Nelson’s lakes and ponds provide countless opportunities for boating and other water sports, fishing, swimming and simply viewing.
Motorized boats are allowed only on Nubanusit Lake, Granite Lake, and Silver Lake. There is a public boat landing for Granite Lake along the southwest side of Granite Lake Road, not far from the center of Munsonville. The Center Pond boat landing is off Center Pond Road, about a half mile from Nelson Village. The public landings for Silver Lake and Nubanusit are in Harrisville and Hancock, respectively. There is no official public access to the other bodies of water in Nelson.
At one time Nelson had the opportunity to purchase land on Granite Lake for a public beach, but the town voted not to pursue it. Since then, although the subject of a public beach has been frequently brought up, there are presently no financially feasible options. Given the current cost of lakefront property, plus maintenance and liability issues involved with a public beach, this would appear to be a remote possibility. But we should keep the idea afloat, so to speak.
Nelson’s total area is 14,898.2 acres (23.3 acres) of which 828 is comprised of lakes or ponds.
Acres in Nelson
Shared with . . .
Nelson’s largest bodies of water are subject to the standards of the Shoreland Protection Act (SPA) (RSA 483-B). Per these regulations, the town may adopt more stringent standards. As of 2008, Nelson’s Zoning Ordinance is stricter on three points:
The setback of a primary structure from the Reference Line is 100 feet (the SPA requires 50 feet).
The setback of an accessory structure from the Reference Line is 25 feet (the SPA requires 20 feet). The amount of shoreline required for a single dwelling unit is 200 feet on Nubanusit Lake (SPA and all other lakes are 150 feet).
This information is from Nelson’s Master Plan, last updated in 2010. It remains a substantially viable document, but the Planning Board continues to review it and is expected to produce an update in the not too distant future.
While the Master Plan takes the long view, our town government requires regular attention and dedicated volunteers to serve in public office.
This year’s elections will be at the Town Hall on Tuesday, July 13 (they are typically the second Tuesday in March) 11:00 – 7:00, and Town Meeting will be on Saturday, July 17th, under a tent on the Common starting at 10:00 a.m. While Nelson has a great track record for percentage of voters participating in civic life, that can always be improved. If you’ve never attended Town Meeting, you should consider coming to what is the core of our local democracy. It’s interesting, and there are always elements of great entertainment as well.
We’re especially interested in forming a small advisory team to strategize about appropriate content and to provide guidance on the assembling of each issue. This would not be hugely time-demanding, but would require a modest commitment. Interested?