Adventure Towns: Lakes Region

Our "Adventure Towns" series is all about the basecamp towns. Each has easy access to the great outdoors, a community with a sense of adventure and a culture that values keeping it local. Here's the pick for the Lakes Region.

A note from New Hampshire Magazine: Due to the statewide efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, many of the places mentioned here are either closed or officials strongly advise you to avoid them. For instance, popular hiking spots continue to draw large crowds. We hope that when you do go out, you’ll avoid busy places and practice appropriate social distancing. In the meantime, we hope this guide to our state’s adventure towns provides you with the tools to plan a future trip. Until then, stay safe and stay healthy.

There are three things that make up a good adventure town. The first and most obvious being easy access to the outdoors and endless ways to recreate. Second, a community with a sense of adventure that is deeply embedded in the culture, and works collectively to help it thrive.

Lastly, top-notch local brews, because no adventure is complete without a good beer. Yet, truth be told, no matter what you’re sipping on, it all begins and ends with a great adventure town to call home.

In a place like New Hampshire, none of these things are hard to come by, and each region has an outdoor mecca with a brand of fun all its own. Whether you want alpine trails and winding singletrack, a pristine surf break, or acres of backcountry ski glades, there’s a basecamp for you. Oh, and beer. There’s plenty of that too.

Ready to put down roots? Here are the best adventure towns in New Hampshire. See all of the selections: White Mountains, Great North Woods, Southwest and Coastal. Read on to learn about the top “adventure town” in the Lakes Region.


White Lake in Ossipee Photo by Jenn Bakos


The vibe: An easygoing lakeside escape
The food + drink: Twin Barns Brewery/Tamworth Distilling
The adventure: Adventure in or on Lake Winnipesaukee, explore the Ossipee Mountains

Situated in the heart of the Lakes Region with the Ossipee Mountain Range as its backdrop, Meredith is downright dreamy. This lakefront town puts you on the shoreline of the state’s largest lake with close proximity to 5,000-plus acres of scenic hiking and riding trails in the Ossipee Range. Bald Knob, Mount Shaw and Mount Major are standout hikes in the area, complete with waterfalls and wide-open summit views of the lakes and surrounding peaks. Note: For the time being, please avoid popular hiking trails such as Mount Major.

When it’s cold, locals get their thrills on ice: from the Pond Hockey Classic to the Ice Fishing Derby, and cross-country skiing or snowshoeing along the same Ossipee trails. In every season, this is a place to choose your own adventure.

As for food and drinks, the newly opened Twin Barns Brewing offers craft beer on tap, or travel 30 minutes north to sample the bespoke spirits and farm-fresh food at Tamworth Distilling & Mercantile. Note: Twin Barns is offering “buy your buddy a beer” (see Facebook) and Tamworth Distilling has online ordering and curbside pickup. Plus, read more about Tamworth’s efforts to produce hand sanitizer.

Categories: Destination NH, Relocation Information