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When some people go to the beach, they mean The Beach – miles of sand, squads of sunbathers, and water that’s decidedly salty. We’ve got that. But with 6,000 lakes and ponds, Maine’s got plenty of other options, too.
Our fresh-water beaches are plenty popular with locals and those folks from away who know the score. Beaches on lakes and ponds are often less crowded. They offer you the option of taking your canoe or kayak offshore without fighting your way through the surf. Best of all, the water in Maine’s lakes is generally less, um, refreshing than at the coast.
Where to find a top inland swimming hole? Try Maine’s State Parks. They’re inexpensive, easy to access, and loads of fun. And parks provide more than just a swim. Many offer picnic areas and playgrounds; some have camping if you want to extend your lake time.
There’s Sebago Lake State Park. Near Portland, it’s one of the state’s oldest and most popular parks, with prime lake facilities. Mt. Blue State Park, in the western Maine town of Weld, offers not only fine swimming but the chance for some mountain climbing as well. Damariscotta Lake and Lake St. George state parks are beautiful stop-overs on journeys between I-95 and the Midcoast. Range Pond State Park is near the twin cities of Central Maine, Lewiston and Auburn. Farther north, Peaks-Kenny State Park sits on the shores of Sebec Lake while Lily Bay State Park lies on the east shore of Moosehead Lake, the state’s largest.
Information about all these parks can be found on the Maine State Parks website.