chamberlain reynolds memorial forestNew Hampshire is well known for its access to all things outdoors.  In fact CNBC voted New Hampshire as “the best state to live in” for 2012 based on a quality of life ranking system.  We could go on and on about how great we think this part of the world is but let’s just jump right into what we think are the best walking trails around Squam Lake.

A short drive from Squam River Landing is the Chamberlain-Reynolds Memorial Forest.  The forest, locally known as “NEFFA“, has been managed by the Squam Lakes Association since 1953 when it was donated by the New England Forestry Foundation.  This place has it all: over a mile of beautiful Squam Lake waterfront, level terrain, sandy beaches and walkable trails.  Oh, and did we mention that dogs are allowed?!

Another Squam favorite is Five Finger Point.  Managed by the University of New Hampshire, this natural area features a wooded loop trail that is open to the public.  Along the loop there are a number of offshoots that take you to scenic lookouts on the shoreline which are perfect for photo opportunities.  Most people don’t realize it but one of the five fingers on Five Finger Point is the jumping rock in Rattlesnake Cove.  Need to cool off after that long walk?  Just jump in the lake!

Belknap Woods in Center Harbor is another all-encompassing trail system.  Located at the southern end of Dog Cove off of route 25B, this trail network is great for year ’round outdoor adventure.  Belknap Woods is excellent for hiking, mountain biking, show-shoeing and even cross country skiing.  And if you’re looking for a place to launch the kayaks for an afternoon paddle than this is your spot.  The Squam Lakes Association is a great resource for all things Squam so be sure and check out their website for more info on what’s happening in the area this summer.