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Maine’s Sparkling Lake & River Destinations

Maine is home to 5,785 sparkling lakes and 32,000 miles of rivers and streams gracing the landscape. These inland bodies of water offer unique experiences, from meditative sunrise paddles to a full day of white-water rafting adventures. Grab your paddle, pack, and PFD (personal flotation device) – it’s time to enjoy all Maine’s lakes and rivers have to offer.

Lakes in Maine

Maine’s lakes are special in more ways than one. Covering about a million acres of the state, they offer more lake acreage than other New England states, plus have high marks for water quality.

On and in Maine lakes, there is so much to do. Maine’s largest lake, Moosehead Lake, is an impressive summer playground for swimmers, boaters and jet-skiers, and a popular ice fishing spot in the winter, when the giant lake freezes to a cold, dazzling surface. Sebago Lake’s deep waters and dozens of inlets, coves, underwater islands and rock piles make it a prime fishing spot. Kezar Lake in the foothills of the White Mountains offers stunning views of the Whites and the Presidential Range. The Rangeley Lakes in western Maine boast terrific views of the surrounding peaks, drawing paddlers and anglers for more than a century. The chain of seven lakes and ponds known as the Belgrade Lakes are firmly rooted in Maine’s outdoor recreation history, with a vibrant summer community. And so many more – including (but certainly not limited to!) Lake St. George in Maine’s MidCoast & Islands region, and the clear, stream-fed waters of Grand Lakes Stream in DownEast Maine. In northernmost Aroostook County, Eagle Lake is known for outstanding fishing and a historic sporting camp situated on its shore.

One of the best parts of being on a Maine lake? Staying there. Discover the serenity of waking up by the lake at a Maine lake house. Lake cabin rentals and lake house rentals make your escape possible! Or fall asleep under a sky full of stars, made more brilliant by the reflective water, at the numerous campgrounds in Maine on a lake.

Rivers in Maine

Whether swift or serene, today the Maine rivers and streams that once served as the state’s commercial highways are to be enjoyed to their fullest. The mighty Androscoggin River is a thrill for angler’s with fishing year-round on both the Upper Andro and Lower Andro. The Penobscot River, the longest river entirely in Maine and with north, south, east, and west branches, is an outdoor sportsman’s dream for whitewater rafting and fishing. The Kennebec River’s exciting whitewater rafting opportunities and guided adventures keep paddlers coming back again and again. The leisurely pace of the Saco River makes for a perfect river float day. The Dead River is anything but – with many rapids, pour-overs, holes and waves.

Planning Your Trip

Be sure to check out our river itineraries for both the Androscoggin and Saco rivers. For a map of Maine lakes or a Maine rivers map, check out Maine Trail Finder, select paddling as your activity and put in your desired location. Ready to head out? Be sure to take care of our precious lands and waterways – and yourself.

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