A New Hampshire lake during summer

Lake Explorer Quest

NH LAKES invites you to get out and explore New Hampshire’s lakes and ponds by paddling through our Lake Explorer Quest Program. Document your explorations with us and earn an official Lake Explorer Quest patch.

Have fun while creating wonderful memories—it’s easy and fun!

To earn your Lake Explorer Quest patch:

  • Explore three New Hampshire lakes (or ponds) by canoe, kayak, paddleboard, or other paddle boat.
  • Before and after paddling, implement the Clean, Drain & Dry method to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.
  • Practice paddling safety while on your excursion.
  • Document your visits on the official Lake Explorer Patch Request Form.
  • Once you have explored three lakes (or ponds), forward your completed form to NH LAKES by email or mail.
  • You will receive your Lake Explorer Patch and certificate of completion from us in the mail.

Young girl in kayak on a New Hampshire lake

Need to rent a paddle boat?

For information on paddling outfitters, rentals, and other useful sites for the paddling family, click here.

Young boy jumping in front of a New Hampshire lake

A dog standing on a kayak in a New Hampshire lake with weeds on its lifevest

A man and a woman share a canoe with their dog

Where to paddle?

Through the Lake Explorer Quest, paddle any lake (or pond) of your choice in New Hampshire that is open for public access. For the list of New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game public access sites, click here.

Connect with nature!

Spending time in nature increases our connection to it, which in turn, increases our desire to care for and protect our natural world. Studies have shown that many children are experiencing a ‘nature deficit’ which can have negative effects on physical and mental development. Children who spend time outdoors are healthier and more creative, have better concentration, and get better grades. Plus, paddling is a fun way to get exercise for everyone!

NH LAKES thanks the Dorr Foundation for supporting this program.