For the Bird Watcher: New Hampshire’s Lake Francis State Park

439 River Rd., Pittsburg, New Hampshire The park is situated on an inlet of Lake Francis in the Connecticut Lakes

Lake Francis State Park, New Hampshire
The chilly waters of this 2,000-acre lake offer exceptional fishing, especially for trout of the brown, lake, and rainbow variety.

439 River Rd., Pittsburg, New Hampshire

The park is situated on an inlet of Lake Francis in the Connecticut Lakes region of the Great North Woods. From the park you can view the rapids of the Connecticut River. Wildlife is a major attraction here: More than 100 different species of birds have been sighted, including bald eagles, loons, and endangered woodpeckers. Moose and bears are occasionally seen.

The old logging roads that wind in and around the park are enjoyed by both hikers and bicyclists. For hikers there are several possibilities, starting with an easy trail that runs through the woods along the Connecticut River and leads from a campground to a covered bridge 1.5 miles away.

Another trail provides a three-mile hike up Magalloway Mountain. Although the last mile is quite steep, the spectacular view from the top makes the effort worthwhile. On a clear day you can see Maine, Vermont, and Canada.

Fishing is good, and you can rent a boat or canoe nearby; the park has a public boat launch. Within a mile or so of the park are a swimming beach, a stable that rents horses, and riding trails.

Open year-round. Camping mid-May– mid-Dec.; no water after mid-Oct. Admission charged.

www.nhstateparks.com/francis.html

(603) 538-6965

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest