10 Cool Spots for Family Fun


Summertime in Eastman: Family fun is around every curve and cove. The most difficult thing you’ll have to do is decide what to do first.

The lake, of course: Paddle, peddle, or sail one of the many watercraft available to rent at South Cove Activity Center. Practice your butterfly, sidestroke, or crawl. And don’t forget Lake Appreciation activities on Aug. 6.

Playgrounds: Take the little ones to slide, swing, or climb on playground equipment on the beaches at North, South, and West Coves. Pack a snack or light meal and dine al fresco at the picnic tables. What better way to get kids active and fit and ready to lay their heads on pillows at the end of a summer day?

Heron Island: Paddle out to Heron Island for a quick hike around the island, picnic, or an overnight camping trip. Following the loop trail is a great way to teach even the youngest hikers to search for blue trail blazes. Look for the heron or family of ducks that love the reeds along the shores. Overnight stays require application through the Recreation Department and campfires require a fire permit.

Along the shore: Eastman Lake may not be Golden Pond with Old Walter eluding capture (NH’s Squam Lake still holds that honor), but fishing may provide timeless family memories. Remember: there is no fishing from beaches or at the boat launch, and those 16 and older need a license.

Peppermint Patty’s: Walk, paddle, cycle or drive to Peppermint Patty’s at South Cove Activity Center for lunch, dinner, or midday ice cream cone from June through Labor Day. The high school staff at this snack shack serves up fun fare for the whole family.

The coves: Kayak, canoe, or troll the coves and discover an aquatic nature trail. Identify the ducks, turtles, and fish that you spot in the shallower waters. Follow the croaking of frogs, and look for the heron that perches in the vegetation close to the shores. Float quietly, and listen for loons.

John’s Glen and The Yurt: Hit the trails! With more than 30 miles of trails, there is something for every type of walker, hiker, or mountain biker in Eastman. John’s Glen, at the end of Clearwater Drive, is one of the favorite outdoor destinations in Eastman. Pack a picnic lunch and take a break at the yurt, just past the loops.

The Northern Rail Trail: Ride the rails—on two or three wheels, that is. This 58-mile-long gravel bike trail currently extends from Boscawen to West Lebanon, but will soon extend to White Rive Junction, Vermont. Pick up the trail at access spots in Enfield or Grafton for a shorter ride close to Eastman. Kids and RR buffs may enjoy the railroad museum at Potter Place in Andover, open on Sunday afternoons.

Eastman Golf Links: Have a budding duffer in the family? Kids 15 and younger play free with a paying adult after 2 p.m., and all Eastman Members have unlimited use of the driving range. If your young golfer wants to play without Mom or Dad, EGL has junior league play.

Tennis and pickleball courts: Eight har-tru tennis courts on Draper Road and one hard-surface court in Spring Glen are just waiting for the next Serena Williams or Andy Roddick. Pickleball isn’t for seniors only; the smaller courts and wiffleball-like balls hit are ideal for all ages. Pickleball courts are located on Glenwood Road.

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