Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest lake in New Hampshire and second largest in New England. New Hampshire’s Native Americans named Winnipesaukee; some say it means “Beautiful Water in a High Place”, others, “Smile of the Great Spirit.” Either is certainly appropriate.
Formed by a retreating glacier thousands of years ago, Lake Winnipesaukee is primarily spring fed, resulting in very clear and clean water. A number of rivers and streams flow into the lake, but there is only one outlet, the Winnipesaukee River, which flows out of Paugus Bay in Lakeport. The Winnipesaukee River meets the Pemigewasset, flowing from the White Mountains, and the two form the Merrimack River, which runs to the sea.
The “Big Lake”, as it is also called, is approximately twenty-seven miles long from Alton Bay, the most southern tip, to Center Harbor, the northernmost point. It is fourteen to sixteen miles wide, over 180 feet deep at its deepest point off Rattlesnake Island, and has over 283 miles of shoreline.
According to tradition, there are 365 islands, one for every day of the year, and of those, 274 islands are big enough for a summer home.
Wolfeboro, Millie B’s homeport, is located on Winnipesaukee’s southeastern shore.