Lake Winnipesaukee declared the annual “Ice Out” at 5:24am on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. Ice Out is the moment in which the ice on the lake melts enough for the M/S Mount Washington cruise ship to leave its port in Center Harbor and travel to all other ports located around the lake in Alton Bay, Weirs Beach, Meredith and Wolfeboro. Traditionally Ice Out is known as the unofficial start of spring and boating season in the Lakes Region.
Here at Center Harbor Inn, we have had the luxury of viewing the regal 230-foot ship all winter, as it sleeps a little over 100 yards away at the Center Harbor dock awaiting springtime for the first cruise of the new year. Throughout the winter season, some guests were able to rent snowshoes from the Inn to traverse along the snow-topped ice to get a closer look and snap a few photos of the ship in all it’s glory. Viewers are not able to get too close, however, as the port installed bubblers in the water around the cruise ship to prevent the water directly surrounding the boat from freezing which protects the ship from ice and weather damage.
Each year, Emerson Aviation flies over the lake multiple times a day to identify the exact minute of Ice Out, a routine that has been carried out by the Emerson family for forty years now. Dave Emerson from Emerson Aviation was unfortunately unable to take flight the morning of April 24th due to visibility issues but examined the waters from shore and released this message, “I went to the Center Harbor port to inspect the bay from shore. The ice has melted around the Mount and is no longer a hinderance to it’s navigation. Finally we can now welcome spring.” The tradition of tracking Ice Out began back in 1887 and has continued annually with Ice Out dates ranging at the earliest date of March 18th to the latest date of May 12th.
Guests who were unable to make it up to view the beauty of our Lakes Region winter firsthand, had the opportunity to watch for Ice Out via our real-time webcam. Now that the ice has cleared the bay, we can finally kick-off spring and boating season. In honor of Ice Out we are starting our Lakeside Watersport Retreat Package a little early! The package includes 10% off our nightly rate plus access to hours of fun on Lake Winnipesaukee with two half day rentals of one of the hotel’s watercrafts for each night of your stay. Picture yourself gliding through the waters on either a pedal boat, paddle board, or kayak then relaxing in our four-season hot tub once your day of fun on the lake winds down. Celebrate Ice Out and springtime with us here at Center Harbor Inn.