TAMWORTH, N.H. -- The drive to North Conway can seem long at times, especially when you're behind a slow-moving car on Route 16. But then you see Mount Chocorua, and you know you're almost there.
When you reach the light in Chocorua Village, go up the hill, then down, around the bend, and there before you is Chocorua, arguably one of the best vistas in New England, at least among those that don't require hiking.
Pull off the road for a leg stretcher along the shores of Lake Chocorua. On the eastern edge of the Sandwich Range, Chocorua's rocky summit cone rises to 3,500 feet and is reflected like a mirror in the lake.
A small parking area on Chocorua Lake Road has a portable toilet, wooden bridge, tall pines, small beach, and access to back-country roads just right for rambling. Stop for a picnic or just to ponder. Loons and waterfowl are visitors, too.
Take the kayak off the SUV and paddle on the 220-acre lake. By the bridge at the southern end is another body of water, aptly named Little Lake.
Stretch. Take a picture. Paint one. Get out the binoculars. Remember.
On Route 16, about 1 1/2 miles north of the junction of Routes 113 and 16 in Tamworth, turn left onto Chocorua Lake Road to the small parking area.