No trip to Maine is complete without visiting a state park. (After all, there are more than 30 in the state!) One of the most popular is Damariscotta Lake, a 17-acre oasis located in Jefferson, ME. The park’s large freshwater lake and sandy beach provide a relaxing destination for sunbathers. Bird watching is also popular here, as loons, bald eagles, and great blue herons are easy to spot. Whether you want to spend the day kayaking, canoeing, or just admiring the scenery, Damariscotta Lake State Park has something for everyone. Here are some of our favorite things to do there.
Find out more about Damariscotta Lake State Park and other local attractions when you download our free vacation guide. It’s full of recommendations for great places to visit during your stay at Topside Inn!
Spend a Day at Damariscotta Lake State Park
1. Water Activities
Did you know that Damariscotta Lake was formed more than 10,000 years ago during the last Ice Age? This glacial lake boasts 4,600 acres of pristine water with a normal visibility of 10 feet or better, making it a great place to cool off. Although there is no public boat launch in the state park, many are located nearby on the lake. Swimming is allowed and encouraged, and canoes, kayaks, and rowboats are often seen on the water.
If you’re an angler, you’re in luck! Damariscotta Lake is a great place to cast a line. It’s best known for its run of alewives, an anadromous herring that shows up each spring. The lake also contains species like landlocked salmon, brown trout, smallmouth bass, and white perch. Feel free to fish from a boat, canoe, or right from the shore. Vannah Road is a particularly popular spot to catch something – some fishermen have reeled in nine-pound largemouths here!
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, sit back and enjoy a picnic lunch by the water. Picnic tables and grills are available within the park, and a group picnic shelter is equipped with electricity and running water. To reserve the shelter during summer months, contact the park staff.
State Park Hours & Admission
Damariscotta Lake State Park is open 9 a.m. to sunset from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Visitors may continue to enjoy the park during the off-season by parking outside the gate and walking in during these same hours. Admission is just $5 for Maine residents, $7 for nonresidents, and $2 for senior nonresidents.
Book Your Stay at the Topside Inn
After a fun day outdoors, return to our bed and breakfast in the heart of Boothbay Harbor. Our property is about a 45-minute drive from the park and features beautiful guest rooms, great amenities, and spectacular water views. You can start each day with a gourmet breakfast and end each evening with a glass of wine on our porch. What’s more relaxing than that? Check our availability online or give us a call to book your stay. We look forward to having you!
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