Saturday, August 8, 2015

McDaniels Marsh is a Quiet Treasure

We headed to McDaniels Marsh in Springfield, NH today, based on a personal recommendation from @VTPaddlePups on twitter. This place is included in our kayaking bible (and possibly yours, too!): AMC's Quiet Water New Hampshire and Vermont. Not sure why we waited so long to check it out. It was definitely worth the 1.25 hour trip to the Sunapee region from Litchfield.

Many marshes get overgrown with vegetation by this time of year, making them difficult or impossible to paddle. That's not the case with McDaniels Marsh. It offers more than 500 acres of water, covering many miles.  Sure, there are lots of lily pads, water lilies and other plants...but there's also plenty of open water.

As we started out, we floated along, pushed gently by a wonderful breeze. It seems we hardly had to work at all to cover any area. We did have to paddle a little more on our return trip, of course. Along the way, we spotted some geese, a heron and lots of little painted turtles. Did I mention the rolling green hills in the distance?
Best of all was the quiet. There were no motor boats and surprisingly, we only saw three other kayakers on this gorgeous summer day.

You can hear birds and the distant hum of small airplanes, but other than that -- not much else. McDaniels Marsh is so beautiful and peaceful...it will quickly "put your senses in order" and help to melt away the stresses of everyday life.

According to the AMC guide, the marsh is home to beavers, otter and moose -- though we didn't spot any today. We vowed to come back for a sunrise paddle before too long. If you love quiet spots as much as we do, put this one on your list. You won't be disappointed!

Getting There: From I-89, take exit 13 to south on Rte. 10 for .7 miles. Then turn left on Rte. 114 for 4.8 miles. Turn left onto George Hill Road and look for the boat access on the right after about 2.2 miles. There is parking but no facilities here.The put-in isn't quite as gradual as some. In fact, I rolled into the water while trying to get out of my boat. Oops!