Loons call to each other as the waning hours of the day cast an indescribable light across the lake areas of Maine’s Kennebec Valley. A vacation in one of the lakeside communities across the region is an ideal way to make life a bit more relaxed.
Monmouth and Winthrop lakes
Small, and proud of it, the lakeside community of Monmouth packs a punch in a number of ways. Located just outside of Augusta on Route 202, a trip up Main Street will show its best features. You’ll immediately be taken with Cumston Hall and the Theater at Monmouth, the cultural center of the region. The 250-seat opera house is home to Maine’s official Shakespearean Theatre. All summer long the Norcross Point Concert Series will delight visitors with an easy afternoon of entertainment.
You’ll find some of the finest smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing in Maine in the waters of the Winthrop Lakes. Cobbosseecontee is considered one of the best lakes in the Northeast — with plenty of Maine’s largest bass lingering just beneath its surface. The annual Monmouth Fair has all the makings of an honest-to-goodness down-home country fair.
The Ladies Delight Light
Set on a small rocky shoal at the north end of Lake Cobbosseecontee is the only active inland light. The lighthouse was commissioned by the local yacht club, then designed and built by the Boston firm of Frank Morse. Located in the lake’s North Bay, the lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Having undergone multiple restorations, the light is now the Crown Jewel of the Cobbossee. Tours of the lake, including the light, can be arranged at the lake’s marina.
The Belgrade Lakes include East Pond, North Pond, Great Pond, Long Pond, Messalonskee Lake, and several smaller ponds.
Belgrade lakes area
The beauty of Great Pond and the breathtaking sunsets over Long Pond maintain the longstanding tradition of “summering in Maine.” Add in the familiar thwack of a screen door and the sounds of laughter filtering up from the shore, and you have a complete picture of time spent on the Belgrade Lakes. Delightful events, spectacular autumn-hued views from the Mt. Phillip Trail, and a full moon midnight snowshoe hike make for a year-round destination that feels perfectly untouched.
Rising Star: Snow Pond Center for the Arts
From the water, peaking out between the pine trees you can spy one of America’s grandest outdoor performance venues—the Bowl in the Pines amphitheater at Snow Pond Center for the Arts in Sidney. With Alumni Hall and an in-the-works performing arts center, Snow Pond is well on its way to becoming Maine’s premier performance venue. Additionally, each winter, in partnership with the Alfond Youth and Community Center, Snow Pond plays host to the exciting Maine Pond Hockey Classic.
The list of lake areas goes on and on
China Lake is a fishing and boater’s paradise and holds a place on the Bassmaster list for top bass fishing. Webber Pond near Vassalboro is also a regular on the list. Toward the southern part of the region in Litchfield are the Tacoma Lakes. Fayette has Echo Lake, where it’s said the trout will practically jump in your boat. Straddled between Vienna and Mount Vernon, Flying Pond is nestled among rolling hills. A popular summer cottage location, the pond still offers long stretches of natural shoreline.
Further up Route 201 in Somerset County, the lakes become wilder in character. Moxie Pond, located east of Mosquito Mountain, is a favorite of paddlers. Pierce Pond has long occupied a special place in the hearts of outdoor enthusiasts. Attean Pond, west of Jackman, boasts more than 40 islands, offering both a peaceful retreat and great salmon fishing.
Whether it be catching fish, taking a swim, playing a round of golf, or grabbing an ice cream cone at the store after a long hot day, these lake areas and the towns that call them home are more than just a place to play. They are lakeside living, perfected.