A few more weeks before we can get out on the water
It’s April and there’s still a four-foot snowbank at the end of our driveway here in southern New Hampshire. Obviously, it’s a little too chilly for our first kayaking venture of the season, but for now we can reminisce about some of our favorite paddles, can’t we?
Gilmore is a gem
Crystal clear water...great views of Mount Monadnock...a bald eagle and beautiful nesting loons. I almost hate to let the word out about Gilmore Pond in southwestern NH. Since we first started kayaking two years ago, Doug and I have “officially” opened our season each year with a paddle at Gilmore. For me, paddling here is so peaceful it's zen-like.
There’s not much development on the pond and road noise is practically non-existent. Aaah…the quiet…except for the haunting call of the loons. At 125 acres, this isn’t a big pond, but it offers some real treats. As you paddle round the bend, you’ll suddenly find yourself looking up at Mount Monadnock and wondering how 3,165 feet of trees and rocks snuck up on you!
The other surprise for me during our first visit was a chance to get up close (but not too close) to a pair of nesting loons. They really are beautiful and unusual birds, with many distinctive calls. I’ll write a whole post on loons very soon. For now, I can’t believe I’m saying this…but get out your Delorme Atlas and start planning a trip to Jaffrey, NH.
What You Need to Know Before You Go: Motorboats are allowed, but Gilmore is a no wake pond. The residents here take the pristine cleanliness of their waterway very seriously. Be sure your watercraft is free of vegetation and everyone will be happy. Parking is very limited, but has never been a problem for us when visiting on weekdays.
Fishing: According to the NH Department of Fish and Game, the pond has trout (brook, rainbow, and brown) as well as small mouth and large mouth bass, along with pickerel and white perch. Doug fished here once at mid-morning and caught only a large blue gill. He’ll no doubt try again this year!
Directions: Take NH State Route 124 to Sawtelle Road in Jaffrey Center, NH; Take Gilmore Pond Road at crest of hill with flashing yellow light. Stay on Gilmore Pond Road until you get to boat launch area on the right. It’s a small paved area, very easy to put in. There are no facilities here.