“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” John Muir
Two lakes comprise what is known as “Squam Lakes” – Big Squam (or Squam) and Little Squam. Big Squam ranks as the second largest lake in New Hampshire, and both lakes are located at the foot of the White Mountains, approximately 40 miles north of the state's capital city of Concord. Squam Lakes Channel in Holderness provides a natual and convenient connection between Squam and Little Squam. The picturesque lakes are among the most pristine in New England., and to add to their charm, over 30 named and unnamed islands can be found within the waters of the lakes - each one with its own piece of history.
History shows that the lakes were named by the Abenaki tribes that had settled in the Lakes Region and were attracted to the area’s abundant game and fishing opportunities. Later, during the Industrial Revolution, Squam Lakes became part of the water head that supplied water power to textile mills locally and in Massachusetts via the Merrimack River.
In the early 1980s, Squam Lake became known throughout the world after being chosen as the location for the filming of the award-winning film, On Golden Pond, starring Katherine Hepburn and Henry Fonda. Squam's peaceful simplicity, breathtaking scenery, and fall foliage easily became the perfect backdrop for the now legendary movie.
Currently, hikers and nature enthusiasts can find scores of nicely maintained hiking trails and nature preserves. Like the Abenaki people, today's fishermen know that these lakes are well-stocked with a wide variety of fresh water fish. Boaters appreciate the clean water and old world look of the lakes' shores.
Regardless of the surrounding region’s past or present activities, Squam and Little Squam have never moved away from their rustic, unspoiled roots. Members of the local towns that call the lakes part of their communities passionately work to keep the water, shoreline, and landscape as unaltered as possible while offering warm and friendly places for visitors and seasonal residents to experience throughout the year.
Big Squam Lake Details:
Maximum depth: 99 feet
Average depth: 24 feet
Water surface: 6,791 acres
Length: 6 miles (approximate)
Width: 4 miles (approximate)
Little Squam Details:
Maximum depth: 84 feet
Water surface: 408 acres
Length: 2 miles (approximate)
Width: One half mile (approximate)
Waterfront Towns of Squam Lakes: Ashland, Center Harbor, Holderness, Moultonborough, Sandwich