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12 of the Best and Most Beautiful Lakes in Maine

By | Last Updated : 22nd July 2020

Maine is home to about 6000 lakes and ponds, with most of them being natural. They are situated throughout the state, though the west-central part, particularly the Franklin and Kennebec counties, have a majority of them. The state parks located nearby provide for a whole lot of activities, from boating to hiking.

Lakes in Maine

Lakes in Northern Maine

1. Moosehead Lake

Moosehead Lake in Northern Maine

The largest lake and mountain lake of Maine and eastern United States, respectively, it is situated in the foothills of the Longfellow Mountains. It has the Greenville city to its south and Rockwood to its northwest. The picturesque view of the cliffs of Mount Kineo rising from it makes it a preferred tourist spot. The Lily Bay State Park, located on its eastern shores, provides a host of recreational activities.

Fishing: Landlocked salmon, lake trout, brook trout, and smallmouth bass are majorly available, summer being the ideal time. 

Other Activities: Swimming (lifeguards available), kayaking, canoeing, motor boating, and bird watching in summer; snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing in the surrounding mountainous terrain in winter

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2. East Grand Lake

East Grand Lake in Northern Maine

The East Grand Lake formed as a result of glacial activities lies between Maine (Aroostook and Washington counties) and Canada’s New Brunswick Province. The 22-mile (35 km) long and 4-mile (6 km) deep lake is noted for its scenic beauty brought about by the clean blue waters and numerous islands. One could take pleasure of loons, ducks, ospreys, and bald eagles, seen in plenty around the shores and adjacent regions. The Greenland Island situated nearby makes for a fabulous picnic spot and camping ground.

Fishing: The abundance of landlocked salmon, white perch, lake trout, yellow perch, brook trout, smallmouth bass, and American eel, transforms this lake to a popular fishing spot.It hosts the Ice Fishing Derby annually in January.

Other Activities: Swimming, canoeing, kayaking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling

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3. Nickerson Lake  

Nickerson Lake in Northern Maine

The Nickerson Lake in the Aroostook County with a 243 acres (0.98 sq. km) surface area is one of Maine’s famous fishing lakes. The wonderful landscape, alongside the availability of a host of recreational activities, makes it a perfect tourist spot.

Fishing: Lake trout, brown trout, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, white perch, white sucker, pumpkinseed sunfish, and American eel are the common species.

Other Activities: Swimming, boating, and wildlife watching

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Lakes in West-Central Maine

4. Rangeley Lake

Rangeley Lake West-Central Maine

The Rangeley Lake in the Franklin County fed by several streams is a perfect place for a summer and winter vacation because of the picturesque locales, and wildlife surrounding it. Its waters flow into a host of water bodies like the Rangeley River, Mooselookmeguntic Lake, and Androscoggin River, Merrymeeting Bay, Lower Kennebec River, Gulf of Maine and the Atlantic Ocean, making it an ideal fishing spot. The Rangeley Lake State Park hosts a lot of recreational activities for visitors. The presence of a water landing zone for airplanes here makes it all the more unique.

Fishing: Landlocked trout and salmon are the big catches alongside bass, perch, and togue.

Other Activities: Swimming (within the park premises),canoeing, kayaking, bird watching (bald eagles, and sea loons in particular), hiking and camping

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5. Webb Lake

Webb Lake West-Central Maine

The Webb Lake in Franklin County’s Weld city with 2146 acres (8.68 sq.  km) surface area is a sought-after fishing spot thronged with many interesting species. The Mount Blue State Park lying on its western shore is home to numerous wildlife species like squirrels, coyotes, black bears, foxes, white-tailed deer, and moose.

Fishing: Brook trout, brown trout, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, and white perch commonly exist.

Other Activities: Swimming (along the beaches), boating (motorized and non-motorized), hiking, horse riding, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing

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6. Echo Lake

Echo Lake West-Central Maine

The Echo Lake within the Kennebec County surrounds the cities of Mount Vernon, Readfield, and Fayette. This 117 ft (36 m) deep lake with a 1216 acres surface area (5 sq. km) is prominent for its scenic beauty, rocky terrain, and high trout population. Its north shore has a public boat launch, while the south-western shore hosts the Camp Winnebago (boy’s summer camp).

Fishing: Smallmouth bass, perch, landlocked salmon, pickerel, and brook trout are the common species stocked here. Lake trout and cusk are popular during the winter months.

Other Activities: Swimming on the small, sandy beach at its vicinity, boating, alongside hiking and camping in the nearby Acadia National Park

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7. Flagstaff Lake

West-Central Maine Flagstaff Lake

The lake with a 20,300 acres (82 sq. km) surface area lies in the counties of Somerset and Franklin. One could catch the Bigelow Mountain Range site from its southern shore, making the lake a hot spot for hiking and camping. The Bigelow Mountain Preserve, at its vicinity, is one of the popularly-visited places.  It is among the many water bodies that are a part of the 740-mile (1190 km) Northern Forest Canoe Trail, thus emerging as a popular boating site.

Fishing: Salmon (occasional), rainbow trout, brook trout, walleye, channel catfish, sunfish, and yellow bass are the common finds here.

Other Activities: Swimming (on the day-use-area nearby), canoeing, kayaking, water-skiing, camping, and hiking

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8. Webber Pond

Webber Pond West-Central Maine

The Webber Pond situated in the Vassalboro city, Kennebec County, is a human-made lake with a surface area of 1233 acres (4.98 sq.km). Of the two islands that the lake has, the Vassalboro town has the ownership of the smaller one, while the bigger one is privately owned. Since the lake is shallow full of weeds, it is an apt habitation for warm water fish. Algae bloom often plague it in the summer months. However, the Lake Association is trying to combat it by introducing the algae-eating alewife fish.

Fishing: Redbreast sunfish, white perch, yellow perch, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, pumpkinseed sunfish, brown trout, and crappie commonly inhabit the lake.

Other Activities: Swimming, boating, and camping in the Green Valley Park located in its east shoreline

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9. Mooselookmeguntic Lake

Mooselookmeguntic Lake in West-Central Maine

The Oxford County and Franklin County of western and west-central Main has this lake running through them. Its unique and interesting name translates to ‘moose feeding place’ in the local dialect. Several rivers, like the Cupsuptic, Kennebago, and Rangeley, are responsible for feeding the river. Its 25.5 sq miles (66 sq. km) surface area makes it the fourth largest of all Maine Lakes.

Fishing: Yellow perch, white sucker, brown trout, brook trout, and salmon are the species found here.

Other Activities: Swimming, boating, wildlife viewing, hiking, and camping

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10. Cobbosseecontee Lake

Cobbosseecontee Lake in West-Central Lake

Alternately called the Cobbossee Lake, it occupies Maine’s West Gardiner, Monmouth, Manchester, Winthrop, and Litchfield towns. The largest among the lakes in the Winthrop Lakes Region it covers about 5568 acres (23 sq. km) of surface area. Its name in the Native American Wabanaki dialect means plenty of sturgeon. Several islands, coves, and inlands surround the place. The cottages and year-round homes along the shoreline make it a perfect holidaying site.

Fishing: It surpasses most other Maine Lakes in the bass population, especially due to an increasing number of largemouth bass throngs. Other fish include rainbow smelt, brown trout, brook trout, yellow perch, white perch, crappie, sunfish, and bullheads.

Other Activities:  Swimming, paddle boating, kayaking, hiking, and camping

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Lakes in Southern Maine

11. Sebago Lake

Sebago Lake in Southern Maine

The second-largest and deepest lake of Maine, the water body is 316 ft (96 m) at its deepest point, while its mean depth amounts to 101ft (31 m). Situated in Maine’s Cumberland County, the towns bordering it include Naples, Casco, Sebago, Raymond, Windham, and Standish. This and the surrounding lakes have a reputation for erratic weather changes, mostly because of their closeness to the Atlantic Ocean, and Mt. Washington. The Sebago Lake State Park opened in 1938 has a 1400 acres (5.7 sq.km) area with boating and camping facilities. Its shores also host the Centre Day Camp conducted by the JCA (Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine).

Fishing: Spring is the best time to fish here. Landlocked salmon is the commonest, while other species includebrown trout, brook trout, lake trout, northern pike, and largemouth bass (on the lake’s western side).

Other Activities: Swimming (in the designated area around its beaches demarcated with buoys, though without any lifeguard), boating (in the Sebago Boating Club Beach), and camping

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12. Long Lake

Long Lake in Southern Maine

The lake stretches across an 11-mile (18 km) area passing through Bridgton, Harrison, and Naples. The rocks and coves surrounding the lakes, since it was an outcome of receding glacial activity, enhance its beauty.  The Chute River connects this 5295 acre (21.42 sq. km) lake to the Brandy Pond or Bay of Naples Lake. The lake is home to a variety of wildlife, and as one walks past its shores, they may spot many loon nests around.

Fishing: Bluegill, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rock bass, northern pike, yellow bullhead, and brown bullhead are the commonly available species.

Other Activities: Swimming, in summers with lifeguard facilities (through prohibited in the northern shores having fishing piers), boating, bird watching, and camping

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The above lakes mostly allow dogs in the nearby areas provided on a leash.

TOP PICKS

Best Lakes for Fishing: Sebago Lake, East Grand Lake, Cobbosseecontee Lake

Best Lakes for Swimming: Moosehead Lake, Sebago Lake, Flagstaff Lake Cleanest Lakes: Mooselookmeguntic Lake, Webb Lake, Moosehead Lake

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