Crystal-clear freshwater lakes are tucked throughout the verdant landscape of our region. Some are small enough to hike around, while others stretch to the horizon. Here are ten of the prettiest lakes in New England that are definitely worth a visit.
Prettiest Lakes in New England
Newfound Lake (at Wellington State Park)
Bristol, New Hampshire
Set amidst fresh-scented, hemlock-covered mountains in the center of the state’s Lakes Region, this deep-water glacial lake — approximately two-and-a-half miles wide and seven miles in length — boasts the largest freshwater swimming beach in the New Hampshire State Park system.
User Submitted/Pam Bliss
Tucked into the foothills of the White Mountains in western Maine, this deep and crystal-clear lake twists through the landscape for approximately ten miles, creating a series of bays and coves that attract nesting loons and thirsty moose. Visitors enjoy boating, swimming, and fishing for bass, lake trout and salmon. kezarlake.com
Named after an Indian chief of the Wyantenock tribe and known for its sandy beaches and pristine water, this S-shaped lake is located in the rolling forested hills of rural Litchfield County. Visitors today enjoy a peaceful retreat for swimming, fishing, boating, and camping at Lake Waramaug State Park. ct.gov/deep/cwp/view
NHDTTD/ Dale Lary
Ashland/Holderness/Sandwich/Center Harbor/Moultonborough, New Hampshire
The picturesque setting for the 1981 film On Golden Pond, the second largest lake in the state — boasting 61 miles of rocky shoreline — oozes low-key charm for those who love kayaking, canoeing, or lolling on docks in the sun.
SEE MORE: Call of the Wild | Loons on Squam Lake
Charlestown, Rhode Island
A scenic 1,000-acre kettle pond surrounded by acres of rocky woodlands in Burlingame State Park, abutting the Audubon Society’s Kimball Wildlife Refuge. A popular spot for swimming, fishing, camping, picnicking, and hiking an extensive network of trails. visitrhodeisland.com/listing/watchaug-pond-beach
User Submitted/Mark Ahlers
For breathtakingly stunning vistas, get thee to Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom where the deep glacial waters of Lake Willoughby are framed by the soaring granite cliffs of Mount Hor and Mount Pisgah. Enjoy boating, fishing, and public beaches (for an icy-cold swim) at the north and south shores.
Learn more: Lake Willoughby, Vermont | Great Views Lake
Lake St. Catherine
Set in the gently rolling, green hills of western Vermont, close to the New York State border, the five-mile-long waterway is easily accessed at Lake St. Catherine State Park. In addition to a popular camping area, visitors can picnic, swim, rent boats and fish at this idyllic lake. vtstateparks.com
Nestled in the bucolic forests of the southern Berkshire mountains, the 35-acre Benedict Pond offers stunning views in the heart of Beartown State Forest. Nature lovers enjoy swimming, boating, fishing and walking the 1.7-mile trail circling the pond. berkshirehiking.com/hikes/beartown
Who doesn’t love Walden Pond? Made immortal by the 19th-century writings of Henry David Thoreau, the pond today is enjoyed by visitors who flock to swim the 102-foot deep glacial kettle-hole pond located within 335 acres of protected open space on the Walden Pond State Reservation.
Which lake tops your list of the prettiest lakes in New England?
This article was first published in 2015 and has been updated.