11 Most Beautiful Lakes in Massachusetts

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EB White’s description of “peace, kindness and joy” is the phrase best suited to describe the hidden lakes of Massachusetts, where memories of outings with friends and family have formed founding memories for centuries. Calm waters, awe-inspiring sunsets and the glory of a good catch have captivated recreational swimmers and anglers as they visit each waterhole. For some, a mouth-watering barbecue in the foreground of a lively scene is all it takes to wrap up a perfect afternoon, so thank heavens for the folks who keep the picnic areas pristine in each of these 11 places.

Walden Pond

People enjoying their leisure time by the beautiful Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts.

Walden Pond has been a staple of serenity for one hundred and fifty years since occupying the main stage in Hendry David Thoreau Walden; or, Life in the Woods. Situated in Concorde, this 61-acre wonder is surrounded by trails that shine gloriously during the winter season. The rock formations complement the mirror-like features of the water’s surface, through which observers can peer to see another world of aquatic life. Fishing, swimming, boating, and picnicking are common pastimes for visitors to Walden Pond, but the best way to experience them is with your own eyes and ears.

Cochituate Lake

Cochituate Lake
Picturesque nature of Cochituate Lake. Image credit: John Phelan via Wikimedia Commons.

Located in Middlesex County, Lake Cochituate is an artificial reservoir created by a dam in the 19th century. Although no longer used to supply water to the city of Boston, the lake still serves the people of Massachusetts. Wayland Town Beach is a hidden stretch of sand that has formed countless memories with well-maintained swimming docks and shaded rest areas. The adjacent Cochituate State Park is also known for its quiet beach barbecues and lazy days spent lounging on small sailboats. With several breweries near Natick, Lake Cochituate strikes the perfect balance between daytime harmony and nighttime revelry.

Lake Onota

Lake Onota
Lake Onota in Pittsfield.

An iconic spot for couples, Lake Onota’s endless sunsets have dazzled Pittsfield residents for over a hundred years. Cloud-covered hills stand against the backdrop of this sprawling 617-acre public treasure. Well-maintained boat ramps and recreation areas dot the shores, and stumbling upon an active volleyball tournament is essentially a no-brainer. A sunken railway divides the lake into northern and southern segments, creating the perfect opportunity for a diving expedition. Jet skiers and sailors frequent this lake, as do summer concerts which provide a platform for local bands throughout July and August.

Chaubunagungamaug Lake

Lake Webster, Massachusetts
Webster Lake in Massachusetts.

A crowd favorite, this body of water is also known as “Webster Lake” and is home to nearly 15 hundred acres. For more than 300 years, the width of the lake has been a hot spot for fishermen of native and colonial origin, and currently it is home to two major marinas. Point Breeze is a beautiful lodge resting on a hill above the lake, which boaters look forward to passing on their way to explore the islands dotted here and there. Memorial Beach is a quiet stretch of public shoreline that’s also home to tennis and basketball courts. A family favorite due to the quality of the lake and the activities available, be sure to put this lake on your bucket list (if you can even fit the name on a page).

crystal lake

lake crystal
People having fun on a sunny day at Crystal Lake.

Accessible? Check. Wonderful? Check. Crystal clear waters? It’s all in the name. Crystal Lake is a modest lake occupied by two coves and a beach renowned for being comfortable and well maintained. Painfully hot summer days are turned into memorable delights as visitors bask in the cool waters, surrounded by a serene wrap of New England timbers. The animals aren’t too shy to get up close, like Canada geese, because they know they can count on well-behaved visitors. The calm surface is ideal for beginners learning to paddleboard, and night owls never miss a chance to stargaze on the quiet grassy shores here.

Ashmere Lake

Ashmere Lake
Ashmere Lake. Image credit: ToddC4176 via Wikimedia Commons.

In the Western Massachusetts region, Lake Ashmere dominates the competition in terms of outdoor fun. Civilization is close enough to provide convenience, yet far enough away not to distract from the glory that is the Savage Land. The lake features boat ramps, excellent bass fishing, campgrounds and fire pits, and wildlife that is just as curious about guests as guests are about wildlife. . Ashmere lights up in the fall when the presence of autumnal hues radiates off the glassy surface of the lake. For the camper in all of us, Lake Ashmere is the answer to our wandering nature.

Lake Monomonac

Lake Monomonac
The calm waters of Lake Monomanac in Massachusetts.

As a warm water fishery, this man-made lake caters to all the needs of marine-minded sailors, containing species of white perch, bluegill, largemouth bass, chain pickerel, green sunfish, etc Isolated from major cities, the 600-acre lake straddles Massachusetts’ northern border into New Hampshire. Most visitors know it for the cabin rentals that line the water’s edge, as well as the boating enthusiasts who use the many docks. Barbecues are a typical form of retreat in this region, so pack a good lunch to help you resist the tempting aromas of the barbecue floating in the breeze. The tranquil and hidden lake of Monomonac is reminiscent of youthful summers spent by the sea with family and friends.

Lake Wyola

Lake Wyola
Wyola Lake. Image Credit: Dragon Directories via Wikimedia Commons.

Established in 1883 as a source of hydroelectricity, Lake Wyola is home to an array of delights. Here, the sandy beaches are supervised by lifeguards while children become masters of their own sandcastles. Charcoal barbecues are tactfully placed and tidy facilities are a welcome feature on any day trip. Even in the winter, Wyola offers ice fishing and snowmobiling, which creates a great opportunity to meet the locals. Scenic trails skirt the adjoining creeks where waterfowl glide along the river‘s edge, right against the warm green lawns that are perfect for basking in the sun. A small lake that leaves a big impression, Lake Wyola is sure to capture your heart.

Quinsigamond Lake

Summer day on Quinsigamond Lake
Summer day on Quinsigamond Lake.

Quinsigamond Lake has been a favorite of rowers for generations due to the islands which act as natural turning points and are fantastic to discover along the way. Much history surrounds the area, where settlers had to overcome the unusual shape without access to complicated bridge designs while traveling west. Boats for rent like canoes, swan boats, and sailboats ensure a visit will have some photo-worthy moments, but there are several rams for those who bring their own. Ice cream stations control the heat and walkways are available for those just looking to wander around. Boat racing gets quite competitive here, so be sure to bring binoculars so you don’t miss a beat.

Lake Attitash

Lake Attitash
The mysterious Lake Attitash in Massachusetts. Lake Attitash.

West of Newburyport and just north of the Merrimack River, Lake Attitash is a 360-acre reservoir designed to support the community of Amesbury. Many forms of recreation are common here, including windsurfing. Kayaks and motorboats are free to roam regardless of the dangers, although shallow areas near the shore are used as swimming spots. The unmistakable beauty of the lake sunsets attracts daily guests, who like to stay even later for the legendary night sky. Lots of largemouth bass and brown bullhead fill the lake, and the best months to fish are usually spring and fall, with ice fishing tournaments in the winter.

The advantage of an outdoor trip to a Massachusetts lake is the predominance of quality breweries and restaurants scattered throughout the state. This relationship of wilderness to food makes a spontaneous visit to the great outdoors all the more carefree and, therefore, more likely. Come fall, New England explodes into fall magic, and these lakes gain an entirely rejuvenated appeal. Whether you come for a meditative stroll by the lake or to happily let off steam on the waters on a jet ski, the great state of Massachusetts has it all.

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