The jewel we know today as Kezar Lake is testament to the hard work of both committed citizens and state limnologists dedicated to ensuring Kezar’s water quality, accomplishing the twin missions of sustaining a healthy ecosystem and promoting public recreation in and on its beautiful waters.
Kezar is one of the most studied lakes in the US: In the mid-1900s, phosphorus released in the watershed and introduced via Lyon Brook to Kezar over many decades stressed the lake. It took hard sleuthing, analysis of tributaries, experimentation by the NH Department of Environmental Services, court battles and the commitment of Kezar shoreland owners — who formed KLPA at the height of the problems in 1971— to turn things around. The source of the phosphorous was corrected, the excess phosphorous in the system was eventually inactivated and nearby wetlands were managed to absorb some of the pollution.
Now, monitoring of the lake and watershed, as well as education of lake users and shoreland owners, are priorities of Kezar Lake Protective Association.
Lyon Brook, the main tributary draining into Kezar Lake, begins near New London Hospital and continues four miles to the lake.
Kezar Lake is in the town of North Sutton in the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region of New Hampshire. The towns of New London, Wilmot, Warner, Bradford and Newbury surround Sutton.
The lake is 182 surface acres and at its deepest point is about 27 feet. There are summer and year-round houses along its shores and some of the land beyond is in protective easements. Loon Island is a small sliver of land near the north end of the lake that stretches to the middle; a family of loons nest here most summers. The main inlet to Kezar Lake is Lyon Brook which comes in from the northwest; the outlet, Lane River is at the dam on the south side at Wadleigh Hill Rd between Wadleigh State Park and Horse Beach.
There is evidence of Native American activity in the distant past on the southwest shore where a fire hearth can be seen; burial grounds, artifacts and tools were discovered here by early settlers. Mt. Kearsarge is in full view off to the east. In the early to mid 1900s, there were camps, Penacook for boys and Bueno for girls, that were attended by people from around the country. The area grew in popularity and farm houses became hotels and guest houses once the railroads came near the town and stage coaches could bring visitors from Potter Place in Andover or Waterloo Station in Warner. Sutton was, and is, a beautiful place to get away from it all for a while or to set down roots.
Kezar Lake Snapshot
Location: North Sutton, NH, Merrimack County
GPS coordinates - latitude, longitude:
Acreage: 182 surface ac
Deepest Pt: 27 ft.; Mean Depth: 9 ft.
Elevation: 915 ft. (279 m.)
Watershed: 6848 ac.
Tributaries: Lyon Brook, King's Brook
Shoreland length: 2.11 mi.
Trophic Class: Mesotrophic
About Kezar Lake & KLPA