Rattlesnake Island Preserve

Open to LRCT Members (and Guests)

Rattlesnake Island is one of the largest islands located on Lake Winnipesaukee. LRCT owns 102 acres of the Island’s interior which is managed as a nature Preserve and includes the Rattlesnake Island Trail to the island summit.

September 26th, 2022 Rattlesnake Island Access Update: Closed for the Season

Public access to Rattlesnake Island has ended for the 2022 season. We will still have our scheduled Guided Hikes on October 1st. If you’re interested in being added to the waitlist, head to our Events page. 

We appreciate everyone’s patience and cooperation as we all adjust to these new access protocols. Thank you to our Island Hosts and everyone else who has made it possible to allow public access to the Rattlesnake Island Preserve this summer. See you next year!

For more information on what prompted our decision to adjust our island access protocol, please visit the link below for a message from the LRCT President. 

Rattlesnake Island is the fifth largest island on Lake Winnipesaukee (368 acres) with an  LRCT acquired the 102-acre reserve in the middle of the island in 1982.  The island forms part of a large arc that is the outer rim of the Belknap Mountain ring dike. 

The property features a 2-mile out-and-back trail that takes you from the LRCT dock to the summit of the island, presenting a grand view of Lake Winnipesaukee and the surrounding landscape causing this to be a desirable hiking destination for lake-goers. The hike is rocky and steep in certain sections and is rated as moderate/strenuous. Sturdy footwear is recommended. The trail is clearly marked with blue blazes.  

 

Paddle Map

LRCT has created a waterproof paddle map that features Rattlesnake Island, along with four other island properties.

You can learn more about our paddle maps here.

Island Access

Rattlesnake Island is located in Alton on Lake Winnipesaukee. The entire shore frontage of the island is private property. Access to the LRCT property is gained through a Right of Way (ROW) that connects the Preserve to our dock on the southeast tip of the island. Our dock is marked with an open/closed sign (green/red) to help distinguish it from the surrounding private docks. 

 

Know Before You Go:

  • Rattlesnake Island Preserve is only open to 12 LRCT members (and their guests) at a time. Public access to our property is restricted by a Deed Restriction (that was established with the conservation of the LRCT property) that limits access to LRCT members (and their guests) and to only 12 people at any one time. 
  • Current membership decals are required and to be displayed on your boat. 
  • Access is only allowed when the dock is staffed with an LRCT Island Host. Access updates are posted below. LRCT’s Island Host will welcome visitors, check for valid membership decals, enforce the 3-hour docking limit, and ensure all Rattlesnake Island Preserve policies are being followed. 
  • Access to the island is currently first come, first serve.

If you have not yet received your decal for this year and have already renewed your membership, you may stop by our Headquarters to pick up your decal. If you need to renew your membership, you may do so by clicking the “Donate” button at the right-hand corner of the screen or stopping by our Headquarters. Please note that our office is open on weekdays from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Island Access Updates

Access to the Rattlesnake Island Preserve is only allowed when the dock is staffed by LRCT personnel and when weather permits. Please check the updates below and at the top of the page to ensure the dock is open before you go.

September 26th:

Public access to Rattlesnake Island has ended for the 2022 season. We will still have our scheduled Guided Hikes on October 1st. If you’re interested in being added to the waitlist, head to our Events page. 

We appreciate everyone’s patience and cooperation as we all adjust to these new access protocols. Thank you to our Island Hosts and everyone else who has made it possible to allow public access to the Rattlesnake Island Preserve this summer. See you next year!

 

September 22nd:

Due to the Gale Watch in effect, the dock will be closed Friday (9/23) and Saturday (9/24).

 

September 20th:

This week, the dock will be open on Friday, September 23rd, from 1:00pm – 4:30pm and Saturday, September 24th, from 8:30am – 4:30pm. 

 

September 13th:

For the month of September, the dock will be open on Saturdays from 8:30am – 4:30pm. Additional days for September are to be determined and will be posted on this page.

 

September 7th:

This week, the dock will be open on Saturday (9/10) and Sunday (9/11) from 8:30am – 4:30pm.

 

September 6th:

For the month of September, the dock will be open on Saturdays from 8:30am – 4:30pm. Additional days for September are to be determined and will be posted on this page.

August 31st:

This week, LRCT’s Rattlesnake Island Preserve will be open to LRCT members and accompanied guests on Friday, September 2nd, and Saturday, September 3rd from 8:30am – 4:30pm as long as weather permits. The dock will also be open on Sunday, September 4th, the hours are to be determined. 

For the month of September, the dock will be open on Saturdays from 8:30am – 4:30pm. Additional days for September are to be determined and will be posted on this page.

 

August 23rd:

This week, LRCT’s Rattlesnake Island Preserve will be open to LRCT members and accompanied guests on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 8:30am – 4:30pm as long as weather permits.

After August 27th, the dock will be open on Friday, September 2nd, and Saturday, September 3rd from 8:30am – 4:30pm, and on Sunday, September 4th (hours to be determined). 

For the month of September, the dock will be open on Saturdays from 8:30am – 4:30pm. Additional days for September are to be determined and will be posted on this page.

 

August 17th:

The Rattlesnake Island Preserve Dock will be closed today, Wednesday, August 10th due to poor weather conditions.

 

August 16th:

LRCT’s Rattlesnake Island Preserve will be open to LRCT members and accompanied guests on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8:30am – 4:30pm until August 27th as long as weather permits. After August 27th, the dock will be open on Friday, September 2nd, and Saturday, September 3rd. Additional days after Labor Day are to be determined and will be posted on this page.

 

August 10th:

The Rattlesnake Island Preserve Dock will be closed today, Wednesday, August 10th due to poor weather conditions. Due to this inconvenience, the dock will be open tomorrow, Thursday, August 11th from 8:30am – 4:30pm. 

 

August 8th:

LRCT’s Rattlesnake Island Preserve will be open to LRCT members and accompanied guests on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8:30am – 4:30pm until August 27th as long as weather permits. After August 27th, the dock will be open on Friday, September 2nd, and Saturday, September 3rd. Additional days after Labor Day are to be determined and will be posted on this page.

 

August 1st:

The dock will be open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 8:30am – 4:30pm throughout the summer as long as the weather permits. 

July 25th:

(No New Updates) The dock will be open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 8:30am – 4:30pm throughout the summer as long as the weather permits. 

 

July 20th:

For the week of July 17 – 23, Rattlesnake Island will only be open Thursday (7/21) and Saturday (7/23).

 

July 12th:

For the week of July 17 – 23, Rattlesnake Island will only be open Thursday (7/21) and Saturday (7/23). 

The dock will be open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 8:30am – 4:30pm throughout the summer as long as weather permits. 

 

July 7th:

We are excited to announce that LRCT’s Rattlesnake Island Preserve dock has been installed for the 2022 season! Our dock will be staffed and open for visitors on certain days of the week starting Friday, July 8th. We are also very happy to introduce LRCT’s Island Host Luke Dumouchel! Luke will welcome visitors, check for valid membership decals, enforce the 3-hour docking limit, and ensure all Rattlesnake Island Preserve policies are being followed. 

As of now, LRCT members, and accompanied friends, can expect to be able to dock and hike Rattlesnake for the rest of the summer only when the dock is staffed. Access is currently first come, first serve. The dock now features a red “closed” sign for when the dock is not staffed and a green “open” sign for when the dock is staffed and visitors are welcomed.  Please note, we have also equipped the dock with a 24-hour surveillance camera for monitoring purposes. The dock will primarily be staffed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm on days when the weather is clear. The dock will be closed if there is inclement weather or when the dock is unable to be staffed. Be sure to plan ahead and check the “Island Access” section below to make sure the dock is open before you go. 

As always, public access to our property on Rattlesnake Island is restricted by a Deed Restriction (that was established with the conservation of the LRCT property) that limits access to LRCT members (and their guests) and to only 12 people at any one time. Current membership decals are required and to be displayed on your boat. If you have not yet received your decal for this year and have already renewed your membership, you may stop by our Headquarters to pick up your decal. If you need to renew your membership, you may do so by clicking the “Donate” button or stopping by our Headquarters. Please note that our office is open weekdays from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Lastly, we would like to thank everyone for your patience and support while we navigate ways to continue to allow visitors to experience this beautiful conserved land! 

June 29th:

Access to Rattlesnake Island will not be available for the July 4th weekend. We are hoping to have the dock open the second or third week of July.

Please refer to this page for updates on when the dock will be staffed and other Island Access updates. We will update this page weekly. You can sign up for our e-blast by “subscribing to our newsletter” at the bottom of this page.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy our other island properties on Lake Winnipesaukee: Blanchard IslandFive Mile IslandRagged Island, and Stonedam Island!

 

June 21st:

Thank you to all those who have supported LRCT in making the difficult, but necessary, decision to establish new access rules for our Rattlesnake Island Preserve.

LRCT has hired and is training an Island Host that will staff our dock and conduct dock maintenance. We are on track to have the dock open next month (July). In the future, ideally, the dock will be in the water and staffed for Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend. 

May 26th:

Please Note: Rattlesnake Island Preserve NEW Access Rules

LRCT has instituted new visitation rules to continue to provide LRCT members access to the Rattlesnake Island Preserve.  These changes are needed because LRCT’s property, as well as neighboring private properties, have experienced increased misuse by some visitors in recent years.  The purposes of these new rules are to protect the unique and sensitive natural resources of the Preserve, to ensure that the long-standing restrictions on access (only current LRCT members and no more than 12 visitors at any one time) are followed, and to prevent misuse of the dock, the Preserve, and neighboring properties.  The protection of the Island’s natural resources and respect for Island residents are our paramount concerns.  We appreciate your understanding as we work on implementing these changes so that LRCT members can continue to enjoy access to this beautiful preserve.

Access to the Rattlesnake Island Preserve is ONLY allowed when the dock is staffed by LRCT personnel.  ANY access that occurs when Personnel is not present at the dock would be trespassing, and this restriction is enforceable by law.  Drop-offs or swimming to the property are not permitted.

Schedule: Access will be limited to certain days and hours based on the availability of LRCT personnel and weather conditions.  We hope to have the dock staffed and open 2-4 days a week, on good weather days, with weekends and holidays a priority.  A regular weekly schedule is desired, but the schedule will likely vary – the LRCT website will be updated regularly with the OPEN dates/times as they are determined and with as much advance notice as possible.  At this time, we are working on hiring an Island Host to staff the dock, as well as conducting dock maintenance.  We expect to have the dock staffed and open in July. Please check back here for status updates.

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