water for boating and fishing surrounded by trails for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing, Eastman Lake is a western New Hampshire getaway with something to please the entire family.
Eastman Lake, also known as Eastman Pond, is a reservoir created by a dam owned by the Eastman Community Association (ECA). Stony Brook is the lake's primary inflow, and Eastman Brook is its outflow. The lake stretches two and a half miles long and half a mile wide. The Eastman community surrounds the lake with residential development, including vacation rentals and real estate for sale. Three islands dot the surface of the lake, the largest of which has a place to dock a boat for an afternoon picnic.
The sand beaches around the lake are owned by ECA, open to members only. A public boat ramp is located at the south end of the lake. Eastman Pond has more than enough water for boating, kayaking, canoeing and sailing. The lake's 10 mile per hour speed limit and the absence of skicraft ensure that the water stays quiet and peaceful. Fishing is popular; anglers challenge the abundant largemouth bass and smallmouth bass populations. In addition to residential development, the lake is ringed with trails for hiking and biking, which are used in winter for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. A golf course and tennis courts round out the recreation opportunities.
Most of Eastman Lake is in Grantham, with a small portion located in Enfield. The town of Enfield was chartered by Benning Wentworth, the Royal Governor of the Province of New Hampshire in 1761. Three decades later, in 1793, the Shakers arrived and built the ninth of the original Shaker communities. At its peak the Shaker community had approximately 300 members practicing celibacy, equality of the sexes and pacifism.
The Shakers settled on the western shore of nearby Mascoma Lake and called the area between the lake and Mount Assurance the "Chosen Vale." By 1850, they were farming about 3,000 acres around Mascoma Lake. In 1923 the Shakers sold the village to the LaSalettes, an order of Catholic priests who occupied the community until 1985. Today, the Great Stone Dwelling, the largest Shaker dwelling house ever built, is the home of the Enfield Shaker Museum. The museum offers an exceptional day trip from Eastman Pond. Visitors can spend the day exploring the Shakers' way of life through their furniture, tools and clothing or wander through the herb and flower gardens and hike to the top of the Shaker Feast Ground.
Eastman Lake is a short drive from two New Hampshire Wildlife Management Areas (WMA). The Henry Laramie WMA (formerly the Enfield WMA)) covers 3,062 acres in Grafton and Sullivan Counties and is made up of forests scattered with ponds. It is home to moose, white-tailed deer, ruffed grouse, black bear, wild turkey and waterfowl. The McDaniels Marsh State Wildlife Management Area was established in 1957 and covers 609 acres in Grafton County. It includes hundreds of acres of wetlands and is home to large numbers of waterfowl.
With hundreds of acres of peaceful water, abundant fishing and sand beaches, Eastman Lake offers exceptional recreation opportunities. Add the surrounding wildlife areas, winter sports and the rich history of nearby Enfield, and a trip to Eastman Lake is sure to become a favorite destination.
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