Kezar Lake & Its Watershed

The higher elevation points around the lake where surface water begins flowing down & eventually drains into Kezar outline the Kezar Lake Watershed boundaries, shown in red and includes Clark and Messer Ponds in New London. Our lake watershed is within the larger Contoocook River Watershed which in turn is part of the Merrimack River Watershed.  


Contoocook River Watershed

NH Watersheds map

NH Hydrologic Units

NH Granit Map Atlas

Watershed activities from fertilizer and road salt use

to cleaning products and faulty septic systems 

can affect the lake. Events such as extreme weather 

causing erosion and flooding will have an impact by 

damaging plant root systems and carrying detritus

to the lake.

 WATERSHED LAND USE SUMMARY. Fry, J., Xian, G., Jin, S., Dewitz, J., Homer, C., Yang, L., Barnes, C., Herold, N., and Wickham, J., 2011. Completion of the 2006 National Land Cover Database for the Conterminous United States, PERS, Vol. 77(9):858-864. Click on the map for land use summary. 


This boulder at the Bean Quarry off Kings Hill Road marks a watershed boundary. To the west, water drains to Lake Sunapee and eventually the Connecticut River, then to the Atlantic Ocean. To the east, water drains down to Kezar Lake, then to the Lane, Warner, and Contoocook Rivers, and finally to the Atlantic via the Merrimack River.

​How can you help protect the watershed?

  • Soil is the major waterway contaminant. If you live near a water body or stream, keep native plants in place to have a wide buffer: Foliage roots keep soil in place.

  • Take medications, oil, chemicals, toxic paints and other hazardous substances to your town's hazardous waste collection. Recycle them if possible.

  • Use environmentally friendly cleaning materials; wash cars away from water & on grassy areas so runoff is absorbed. 

  • Semipermeable materials are available for drive- and walkways to allow water to sink into the land. Cover steep areas with native plants or organic materials like pine needles and wood chip mulch to divert runoff. 

  • Compost natural materials and use the "black gold" that results in the garden. Keep litter and animal waste out of the water. 


  • Limit salt and sand use on travelways — try forest by- products like wood chips which can handle colder temperatures than salt; their effect lasts much longer.