Discover the Clearest Lake in New Hampshire

Written by Mike Edmisten
Updated: July 31, 2023
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There are over 800 lakes and ponds in New Hampshire, per the state’s Department of Environmental Services. Which of those hundreds of lakes is the clearest in the state? That honor goes to Newfound Lake. This lake in central New Hampshire is consistently ranked as one of the clearest and cleanest lakes in the United States.

Newfound Lake

Newfound Lake is a glacial lake with an average depth of 74 feet and a maximum depth of 183 feet, making it the deepest lake in New Hampshire. It is also the fourth-largest lake in the state, with a surface area of 4,451 acres and 22 miles of shoreline. The lake is six miles long and nearly two and a half miles wide at its widest point.

There are multiple islands in the lake, including Belle Island, Cliff Island, Loon Island, Mayhew Island, and Wolf Island.

Newfound Lake in New Hampshire
For the deepest and clearest lake in New Hampshire, look no further than Newfound Lake.

©Alison Leyton/

Newfound Lake’s watershed is 98% forested land. Over 100 square miles of the land that surrounds the lake is undeveloped.

Water Clarity

The waters of this large lake are exceptionally clear. Visibility can extend 25 feet below the surface. This water clarity rivals that of the tropical waters of the Caribbean

Newfound Lake’s clarity results from a combination of important factors.

First of all, the lake is spring-fed. Eight subterranean natural springs fill the lake. Because these springs always flow with crystal clear water, the lake cleans itself out multiple times yearly.

Two surface sources also feed Newfound Lake. Cockermouth River and Fowler River feed the lake. The Newfound River is the lake’s primary outflow. All of this inflow and outflow means the waters of Newfound Lake are always moving. The lake recycles itself, keeping the waters pristine.

An aerial drone photo of Newfound Lake New Hampshire during sunrise.
The waters of Newfound Lake are kept clean by the undeveloped forest land that surrounds it.

© Wilson

The lake is also surrounded by a natural filter. Over 100 square miles of the land that surrounds the lake is undeveloped. Newfound Lake’s watershed is 98% forested land. These forests act as a natural water filter. By the time water runoff enters the lake, nature has cleaned and filtered it.

Vigilant human effort also plays a major role in keeping Newfound Lake pristine. Volunteer “lake hosts” check all incoming boats for invasive plant matter before they enter the lake. This has helped keep the lake free from milfoil and other plants that could destroy the lake’s trademark water clarity.

Fishing in Newfound Lake

Twenty-two species of fish thrive in these clean and clear waters. Newfound Lake is one of the premier fisheries in the Granite State for lake trout and landlocked salmon

The lake also has one of only two known populations of round whitefish in New Hampshire (the other being the upper Connecticut River). The state record round whitefish was caught in Newfound Lake on February 5, 2005, when Marty Martin reeled in a 1 pound, 11.68 ounce fish.

Along with these species, anglers can target brook trout and rainbow trout. They can also cast a line for bluegill, brown bullhead, chain pickerel, crappie, rock bass, smallmouth bass, and yellow perch.

Closeup of a lake trout's head and mouth
The clear waters of Newfound Lake are perfect for large lake trout.


Newfound Lake Activities


Along with fishing, Newfound Lake offers premier waters for boating. Whether you are looking for a peaceful day of kayak paddling or a high-octane day on a ski boat, this lake is for you. There are multiple public boat launches on Newfound Lake.

Newfound Lake
The lake is an idyllic setting for boating.

© Wilson


There are numerous beaches for swimming in Newfound Lake, the largest of which is in Wellington State Park. This white-sand beach is actually the largest freshwater swimming beach in the state park system.

Wellington State Park

Speaking of the state park, Wellington offers picnic areas, a hiking trail with marvelous views of Newfound Lake, kayak rentals, and a 24/7 boat launch.

Winter Activities

When winter hits New Hampshire’s Lake Region, the icy blast opens up many new opportunities for those willing to brave the cold. For example, Newfound Lake is one of the best lakes for ice fishing in the state. And, if you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, there is always the annual ice race on the lake.

A lone, ice fishing shack stands on a frozen Newfound Lake in New England
Winter means ice fishing season on Newfound Lake.



The untouched wilderness that surrounds Newfound Lake makes it a wonderful spot for wildlife viewing. Guests at the lake are sure to see waterfowl, including wood ducks, mallards, and loons. Bald eagles are often seen flying overhead. Wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, white-tailed deer, and black bears also inhabit the lands around Newfound Lake.

Where is Newfound Lake Located on a Map?

Newfound Lake is the deepest lake in New Hampshire. It is located in Grafton County and situated in the Lakes Region of central New Hampshire, in the towns of Alexandria, Bridgewater, Bristol, and Hebron. It has a surface area of 4,451 acres and 22 miles of shoreline. Also, there are multiple islands in the lake, including Belle Island, Cliff Island, Loon Island, Mayhew Island, and Wolf Island.

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About the Author

A freelance writer in Cincinnati, OH, Mike is passionate about the natural world. He, his wife, and their two sons love the outdoors, especially camping and exploring US National Parks. A former pastor, he also writes faith-based content to encourage and inspire. And, for reasons inexplicable, Mike allows Cincinnati sports teams to break his heart every year.

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