Tag Archives: lake

Hubbard Park (Meriden, CT)

Date Of Visit: August 12, 2017

Location: 843 W. Main St, Meriden, CT (about 30 minutes southwest of Hartford, CT)

Hours: Open daily sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There is a small parking lot for about a dozen cars at the front of the park.  There is additional parking along the side of the park and at the back of the park.

Park Size/Trails: 1,803 acres, easy trails

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Hubbard Park

Highlights: lake, birds, trails, pool, tennis courts, play area for children, dinosaur track, picnic spots

Tips:

  • There is ample parking allowed in the back of the park
  • You need a special pass to use the pool at the park and it’s not open during the weekends
  • A trail that you can hike or drive up takes you to Castle Craig

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Hubbard Park in Meriden, CT, is not your average park.  With its trails, bodies of water, recreation areas and a winding trail to Castle Craig, Hubbard Park is a great place to spend the entire day.

There are streams, bridges and trails to the right of the entrance to the park.

The lake at Hubbard Park, Mirror Lake, is the highlight of the park.  Turtles, birds and frogs inhabit the lake and fountains are placed throughout the lake.

Hubbard Park attracts a lot of birds, particularly Canadian Geese.

But, there are more than just Canadian Geese at the park.

The ducks, geese and other birds are so used to being around people, and being fed by people I suspect, that they seem to be waiting for people to feed them.

This goose was tired from all of the activity at the park.

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There are also dinosaur tracks at the park.  The origins of the tracks remain a mystery.  You can see the prints in the puddles from rain earlier in the day.

Walter Hubbard, president of the Bradley & Hubbard Manufacturing Company, donated most of the land at the park in 1901.  John Olmsted, the son of Frederick Law Olmsted who designed Central Park, helped design Lake Meriden.

From the park, you can see the jewel of the Hubbard Park area, Castle Craig.  In my next post, we will explore this beautiful tower.

Dogs are allowed at Castle Craig.  Because of its ample space and wide trails, Hubbard Park is a great place to take your dog.  Below are just two of the many dogs we saw there.

Mollie is a 9 and a half year old Dalmatian.

Beck is a 10 year old Border Collie mix.

Today’s featured link is Out And About Mom.   Out and About Mom explores the many family friendly spots in Connecticut.  A few years ago, she posted about the Festival Of Silver Lights, a family friendly light display at Hubbard Park.


Congamond Lakes (Southwick, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 4, 2017

Location: 93 Point Grove Rd, Southwick, MA

Hours: the ramps are open around the clock

Cost: $5 boat launch fee

Parking: there is parking available in the parking lot of the boat launch and there is limited parking on Point Grove Rd.,

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: boat launch, fishing, scenic

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What better way to spend July 4th than at one of the busier lakes in Western MA?

Lake Congamond in Southwick, MA, seemed like the perfect place to spend the summer morning hours before our barbecue.  But, mostly because I like to say and write Lake Congamond.  What a fun name to say and what a fun lake to visit.

As  the name suggests, Congamond Lakes is not one lake but, rather, a group of lakes at the border of Massachusetts and Connecticut.  There are various boat launches.  We stopped off at the boat launch in Southwick (MA).

 

With a maximum depth level of 35 feet, the Congamond Lakes are a popular place for boating or taking some other aquatic vehicle.

 

Ducks are common at the lake and they are so used to being fed they will sometimes eat from your own hand.

 

Congamond roughly translates to “long fishing place” and we saw quite a few people fishing.

 

The pier offers spots for fishing, places to view the water and the boats or a place to sit with a friend.

 

Dogs are allowed at Congamond Lakes.  I’m just not sure they’re supposed to navigate the boats.

 

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Some dogs prefer land to being on boats.  Samurai is a Belgian Malinois.

 

Today’s featured link is Paul Samson’s Kayaking Blog.    People on boats, or in this case a kayak, can get to places those on land can’t get to and Paul found some gems during his kayaking adventure.  Paul’s blog post about Congamond Lakes can be found here.


Windsor Lake (North Adams, MA)


Leverett Pond/Echo Lake (Leverett, MA)

Date Of Visit: May 27, 2017

Location: Depot Rd, Leverett, MA (about 40 minutes north of Springfield, MA)

Hours: Open everyday from sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There is free street parking available on the shoulder of the road across from the lake.  There is room for about 5 cars.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: pond, poetry box, wildlife, boat launch

Website: Friends Of Leverett Pond

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Located in the center of town inconspicuously on the side of the road, Leverett Pond (also known as Echo Lake) is a 100 plus acre pond with amazing views and abundant wildlife.  In fact, the wildlife is so abundant it threatens the pond itself.  Beavers, specifically, seem to be clogging the dam at the nothern end.  It costs the organization $20,000 to fix this issue and they do not receive funding from the town.  So, the organization relies solely on donations.  But, still, the Friend of Leverett Pond are keep working to solve this problem.

Despite the ecological issues they may face, the pond still looks beautiful.

The pond is popular with boaters and fishing enthusiasts.  I saw two boats in the pond during the short time I was there.

During the winter, the pond is used by skaters.

While there were signs of wildlife, I was only able to see some fish in the water and a bird.

While the lake is a gem itself, one of the hidden treasures is the poetry box located on a tree by the lake.  If you weren’t looking for it you might just miss it.  Just to the left of the boat launch, the box is attached to a tree.

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Inside the box sits a binder with poems, stories and memories left behind by visitors. There are also a few pencils in the box for people to leave their thoughts and poems.   Some of the poems dated back to 2012.  It was not only nice to see this collection of art.  It was also nice to see it has been preserved and no one has stolen or disturbed the poetry box.

Behind the tree is a table for people to sit and read the binder or write their own addition to the binder.  The poems and other writings ranged from the comedic to the serious.  Some were written by children.  Others were written by older people.  Sometimes you could not tell who wrote the poem or what age they were.

Whether you’re a fisherman or fisherwoman, a boater or a poet, Leverett Pond is the perfect to spend the day.


Lake Char­gogg­a­gogg­man­chaugg­a­gogg­chau­bun­a­gung­a­maugg (Webster, MA)

Date Visited: April 9, 2016

Location: Webster, MA

Parking:  Parking is available at the entrance, before the gate and there is a big parking lot where you can also launch your watercraft at the head of the beach.

Cost: There are a variety of different fees established for visitors to Lake Char­gogg­a­gogg­man­chaugg­a­gogg­chau­bun­a­gung­a­maugg.  For instance, if you walk in or ride your bicycle to the lake and you are 17 or younger it is free.  If you walk to the lake or ride your bike and you are 18 or older it is $1 to get in.  A resident (of Webster) motor vehicle costs $5 for entry.  A resident motor vehicle with a water craft is $25, etc.  See the link below for all of the fees and regulations.

Lake Webster Rules and Fees

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Lake Char­gogg­a­gogg­man­chaugg­a­gogg­chau­bun­a­gung­a­maugg.  Try saying that 5 times fast.  I dare you!

Originally named Lake Chaubunagungamaugg or “Fishing Place at the Boundary”, Lake Char­gogg­a­gogg­man­chaugg­a­gogg­chau­bun­a­gung­a­maugg (meaning, “Englishmen at Manchaug at the Fishing Place at the Boundary”) is actually broken into two parts; a lake (Lake Char­gogg­a­gogg­man­chaugg­a­gogg­chau­bun­a­gung­a­maugg) and beach (Memorial Beach).

For the purposes of this post, I will call Lake Char­gogg­a­gogg­man­chaugg­a­gogg­chau­bun­a­gung­a­maugg Lake Webster as it is now more commonly called.

At the main entrance ofWebster Lake, there is a memorial to our veterans.  It is a fitting tribute for those who have gave so much.

Upon arriving at Webster Lake, you will see the lake.

Memorial Beach is dedicated to the veterans of all of our wars.

As beautiful as the lake is, I found the beach, located just beyond the lake to be even more beautiful.  To me, it’s basically one large body of water and I am not sure why they have separate names.

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Webster Lake and Memorial Beach are a boaters/kayakers/fisher person’s dream.

Lake Webster also has a variety of bird life.

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Dogs are not allowed at the lake or beach.

There is also a basketball court and play area.

The beauty of the beach and the sound of the water could only be captured in a video

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Lake Onota (Pittsfield, MA)

Date Visited: March 26, 2016

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Driving home from Balance Rock State Park, I happened upon Lake Onota   This is what is so great about New England, and really any area of the country.  You can find the most beautiful places at the most unexpected moments.

A popular fishing spot, Lake Onota is a 617 acre pond located in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.  It flows into the Housatonic River which eventually drains into Long Island Sound.  Fishermen and women and boaters flock to Lake Onota for the bass, trout, walleye and crappie (yes they even fish for crappie fish).  

A roadway bisects the lake.  Of course, typical of New England weather, while it was very cloudy on one side, the other side had nary a cloud.

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Dogs like Lake Onota as well.  I met Becca, a happy 9 year old golden retriever,there.

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Massabesic Lake (Manchester, NH)

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Date visited: January 30, 2016

Hours 8 a.m. – 8 p..m. (during the regular season, open without staff during the off season)

There are about 10-20 parking spots by the main entrance but there is a parking lot across the street for overflow traffic (watch out for the holes and bumps in the lot)

Cost: Free but it may cost to put a boat or other watercraft in the lake

“Massabesic” (pronounced Mass-A-Bee-Sick) is a Native American word for “place of much water” or “near the great brook”.  True to its translation, Massabesic Lake Watershed is definitely a place where you will find much water, albeit frozen.  Manchester Airport is nearby so it is not uncommon to see a plane fly by as is evident in one of the photos in the slideshow below.

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Normally, I would consider visiting a lake, pond or any body of water during the winter something of a waste.  Little did I realize though, lakes can be as much fun in the winter as they are during the summer.

A sign on the trail in Massabesic Lake warns you to stay on the trail.  This is partly because the houses are so close to the trail.  Also, you have to cross busy roadways at some points to continue on the trail.

There were people ice fishing (the orange flags on the poles in the water stick up when they get a bite).   Since Lake Massabesic is used as a watershed, people are not allowed to swim or put their bodies in the water.  But, you can fish, sail and canoe on the lake.

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There were people sailing on their ice boats.  You can hear the gentleman talking to me in the video below.  Are there any friendlier people on this planet than the people of New Hampshire?

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or relaxing in their favorite chair

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The Massabesic Lake is home to a trail that leads to Portsmouth, NH as part of the Rockingham Recreational Trail.  As much as I love Portsmouth, I wasn’t up for hiking that far (The Rockingham Recreational Trail is 26 miles total).  It is called a “Rail Trail” because it used to be part of the railway system and was converted over to a trail.  It is very popular with cyclists.  The cyclist pictured below had wide tires, presumably to deal with all off the ice as it was very icy.  He is a braver man than I.  There is also a 4 mile loop at the lake.

Overall, I would rate the trails I hiked easy to moderate in some parts.  The only hard part was dealing with the ice on the trails.  It went from being very easy to manage to downright dangerous due to the icy conditions.  As the snow melted in the morning it turned to mud, then iced over again.  During the morning hours, the ice was melting at a rapid pace.  Then, a few hours later, you could walk on the lake again because the temperatures dropped so much.  While the weather was warmish (by New Hampshire standards), you could hear the ice making noises as it melted.  You may be able to hear the “groaning” noises in the video below.

I did manage to walk out on the ice myself, after seeing everyone else out there first of course.

Meet Jackson, a Siberian husky.  Jackson has one blue eye and one brown eye.  I tried to photograph his eyes but he was blinking when the photo was taken.  You may be able to see his different colored eyes if you zoom in on the first photo. He was very playful  and friendly and what about that smile in the second photo!

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New England Nomad