The Kauffmann Forest surrounds the land at Christine Lake owned by the Percy Summer Club. The club's land is protected by a conservation easement held by the Forest Society. Combined with the state-owned Nash Stream Forest, these conservation lands comprise the entire watershed of beautiful Christine Lake. If you visit Christine Lake with a canoe or kayak, you will experience the closest thing to a wilderness lake in the state. This is a trout fishery that also hosts nesting loons. Ospreys and bald eagles are also often seen. The lake is open to the public, and boats with a maximum of 10 HP are permitted. The private lodges at the west end of the lake date to the late 19th and early 20th centuries and belong to the members of the Percy Summer Club. (Please do not disturb the privacy of the lodge owners.) The club owns the land at the east end of the lake and permits public use in that area.
The Kauffmann Forest is a large area of relatively wild lands and working forest. The westerly and southerly sections have been carefully managed to produce quality northern hardwoods. Higher elevation areas and some riparian and wetlands contain rare plants and have been set aside as eco-reserves.
For those with interest in a challenging hike, the trail to the top of the Devil’s Slide produces a beautiful view of Stark and the peaks of the Kilkenny Range of the White Mountain National Forest. Botanists and geologists will find the Slide interesting, as it is part of an ancient ring dike that hosts plants uncommon to this northerly region.
Thanks to the vision and determination of John Kauffmann, the entire watershed of Christine Lake (a 175-acre lake) is now conservation land. A public road takes you to the small public boat launch owned by the state. You can launch small boats (under 10 HP) and fish for brown and brook trout. This was a typical cold-water fishery until very recently when someone illegally put small-mouth bass into the Lake. It is illegal to move live fish from one body of water to another, and unfortunately, less thoughtful people have moved their favorite fish into places they don’t belong, like Christine Lake. But the trout are still here, although in reduced numbers from past decades. The Kauffmann Forest itself does not touch Christine Lake, so please be respectful of the private landowners and follow the rules posted at the boat launch.
- This property is open dawn to dusk
- Carry out all trash
- Dogs must remain under control and owners must pack out all dog waste
- No motorized wheeled vehicles
- No camping
- No Campfires
- Hunting and fishing are allowed
- Leave natural and cultural features undisturbed
Christine Lake/Lamphere Trailhead
From the Christine Lake parking area, walk back down the road and turn left onto the Summer Club Road. You will pass signs indicating this is a private road. Visitors to the Kauffmann Forest are permitted to walk on this road but must not park along it. After about 100 yards, fork right up the hill onto the Kauffmann Forest. You can follow this trail to the northerly boundary of the Forest, where the trail crosses Rowell’s Brook at the boundary of the Nash Stream Forest. Return on the same route back down to the Christine Lake parking area.