No Swimming At Canobie Lake, But Here’s Why You Should Visit Anyway

Canobie Lake is a 375-acre water body in Rockingham County in Southern New Hampshire and is nestled between Salem and Windham towns. This mostly spring-fed lake, one of many bodies of water in the region, has three billion gallons of water, and from May to October, it is Salem Town’s primary water source.

Canobie Lake is a drinking water reservoir, so swimming, bathing, or making bodily contact with the water is prohibited. Still, there are other things to do on the lake, and its main attraction is the Canobie Lake Park, an amusement park by its shore in Salem Town.


Things To Do At Canobie Lake

During spring, summer, and fall seasons, visitors boat, kayak sail, and fish on the clean and blue waters of Canobie Lake.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department yearly stocks the lake with rainbow and brown trout that visitors fish. During winter months when the lake freezes visitors can skate, ice fish, or go snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Hiking at Canobie Lake is also a worthwhile pursuit (and hiking in New Hampshire offers some of the best hikes in New England).

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On July 4th, the Canobie Lake Protective Association sponsors a boat parade to commemorate the nation’s birthday. Every Saturday night from July 4th holiday to Labor Day, there are stunning fireworks displays on Canobie Lake Park.

Visitors who also take the blue heron cruise, see bald eagles and the migratory loon birds nesting around the lake.

Fun Activities On Canobie Lake Park Amusement Park

Canobie Lake Park opened first in 1902 as a trolley car park but blossomed as an amusement park after three New Jersey friends bought it in 1958 and grew it to what it is today.

There’s a lot to do and see here!

Dining At Canobie Lake Park Amusement Park’s Eateries

Be Bop Diner

At this eatery, visitors can enjoy their signature third-pound classic cheeseburger served with lettuce, tomatoes, and fries. Other dishes and drinks here include fried dough, fruit cups, chicken tenders, fried chicken sandwiches and BLT salad, hamburger and cheeseburger baskets, foot-long hot dog baskets, gluten-free BLT salad, soda, and water.

Minuteman Fried Clams

An array of seafood delicacies are available at Minuteman Clams. At this eatery clams and lobsters are prepared in different ways sure to whet visitors’ appetites.

Other foods served here include onion rings, chicken, fish, chips, plus chicken Caesar salad.

Monkey Bar

Visitors looking for an adult beverage can visit Monkey Bar where a variety of alcoholic drinks are available.

Drinks served here include beer, wine, different margaritas, pina colada and electric lemonade cocktails, plus canned seltzer. Soda, bottled water, and snacks like popcorn and Chex mix are also available.

Petey’s Island Pizza

Pizza lovers can pop in at Petey’s Island Pizza to enjoy an array of delicious pizzas.

Pizzas served here have recipes like cheese, pepperoni, buffalo chicken, veggie, pickle, and supreme.

Soda, water, plus alcoholic drinks like beer and hard seltzer are available.

Smokin’ BBQ

Visitors who relish barbecue-inspired dishes can pass by the Smokin’ BBQ spot. At this spot, they get a taste of pulled pork, ribs, brisket, chips, smoked chicken, burnt end nachos sausages, chicken quarters, plus canned and draft beers among other dishes.

Enjoy Canobie Lake Park Amusement Attractions

Canobie Lake Park has 43 rides with height restrictions ranging from 36 and 54 inches.

Certain rides require kids to ride under supervision for safety purposes, and visitors are required to read the signs posted before riding.

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Rain, storms, or strong winds can cause some rides to be suspended without fee refunds.

Antique Cars

These are go-carts styled like the famed Model A cars dating back to the early 1900s. These antique cars hit top speeds of three miles per hour, and each has a seating capacity of four adults.

Rides on antique cars are ideal for families with young children.


The caterpillar ride consists of a circular train of cars that moves in undulating caterpillar motion on a track.

  • The minimum height to ride a caterpillar unsupervised is 48 inches, but height restrictions can be lesser if the kids are supervised.

Antique Carousel

Dating back to 1903 the restored, colorful and beautiful Antique Carousel has 46 animals, and as visitors enjoy the ride, a genuine 1922 Wurlitzer Duplex Orchestral Organ provides the music.

This carousel has stationary animals and jumpers (that rise up and down) during the ride and a bench that accommodates more than one rider.

  • Children under five years are secured with a safety belt.

Zero Gravity

The Zero Gravity is for adrenaline junkies where riders are first “caged” and then the ride accelerates to top speed and tips at a 60-degree angle.

Riders on Zero Gravity see the ground and sky pass by fast several times which is the ultimate thrill experience.

  • Riders have to be a minimum of 48 inches and a maximum of 77 inches in height to ride the Zero Gravity.

Screeemfest Shows

These are day and night shows that Canobie Lake Park hosts for families for six weekends that include rides, haunted houses, live shows, monsters, and kid-friendly fun.

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The mantra for Screeemfest Shows is fun by day and fear by night. Visitors can follow the event page to get details on the shows.

Shop For Gifts And Souvenirs

There are 10 outlets where visitors can buy gifts and souvenirs, take photos for memories, or rent a facility or equipment like a wheelchair to use for the day.

  • Heritage Gift Shop
  • Lucky Miner Gift Shop
  • Fife & Drum Gift Shop
  • Tropical Treasures
  • Island Trader
  • Policy Mining Co
  • Untamed Photo
  • Flume Photo
  • Cannonball Photo
  • Rentals

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Canobie Lake Park Hours And Admission Fees

To learn more about Canobie Lake Park’s availability and hours follow the calendar on their website.

General admission tickets cost between $35 to $59, but it’s cheaper to buy them online in advance.

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