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The Suncook Lakes are two of the lakes that dot the countryside of the appropriately named Lakes Region of New Hampshire. The region is home to big, busy lakes for water skiing and boating and quiet lakes for peaceful meditation. The Suncook Lakes fall somewhere in between, encompassing the best of both worlds. With a combined surface area of almost 700 acres, the lakes have more than enough water for fishing and boating, and the tree-lined shore and small islands are perfect for quiet exploration by canoe or kayak.
Divided into Upper Suncook Lake and Lower Suncook Lake, the lakes are connected by the Suncook River, a tributary of the Merrimack River. The Suncook River is both the inflow and outflow for the lakes and is impounded by a dam on the south end of Lower Suncook Lake. The dam, managed by New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, controls the water level on both lakes. The water is drawn down approximately two feet every fall to prepare for snow melt and spring run off. The draw down begins in early October and is usually completed by Columbus Day.
Lower Suncook Lake covers 295 acres with a maximum depth of 16 feet and an average depth of 10 feet. It stretches over three and a half miles long. Upper Suncook Lake is four miles long and covers 402 acres. It is much deeper and has a maximum depth of 43 feet with an average depth of 18 feet. Both lakes are classified as oligotrophic and are exceptionally clean. An infestation of milfoil threatened the lakes, but it was successfully treated and careful monitoring has helped protect the lakes' water quality.
Public access to the lakes is from a boat ramp at the bridge on Narrows Road. Both lakes are popular for motor boats, paddling and water skiing, and the channel between the lakes allows access to both for small boats. Anglers can challenge themselves against the healthy populations of rainbow trout, pickerel, horned pout, yellow perch and white perch found in both lakes. Upper Suncook Lake and Lower Suncook Lake also have good bass fishing for both largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.
The Suncook Lakes are in Belknap County in the town of Barnstead. Incorporated in 1727, the town was named after Barnstable on Cape Cod, Massachusetts and Hempstead on Long Island, New York. It is a rural community with a rich history and easy access to any amenities a visitor might need. Visitors can stroll down historic colonial Main Street, pausing at one of the town's shops or restaurants. The town and lakes are less than an hour from the capital city of Concord and the White Mountains with their world renowned rock climbing and exceptional skiing. Snowmobile trains near Barnstead invite winter sports enthusiasts.
Both Upper Suncook Lake and Lower Suncook Lake have lakefront vacation rentals and residential development on their shores. There is real estate available for sale around the lakes and in the town of Barnstead. It is a short drive from the Suncook Lakes to Lake Winnipesauke, the largest lake in the state. A vacation rental on one of the Suncook Lakes is the perfect place to explore the water sports of the Lakes Region or relax and feel the peace of New Hampshire's clean, clear water.
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