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New Hampshire

New Hampshire State Parks

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New Hampshire
White Mountains Region
Connecticut Lakes State Forest
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Connecticut Lakes State Forest, nestled in the picturesque region of New Hampshire, is a captivating wilderness encompassing over 26,000 acres of pristine natural beauty. This stunning forest, named after the Connecticut Lakes located within it, offers a diverse range of outdoor adventures for nature enthusiasts. With its towering alpine peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and expansive forests, this enchanting sanctuary provides countless opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, and wildlife viewing. Visitors to Connecticut Lakes State Forest can immerse themselves in the serene solitude of nature, exploring the numerous trails that weave through dense forests and lead to breathtaking vistas. Whether one seeks solace in the tranquility of camping by the lakeside, embarking on a challenging trek to the summit of towering mountains, or simply connecting with nature's abundant wildlife, this remarkable state forest is a true haven for outdoor exploration and offers an unparalleled escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
History of the Area
1. Early Inhabitation: The area that is now Connecticut Lakes State Forest was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Abenaki people. They relied on the region's abundant waterways, forests, and wildlife for sustenance and trade.

2. European Settlement: European settlers arrived in the region during the 18th century, establishing towns and engaging in logging and farming activities. The vast forests attracted timber companies, and the rivers were used for transportation and log drives.

3. Expansion of Conservation: With concerns about deforestation and the loss of wildlife habitats, the State of New Hampshire started acquiring land to protect natural resources in the early 20th century. One such acquisition was the Connecticut Lakes forest, which began in the 1920s.

4. Creation of Connecticut Lakes State Forest: In 1929, a legislation was passed to establish the Connecticut Lakes State Forest, which aimed to preserve the forests, protect wildlife, and offer recreational opportunities for the public. Over the years, additional tracts of land were added to the forest, increasing its size.

5. Multiple Uses & Recreation: Connecticut Lakes State Forest has always been managed for multiple uses, including sustainable timber management, wildlife habitat conservation, and outdoor recreation. Visitors to the forest can enjoy activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, and snowmobiling, making it a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

6. Natural Features: The forest is home to several natural features, including the Connecticut Lakes themselves, which are the headwaters of the Connecticut River. The area also boasts a diverse range of wildlife, including moose, black bear, white-tailed deer, and various bird species.

7. Current Management: Connecticut Lakes State Forest is managed by the New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands, which aims to balance the preservation of natural resources with providing recreational opportunities for visitors.
1. Connecticut Lakes State Forest Campground: This campground offers a variety of camping options, including tent sites and RV spots. It is located near the beautiful Connecticut lakes and provides easy access to hiking trails.

2. Deer Mountain Campground: Located within the state forest, this campground has 25 campsites available for tents or small trailers with basic amenities like picnic tables, fire rings etc.,.

3. Lake Francis State Park: Although not directly in the Connecticut Lakes State Forest itself but nearby it's another great option that features waterfront campgrounds along its namesake lake which also includes facilities such as showers and flush toilets.

4. Log Haven Campground & Cottages: Just outside of Errol NH on Route 26, they offer both cottages rentals as well as wooded tenting areas.

5. Big Rock Campground: Situated just south:east from Pittsburg town center offering rustic cabins alongside traditional pitches.

6. Ramblewood Cabins And Camping: They have full hook-up RV Sites (water/sewer/electric), Tent Sites by Perry Stream or Back Country Primitive Site.

7. Notch View Inn & Farm: A family run farm where you can pitch your own tent at their designated camping area overlooking Dixville Peaks range.
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Connecticut Lakes State Forest is

1. Cohos Trail: This is a 162-mile long trail that runs through the Connecticut Lakes State Forest and other parts of northern New Hampshire, offering hikers an opportunity to experience wilderness areas with minimal human impact.

2. Falls in The River Trail: A moderate difficulty level hiking path stretching about 3 miles round trip from Lake Francis Campground leading towards stunning waterfalls on the Connecticut river.

3. Fourth Connecticut Lake Preserve Hike: An approximately half mile hike up steep terrain leads you to this smallest lake which forms part of the headwaters for the mighty Connecticut River.

4. Magalloway Mountain Trails - Coot & Bobcat trails: These are two separate but interconnected routes each around one mile long providing panoramic views over Maine, Vermont and Canada after ascending nearly 1000 feet elevation gain via switchbacks or steeper direct route respectively.

5. Moose Alley Nature Trail: Located off Route-3 near Pittsburg village; it's a short easy walk suitable for families where moose sightings are common especially during dawn/dusk hours along its marshy sections adjacent to First Connecticutt lake shoreline area.

6. Treat Farm Loop: It's roughly three miles loop starting at Second Connecicutt lakeshore campground featuring old farmstead ruins amidst dense forest cover making it ideal spot for birdwatching enthusiasts besides regular hiker groups.

7. Pittsburg Ridge Runners Snowmobile Club Trails: Although primarily designed as snowmobiling tracks these extensive networked paths also serve dual purpose allowing summer season hikes across various scenic spots within state park boundaries including several ponds/lakes viewpoints.

8. East Inlet Flowage Pathway: Starting point being East inlet parking lot, this flat gravel road follows alongside beautiful wetland habitat rich in diverse wildlife species like beavers, birds etc till reaching dam site almost four kilometers away.

9. Sophie's Lane Interpretive Site Walk: Short quarter kilometer trail near Lake Francis day-use area explaining forest management practices through multiple information boards along the route.

10. Table Rock Trail: A short but steep half mile hike leading to a cliff edge with breathtaking views of Dixville Notch and surrounding wilderness.

11. Deer Mountain Campground Trails: Multiple easy level walking paths crisscrossing around campground site suitable for all age groups offering glimpses into local flora/fauna besides lake/river vistas.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
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1. Starting from Interstate 93, take exit 35 for US:3 North towards Twin Mountain.
2. Continue on US:3 North for approximately 70 miles until you reach Colebrook.
3. In Colebrook, turn left onto NH Route 26 West and continue for about 8 miles.
4. At a T:intersection with NH Route145 (also known as Main Street), make a right turn and follow it northbound through downtown Colebrook.
5. After leaving town, stay on NH Route145/Clarksville Road heading northwest for around another mile or so.

At this point there will be signs indicating entrances to different parts of Connecticut Lakes State Forest:
6a) For access to First Connecticut Lake: Turn left onto East Side Road just after crossing over the Mohawk River Bridge near Coleman Estates Campground entrance; follow East Side road all the way up along First Connecticut Lake's eastern shore until reaching various parking areas designated by signage within that section of the parkland itself;.
6b) For access to Second & Third CT lakes plus Deer Mtn area: Stay straight continuing past where east side rd splits off at step #6a above - instead keep going NW approx another half-mile then look out carefully because soon afterwards Clarksville Pond Rd branches-off sharply-leftwards while main roadway continues ahead but now becomes called "Diamond Pond Rd" which leads directly into these other sections mentioned hereabouts too!

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New Hampshire State Parks