New Hampshire - Connecticut Lakes

Connecticut Lakes

The bottom of First Connecticut Lake, which comes after the Connecticut River goes through so many lakes that the US got tired of naming them. The river forms the entire border of NH and VT, so this is north of that point in order to be entirely in New Hampshire (and the US).

Looking east from US 3 (which is the closest road to all of the lakes) across a more northerly part of the First lake.

Second Connecticut Lake, about the same size. The CT River is a lot smaller here than you'd see in CT. (I'm going to start abbreviating because it's a long name to type. Although typing this sentence is taking far longer.)

Third CT Lake is on the west side of the highway. These photos look south to north at the main boat landing; this is the only lake where I couldn't find the identifying sign.

The highlight of the trip was Fourth Connecticut Lake. The first three are all rather large lakes on the side of the highway, popular locations for fishing, boating, and other recreation, easily accessible to residents and visitors of northern New Hampshire. Contrarily, Fourth CT, which is the headwaters of the eponymous river, is barely a puddle by comparison, shallow and marshy. To get there, you have to pass a sign warning traffic that anyone who doesn't turn around is headed straight for Qučbec. This is somewhat true, except that you are allowed to park at the Customs station, walk up, tell them you're hiking the trail to the lake, and go on your way without even needing a passport. You'll see why this is a fantastic proposition in a moment.

See, here's the Canadian border. Right here. I'm on it. Think this is the closest you can get without clearing Customs? Think again. Confusingly, the marker is stamped Treaty of Washington, August 9, 1842, from US Commissioner Albert Smith, but the base is stamped 1889. Which is it? Take note that the base is also stamped "484A," which will only confuse you till I get another caption or two down.

The trail is "well marked" to the lake. But that's only if you can find it. I dare you.

Up the first steep incline, very quickly getting over a hundred feet higher and looking down at the Customs station parking lot, but you can see there's plenty more to climb and it's not well graded. Here is marker "484-3," which isn't quite alphabetical but gets the idea across that all of these markers were laid in series. You can also see that this photo is plainly taken from the Canadian side. So, in fact, this is the closest you can get to Canada without clearing Customs - fully inside it.

Looking eastward at the White Mountains as I hike westward up the trail. If I mysteriously died as I took the second photo, which country would get to bury me?

From one point on the trail you can see Third CT Lake.

Found as the same tree as the Fourth Conn. Lake wooden trail marker that started this section. This is at the edge of the border clearing, which then heads sharply to the right, so I'm quite sure this tree itself is not the boundary. Probably can't really hurt to disturb this marker just a bit.

After 45 minutes of hiking and a wrong turn down an unmarked side trail, here is the prize. For being secluded wilderness, this is actually reasonably popular - someone else made it to the lake during the few minutes I was there. In fact, an amorous couple. My group left.
Onto US 3
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