Miss the Lake?

Ossipee — October 15, 2007 — Miss the lake? Thanks to a local businessman you can be hundreds of miles away and feel like you’re right on the water with the click of a mouse.The Ossipee Lake webcam is John Rowe’s idea. The Tamworth native is one of the owners of Canoe King, which has been renting and selling canoes, kayaks and paddle gear on Route 16 for 30 years.

He got the webcam bug from a friend in Vermont who taught him how easy it is to set one up and operate it. Back in New Hampshire with an armload of equipment, Rowe found the perfect lakeside perch for the camera at his home on Broad Bay, which has been in the family since the 1930s.

Positioned toward the northwest, the lens takes in a great sweep of the bay with the undulating Ossipees and craggy Mount Chocorua as a backdrop. Stunning? To say the least, whether it’s sunny or stormy. Not surprisingly, since the webcam launched in May it has garnered about 5,000 page views daily, a number that has slowed a bit off-season, Rowe says.

“We’ve been promoting it in the store and on our website, but we’re also getting hits from websites that list webcams.”

Every five seconds the camera refreshes and uploads a new image, connecting to the Canoe King website via cable modem. The site also has an archive of interesting shots from sunsets to dramatic clouds to lightning strikes.

Since the scenery on Ossipee Lake is second to none in the state, the webcam has been good for Rowe’s business, where the most popular daytrip for rental customers is a leisurely paddle down the Bearcamp River to the big lake.

“People outside the area see the lake on the webcam and want to be here,” he says, “but there probably are also a lot of summer residents who miss the lake and just want a quick look. The webcam lets them come back anytime they want.”

Canoe King’s Ossipee Lake webcam can be found at www.canoeking.com. Just click the “webcam” tab.

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