Merrymeeting Lake, New Hampshire, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Merrymeeting Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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Looking for Merrymeeting Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Merrymeeting Lake

Beautiful Merrymeeting Lake in the town of New Durham, New Hampshire was formed by an impoundment on the Merrymeeting River in 1923. At normal water level, the lake covers 1,233 acres and has a maximum depth of 120 feet. Although most of the land around the lake has been developed, a town beach and boat launch area grant visitors access to the crystal clear water. The lake is well stocked with fish and is known as one of the best lakes in New Hampshire for salmon, trout and bass fishing.

Merrymeeting Lake’s main purpose is recreation for residents and visitors. Swimming, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, water skiing, motor boating, snowmobiling, ice skating, fishing, and ice fishing are popular pastimes on the water. Waterskiing is prohibited in the Elly Cove area and in designated salmon and lake trout stocking areas. A beautiful dam on the western end of the lake is used to regulate the lake’s water level. In the fall, the water level is lowered via the dam. In the spring, snow melt and rainfall quickly restore the lake to its normal level.

In the 1980s, most structures along the shoreline of Merrymeeting Lake were modest summer homes on large wooded lots. As land in the area became desirable, the small summer homes were replaced by sprawling, higher-end residences. Today, only a few sections of the nearly 11 miles of shoreline remain undeveloped.

Merrymeeting Lake’s irregular hourglass shape makes it easy to navigate. North Shore Road and South Shore Road begin at the dam and follow the shoreline for nearly three miles. Street numbers visible from the water indicate how many miles you are from the dam. North Shore Road and South Shore Road, which almost encircle the lake, are maintained year-round for the few permanent residents of the lake. Most properties on the lake are second homes, and in the winter, the lake population decreases dramatically. A small marina, cottage rental community, and seasonal country store are the only commercial developments on the lake. The western side of Sawtooth Cove, where the land is extremely steep, and the far eastern shore of the lake, which is not easily accessible by road, are the only untouched sections of the lake.

Boating and fishing are the main activities on Merrymeeting Lake. The deep, cold water allows for a variety of game species to thrive. Brook trout, brown trout, lake trout, rainbow trout, whitefish and landlocked salmon are the more popular fish in the lake with anglers. Warm water fish include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, pickerel, horned pout, white perch, yellow perch, crappie and bluegill. The Powder Mill Fish Hatchery, located just below the lake’s outlet, helps maintain the quality and quantity of fish in Merrymeeting Lake and other bodies of water throughout New Hampshire. The outlet of the lake is also a popular spot for fly fishing.

Year-round real estate and summer vacation rentals are numerous around Merrymeeting Lake and in the town of New Durham. The natural splendor of the mountains and lakes attracts many visitors and seasonal residents. Although mostly a summer retreat, winters draw tourists looking for a quiet location to enjoy winter sports. Unlike the shoreline of Merrymeeting Lake, most of New Durham and Strafford County is rather rural and perfect for snowmobiling, skiing, hiking, golfing, mountain biking and a full host of outdoor activities. Biking, hiking, and snowmobiling trails crisscross the area, making New Durham a prime spot for nature enthusiasts.

Those looking for a larger body of water with less development will find Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest lake in New Hampshire, just northwest of Merrymeeting Lake. The spectacular lake contains 253 islands, large sandy swimming beaches, and unlimited water-related and outdoor activities. Along with the rest of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, which also encompasses Lake Winnisquam, Squam Lake and Newfound Lake, Lake Winnipesaukee has been a vacation destination for over a century, drawing people from the Boston and New York City region. Numerous hiking trails can be found in and around the surrounding mountains.

No matter what time of year you visit, you are sure to discover the sights, sounds and fragrances which make Merrymeeting Lake and the surrounding Lakes Region unique. The countryside offers spectacular vistas, but foliage colors make for especially gorgeous drives in the fall. New England is well known for its covered bridges, and more than 50 covered bridges can be found in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. Whether you’re on vacation or searching for the perfect summer home, a trip to Merrymeeting Lake is a great way to discover the region’s spectacular scenery.

Things to Do at Merrymeeting Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Ice Skating
  • Biking
  • Snowmobiling

Fish Species Found at Merrymeeting Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Brook Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Crappie
  • Lake Trout
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Salmon
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • Walleye
  • White Perch
  • Whitefish
  • Yellow Perch

Find Places to Stay at Merrymeeting Lake

If you’re considering a Merrymeeting Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Merrymeeting Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Merrymeeting Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Merrymeeting Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: New Hampshire Fish and Game Department

Surface Area: 1,233 acres

Shoreline Length: 11 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 639 feet

Average Depth: 50 feet

Maximum Depth: 135 feet

Water Volume: 55,208 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1923

Water Residence Time: 2.4 months

Drainage Area: 11 sq. miles

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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