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Belgrade Lakes Boating

They are among the quintessential Maine lakes, celebrated on the stage and on film, beloved by generations.

The Belgrade Lakes—there are seven in all—stretch out amid the central Maine foothills close to the cities of Augusta and Waterville. The lakes have been tourist attractions for more than a century, drawing travelers for entire summers with their quiet beauty. Got an afternoon? With a kayak, canoe or motorboat you can also enjoy the lakes’ charms.

A good starting place is Belgrade Lakes, the tiny hamlet tucked between Great and Long ponds. The village, which narrows down where the two ponds come together, is a nice place to stop for a sandwich or to check out its string of historic buildings. Didn’t bring a boat? Brightside Marine and Great Pond Marina offer rentals (call or check the websites for hours).

Ernest Thompson’s famous play and film ‘On Golden Pond’ (which, sadly, wasn’t shot there) describes the long tradition of summering in the Belgrades. Families from away built stately cottages on the shorelines, some with big boathouses jutting out over the water.

Much of that historic splendor remains and is best enjoyed from off-shore. Public boat launches can be found on the Town of Belgrade’s lake map. You can check out historic cottages and maybe even spot a few pampered, historic motorboats—many decades old—that still cruise the lakes. Fishing is popular throughout the region, which offers landlocked salmon and lake trout as well as plentiful bass and stocked brook trout and brown trout.

Location: In and around Belgrade
Region: The Kennebec Valley
Activities: Boating, Fishing, Paddle Boarding, Kayaking

Driving Distance:

From Portland: 65 Miles
From Bangor: 70 Miles
From Lewiston/Auburn: 50 Miles

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