Welcome to Spofford Lake
Spofford Lake is a 739-acre lake in Spofford, NH, a village of Chesterfield, NH with a population of 3,600. The Lake is fed by springs and runoff from the surrounding hills. The average depth of the Lake is 30 feet, with maximum depths reaching over 60 feet in some areas. It is home to eagles, loons, ducks, egrets, osprey, and many other birds use Spofford Lake as a rest stop during their Spring and Fall migrations.
A great destination for fishing, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, waterskiing, tubing, and swimming, anyone who finds their way here is sure to be entertained and enchanted.
The Lake sits equidistant between Keene, NH and Brattleboro, VT. Both cities offer movie theaters, bowling alleys, parks, golf courses, mini golf, restaurants, and shopping. There are concerts in the parks, an Art Walk in Keene in June and The Strolling of the Heifers in Brattleboro, to name just a few local events. Check the Spofford Lake Association website for news and events. And be sure to visit Our History, with its photos of tourists at Spofford Lake in early 20th century.
Spofford Lake Attractions
Spofford Lake has two beaches. Wares Grove Beach is on Rt. 9A and is open to the public. There is a parking fee that is discounted for Chesterfield residents. The beach has a snack bar, restrooms, a small playground and beach chairs. The North Shore Road Beach has changing rooms and a bathroom but is for use by Chesterfield residents only.
A 5-acre state reservation, Pierce Island is about 1/4 mile from the Spofford Lake boat launch. Pierce Island is for day use only. There are no toilets on the island and no trash receptacles. Please remember it is carry-in/carry-out.
SPOFFORD YACHT CLUB
Founded in 1898, the Yacht Club is located on North Shore Rd. and is a private, volunteer-operated club. It hosts Sunfish races on Wednesday evenings and Saturday's races can include Lightnings, Day Sailors and Catboats. Contact SYC to see if guest sailors are welcome.
FOURTH of JULY BOAT PARADE
The 4th ofJuly brings out boats decked out in red, white, and blue for a parade, usually starting around 2 pm. The flotilla makes its way slowly around the perimeter of the Lake and typically erupts into water cannon fights with the sounds of cannons in the background.
In previous years, some parade participants have brought water balloons. In our continuing effort to protect the wildlife and the ecology of our lake, water balloons are no longer permitted. Even those balloons that are considered 'eco-friendly' and claim to be biodegradable are not environmentally safe as they can take from 6 months to 6 years to degrade, leaving fish, ducks, loons, turtles, and many other animals at risk of ingesting them causing great harm or death.
Although the use of fireworks is legal in New Hampshire, Chesterfield now requires permits. To obtain a permit, you must be at least 21 years of age and apply in person at the Town Offices. You must bring proof of property ownership, or written permission from the owner to use fireworks. A plot plan indicating where you are going to ignite the fireworks in relation to structures, wires and the distance to the Lake is also required. You must bring a photograph of the area for further identification. With the exception of New Year's and the fourth of July holidays, permits will only be given for Friday, Saturday or Sunday between 5 and 10 pm. Check out the town’s website for more details about permitting.
As with all of New Hampshire's public waters, it is necessary to be at least 16 years of age and have a boating license to operate a boat on Spofford Lake. For rules on operating a boat, visit the State of NH.
Some of the basic rules that are particularly important to Spofford Lake have to do with wakes. The NH boating regulations state that a boat shall maintain headway speed, only, when within 150 feet off the shoreline. This not only protects swimmers, rafts, docks, and moored boats, it helps protect the Lake from shoreline erosion, major concern for Spofford Lake and its continued health.
While there is no Town ordinance, convention suggests that evening quiet time begins around 10:00pm. Shhhhh, remember, whether chatting in a kayak at 11:00am or playing music from your deck at 7:30pm, sound carries over water. We hear you!
Beginning in early June, Chesterfield’s Farmer’s Market is held every Saturday morning from 9 to noon on Rt. 63 in Chesterfield center. The market offers a wonderful gathering of area farmers, bakers, and craftspeople. Come enjoy the local flavors and crafts, and support our neighbors in the process.
THE STONE HOUSE TAVERN
In 2018, The Chesterfield Historical Society purchased The Stone House Tavern located at the corner of Routes 9 and 63. The Tavern's rich history clearly makes it a property worth preserving. Through grants and fundraising, The Historical Society has made great strides in restoring the property. Once complete, it is expected to be a museum that welcomes visitors and gatherings. Check out the Historical Society’s website for more.
Chesterfield is also home to a number of wonderful hiking trails, Pisgah State Park, Chesterfield Gorge and Madame Sherri’s Forest. The Chesterfield Conservation Commission's website provides a full listing and maps of the area.
The Town of Chesterfield and Spofford Lake are served by two hospitals. Cheshire Medical Center/ Dartmouth-Hitchcock is located at 580 Court Street, Keene, NH.
Brattleboro Memorial Hospital can be found at 17 Belmont Avenue, Brattleboro VT.
We hope you enjoy your stay and come back again to this beautiful corner of New Hampshire.
Prepared by the Spofford Lake Association, May 2021