Crystal Lake Park, located in New Hampshire off of Bodwell Road in Southern Manchester, is just one of Manchester’s many beautiful parks. This fully functional park is part of the Crystal Lake Preservation Association, and is located on Crystal Lake, which caters to a number of activities, including swimming, fishing, and boating. This park is family friendly because it has access to restrooms, pavilions, and tables, as well as a playground for young children. It is of no surprise this park has a well-defined history ranging back almost one hundred years.
Crystal Lake Park offers 16.7 acres of water body for various activities. Although there is no boat launch for boating, canoeing and kayaking are accessible from the shoreline, which spans 3,000 feet. The average water depth is 9.5 feet and the maximum water depth is twenty feet, holding 217,000 m3 of water, making it a perfect swimming spot during the summer. For fishermen, Crystal Lake is home to many species of fish, including Yellow Perch, Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Eastern Chain Pickerel, and Pumpkinseed. Crystal Lake is also home to many plants, ranging from Japanese Barberry shrubs to Cinnamon ferns to Groundnut vines.
Once known as Skenker’s Pond, and later Mosquito Pond, the Crystal Lake beachfront was developed into a bathing and swimming area used by the city of Manchester for swim meets. In 1942, improvements were made to the restroom facilities because of an increased popularity of the swimming site, and later on in 1987, one of the bathhouses was renovated. Legend tells about the “Hermit of Mosquito Pond,” a man named Charles Alan Lambert who came to Manchester in the mid 1800’s, and troubled with many woes, decided to live in self-seclusion on Crystal Lake. After buying a plot of land near the lake, he lived in seclusion, growing his own crops to meet his needs. Ironically, his hermitical acts caused many curious people to visit him in the summer season. Crystal Lake Park has accumulated a notable reputation for the “Hermit of Mosquito Pond.”
History of Crystal Lake Park researched and written by: Mike C. from Manchester Memorial High School Class of 2011.
Summer Swimming Park Hours
10:00AM - 4:00PM Manchester Residents Only (Proof of Residency Required);
4:00PM - 7:00PM open to Residents & Nonresidents
Crystal Lake open for the season in late June. The season continues until approximately Labor Day, depending on weather conditions.
Opens at 8:00 AM till 7:30 PM
Residents only 8:00 AM till 4:00 PM
Fall, Winter and Spring Hours
Opens at 8:00 AM till Sunset
For directions click here.