Lake Wicwas, New Hampshire, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - New England - New Hampshire - Lakes Region -

Also known as:  Wickwas Lake

With dozens of beautiful vistas to photograph, Lake Wicwas is nestled among three protected wildlife areas in central New Hampshire. The lake’s surface area extends out over 328 acres, where shallow marshes blend into the landscape’s mountainous background. Lake Wicwas, which is also known as Wickwas Lake, draws in visitors who are looking for year round adventures from hiking and camping to ice fishing and snowshoeing.

Due to its varied landscape and winding shoreline in Belknap County, Lake Wicwas is a popular spot for canoeing, kayaking and sailing. As a relatively shallow lake, with a median depth of 12 feet and a maximum depth of 35 feet, the water stays warm during New Hampshire’s summer season. Slip into the lake via its public boat ramp along the southern tip and take the day to explore portions of the lake’s shoreline, skirting around the four forested — and private — islands which dot the lake.

Anglers have quite a time year round at Lake Wicwas. Whether it’s snagging a largemouth bass while ice fishing in the winter or reeling in pickerel in the summer, Lake Wicwas has plenty of fish to go around. Hornpout (brown bullhead), crappies, smallmouth bass and perch are a few other species lurking below the depths.

For those happier exploring the wilderness, pack up a backpack and tent during autumn and head into the trail systems in the Hamlin-Eames Recreation and Conservation Area just south of Lake Wicwas. This spot of forested area lights up brilliantly during fall when the leaves change their hue from green to golden yellow and red. There are 310 acres and miles of trails for hiking as well as for the adventuresome mountain biker and cross country skier. Keep your eyes opened for wildlife, as species are plentiful in this section of New Hampshire. Loons, herons, cormorants and ducks make their home at Lake Wicwas while mink, deer, moose, bear, beaver and muskrat house themselves deep in the forests nearby. Chemung State Forest, just east of the Hamlin-Eames Recreation Area, has no access to trails or camping and is mostly made up of forests and wetlands.

While sailboats, kayakers and anglers enjoy the quiet atmosphere at Lake Wicwas, powerboats also skim across the lake’s surface with waterskiers, wakeboarders and tubers trailing behind them. Visitors are cautioned to move slowly in some sections of the lake, as there are shallow depths and narrow passages. In accordance with New Hampshire law, no skicraft, or jetskis, are allowed on the lake. The lake’s dam, located along the eastern shore and built in 1957, regulates water levels and is owned by the Town of Meredith nearby. The outflow of water from the lake flows southbound into Winnisquam Lake, then into the WInnipesaukee River and ultimately ending in the Merrimack River.

The Town of Meredith is a 10 minute drive from the southern tip of Lake Wicwas, making it simple to leave the comfort of one of the vacation rentals within the area to find a social setting. Stop into the downtown area for a bite to eat or stroll through one of the many public parks throughout the city. For a change of pace, step into the area’s doll and children museums. For a larger body of water to explore, check out Lake Winnepesaukee to the east, which takes up 44,586 acres.

Come to central New Hampshire’s Lakes Region to explore more than just the islands, the marshes and the fish of Lake Wicwas. The area’s landscapes are rich with forests and teeming with wildlife with a small town community just beckoning you to visit just a little bit longer. You may just find yourself exploring real estate opportunities for more permanent roots at Lake Wicwas.

Things to do at Lake Wicwas

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Forest
  • Museum

Fish species found at Lake Wicwas

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Brown Bullhead
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass

Lake Wicwas Photo Gallery

    Lake Wicwas Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

    Water Level Control: Town of Meredith

    Surface Area: 328 acres

    Shoreline Length: 6 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 504 feet

    Average Depth: 12 feet

    Maximum Depth: 35 feet

    Water Volume: 2,065 acre-feet

    Drainage Area: 8 sq. miles

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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