Maine is the USA’s easternmost state, as well as being the least populated state in the country. It is a diverse state, with the Atlantic Ocean on the north and east and the Appalachian mountains running along the entire northwest of the state. It is home to Machias Seal Island, North Rock and Old Sow, which is the Western Hemisphere’s largest tidal whirlpool.
It is not surprising that Maine has been nicknamed ‘Vacationland’, what with its rocky coastline, dense forests, rolling mountains and picturesque waterways. Let’s not forget about the state’s superb seafood, lovely cities and numerous sites. It is a haven for tourists from all walks of life hailing from all parts of the world.
In addition to its mountains, coastline, forests and cities, Maine is also home to over 6,000 lakes and ponds! They are scattered all over the state, from the high mountains to the lowland coast and everything in between. If you ever visit Maine, be sure to check out one of the 15 best lakes in Maine.
1. Jordan Pond; Hancock County
Although it is not the largest, Jordan Pond is one of the most spectacular bodies of water in the entire state! The 75 hectare pond is located in the Acadia National Park and boasts a 5.8 kilometre shoreline.
It skirted by the Penobscot Mountain, creating some beautiful scenery. This is the deepest lake in Maine, at 46 metres, home to a plethora of flora and fauna.
Jordan Pond cannot be accessed, but can be admired while hiking along the trail that encircles it. There is also a famous house along its shoreline (Jordan House) that serves lunch and dinner, as well as tea.
2. Moosehead Lake; Northwest Piscataquis
Maine’s largest lake, Moosehead Lake also happens to be the largest mountain lake in the entire eastern part of the country. The 30,534 hectare lake is home to over 80 islands, while Mount Kineo rises for 200 metres up from the lake.
The lake was named for the large moose population in the area, where moose outnumber people by 3 to 1. As well, the lake resembles that of the shape of antlers if looking at it from a bird’s eye view.
The lake features over 640 kilometres of shoreline that is lined with towns and parks. There are a plethora of accommodation options ranging from private cabins to camping grounds, with year-round activities being offered.
3. Flagstaff Lake; Somerset & Franklin Counties
This 8,200 hectare lake is bordered by the Bigelow Mountain Range, making it not only beautiful but also popular amongst outdoor lovers. This includes hikers, as part of the Appalachian Trail sits along its 235 kilometre shoreline.
Flagstaff Lake is home to six boat launches, numerous campsites and vacation cabins. It is also part of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, a historic 1,190 kilometre water trail that runs through Quebec, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and Maine.
It is a shallow lake that is great for salmon and trout fishing, as well as kayaking and canoeing. The Long Falls Dam sits at the easternmost point of the lake, which when built enlarged it and turned it into a reservoir.
4. Sebago Lake; Cumberland County
Maine’s second largest lake, Sebago Lake sits near the south tip of the state and features 169 kilometres of shoreline. The lake is home to Frye Island; a seasonal island with many waterfront properties.
The 12,348 hectare lake is a popular tourist destination thanks to its beauty and its recreational activities. Sailing, swimming, camping and fishing are just a few of the things offered at the lake.
Sebago Lake State Park is located along the north shore of the lake and offers some fantastic camping. The park also boasts two beaches, a boat ramp and a hiking trail.
5. Rangeley Lake; Franklin County
Rangeley Lake is one six lakes in Maine’s Rangeley Lakes region. The 2,550 hectare lake is fed by several streams, with water flowing out at the northwest corner and eventually ending up in the Atlantic Ocean.
Rangeley Lake State Park sits along the south shoreline of the lake, offering fishing, swimming, hiking, canoeing, kayaking and bird watching. The park also has numerous camping sites, motorhome sites, a playground and a picnic area.
There are a number of resorts and inns sitting along the lake, as well as the Mingo Springs Golf Course. Rangeley Lake has also been designated a water landing zone for seaplanes.
6. Mooselookmeguntic Lake; Franklin County
This 6,600 hectare lake sits just to the west of Rangeley Lake and just a few kilometres away from the famous Appalachian Trail. It is the fourth largest lake in the state and sits at an elevation of 447 metres above sea level.
Mooselookmeguntic Lake features a shoreline that is more than 90 kilometres and is dotted with vacation rental properties. It is a popular tourist destination, especially amongst anglers that want to catch salmon, trout, perch and shiner.
The lake is named after the Abnaki word meaning ‘moose feeding place’. An interesting fact about its name is that it is the third longest name in the country!
7. Cobbosseecontee Lake; Kennebec County
Cobbosseecontee Lake is a stunning lake that is known for its coves, inlets and islands. It also happens to be home to Ladies Delight Light, which is the only active inland waters lighthouse in all of Maine.
At 2,243 hectare, Cobbosseecontee Lake is the largest lake in the Winthrop Lakes Region. It is known across the country as one of the best lakes for bass fishing, with some of the country’s largest largemouth bass being caught here.
Tourists that wish to stay the night will find a number of camping grounds sitting along the lake’s 100 kilometre shoreline. Those that want a little bit more comfort can opt to stay in a lakefront cabin, cottage or house.
8. Webb Lake; Franklin County
Webb Lake is not a large lake, but it is magnificently beautiful, what with the backdrop of Mount Blue as well as other peaks. The 868 hectare lake is a popular spot for outdoor lovers.
The Mount Blue State Park is the lake’s main draw, which is a recreation area that sits along the western shoreline of the lake. Here, visitors can go camping, hiking, water-skiing, horseback riding and swimming.
Those that don’t wish to stay the night are able to use the park’s day use area, which includes a boat launch. The park also happens to be open all year, with cross-country skiing, ATVing and snowmobiling being offered in the winter months.
9. East Grand Lake; Washington & Aroostook Counties
East Grand Lake sits between Maine and the Canadian province of New Brunswick and is part of the Chiputneticook chain of lakes. The 6,442 hectare lake stretches across two counties along its eastern border.
East Grand Lake is famous for its fantastic fishing thanks to its landlocked salmon, yellow and white perch, lake trout, smallmouth bass and American eel. Its 126 kilometres shoreline is dotted with sandy beaches and rocky reefs.
There are a number of places to stay the night on the Maine side of the lake. These include cabins, vacation homes and camping grounds.
10. Millinocket Lake; Piscataquis County
This 1,100 hectare lake is located in central Maine just north of Mt Katahdin. This gives it a spectacular backdrop, which is a big draw for tourists.
In addition to being picturesque, Millinocket Lake is also a good spot for fishing, with fallfish, landlocked salmon, brook trout, yellow perch and white sucker all being in abundance. There is also numerous other fish species that call the lake home.
Millinocket Lake is actually split into two lakes, with the smaller Little Millinocket Lake at the west end and the larger main lake to the east. The lakes are mainly surrounded by forest with very little development, although it is always possible to find somewhere to pitch a tent.
11. Nahmakanta Lake; Piscataquis County
Sitting at an elevation of 197 metres above sea level, Nahmakanta Lake is a serene lake that is surrounded by mountains and the North Maine Woods. It is one of the most beautiful lakes in the state and a haven for nature lovers.
Canoeing, swimming, fishing and kayaking are all offered at the lake. Tourists that would prefer land based activities can go hiking, wildlife viewing or bird watching.
Almost all of the lake’s shoreline is completely unspoilt apart from one lodge that has been open since 1872! This is the best place to access the lake and to enjoy the surrounding area.
12. Trickey Pond; Cumberland County
This small lake sits just north of the much larger Sebago Lake. Trickey Lake is known for its clarity, as the entire depth can always be seen.
There are two places to access the lake; one at the north end and one at the south. There are also three camping grounds along the east side of the lake.
Trickey Pond visitors can enjoy a plethora of water sports, including windsurfing, water skiing, wakeboarding, swimming, kayaking and canoeing. The pond is home to a wide range of fish species, making it a popular fishing destination.
13. Megunticook Lake; Knox County
The largest lake in the county, Megunticook Lake is an extremely stunning lake thanks to the towering cliffs rising along the east side of it. It also helps that is sits at the bottom of the Camden Hills.
One of the best spots along the lake’s shoreline is the Barrett’s Cove Beach. Here, tourists can go swimming, picnicking, boating and sunbathing.
Besides the Camden Hills State Park, there are two additional access points to the lake. There are also places to go camping and hiking.
14. China Lake; Kennebec County
The 1,594 hectare lake is located just northeast of Maine’s capital city of Augusta. The lake is known for its irregular shape that is lined with cottages and year-round residences.
China Lake has two public boat launches; one at the north end of the lake and one near the western basin. This means that tourists can easily come to the lake to go fishing for chain pickerel, largemouth bass, white perch and sunfish, amongst others.
The lake features several beaches, camping grounds and hiking trails. The lake is also fun in the winter, offering snowmobiling along its surrounding trails.
15. Webber Pond; Kennebec County
This 499 hectare lake sits in the town of Vassalboro just north of the state capital. It is a man-made lake that is a popular summer attraction for both town residents and tourists.
The town operates a public boat ramp to give access to Webber Pond. This makes it easy to go fishing for small and largemouth bass, white and yellow perch, crappie and brown trout.
The Green Valley Park is located on the east shoreline of the lake, which is home to the Green Valley Campground. The park hosts an annual fishing tournament, as well as operating year-round camping sites.