You have to drive another two hours past New Hampshire’s notches to find the headwaters of the mighty Connecticut River. Beginning as a small, spring fed pond just a stone’s throw from the US/Canadian border, the Connecticut River rises at an elevation of approximately 2400’. The pond’s overflow begins its 400 mile journey to Long Island Sound. But before leaving the tiny town of Pittsburg NH, the Connecticut River forms marshy pond, Moose Falls Flowage and four deep water lakes known as the Connecticut Lakes.
Sportsmen have journeyed to The Connecticut Lakes Region in hopes of catching large trout and landlocked salmon or bagging a hefty 200+ lb buck for more than a century. In more recent years, bird watchers, kayakers, hikers, winter snowmobilers, geo-cachers and ATV-ers have discovered the pristine lakes and the vast, rugged forest that blankets much of Pittsburg’s 300 square miles. The largest township in the lower United States, its Main Street is more than 26 miles long. Moose outnumber year round residents in Pittsburg and can be found on summer evenings grazing along the roadway between First Connecticut Lake and Second Connecticut Lake.
The chain of lakes are home to primarily lake trout and landlocked salmon. The river holds landlocked salmon, brook, rainbow, and brown trout and is considered one of the best trout streams in the East. During fishing season, anglers can choose from a variety of ponds, streams or lakes to fish; all within Pittsburg. Several ponds and two stretches of the Connecticut River are designated fly fishing only for those who prefer to tempt trout with a hand tied fly.
Summers days are long with nights filled with the cry of the loon on the lakes. ATVers ‘Ride the Wilds’ while paddlers kayak the lakes, the river and moose pastures such as East Inlet. Moose watching along US Rte 3 draws crowds who snap photos and then end the night with an ice cream at Moose Alley Cones. Leaves change early above the 45th parallel, peak foliage is the last two weeks of September. And the color is spectacular! Maples, birch, and poplars put on a brilliant show of reds, oranges and yellows against a backdrop of deep green firs. Hunters come to the Great North Woods to hunt into late fall. A winter arrives, the local snowmobile club grooms the trails and woods roads maintaining more than 200 miles of snowmobile trails which connect to Canada, Vermont, and Maine.
So when is the best time to visit Pittsburg NH? Anytime! The rugged mountains, deep lakes, trails and abundant wildlife are worth the drive. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a week family vacation, you can find comfortable, cozy accommodations at the Cabins at Lopstick in Pittsburg NH. Boasting more than 50 cabins in great locations such as First Connecticut Lake, Back Lake, and along the stream, Lopstick has a cabin for everyone’s taste and budget. Lopstick is the area’s leading outfitter. Named the Orvis 2013 Outfitter of the Year, Lopstick offers guided fly fishing and upland bird hunting trips, canoe, boat and kayak rentals and snowmobile rentals in winter. The Cabins at Lopstick is open year round.
Pack your bags, grab your friends and family and head to Pittsburg for a North Woods adventure!
-Article submitted by Lisa Savard, former NH fishing and hunting guide who now resides on Rock Creek in western Montana.