As I ventured into the easternmost state of the USA, I found myself in the captivating realm of Maine. With its unique characteristics, it stands as a state of contrasts, boasting the Atlantic Ocean to the north and east, while the majestic Appalachian mountains grace its northwest. It’s a land of wonders, where Machias Seal Island, North Rock, and the awe-inspiring Old Sow—the largest tidal whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere—hold their enchanting presence.
Maine has rightfully earned its nickname, ‘Vacationland,’ for it offers a tapestry of natural beauty that captures the hearts of all who visit. From its rugged rocky coastline to its dense forests, rolling mountains, and tranquil waterways, every corner presents a picturesque tableau. But it’s not just the stunning landscapes that draw tourists from across the globe. Maine’s delectable seafood, charming cities, and abundant attractions create an irresistible haven for travelers of all backgrounds.
Beyond its mountains, coastline, forests, and cities, Maine holds another breathtaking treasure: over 6,000 lakes and ponds scattered throughout the state. From the lofty peaks of the mountains to the serene coastal lowlands, these shimmering bodies of water add an extra touch of allure to this magnificent state. As I planned my adventures in Maine, I made a mental note to explore one of the 15 best lakes in the area, each offering its own unique charm and recreational opportunities. Here are the 15 best lakes in Maine.
1. Jordan Pond; Hancock County
As I delved into the wonders of Maine, I was captivated by the splendor of Jordan Pond. Nestled within the pristine landscapes of Acadia National Park, this magnificent body of water may not be the largest, but it undeniably ranks among the most spectacular in the entire state. With a shoreline stretching 5.8 kilometers, it unveils a captivating vista that leaves me in awe.
Jordan Pond is embraced by the majestic presence of Penobscot Mountain, creating a scenic masterpiece that words fail to fully capture. It is a testament to the breathtaking beauty that nature has bestowed upon this corner of the world. But it’s not just the visual allure that makes Jordan Pond special. This exquisite lake boasts a depth of 46 meters, making it the deepest in all of Maine. Its depths harbor a diverse array of flora and fauna, adding a touch of enchantment to its already mesmerizing ambiance.
While I was unable to directly access the waters of Jordan Pond, I was delighted to discover a trail that encircles its shores, allowing me to immerse myself in its tranquil presence. As I embarked on this hiking adventure, I was greeted by awe-inspiring vistas at every turn, a symphony of nature’s wonders unfolding before my eyes. Along the shoreline, I came across the renowned Jordan House, a cherished landmark that offers a delightful dining experience. From delectable lunches and dinners to the cherished tradition of afternoon tea, it’s a place where I was able to savor both culinary delights and the serene beauty of Jordan Pond.
As I continued my journey through Maine, Jordan Pond stands as a testament to the majestic allure that awaits within this remarkable state. Its unspoiled vistas, tranquil trails, and rich history beckon me to immerse myself in the splendor of nature while indulging in the comforts of Jordan House. With every step I take, I was reminded of the incredible experiences that lie ahead, each one waiting to unfold along the shores of this captivating body of water.
2. Moosehead Lake; Northwest Piscataquis
As I continued exploring deeper into the wonders of Maine, I was left in awe of Moosehead Lake, a true gem nestled within the heart of this captivating state. Not only is it Maine’s largest lake, but it also holds the prestigious title of being the largest mountain lake in the entire eastern part of the country. Spanning an impressive 30,534 hectares, this magnificent body of water is a testament to the grandeur of nature.
Moosehead Lake is adorned with over 80 islands, each adding its own touch of charm to the breathtaking landscape. Amidst this serene expanse, Mount Kineo proudly rises, reaching a staggering height of 200 meters above the glistening waters below. The sight of this majestic mountain serves as a reminder of the awe-inspiring beauty that envelops Moosehead Lake.
The name of this remarkable lake holds a fascinating story of its own. It pays homage to the abundant moose population that roams the surrounding area, where these majestic creatures outnumber us humans by an impressive ratio of 3 to 1. As if nature wanted to leave us with another enchanting detail, Moosehead Lake itself bears a striking resemblance to a pair of antlers when viewed from a bird’s eye perspective. It’s as if the lake itself is a testament to the wildlife that calls this place home.
With over 640 kilometers of shoreline, Moosehead Lake offers a multitude of opportunities for exploration and relaxation. Along the shores, charming towns and inviting parks dot the landscape, inviting me to immerse myself in the tranquil beauty of my surroundings. Whether I seek a cozy cabin tucked away in nature’s embrace or prefer the simplicity of a camping ground, there is no shortage of accommodation options to suit every preference.
3. Flagstaff Lake; Somerset & Franklin Counties
Further into the wonders of Maine, I came across the captivating Flagstaff Lake, a hidden gem nestled within the embrace of nature. With its vast expanse spanning 8,200 hectares, this remarkable lake is a sight to behold. What makes it even more alluring is its picturesque setting, bordered by the majestic Bigelow Mountain Range. It’s no wonder that outdoor enthusiasts flock to this haven, eager to immerse themselves in its beauty.
One of the highlights of Flagstaff Lake is its close proximity to the renowned Appalachian Trail. As I walked along its 235-kilometer shoreline, I was greeted by the trail’s presence, inviting me to embark on an unforgettable hiking adventure. The rugged beauty of the Bigelow Mountains serves as a breathtaking backdrop as I traversed the path of this iconic trail, creating memories that will stay with me forever.
Flagstaff Lake offers a wealth of amenities to cater to those seeking an unforgettable outdoor experience. With six boat launches, the possibilities for exploration are endless. Whether I choose to embark on a serene canoe journey or venture out on a thrilling kayaking adventure, the tranquil waters of the lake provide the perfect setting for such escapades. The lake’s shallow depths also make it an ideal spot for salmon and trout fishing, allowing me to indulge in my passion for angling while surrounded by the serene beauty of my surroundings.
As I delved deeper into the enchantment of Flagstaff Lake, I discovered that it holds a special place in the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. This historic 1,190-kilometer water trail winds its way through Quebec, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, and Maine, with Flagstaff Lake proudly being a part of this remarkable journey. It’s truly awe-inspiring to think that I was able to be a part of this interconnected network of natural wonders, creating a sense of adventure and exploration like no other.
One notable feature of Flagstaff Lake is the presence of the Long Falls Dam, located at its easternmost point. This dam not only enhances the lake’s beauty but also transformed it into a reservoir. Its construction enlarged the lake, adding to its allure and creating a harmonious blend of natural and man-made wonders.
4. Sebago Lake; Cumberland County
Sebago Lake, the state’s second-largest lake. Situated near the southern tip of the state, this expansive body of water spans 12,348 hectares and boasts an impressive 169 kilometers of picturesque shoreline. It’s no wonder that this tranquil lake has become a beloved destination for both locals and tourists alike.
One of the notable features of Sebago Lake is Frye Island, a seasonal island dotted with waterfront properties. This charming island adds a unique touch to the lake’s allure, offering a glimpse into the idyllic lakeside lifestyle that many dream of.
Sebago Lake’s popularity as a tourist destination stems from its sheer beauty and the plethora of recreational activities it offers. As I delved into the various ways to immerse myself in the lake’s wonders, I found an abundance of options to choose from. Sailing across the glistening waters, feeling the gentle breeze caress my face, is a truly rejuvenating experience. The lake’s expansive surface provides ample space for swimming, allowing me to cool off and revel in the refreshing embrace of its crystal-clear waters. For those seeking a closer connection to nature, camping along the lake’s shores provides an opportunity to unwind amidst the serene surroundings. And let’s not forget about the fishing enthusiasts who flock to Sebago Lake to try their luck at catching the abundant fish that call these waters home.
To further enhance the experience, Sebago Lake State Park stands proudly along the lake’s north shore. This remarkable park offers not only stunning camping facilities but also two pristine beaches where I have soaked up the sun’s rays and feel the soft sand beneath my feet. Launching a boat is made easy with the park’s convenient boat ramp, allowing me to explore every nook and cranny of the lake’s expansive waters. And for those seeking to stretch their legs and immerse themselves in the beauty of the surrounding landscape, a hiking trail awaits, promising breathtaking views and a deeper connection with nature.
As I immersed myself in the wonders of Sebago Lake, I was grateful for the opportunity to experience such natural beauty and the abundance of recreational activities it offers.
5. Rangeley Lake; Franklin County
I found myself enchanted by the beauty of Rangeley Lake. Nestled within the renowned Rangeley Lakes region, this magnificent body of water spans an impressive 2,550 hectares. It is a place where nature’s wonders unfold before my eyes, leaving me in awe of its grandeur.
Rangeley Lake is nourished by several streams, which gracefully pour their waters into its depths. Flowing out at the northwest corner, these waters embark on a journey that eventually leads them to the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. The lake’s ever-changing currents and pristine waters create a serene environment that beckons me to delve into its treasures.
As I ventured along the lake’s south shoreline, I discovered the exquisite Rangeley Lake State Park. This picturesque park embraces the splendor of its surroundings, offering a myriad of activities that cater to every outdoor enthusiast. Whether it’s casting a line and indulging in the art of fishing, plunging into the cool waters for a refreshing swim, or embarking on an invigorating hike through the scenic trails, Rangeley Lake State Park provides endless opportunities for adventure and tranquility. The rhythmic strokes of a canoe or kayak allow me to glide gracefully across the shimmering surface, while the melodies of chirping birds accompany me on my explorations. The park’s well-appointed camping sites and motorhome sites invite me to immerse myself in the natural beauty and spend peaceful nights under the starlit sky. A playground and a picnic area provide a joyful respite, allowing me to create cherished memories with loved ones amidst the breathtaking scenery.
Along the shoreline of Rangeley Lake, a collection of exquisite resorts and inns await, offering a haven of comfort and relaxation. From these serene retreats, I have savored the idyllic views that unfold before me, letting the lake’s tranquility wash over my senses. For those seeking a different kind of leisure, the nearby Mingo Springs Golf Course invites golf enthusiasts to partake in their passion against a backdrop of breathtaking natural beauty. It is a golfer’s paradise, where every swing is accompanied by the soothing sounds of nature.
Furthermore, Rangeley Lake has been designated as a water landing zone for seaplanes, adding an element of adventure and uniqueness to this already remarkable destination. The sight of seaplanes gracefully touching down on the glistening surface of the lake is a testament to its allure and accessibility.
6. Mooselookmeguntic Lake; Franklin County
During my visit, I was drawn to the captivating beauty of Mooselookmeguntic Lake. Nestled just west of Rangeley Lake and a stone’s throw away from the renowned Appalachian Trail, this expansive body of water beckons me with its tranquil allure.
Stretching across an impressive 6,600 hectares, Mooselookmeguntic Lake stands as the fourth largest lake in the state, its elevation reaching an impressive 447 meters above sea level. The vastness of this lake is matched only by its breathtaking surroundings, offering a captivating tapestry of nature’s wonders.
Mooselookmeguntic Lake boasts an expansive shoreline that spans over 90 kilometers, punctuated by charming vacation rental properties that dot its picturesque banks. It comes as no surprise that this lake has become a beloved destination for travelers seeking solace in the embrace of nature’s majesty. For anglers, in particular, Mooselookmeguntic Lake presents an enticing playground. Casting their lines into its pristine waters, they seek the thrill of reeling in a variety of fish, including salmon, trout, perch, and shiner. The abundance of aquatic life makes every fishing excursion a memorable adventure.
The lake owes its distinctive name to the Abenaki word meaning ‘moose feeding place’, a fitting tribute to the magnificent creatures that grace its surroundings. Notably, the name Mooselookmeguntic Lake holds a fascinating distinction—it ranks as the third longest place name in the entire country. This unique characteristic only adds to the allure and intrigue of this remarkable destination.
As I basked in the tranquility of Mooselookmeguntic Lake, I found myself immersed in a world of natural splendor. The vastness of its waters and the surrounding landscape create an idyllic retreat that captivates the senses and rejuvenates the soul.
7. Cobbosseecontee Lake; Kennebec County
Among Maine’s captivating lakes, I have also loved the enchanting beauty of Cobbosseecontee Lake. Nestled amidst a tapestry of coves, inlets, and islands, this pristine lake beckons me with its natural splendor.
Spanning an impressive 2,243 hectares, Cobbosseecontee Lake proudly holds the title of the largest lake in the Winthrop Lakes Region. Its expansive waters offer a haven for both nature enthusiasts and fishing aficionados alike. In fact, this remarkable lake has earned nationwide recognition as one of the premier bass fishing destinations. Anglers are delighted by the opportunity to reel in some of the largest largemouth bass in the country, adding an element of excitement to every fishing expedition.
As I immersed myself in the serene surroundings of Cobbosseecontee Lake, I couldn’t help but appreciate its unique charm. One notable feature that sets this lake apart is the presence of Ladies Delight Light, the only active inland waters lighthouse in all of Maine. This iconic beacon adds a touch of history and intrigue to the already captivating landscape, standing as a testament to the rich maritime heritage of the region.
For those seeking to extend their stay and fully embrace the allure of Cobbosseecontee Lake, a range of accommodation options awaits. Along the lake’s picturesque 100-kilometer shoreline, camping grounds offer a rustic retreat for nature lovers, allowing them to immerse themselves in the tranquility of the surroundings. Alternatively, those yearning for a touch of comfort and luxury can choose from a selection of lakefront cabins, cottages, or houses, providing the perfect sanctuary to unwind and soak in the scenic vistas.
As I reflect on my time at Cobbosseecontee Lake, I am filled with a profound appreciation for the natural wonders that Maine has to offer. The sparkling waters, secluded coves, and picturesque islands paint a portrait of serenity that captures the essence of this remarkable state
8. Webb Lake; Franklin County
I also found myself captivated by the tranquil beauty of Webb Lake, a hidden gem nestled in the embrace of Mount Blue and its majestic neighboring peaks. While not the largest lake, its 868 hectares boast a stunning landscape that beckons to outdoor enthusiasts like myself.
The crown jewel of Webb Lake is undoubtedly the renowned Mount Blue State Park, which graces the lake’s western shoreline. This expansive recreation area serves as a gateway to a multitude of exhilarating activities and cherished memories. As I stepped foot into this natural wonderland, I was greeted by a plethora of options that cater to every adventurer’s desire.
Camping enthusiasts will be delighted to discover the park’s inviting campsites, where they can immerse themselves in the serene ambiance of the surrounding wilderness. The allure of Mount Blue State Park extends far beyond mere camping, as it offers a gateway to a world of thrilling pursuits. Embarking on an invigorating hike, I ascended the rugged trails, indulging in breathtaking panoramic views along the way. The crystal-clear waters of Webb Lake beckon me to partake in invigorating water-skiing adventures, while horseback riding allows me to explore the picturesque terrain in a truly unique way. For those seeking respite from the summer heat, a refreshing swim in the cool embrace of Webb Lake’s waters is an absolute must.
Even for those who prefer a day trip, the park’s day use area provides ample opportunities for excitement. With convenient access to a boat launch, I embarked on a leisurely exploration of the lake’s tranquil waters, immersing myself in the serenity that surrounds me. One of the most remarkable aspects of Mount Blue State Park is its accessibility throughout the year. Even in the winter months, the park remains open, offering thrilling activities such as cross-country skiing, ATV adventures, and snowmobiling, transforming this haven into a winter wonderland.
As I reflected on my time at Webb Lake and the mesmerizing Mount Blue State Park, I was reminded of the boundless beauty that awaits in Maine’s pristine landscapes. The picturesque vista of the lake, with Mount Blue proudly standing sentinel, serves as a testament to the natural wonders that grace this remarkable state.
9. East Grand Lake; Washington & Aroostook Counties
On the course of my trip, I was immersed in the awe-inspiring beauty that straddles the borders of Maine and the Canadian province of New Brunswick. This expansive 6,442-hectare East Grand Lake is a jewel in the Chiputneticook chain of lakes, captivating the hearts of all who encounter its tranquil waters.
One of the most notable features of East Grand Lake is its impressive expanse, stretching across two counties and serving as a natural boundary along the eastern border. As I gazed upon the shimmering surface, I was reminded of the countless adventures that await within its embrace.
East Grand Lake has garnered well-deserved acclaim for its exceptional fishing opportunities, drawing anglers from far and wide in pursuit of its abundant aquatic treasures. The lake teems with a diverse array of species, including landlocked salmon, yellow and white perch, lake trout, smallmouth bass, and even the elusive American eel. Each cast of the line holds the promise of a memorable encounter with these captivating inhabitants. As I explored the lake’s 126-kilometer shoreline, I discovered a tapestry of sandy beaches and rocky reefs, adding to the allure of this natural wonder.
For those who wish to prolong their stay and fully immerse themselves in the serenity of East Grand Lake, there is a wealth of accommodations available on the Maine side of the lake. Whether seeking the cozy comforts of cabins, the charm of vacation homes, or the rustic allure of camping grounds, there is an option to suit every preference. I envisioned myself nestled in a lakeside cabin, awakening each morning to the breathtaking vistas that surround me, and relishing in the tranquility that this idyllic setting provides.
10. Millinocket Lake; Piscataquis County
As I stand at the edge of Millinocket Lake, nestled in the heart of central Maine just north of Mt Katahdin, I was captivated by the breathtaking beauty that surrounds me. With its expansive 1,100-hectare expanse, this tranquil oasis offers a magnificent backdrop that beckons travelers from near and far.
Millinocket Lake is not only a sight to behold but also a haven for fishing enthusiasts. Its crystal-clear waters teem with a variety of prized fish species, including fallfish, landlocked salmon, brook trout, yellow perch, and white sucker. The lake’s bountiful aquatic inhabitants provide ample opportunities for anglers to cast their lines and reel in the thrill of a successful catch. As I immersed myself in the tranquility of this natural paradise, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of excitement at the prospect of encountering these vibrant creatures.
What sets Millinocket Lake apart is its unique formation, consisting of two interconnected lakes. The smaller, yet equally charming, Little Millinocket Lake graces the western end, while the larger main lake stretches majestically towards the east. Surrounded predominantly by pristine forests and boasting minimal development, this picturesque setting offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Whether seeking a secluded camping spot or a peaceful spot to pitch a tent, Millinocket Lake provides ample opportunities to immerse oneself in the tranquility of nature.
11. Nahmakanta Lake; Piscataquis County
Nahmakanta Lake, I couldn’t help but marvel at its serene beauty. Nestled among towering mountains and enveloped by the North Maine Woods, this lake holds a special place in the hearts of nature enthusiasts like me. At an elevation of 197 meters above sea level, it offers a peaceful retreat from the chaos of everyday life.
The possibilities for outdoor activities here are endless. Whether it’s the thrill of canoeing and kayaking on the calm waters or the refreshing dip in the lake for a swim, Nahmakanta Lake caters to every water lover’s desire. And for those who prefer to keep their feet on solid ground, there’s a wealth of options too. Hiking through the surrounding wilderness, immersing oneself in wildlife encounters, or simply indulging in the tranquil art of bird watching—there’s something for everyone.
What truly sets Nahmakanta Lake apart is its untouched shoreline. With the exception of a lodge that has been welcoming visitors since 1872, the lake’s perimeter remains unspoiled. This historic lodge not only provides convenient access to the lake but also serves as a gateway to fully appreciate the beauty of the surrounding area. It’s an idyllic spot to soak up the ambiance, unwind, and connect with nature on a profound level.
12. Trickey Pond; Cumberland County
I had the opportunity to explore Trickey Lake, a small and picturesque body of water located just north of the larger Sebago Lake. One of the standout features of this lake is its remarkable clarity, as the entire depth of the lake is always visible, offering a captivating sight.
To access the lake, there are two entry points available—one at the north end and another at the south. Additionally, along the east side of the lake, three camping grounds await visitors, providing convenient spots to immerse oneself in the tranquil surroundings.
During my visit, I eagerly took advantage of the myriad water sports available on Trickey Lake. From the exhilaration of windsurfing and water skiing to the peacefulness of kayaking and canoeing, there was something for every water enthusiast. The calm waters also beckoned swimmers to take a refreshing dip and embrace the serenity of the lake. And for those with a passion for angling, Trickey Lake proved to be a haven for fishing enthusiasts, boasting a diverse array of fish species that made for an exciting and rewarding experience.
13. Megunticook Lake; Knox County
During my exploration of the county, I had the pleasure of visiting Megunticook Lake, a truly breathtaking body of water. What sets this lake apart is the magnificent sight of towering cliffs that line its eastern side, creating a stunning backdrop. Adding to its allure, Megunticook Lake is nestled at the base of the majestic Camden Hills.
One of the highlights along the lake’s shoreline is Barrett’s Cove Beach, a picturesque spot that offers a range of activities for tourists. As I arrived at the beach, I couldn’t resist diving into the inviting waters for a refreshing swim. Afterwards, I indulged in a leisurely picnic, basking in the warm sunlight while enjoying the serene surroundings. Boating enthusiasts were also in for a treat, as the beach provided a perfect launch point for thrilling water adventures. It was a haven for sun worshippers too, with ample space for sunbathing and unwinding.
In addition to the renowned Camden Hills State Park, there were two other access points to Megunticook Lake, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in its natural splendor. These access points not only facilitated exploration of the lake but also provided opportunities for camping and hiking. It was a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts like me, offering a chance to connect with nature and embark on unforgettable adventures.
14. China Lake; Kennebec County
During my visit to Maine, I had the pleasure of discovering the beauty of China Lake, a sprawling body of water located just northeast of Augusta, the capital city. Spanning across 1,594 hectares, this lake boasts an irregular shape, adorned with charming cottages and year-round residences that add to its picturesque appeal.
China Lake proved to be a haven for water enthusiasts, with two public boat launches available for convenient access—one situated at the north end of the lake and another near the western basin. This accessibility made it a popular destination for fishing aficionados like myself. Casting my line into the tranquil waters, I had the opportunity to reel in a variety of species, including chain pickerel, largemouth bass, white perch, and sunfish, among others. It was a true angler’s paradise.
Beyond its aquatic allure, China Lake offered a wealth of recreational opportunities on its shores. Several beaches dotted the perimeter, inviting visitors to soak up the sun and take a refreshing dip in the sparkling waters. Camping grounds provided a serene escape, allowing nature enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the tranquil surroundings. For those seeking an active adventure, the lake’s hiking trails presented an opportunity to explore the surrounding landscapes and embrace the natural beauty.
Even during the winter months, China Lake continued to captivate with its seasonal delights. The surrounding trails transformed into a snowy playground, perfect for exhilarating snowmobiling excursions. It was a thrilling experience to glide across the frozen lake and witness the winter wonderland that enveloped the area.
15. Webber Pond; Kennebec County
As part of my visit to Vassalboro, just north of the state capital, I had the pleasure of discovering the beauty of Webber Pond—a charming, man-made lake that spans across 499 hectares. It quickly became apparent why this picturesque lake was a beloved summer attraction for both locals and tourists alike.
To ensure easy access to the lake, the town of Vassalboro operates a public boat ramp. This convenient facility allowed me to embark on a memorable fishing adventure. As I cast my line into the tranquil waters of Webber Pond, I had the opportunity to reel in a variety of fish species, including small and largemouth bass, white and yellow perch, crappie, and even brown trout. It was a delight to witness the abundance of life thriving beneath the surface.
The east shoreline of the lake was adorned with the beautiful Green Valley Park—a true haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Nestled within this park was the Green Valley Campground, offering year-round camping opportunities for those seeking an immersive experience in nature. The park also hosted an annual fishing tournament, adding an element of excitement and friendly competition to the lakeside community.