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Guide

The Lakes Region of Maine

 



The Lakes Region of Maine.  What better name to call an area that has more than 80 square miles of lakes spread over 900 square miles of land between the White Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean?  And, in the Lakes Region, you'll find not only lakes, but rivers, ponds, ski areas, golf courses, hiking trails and much more!

Located less than 30 miles northwest of Portland, the Lakes Region of Maine has become the primary reason that Maine is called "Vacationland".  Vacationers  from all over the world come to the area to swim, boat, fish, sail, skate, snow shoe, snow ski, snow board, snowmobile, sled dog race, water ski, canoe, kayak, hike, golf, camp, bicycle and, most of all, relax!

Within the Lakes Region of Maine, you'll find the towns of Bridgton, Harrison, Naples, Casco, Raymond, Gray, Windham, Standish, Sebago, Denmark, Brownfield, Fryeburg, Lovell, Sweden, Stow, Stoneham, Norway, Oxford, Otisfield and Waterford.  Spread among these towns, you'll find Sebago Lake, the second largest lake in the state and the largest of the more than 50 lakes in the region.  

To the north of Sebago Lake, you'll find Maine's version of the the Finger Lakes with Thompson Lake, Long Lake, Highland Lake and Moose Pond forming four of the longest fingers.  In fact, with Sebago Lake representing the palm and Little Sebago Lake as the thumb, these lakes graphically form the shape of a hand.  Other popular water bodies are Brandy Pond, Kezar Lake, Penneseewassee Lake, Pleasant Lake and Keoka Lake.  The Saco River flows through the area, providing canoeists with some of the longest scenic river stretches in the east.  Crooked River is a well known fly fishing destination.  And the Songo River is navigated by the Songo River Queen II,  the excursion paddle boat docked at The Causeway in Naples.

As summer winds down, the refreshingly cool crisp air reminds us that fall is on the way and events like the Fryeburg Fair are soon to begin.  The colors of the leaves begin to change and before long, nature's broad brush strokes of red, orange and yellow are evident throughout the region.  Some of the more picturesque routes for viewing foliage in New England are in the Lakes Region and the numerous hiking trails provide an up close viewing opportunity.

Pssst, here's a secret.....   The Lakes Region boasts some of the finest deer hunting in New England.  While many hunters travel to the far reaches of northern Maine to hunt deer, unbeknownst to them are woods filled with deer in the Lakes Region.  Large herds of deer can often be seen in the pre-dawn hours, grazing and fattening up for the winter in farmers' fields during the weeks leading up to hunting season.  Of course, when hunting season arrives, they magically disappear into the woods.  But they're there!

When the inevitable snow arrives, the region takes on a new visage, that of "Winter Wonderland!"  Week long events like "Christmas in Harrison" and the "Mushers Bowl Winter Carnival" provide a sparkling, festive atmosphere with horse drawn hay rides, concerts, public suppers and dances.  Night skiing or snow boarding under the lights at Shawnee Peak, shorten the long winter nights.  By day or night, ice fishing and snowmobiling seem to be two of the more popular winter activities in the Lakes Region.  With thousands of acres of lakes and hundreds of miles of groomed trails, there is no shortage of either.

 With "Ice Out", open water fishing begins again with many lakes open to trout, bass and even some land-locked salmon fishing.  As the days grow warmer, the docks get put back in the water and the boats soon follow.  Deertrees Theatre begins to get ready for another summer of concerts, plays and other entertainment.  The youth camps on the lakes make their final preparations before their campers arrive.  The golf courses start to dry out and get green again.  Historical sites like Scribner's Mill get ready to show how life used to be.

Before long, summer is in full swing and Fourth of July events in Bridgton and Naples are followed by Harrison Old Home Days and Casco Days.  Parades and fireworks seem to dominate the month of July in the Lakes Region.  Restaurants are in full swing and the shops of Bridgton and Windham are buzzing with activity.  The Causeway in Naples is teaming with residents and visitors alike, enjoying the lake vista as well as pursuing the shopping, dining, entertainment and recreational choices that are offered.  Scores of campgrounds host families from across the nation and thousands of  vacation homeowners and their guests spend their summer in the Lakes Region.

And so the cycle goes!  The Lakes Region of Maine provides a year round slate of things to do, places to go and people to see.  There is something for everyone and it is truly, "the way life should be!"