We paddled Lake Potanipo in Brookline this afternoon under a cloudy mist. It's only about twenty minutes from our house. Given the fact that we were short on time and the weather was "iffy" at best, we decided to stay close to home. Our philosophy? A little time on the water is better than NO time on the water.
We had never paddled Potanipo before, but we knew the lake had shoreline development and motor boat traffic. When we were there today, there were two or three water skiers and tubers. So Lake Potanipo isn't the secluded nature haven we prefer, but it was okay for a short paddle.
It's easy to get to and has an easy concrete ramp put-in. By my count, there are about 20-25 houses on this 136-acre lake, which feels more like a pond. Development is limited to one side of the lake, so evergreens still dominate the far shore; Unfortunately, that's where the power boaters were during our visit, so we couldn't paddle near the undeveloped side.
There's a small, members-only beach near the put-in and Camp Tevya (a Jewish summer camp) on the northern shore. Overall, Lake Potanipo was a pleasant enough waterway to paddle for a short time on a cool, drizzly day. But we're guessing that when the weather is nice, this place must be clogged with way too many power boats and sail boats from the camp to make it enjoyable for kayakers and canoeists.
Directions: Take Route 101W (toward Keene/Peterborough) to Rte. 13 South toward Brookline. After several miles, turn right at the blinking light onto Mason Road. The put-in is almost immediately on your right and is well-marked.
Alternate Directions: From Everett Turnpike in Nashua, take exit 6 to Rte. 130 West until you come to Brookline Center (maybe 8-10 miles?). In front of Daniels Academy in Brookline Center, stay straight on Meetinghouse Hill Road. At red blinking light, continue straight across Route 13 to Mason Road. Boat launch for Lake Potanipo is the second right, just before going over the bridge.