Does Connecticut have lakes? Absolutely! Connecticut’s bodies of water cover approximately 2,000 lakes and ponds. Although lakes sometimes don’t generate the intrigue of mountains or other natural phenomena, lakes are common sights in many areas. So if you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway or a longer family vacation, try spending it around one of the many amazing Connecticut lakes.
Check out all of our listings below to check out all of the options for your next weekend getaway or family vacation. We’ll help you find a lake in Connecticut that’s the perfect:
- Watersports getaway. We can help you find the best lakes for boating in Connecticut.
- Fishing trip. Grab your buddies and your fishing gear as we’ll help you find the best lakes for fishing in Connecticut.
- Summer getaway. We can help you find the clearest lakes in Connecticut and the best Connecticut lakes for swimming so your family can enjoy some fun in the sun.
- Cozy winter getaway. Connecticut lake vacations aren’t limited to the summer, you can find a cottage overlooking a lake for a romantic getaway or do some ice fishing if that’s your thing.
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Connecticut lakes are the perfect place to go for a day or weekend getaway if you’re looking for an outdoor adventure. The lakes offer plenty of activities, from swimming and boating to hiking and biking along the lakeshore. There is something for everyone!
So which lake should you visit? Connecticut has many beautiful lakes that vary in size, landscape, recreational opportunities, and more. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites:
The best lakes to visit in Connecticut
1. Candlewood Lake
Candlewood Lake is located next to Danbury, close enough that visitors can travel there on their lunch break. The lake has become well-known for having some of the best fishing opportunities in Connecticut. It’s also home to numerous species of fish including largemouth bass, black crappie, yellow perch, northern pike catfish, brown trout, rainbow trout, and bluegill. Candlewood Lake has a rich history of aquatic life, including two species that have become extinct in the area: Johnny darter and stonecat. The lake is also home to numerous waterfowl such as mallards, wood ducks, Canada geese, black terns, great blue herons, snowy egrets, and ring-necked pheasants. In addition to fishing opportunities for catch and release or hunting purposes, Candlewood Lake contains a number of trails that are open year-round for hiking.
2. Lake McDonough
Lake McDonough is one of Connecticut’s best lakes for boating activities. This lake has access ramps that provide easy entry into three separate bodies of water: Lake McDonough, the 5-acre Little Pond, and McDonough Reservoir. As a result, lakeside lakes are popular for boating activities. For swimmers looking to spend time in open water, however, it may not be the best option; instead, consider Candlewood or Lake Lillinonah (see below).
Lake McDonough is surrounded by undeveloped land on all sides which helps to preserve its natural state. Visitors can take advantage of these beautiful surroundings by participating in outdoor recreation such as hiking or biking along trails that surround the lake.
3. Lake Lillinonah
Lake Lillinonah is one Connecticut lakes that has clean water surrounded by mountains making it an idyllic location for swimming and boating activities. Since Lake Lillinonah is a man-made lake, it has a well-maintained shoreline and facilities for visitors making it a convenient lakeside retreat. It also has two boat launching areas that can accommodate boats up to 25 feet in length.
Lake Lillinonah has become especially popular among fishermen who want to take advantage of its stocked population of trout and salmon. Visitors looking to get out on the water will find ample opportunities for boating activities such as fishing or kayaking along the lakeshore.
4. The Farmington River’s East Branch Reservoir
This recreational area surrounding I-84 and Route 4 near Terryville is an excellent location for hikers and bikers to spend their weekend outdoors while traveling in Connecticut. The East Branch Reservoir is part of the Farmington River which provides excellent fishing opportunities in addition to hiking and biking trails that wind around the lakeside.
The area surrounding the lakes has an abundance of wildlife, including deer, beavers, squirrels, chipmunks, black bear and wild turkey. There are also a number of mink and muskrat living in the lakes themselves making it one of best lakes for birdwatching in Connecticut. These lakes also serve as a home for various species of duck such as mallards and wood ducks who can be seen swimming along its shores or diving into water to retrieve food items they’ve hunted.
5. Lake Zoar
Lake Zoar is located towards the southern end of the Housatonic River near the border of New York and Connecticut. It is one lake in Connecticut known to have a number of invasive species such as Eurasian watermilfoil and curly leaf pondweed. While these lakes do pose a threat to the lake’s health, they also provide excellent cover for fish which allows them to breed without risk from predators.
Lake Zoar has three boat ramps that allow visitors access into its waters. The lakeshore also has numerous trails that wind around the lakeside providing excellent views and opportunities for various outdoor activities such as hiking or biking.
6. Lake Waramaug
Lake Waramaug is located in Litchfield County where it rests at the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains which make it one of the best lakes in Connecticut for outdoor recreation. The lakeshore provides visitors with a shoreline covered by rocky ledges and cliffs, which makes it an ideal location for practicing rock climbing. It is also surrounded by undeveloped land on all sides making it a picturesque lakeside retreat.
Lake Waramaug has been designated as one of Connecticut’s most beautiful lakes due to its magnificent views from the lakeshore. Its tranquil beauty is largely undisturbed from human interference as there are no major roads nearby and only one small island off its coast near the north end of the lake. This scenic area is popular among photographers who come to capture images of birds, animals or wildflowers that can be seen along the lakeshore or on the island.
Connecticut lakes are an excellent place to spend a weekend getaway or vacation. Whether you’re looking for a swimming, boating, fishing, or other recreational activity on one of Connecticut’s lakes, the lakes we’ve listed in this article should provide some inspiration and ideas!