Boating - Canoeing and Kayaking
If you want flatwater then visit one of the lakes or ponds; Franklin Pierce Lake, Gregg Lake, Powder Mill Pond, Rye Pond, Willard Pond and Whittemore Lake. If you want a nice long river paddle (about 13 miles) then try the Contoocook or for some variety the North Branch, all described in Special Places.
Boating - Power
There are three lakes in the Antrim Bennington area where power boating is allowed. The lakes are described in the Special Places section of this guide.
Gregg Lake (Antrim) - Note horsepower restricted to 150 or less.
Franklin Pierce Lake (Antrim/Hillsborough)
Powder Mill Pond (Bennington)
To operate a power boat of any size in New Hampshire public waters you must have a Certificate of Registration and validation decals. In addition any operator of a vessel over 25 horsepower must have a Safe Boater Education Certificate. Both of these can be obtained by contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Safety ( 603.271.2333).
Take care not to bring along nuisance plants and animals. Aquatic invasive species like variable milfoil, water chestnuts and fanwort that can easily be transported by boats, motors, trailers, fishing equipment, bait buckets, diving gear and other aquatic recreational equipment. These organisms can wreak havoc in lakes, ponds and rivers by choking waterways through explosive growth, fouling intake and discharge structures, lowering lakefront property values, and possibly harming native fish, plants and insects. Once established in a water body, they are nearly impossible to eradicate.
Boating - Sailing
Franklin Pierce Lake and Gregg Lake are the two lakes, in which to go sailing. Lake sailing is known for its gusty conditions, Being the larger of the two, Franklin Pierce may be a little less gusty than Gregg Lake. You should be aware that to operate a sailboat over 12’ in New Hampshire public waters you must have a Certificate of Registration and validation decals.
Fishing licenses are required for all people 16 years of age or older and can be obtained at a local license agent or online (free for people 68 or older). Please consult the latest Freshwater Fishing Digest (published yearly) for the lake, pond, river or stream you may want to fish in for any restrictions, seasons, bag limits or special rules. Go to http://www.FishNH.comto view the current years digest and for purchasing a fishing license online.
There are numerous lakes and streams in the area to offer everyone the type of fishing they are looking for.
Willard Pond is a fly fishing only pond and only allows boats that have electric motors. It is stocked by the State with brook trout, rainbow trout, tiger trout and also contains yellow perch and smallmouth bass. Its average depth is 30 feet
Gregg Lake is a warm water lake that contains largemouth and smallmouth bass, yellow perch, pickerel, horned pout and sunfish with good boat access.
Franklin Pierce Lake is a warm water lake and contains largemouth and smallmouth bass, pickerel, yellow and white perch, sunfish, hornpout, crappie and a few northern pike. It is also stocked with a small number of brown and rainbow trout. Its average depth is 18 feet and has good boat access.
Whittemore Lake does not allow any motors and has an average depth of 22 feet. It is stocked by the State with brook trout, rainbow trout and brown trout. There are numerous places to fish from the shoreline. No ice fishing is allowed.
Powder Mill Pond is an impoundment of the Contoocook River with boat access at the Fish and Game ramp off Forest Road in Greenfield. It contains largemouth and smallmouth bass, pickerel, yellow perch, sunfish, crappie and hornpout.
Contoocook River in Antrim and Bennington has a mixture of rainbow trout, brown trout, bass, pickerel, yellow perch, sunfish, horned pout and a few crappie.
North Branch runs along Route 9 in Antrim and is stocked by the State with brook trout and rainbow trout with numerous places to pull off Route 9 and fish.
Salmon Brook in Antrim can be accessed off Route 9 on the Salmon Brook Road , just east of the rest area. This is a small stream that has wild brook trout.
Mill Pond in Antrim is next to Memorial park. Each year the pond is stocked with trout from a private company.
Ice Fishing is permitted on most lakes in New Hampshire, but it is important to test the ice, fish with a buddy (but not in large groups) and to bring blankets and a first-aid kit.
Bennington Fishing Derby: The Andy Mackenzie Fishing Derby is held the fourth Saturday of April each year and is open to all children ages 15 or under living in Bennington.
Antrim Fishing Derby: The Antrim Youth Fishing Derby is held at the Memorial Park Pond the first Saturday in May each year and is open to all children ages 15 or under. Bring your own equipment and bait and there are prizes awarded in many categories. Call the Recreation Department at 588-3121 for more information.
There are two major swimming beaches open to the public:
Gregg Lake (Antrim) at Town Beach
Franklin Pierce Lake (Antrim and Hillsborough) at Manahan Park
The following beach area is only open to Bennington residents.
Whittemore Lake (Bennington)