Walter’s Basin Restaurant is on the shores of Little Squam Lake. The channel you can
see from our dining room and bar connects Little Squam Lake to Big Squam.
Big Squam is New Hampshire’s second largest lake with 61 miles of shoreline, 6,791
acres and over 30 islands. At some spots, the lake is close to 100 feet deep but has a
reputation for being rocky, shallow and challenging to navigate by boat without a chart.
Some locals recommend keeping a spare prop in their boat all summer just in case.
One thing that makes Big Squam so special is the amount of conserved land in the
area. Big Squam has very few businesses that are accessible by boat; no marinas,
restaurants, large condominiums or hotels.
There is some great hiking in the area and one of the best ways to see Big Squam is to
hike Rattlesnake Mountain or Mount Morgan. Chamberlain Reynolds has some great
walking trails also.
The Squam Lakes Natural Science Center offers guided pontoon boat tours.
Boat rentals are available at some marinas here on the lake.
Squam Lakes Association manages campsites on Moon and Bowman Island and at
Chamberlain Reynolds Forest.
Big Squam Lake is home to Chocorua Island better known as Church Island. This island
is the site of America’s first boys summer camp in 1881. Today you can visit the island
by boat for church services on Sunday mornings. You can also plan your wedding on
Rockywold-Deephaven Camps, established in 1887, is a rustic family camp resort with
cabins and cottages on Big Squam. Ice from the lake is still harvested in the winter to
use in the ice chest in each cottage during the summer.
The movie “On Golden Pond” was filmed on Squam in 1981. The movie featured Henry
Fonda, Katharine Hepburn and Jane Fonda. Walter was the elusive fish they were trying
to catch in the movie. It received ten Academy award nominations.
This building was originally a bowling alley called Lakeview Lanes. In 1994 It was
known as the Lighthouse Grill. The building was vacant from 1994 to 1998. In 1998, it
became Walter’s Basin.