There are at least 253 natural islands on Lake Winnipesaukee that are at least 3 feet above lake level and contain vegetation, about 130 of which are over .25 acres in size. 27 of these are 25 acres or larger.  

 

Island Facts

  • Lake Winnipesaukee and her islands provide us with much interesting history. The islands were used by Native American Indians for perhaps five thousand years.
  • The Indians in this area were called the Pennacooks. Many of our words come from the Indians. For instance, Winnipesaukee means “beautiful water in high place”.
  • Don’t be surprised if you find an arrowhead or artifact on the shore of your island.  An Indian probably stood in this very spot.
  • Later in history, there were hotels on both Diamond and Bear Islands. On Cow Island, a gentleman by the name of Pillsbury operated a grist mill and supplied flour to local people.
  • One expression about Lake Winnipesaukee is that there is an island for every day of the year. Realistically, there are about 270 big enough to be called islands.
  • Birch bark canoes were decorated with the makers distinct markings.
  • Many centers of the islands are owned by the individual island associations and are restricted from being built upon. Usually, the centers are saved for exploring, hiking, and nature walks.
  • The shorelines are primarily rocky with wild blueberry bushes galore and scattered natural beaches. The interiors are generally treed with hardwood and evergreens, on which deer graze.
  • Stonedam, Ragged, Five Mile, and Blanchard Islands (among other smaller islands) are owned by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust and are available for nature walks and hikes.
  • There are also two sanctuaries for loons, the Melvin Island and the Ragged Island Loon Sanctuary.
  • “The Forties” – Round, Pop, Fish, LeRoy, Crescent, Saints Rest, Kinneho and Breezy Islands are part of a group of islands between Mark Island and Welch Island referred to as “The Forties”.

 

27 Biggest Islands on Lake Winnipesaukee

  1. Long Island – 1,186 acres (bridged)
  2. Bear Island – 780 acres
  3. Cow Island – 522 acres
  4. Governors Island- 504 acres (bridged)
  5. Rattlesnake Island – 68 acres
  6. Welch Island – 187 acres
  7. Little Bear Island – 143 acres
  8. Stonedam Island – 141 acres
  9. Timber Island – 136 acres
  10. Sleepers Island – 113 acres
  11. Mark Island – 102 acres
  12. Black Island – 90 acres
  13. Barndoor Island – 88 acres
  14. Black Cat Island – 75 acres (bridged)
  15. Pine Island – 74 acres
  16. Whortleberry Island – 69 acres
  17. Sandy Island – 67 acres
  18. Jolly Island – 50 acres
  19. Three Mile Island – 47 acres
  20. Round Island – 43 acres
  21. Lockes Island – 42 acres
  22. Diamond Island – 37 acres
  23. Dow Island – 32 acres
  24. Big Beaver Island – 30 acres
  25. Camp Island – 28 acres
  26. Mink Island – 26 acres
  27. Birch Island – 25 acres

 

6 Bridged Islands

  • Black Cat Island
  • Governors Island
  • Long Island
  • Oak Island
  • Christmas (or Plummers) Island
  • Worcester Island

 

Island Served by the U.S. Mailboat M/V Sophie C.

  • Bear Island
  • Birch Island
  • Cow Island
  • East Bear Island
  • Jolly Island
  • Loon Island
  • Three Mile Island
  • Sandy Island