In 2008, over 140" of snow fell and roof collapses plagued the area. In 2001, so much snow fell that it insulated the ice on the lake to the point where it pushed ice-out into May, something that has only happened twelve other times. In contrast, the winter of 2002/2003 was so mild that Lake Winnipesaukee never even fully froze, casting doubt over whether or not the annual fishing derby would be held.
Those planning winter trips probably want to know what an average winter is like: Well, from December through mid March, you can expect daytime highs to range on average between 15-35 degrees. Nighttime lows can be very low, but average between zero and 20 degrees. Periods of below zero weather will occur, but generally only last a few days. Between sixty and ninety inches of snow will fall in a typical season.
So what is there to do? Skiing is perhaps the biggest of the winter Lakes Region recreational draws. Gunstock offers downhill skiing and snowboarding trails for the thrill seekers as well as miles of cross country trails for those who would rather not risk every bone in their body. If you've got kids, chances are that they will insist on taking a few runs down Gunstocks tubing park.
One of the best ways to get around to spots you otherwise wouldn't be able to find is by way of Snowmobiling. There are several trails around, but most seem to prefer taking their sleds out onto the frozen lake. It's often a smooth ride and you've got 72 square miles to explore.
We've got cold air and frozen lakes, so you know there is plenty of Ice Fishing going on. The bays of the lake often become little villages and are filled with bob-houses.
On usually the first weekend in February, the Lakes Region hosts is biggest annual winter event: The Great Rotary Fishing Derby. Derby headquarters and much of the action is located in Meredith, but effects from the event ripple through the entire Lakes Region. Thousands of people swarm in from all over the country to fish for their chance to win a share of the $50,000 in prizes. More on the Meredith Ice Fishing Derby.
Also held in February are the World Championship sled dog races. Next years running of the races will mark the 87th time that sled dog teams have descended on the Lakes Region to tackle a scenic yet challenging course. At eighteen miles in length, the course will take them over Lake Opechee and alongside Parade Road before taking them through the woods and back. Its a fun event to watch and children love it!
The above are a few of the major happenings and things to do in the Lakes Region, for the full experience, come visit!