30-Lakeside Bliss – Wellington SP

After three long weeks booked with other things, it’s good to get back to exploring parks again. What better way than by visiting this gem, Wellington State Park?  It’s already October so the summertime crowds have moved on.  The foliage had peaked, although there was still plenty of yellow and gold in the trees to keep things interesting.  It’s a little difficult to get to from my neck of the woods, but fairly easy if your coming from the north or south on I-93.

This late in the season you can have the beach entirely to yourself.

The beach is long and can accommodate many visitors.

This park is located on a peninsula extending into Newfound Lake, one of the lesser-known of New Hampshire’s great lakes.  There’s a long, sandy beach flanked by dozens of picnic tables, most shaded by tall lakeside pines.  It would be a great place for a family picnic, especially on a hot summer day.  The park features volleyball and horseshoes and even a snackbar if you come without your own picnic.

For a great view, a trail leads to the top of Little Sugarloaf (l) and continues on to Sugarloaf (r).

Two park-owned islands just offshore look inviting.

To me, a great picnic would be preceded by a great hike or swim, both of which are found here in whatever level of difficulty you might wish.  The tip of the peninsula features the lovely Peninsula Trail, which is perfect for some lovely views of the lake and shore, as well as views of two small islands, Belle and Cliff, that are part of the park.  They are accessible by boat and are generally used for youth group camping.  A troop of boy scouts were having a lot of fun there during my visit.

This lovely trail was a walk well taken.

Cliff Island (l) and Belle Island (r) are both part of the park.

Cliff Island from the Peninsula Trail.

For a longer hike, there’s a well-used trailhead just across the road (it’s part of the park, too) that leads to the popular Elwood Trail.  This trail features an easy ascent to Little Sugarloaf for some great views, and continues on to Sugarloaf a short hike further.  The Elwood trail continues on for another little-used 10 miles or so.  I’d recommend a hike up Cardigan Mountain from the AMC lodge for the ambitious, or a visit to Kelton Falls (you can also start at the AMC lodge but go downhill).  Either one will prepare you for that fabulous picnic on the beach.

Kelton Falls is a short car ride and a short hike away.

The lower part of Kelton Falls. Can you find the people in both photos?

Whatever you do, I think this park, noted for its sunsets, would be a great way spend a day.   Happy travels!

Wrapping up the day.

PS.  I always like things that are a little out of the ordinary or just a little quirky.  This park has some quirkiness, as you can see below:

This park takes pride in its history….

…although maybe it goes a little overboard!

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