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Sqam Lake - camping with kids


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Participants: Rene, Dagen, Barry, Ronan, Marcus

Location: Bowman Island / Squam Lake

A warm autumn day started with a user error (I did it) where each party showed up at different boat launches. I and my son Dagen already had our kayak loaded and ready in the water so I drove to the correct boat launch, parked my car and hitched a ride from Barry to my kayak.

Dagen and I launched in a protected cove and started paddling towards the open lake.



As soon as were out of the cove the wind picked up noticeably. We have been expecting 15mph winds. The waves were slowly building up. We reached Barry and Ronan in about 20 minutes.


With the wind at our backs we advanced rapidly towards Bowman island. The waves have doubled in size and provided a nice conservation piece about the reputation this lake gets for rough conditions. For our paddling however it was nothing that we couldn't handle. The lake has a very pleasant feel. Somehow the development or the zoning laws on this lake managed to avoid direct shoreline development. As a result it feld as if on a lake in northern Maine. We reached Bowman island in good spirits and without any drama.

The campsite was clean and sheltered from the wind and sun. We spent some time making camp and then walked a loop around the island while stopping at interesting points along the way. We tried to find a geocache but our GPS skills failed us ;-)



A little later on Barry received a phone call from a frien who's son (Marcus) wanted to join us camping. Barry launched his tandem and headed towards the boat launch. Very soon however he realized that his unloaded tandem with him sitting in the back and the bow rising so high up , Barry wouldn't be able to fight the strong wind.

Barry returned and instead, Marcus arrived by water taxi.


We set up his sleeping bag, ate a few snacks and headed towards the water again. Kids spent the time looking for crystals, plaing in the water ... even Barry went ... and we were able to stay at 'Sunset Rock' until the low hangin sun disappeared behind incoming clouds.





Then we returned to camp, finished preparing campfire and cooked some beans, grilled some hotdogs on the grill, made smore's ... good time.

The next day greeted us with a calm lake. We packed our stuff, doubled up Marcus and Ronan in one cockpit and headed out towards the boat launch.




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What a wonderful adventure for the boys and these are the experiences that lay the groundwork for staying connected to your son as the years pass.

Great photos.

How can you help but smile.


Rene thanks for posting the report and providing the motivation to make the trip a reality. It was a terrific weekend and pretty easy to put together. It's hard to believe such a beautiful place is less than 2 hours away and the squam lakes association makes it easy with a great launch, parking etc. well worth the slightly expensive campsite fees. Also thanks to Ed Lawson and Gary York for the advice, tips and cautions.

It was great to see the boys bond despite the difference in ages; Ronan is still talking about it and what trip we are going to do next.


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Thanks for sharing the story, it sounds terrific. It's timely from my perspective, as last weekend I had my family overlooking Squam from the West Rattlesnake viewpoint and was very intrigued by the idea of paddling there, then discovered a brochure about the island camping. Too late this year for us, but good to know it can be done, and so enjoyably.

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