Start from the junction of Rte. 3 and Rte. 25B, which is located 3 miles north of Meredith on Rte. 3. Go east on 25B for 0.3 miles. Turn left (north) onto College Rd. Go 0.3 miles for the first forest entrance, and 0.5 miles for the entrance to the beach trails.
Chamberlain-Reynolds Memorial Forest, a 157-acre forest, bordering 1 mile of gorgeous Squam Lake waterfront was donated to the New England Forestry Foundattion (NEFF) in 1953 by Mr. John C. Wister of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. Mr. Wister was a highly regarded educator and shared his knowledge and love of trees and flowers through numerous books and articles on plants and gardens. Its shorefront area and trails are managed for public use by the Squam Lakes Association.
The classic, 1981 Academy Award Winning film On Golden Pond, written by Ernest Thompson and starring Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda, and Katherine Hepburn was filmed on location in Chamberlain-Reynolds Forest on both Big Squam and Little Squam Lakes, stunning, natural settings that were integral to the films' success.
The house used in the film was leased from a New Hampshire physician and was modified significantly for the shoot. The production company was contractually obligated to return the house to its original state after the film wrapped.
The summer season is very special at Squam Lakes. These peaceful and serene natural spring-fed waters consist of a small and large lake connected by a channel. There are several beaches, a wetlands board walk and over 4 miles of trails. The trails start on College Road in Center Harbor. Even though the area surrounding the forest is developed, the forest exudes a sense of remoteness and seclusion, with its backdrop of huge pine and expanse of water and distant mountains. This is the only watershed in New Hampshire on the National Register of Historic Places and one of the only watersheds on the register in the nation. The frontage on the lake is critical nesting area for loons and eagles. Dogs are permitted only if leashed.
Campsites are accessible from land and parking is available at the west parking lot on College Road. Follow the West Fire Road to the Inland Trail to the Wister Point Trail. Heron Cove can only be accessed by water. There are no amenities such as picnic tables or filtered water. Kayak or canoe rentals are available from the SLA. Explore the islands (with beaches), coves, reefs and miles of protected mountain views.
Trail maps and reservations for camping can be obtained by contacting Squam Lakes Association (see For More Information below).
Chamberlain-Reynolds Trail Descriptions
There are over 4 mile of old woods road and narrower trails to explore by bike. The terrain is gently rolling with no significant elevation gain. Some trails are rocky and challenging with heavy undergrowth.
The best trails for mountain biking are the Dog Cove Shore Trail, Middle Meadow Trail, West Swamp Trail, Beach Trail, Swamp Fire Road, West Fire Road, East Fire Road, and the Ant Hill Trail. From the West Fire Road parking area trailhead, these can be connected to make a scenic 2.3 mile loop.
Design your own ride according to your ability and energy levels. Do out-and-backs on the old woods road or loops using network of woods roads and trails.
Trail Highlights & Nearby Points of Interest
Wildlife Watch & Photography
Squam Lakes Natural Science Center
Long before “On Golden Pond” crews hit town, the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center established itself as a regional resource in 1966. The science center underwent a major expansion about a decade ago. About 75,000 visitors come to the center every year to enjoy the trails and take guided lake tours.
Squam Lakes Association