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Outdoor & Indoor Winter Activities in the Lakes Region

Snowshoeing in the Lakes RegionWhere do you go when it snows? When you’re living in New England you go outside. A powder day is meant to be celebrated on the mountain whether you’re skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, nordic skiing, or snowmobiling. The mountain will call out your name. Heed the calling. Enjoy winter. Life is good! 

We also take our ice skating here very seriously. We have a lot of fun on the ice. There are plenty of outdoor rinks and frozen ponds for family skating, figure skating, and pond hockey sessions (a friendly reminder: please remember to register your pond hockey team early for the 2024 tournament on Lake Winnipesaukee, the 2023 tournament is sold out). When heavy snowfall temporarily covers the outdoor rinks, we simply head to an indoor rink until the snow is cleared from the ice. We are ice skating all winter long! 

Here are some of the outdoor & indoor winter activities in the Lakes Region you, your family, and your friends will look forward to every season when you call New Hampshire home. 

Outdoor Winter Activities 

Alpine Skiing & Snowboarding: There are 28 ski resorts to explore in New Hampshire. Locals in the Lakes Region enjoy winter days skiing and riding at Gunstock Mountain Resort in Gilford, Wolfeboro Abenaki Ski Area, and Waterville Valley Resort. There are 62 trails serviced by 7 chairlifts and 4 surface lifts at Waterville Valley. The resort features four terrain parks and a glade runs on 265 acres of Mount Tecumseh (and there’s a new 6-person bubble chairlift for the 2022/2023 season). Gunstock has 49 trails on 227 acres. Abenaki Ski Area has a small town vibe with 7 trails, a terrain park, $8 weekday resident lift tickets, and one of the fastest tow ropes on the East Coast! 

Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing: Many of the larger ski resorts have nordic trail systems to explore at a more leisurely pass via cross-country (nordic) skis or snowshoes. Gunstock has up to 16 miles of groomed trails to explore. Waterville Valley has access to 43 miles of trails that meander throughout the valley deep into the White Mountain National Forest. Instruction and group tours are available. Group tours are a great way for beginners, and those new to the area, to enjoy the sport without getting lost in the national forest (you can leave your worries behind). 

Once you, your family, and your friends are comfortable on your snowshoes or nordic skis, you’re properly outfitted for the day and have a map in hand, there’s a lot of wilderness to explore. New Hampshire has 93 state parks. All the trails in the state parks and forest are available for snowshoeing or nordic skiing. 

Local governments are also excellent stewards of the land. The Town of Meredith Conservation Commission manages a handful of conservation areas that provide residents with ample recreational opportunities. There are hiking maps posted on their site. When the snow is deep you can head out to the trails with your snowshoes (or take an early winter hike before the snow falls to familiarize yourself with the terrain). 

Snowmobiling: There are 7,000 miles of snowmobile trails in New Hampshire. The trails are constructed and maintained through the efforts of hardworking volunteers from area snowmobiling clubs, on state and private lands. Local clubs include the T-N Arch Trail Travelers in Tilton and the Moultonboro Snowmobile Club. If you join a club “you’ll never ride alone”.

Outdoor Ice Skating: There are plenty of outdoor rinks managed by town Parks and Recreation departments and local ponds to enjoy outdoor ice skating in the Lakes Region. Please check with the town’s safety department before skating on local ponds (they’ll know if the ice is thick enough). 

Outdoor rinks include Arthur A. Tilton Ice Rink in Gilford, Opechee Park and Memorial Park in Laconia, Childs Park and Prescott Park in Meredith, and Kraine Meadow Park in Moultonboro. 

Pond Hockey: Mark your calendar. The 14th Annual New England Pond Hockey Classic will be held February 3rd-5th 2023. There will be 275 teams competing in over 500 games on 26 rinks on Lake Winnipesaukee. The games are played 4 vs. 4 without goalies in two 15 minute halves. Goaltending, checking and slap shots are not permitted. The team spots are sold out for the year (remember to register your team early for the 2024 event). 

The event is free for spectators and is a lot of fun. There will be activity tents, family fun zones, and live entertainment during the tournament weekend. 

Indoor Winter Activities 

Indoor Ice Skating: When you’re looking for a little respite from the elements on a stormy winter day, but you still want to enjoy a public skating session or open hockey session you have several options in the Lakes Region. 

Indoor rinks include the Merrill Fay Arena in Laconia, Pop Whalen Ice and Arts Center in Wolfeboro, and Plymouth State University Ice Arena in Holderness. The university has public skate sessions for $6, Sunday Family Skate for $12, and Adult Open Hockey sessions for $12 (goalies are free). Public skate sessions are also $6 at Merrill Fay Arena and Pop Whalen Ice and Arts Center for the 2022/2023 season. 

The team at Maxfield Real Estate looks forward to helping you find your perfect home. Exciting winter adventures are waiting for you to discover and enjoy in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Contact us today!

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