Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire.

8 Most Beautiful Lakes in New England

Few places rival the stunning beauty of New England, and its many lakes are no exception. From peaceful mountain vistas to breathtaking shores, this region has it all for those looking for a beautiful backdrop for their vacation or weekend getaway. For nature lovers who seek an aquatic adventure, there is plenty to explore in the serene waters of these eight most beautiful lakes in New England. Whether you want to hike scenic trails, fish along crystal-clear shorelines, or simply bask in the picturesque views with family and friends, you are sure to find something at these lakes that will capture your heart and make wonderful memories to last a lifetime.

Squam Lake, New Hampshire

Beautiful view of Squam lake from Rattlesnake mountain New Hampshire
Squam Lake from Rattlesnake Mountain New Hampshire.

Squam Lake is a popular destination in New Hampshire. It rests northwest of Lake Winnipesaukee and south of the White Mountains, making it an ideal spot for outdoor activities such as fishing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and hiking. The lake is home to various wildlife species, including bald eagles, loons, and great blue herons. It also boasts various fish species, like trout, pickerel, salmon, bass, and perch.  

The Squam Lakes Natural Science Center recommends a 90-minute boat tour of the lake where you learn about the history and ecology of Squam Lake. For hikers looking for a challenge, there is the Crawford-Ridgepole Trail, a 13-mile day hike that takes you through seven summits, offering breathtaking views of the landscape. Whether you are looking for an adventurous getaway or a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle, this lake will offer something for everyone. Home to the filming of On Golden Pond, Squam Lake will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

Moosehead Lake, Maine

Sunset on Moosehead Lake
Moosehead Lake.

Covering over 75,000 acres, Moosehead Lake is Maine's largest lake and offers a lifetime of exploration in a pristine wilderness. Fishing on Moosehead Lake offers anglers the chance to catch a plethora of fish. You can even take a scenic cruise, kayak tour, or moose safari to get closer to nature. In addition to all the water-based activity, Moosehead Lake is also the proud host of a portion of the Appalachian Trail's 100-mile Wilderness. You will not want to miss the incredible star views here either, it is one of the few places in the northeast where you can see the Milky Way spread out above you! Whatever outdoor activities bring you here, Moosehead Lake promises a truly unforgettable experience.

Echo Lake, Maine

Beech Mountain overlook of Echo Lake at Acadia National Park in Maine
Echo Lake at Acadia National Park in Maine.

Echo Lake is a stunning body of fresh water situated south of Somesville and just north of Southwest Harbor on Mount Desert Island, Maine. It offers a picturesque setting for visitors to enjoy. The lake has a maximum depth of 66 feet, making it ideal for family water frolicking and other activities. Additionally, the water temperature is significantly warmer than the Atlantic Ocean, making it perfect for swimming and other beach-related activities. Echo Lake is an excellent spot to visit with family or friends, particularly those with younger children looking to cool off in the summer months.

Lake Champlain, Vermont

Sailboats on Lake Champlain, Vermont with Adirondack Mountains in the background
Sailboats on Lake Champlain.

Lake Champlain is New England's largest lake, stretching across multiple states and into Canada. It provides breathtaking views of both Vermont and New York, especially on calm days as the sun sets over the water. Visitors can explore its waters by sailing, paddling, or fishing while appreciating its natural beauty. The lake itself is a massive body of water, with over 80 islands dotting its surface, 587 miles of shoreline, and several major rivers, including the Richelieu River which flows into it from Quebec's Missisquoi Bay. It is also home to amazing wildlife, including both land and sea creatures such as bald eagles, great blue herons, ospreys, trout, and northern pike.

Lake Champlain has been an important source of fresh drinking water for centuries—both for native peoples and settlers—and is still a vital resource today. Its shoreline towns offer many outdoor activities, such as camping, boating, swimming, hiking, biking, and more. There is no shortage of things to do at Lake Champlain.

Quabbin Reservoir, Massachusetts

A view over the Quabbin Reservoir with colorful fall foliage
Quabbin Reservoir.

Quabbin Reservoir is one of the largest man-made public water supplies in the United States, located in central Massachusetts. The park and surrounding woods are home to a variety of wildlife, including raccoons, deer, rabbits, coyotes, squirrels, and more. Visitors often bring along their binoculars for bird watching or spotting these animals as they traverse through the park. With its pristine environment and rich wildlife, Quabbin Reservoir has become an important refuge for nature lovers who wish to experience it all up close and personal.

Hiking trails traverse through the reservation, allowing visitors to explore the diverse terrain and view the many species of animals that call Quabbin home. You can fish with a valid Massachusetts fishing license and pass, and enjoy canoeing and kayaking on the reservoir that provides stunning views of the surrounding landscape. No matter your interests, Quabbin Reservoir has something to offer every visitor. Whether you are looking for a peaceful hike, an exciting fishing trip, or an awe-inspiring view, this man-made public water supply will surely provide you with a memorable experience that you cannot find anywhere else.

Candlewood Lake, Connecticut

Bird's Eye View of Candlewood Lake
Candlewood Lake.

Candlewood Lake is a beautiful destination in Connecticut where visitors can enjoy an array of activities. The 8.4-square-mile, man-made lake is the largest lake in Connecticut. During the warmer months, take advantage of all the lake has to offer, including waterskiing, boating, wake surfing, kayaking, swimming, canoeing, and boat rentals.

Visitors can also partake in lakeside dining and drinks at Down The Hatch or go on a relaxing boat cruise to watch spectacular sunsets. When winter comes around, Candlewood Lake freezes over and becomes a glorious spot for cross-country skiing, ice skating, and ice fishing. With so many amazing things to experience at Candlewood Lake, it is no wonder why people come back year after year.

Ammonoosuc Lake, New Hampshire

Ammonoosuc Lake, New Hampshire, 1900s
Ammonoosuc Lake, New Hampshire in the early 1900s.

Ammonoosuc Lake is a fantastic destination for anyone who loves the outdoors. Located in New Hampshire, this small lake is great for fishing, paddling, and swimming. Its sheltered coves and calm waters make it an ideal spot to enjoy water activities. There are plenty of shorelines to explore surrounding the lake, plus you can hike nearby trails if you are seeking a more adventurous outing. The peaceful atmosphere of Upper Ammonoosuc Lake makes it an excellent place for a family day trip or weekend getaway. With its natural beauty and abundance of outdoor activities, this amazing lake is sure to impress.

Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire

Mountain ranges and Lake Winnipesaukee in Weirs Beach, Laconia, New Hampshire.
Lake Winnipesaukee.

Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest lake in New Hampshire, located in the Lakes Region of central-eastern New Hampshire. Spanning over 71 square miles and boasting 264 islands, this picturesque body of water offers unmatched beauty and recreation opportunities. Take a cruise aboard the M/S Mount Washington to explore its shoreline, which offers stunning views of dramatic cliffs and pristine forestland. Or try one of many other activities, such as kayaking or fishing. With its majestic mountains, tranquil waters, and abundance of attractions, it is easy to see why many consider this region to be among the most beautiful in New England.

These lakes are only a few of the many beautiful bodies of water found in New England. Whether you are looking for a peaceful paddle or an adventurous hike, these lakes have something for everyone. For a getaway full of natural beauty, check out some of these eight most beautiful lakes in New England. From the magnificent Moosehead Lake and the stunning islands of Lake Winnipesaukee to the smaller calm bodies of Ammonoosuc Lake and Candlewood Lake, there is endless beauty and nature to explore.


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