Silver Lake, New Hampshire, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - New England - New Hampshire - Lakes Region -

Silver Lake is located in eastern New Hampshire’s Lakes tourism region, just south of the White Mountain National Forest. The lake spans almost 1,000 acres with seven miles of shoreline. Nestled in Carroll County, Silver Lake has an average depth of 47 feet and a maximum depth of 164 feet. Inflow into the lake comes from three sources (Deer River, Cooks Brook and Forrest Creek), while its outflow carries water from the southern tip of a lake through a stream to Ossipee Lake a few miles southeast. Silver Lake has a watershed area of 22 square miles. The dam, built in 1975 and located at the southern section of the lake, controls water levels and is owned and operated by the Town of Madison.

Visitors have access to three beaches (Nichols Beach, Monument Beach, and Kennett Beach) with crystalline waters to enjoy swimming and snorkeling. Residents and their guests have access to a fourth beach, Town Beach. A boat launch ramp is located at the south end of Silver Lake with mandatory boat inspection for invasive plants and animals. Personal watercraft (jet skis) are not permitted on the lake. Summertime brings sailboats, rowing shells and kayaks plowing the pristine waters. Silver Lake lures anglers with catches of smallmouth bass, pickerel, horned pout, lake trout, rainbow trout and white fish. Ice fishing is also popular during the winter for those hardy enough to brave the cold temperatures.

For a bit of time spent out of the Silver Lake’s waters, make your way to the northern tip of the lake to visit the Village of Silver Lake and further north for the larger Town of Madison. The small town offers local cuisine with seasonal events throughout the year. To make your visit a bit more memorable, travel a few miles northwest of Madison and check out the Madison Boulder, a large granite rock that is 83 feet high and 23 feet wide. Called a glacial erratic, or a rock carried by glaciers far from its place of origin, this 5,000-ton boulder is one of the largest in the world. A quick stop in the Village of Silver Lake will put you next to another unique setting — the summer home of the famous poet E.E. Cummings.

The area around Silver Lake is not lacking in outdoor activities, either. There are nearly 230 acres of wetland habitat at Goodwin Forest to discover, located just to the southeast of the lake. Hiking trails within the Herbert Burke Forest, just below the Goodwin Forest, are also popular. Visitors can snowmobile in the winter and hike a trail up to Trout Pond in the summer or fall. A few miles to the north of Silver Lake is the White Mountain National Forest, with over 800,000 acres to explore. Check out daily loop hikes that range from easy to moderately difficult, or backpack into the forest and spend the night beneath the stars. Watch for bears and moose, both of which live and can be seen within the forest.

Rent a vacation home or cottage to explore the Silver Lake community. With numerous real estate opportunities available, making your home within this pristine setting has never been easier.

Things to do at Silver Lake NH

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Kayaking
  • Snorkeling
  • Hiking
  • Snowmobiling
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • National Forest

Fish species found at Silver Lake NH

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Lake Trout
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Trout

Silver Lake NH Photo Gallery

Silver Lake NH Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Town of Madison

Surface Area: 995 acres

Shoreline Length: 7 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 466 feet

Average Depth: 47 feet

Maximum Depth: 164 feet

Water Volume: 5,500 acre-feet

Drainage Area: 22 sq. miles

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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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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