Traveling in 2021? Please check with each state/destination for its current COVID-19 guidelines, as these are constantly changing and the most accurate, up-to-date information may not be reflected here.
Maine, also known as The Pine Tree State, has plenty of natural beauty to explore. Between places like Acadia National Park, Bigelow Mountain, and Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, there’s plenty of natural beauty for locals and tourists to see. Maine also has many lakes that are perfect for fishing, boating, swimming, and simply relaxing by the water. If you’re itching to hit the water, here are some of the best lakes in Maine to visit.
Located: Northwestern Maine, mostly in the Longfellow Mountains
Activities: Swimming, boating, fishing, ice fishing
If you’re looking for a big, beautiful lake to visit, Moosehead Lake is the one to go to. It’s one of the best lakes in Maine for multiple reasons.
For starters, it’s a large lake, stretching 40 miles long and covering an area of 120 square miles, making it the second largest lake in New England. Bring the family boat along and spend the day on the water. If you don’t have a boat, you can rent one locally. Check out Capt Rogers Pontoon Boat Rental and The Birches Resort, both in Rockwood, for boat rental options.
There are also plenty of places to hike near Moosehead Lake. Head to Mount Kineo State Park in Greenville, the Big Moose Mountain Trailhead in Greenville Junction, or Lily Bay State Park in Beaver Cove to get fantastic views of the Moosehead Lake region. Hit the trails, then head to this wonderful lake to cool off.
Located: Cumberland County in central Maine
Activities: Swimming, boating, fishing
You can’t talk about the best lakes in Maine without mentioning Sebago Lake. It’s the second largest lake in Maine, having a length of 14 miles and has a surface area of about 45 square miles. There’s plenty to do on this gorgeous lake, from boating and water skiing to fishing and swimming. Sebago Lake is known for having very clean water as well.
There are plenty of places to stay near Sebago Lake, from cabins and cottages to hotels and Airbnbs. There are also plenty of places to eat, shop, and hike.
Some of the best trails to check out include the outer loop of Sebago Lake State Park and Kingfisher Loop, also located in Sebago Lake State Park. After a day of hiking and spending time on the lake, head to The Mosquito Ice Cream Shop in Raymond or Ice Cream Dugout in Windham for a sweet treat.
Located: Somerset County and Franklin County in Northwestern Maine
Activities: Swimming, boating, kayaking
Not only is Flagstaff Lake one of the best lakes in Maine, it’s also the fourth largest in the state. You’ll find this man-made 20,300-acre lake just north of the Bigelow Mountain range. Grab a paddle boat or canoe and hit the water for some fun.
Flagstaff Lake is actually part of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, which goes through New York, Vermont, Quebec, and New Hampshire. Don’t be surprised if you see people canoeing along this trail and exploring what Flagstaff Lake has to offer.
If you want to hike near Flagstaff Lake, you have a number of trails to choose from. The Appalachian Trail is located in New Portland, the Bigelow Preserve is in Stratton, and the Safford Brook Trail is also in New Portland. There’s plenty to do near Flagstaff Lake, whether you want to hit the trails or spend the day in the water.
East Grand Lake
Located: Washington County and Aroostook County
Activities: Swimming, boating, fishing
You’ll find East Grand Lake in eastern Maine, along the U.S.—Canadian border. The boundary between the U.S. and Canada actually goes through the lake. On top of having great water to swim in and boat on, there’s plenty of beautiful areas where you can stop and have a picnic. There are also plenty of places to cast a line and fish.
If you need a boat to rent for your trip to East Grand Lake, Rideout’s Lodge & Cottages has boats their guests can rent. If you need a place to stay, see if you can make a reservation at Rideout’s. Other places you can stay include First Settlers Lodge and Wheaton’s Lodge. No matter where you stay, your trip to East Grand Lake will be one you’ll always remember.
Located: In the towns of Fayette, Mount Vernon and Readfield
Activities: Swimming, fishing, kayaking, canoeing
Another one of the best lakes in Maine to visit is Echo Lake, also known as Crotched Pond, in Acadia National Park. It’s a great spot for swimming, and you’ll get incredible views of Beech Mountain while lounging on the beach area. You can also bring a kayak or canoe to explore the waters.
Since the lake is located in Acadia National Park, there are plenty of places to hike in the surrounding area. The trails range in difficulty, from very easy to strenuous. Plus, there are plenty of places to eat at and explore around Echo Lake and Acadia National Park.
You’ll travel to the area for the lake, but you’ll stay once you see how beautiful it is and how much there is to do. Once you take a trip to Echo Lake, you’ll want to go back year after year!
Located: Franklin County, in the town of Weld
Activities: Fishing, ice fishing, swimming, boating
One of the best lakes in Maine, Webb Lake, is accessible through a boat launch in Mount Blue State Park. The lake is just over four-and-a-half miles long and is a great spot to relax and spend time with loved ones. You can even bring the fishing gear and cast a few lines to nab some landlocked salmon and smallmouth bass.
There’s plenty of dining and lodging near Webb Lake. If you want to camp, the Mount Blue State Park Campground could be a great option.
There’s also Dummer’s Beach, which has amenities like shower and bathroom facilities, a boat launch, and plenty of activities for kids to participate in. Pack up the camping gear and head to Webb Lake for a memorable Maine trip.
Located: Franklin County
Activities: Swimming, boating, fishing
Head a little more than 90 miles outside of Portland and you’ll find Rangeley Lake, which has more than 6,300 acres in surface area. It’s a lovely spot to bring the family swimming, fishing, and boating, especially during the hot summer months.
You can also head to Rangeley Lake State Park to spend time on the water and take in gorgeous mountain views. There are plenty of trails to hike in the park and nearly 900 acres to explore.
After you’re done on the lake, grab some grub at a local restaurant. Parkside & Main Restaurant, Gingerbread House, and Bald Mountain Camps Dining Room, all in Rangeley, are great places to check out. Good food and good views—what’s not to love about a trip to Rangeley Lake?
Located: In the towns of Litchfield, Manchester, Monmouth, West Gardiner, and Winthrop
Activities: Fishing, swimming, boating
As you plan your trip to see the best lakes in Maine, make sure you add Cobbosseecontee Lake to your itinerary. This lake is nine miles long and has 62 miles of shoreline, making it the largest lake in the Winthrop Lakes Region.
There are plenty of spots for swimming and fishing, and there are two boat launching facilities to take advantage of. There’s plenty to do if you love being on the water.
One of the coolest things about Cobbosseecontee Lake is that it has a small lighthouse known as Ladies Delight Lighthouse. It’s not open to the public, but if you take a boat out towards Ladies Delight Island, you’ll see it. It’s a great spot to see while spending the day boating on Cobbosseecontee Lake.
Located: Franklin County and Oxford County
Activities: Fishing, swimming, boating, kayaking
You’ll find Mooselookmeguntic Lake in the western part of Maine near the New Hampshire border. It’s a great lake to swim in, and you can also take the boat out and cast a couple lines with your loved ones.
If you’re in need of a boat, check out boat rentals at Lakeside Convenience & Marina in Rangeley to see if you can rent something for your trip. The water is typically a good temperature, but it’s always a good idea to double check before you head into the water.
If you’re looking for a place to hike, check out Rangeley River Trail. It’s pretty easy to hike along, and you’ll see incredible views of Mooselookmeguntic Lake and the Rangeley River. Plus, it’s pet-friendly, so you can bring your pup for a stroll! Spend the day on the lake and conclude it with a nice, leisurely hike through one of the coolest spots in Maine.
Alright, now who’s ready to plan a trip to Maine and explore these lakes? While you’re exploring these lakes, don’t forget to check out the best places to visit in Maine.
You might also like:
- 4 Beautiful Maine Islands Worth Visiting
- 50 Things to Do in Maine: Ultimate Maine Bucket List
- 19 Best Cabins in Maine: Cottages, Chalets, and More
Amy is the founder of New England with love. A proud Vermonter, she hopes to share her love of New England and help you find the best adventures in the region. Amy is also blogger/founder at Two Drifters, where she writes alongside her husband about romantic and couples travel, relationships, honeymoons, and more. When not working on websites, Amy is probably reading, cuddling with her husband and cats, & drinking a maple latte.