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Stay cool this memorial weekend 67ec5ed1

Stay Cool This Memorial Weekend

After such a long winter and muddy spring, the unofficial start of summer is finally here. For most of Maine, it is going to be sunny and warm all weekend long. After hibernating all winter, coastal beaches like Old Orchard are surely going to be packed, and you can forget about finding convenient parking. Instead of the ocean, why not visit one of Maine’s 6,000 lakes? The water is just as refreshing, and you can enjoy fun activities such as boating, kayaking, or paddleboarding. Here’s a look at a handful of beaches to help you stay cool this weekend.

Watchic Lake

Watchic is a small lake only an hour northwest of Portland. The community around the lake has a rural atmosphere, and Kiwanis Beach, the lake’s only public beach, is a hidden gem away from the bustle of tourists. The beach sand is soft, and the water is shallow, making it an ideal place to bring your little ones. Entry is only $3, and this money is used to maintain the pristine beach.

The Watchic community values their local wildlife and kindly asks all boaters and anglers to respect their easy-to-follow rules. The lake is home to two families of loons, and the community asks boaters to be vigilant of these beautiful creatures and to respect their space. Anglers can help preserve wildlife by using non-lead-based lures.

Sebago Lake

This 30,000-acre lake is a playground for boats, and its many inlets and islands are perfect for kayakers to explore. In the middle of the lake is the seasonally inhabited Frye Island, accessible by boat or the public ferry. Facing the island is a large cliff face known as Frye’s Leap, where daring individuals can jump and plunge into the lake.

Another popular activity at Sebago Lake that doesn’t involve jumping off cliffs is fishing. The lake is famous for its many species of trout, but bass, perch, and landlocked salmon can also be found. Unfortunately, there is also an abundance of pike, an invasive species introduced to Maine illegally. The state asks anglers to kill or hold any pikes that are caught. 

Sebago Lake Marina is a reputable business to rent a boat if you’re looking to cruise the waters of Sebago lake this weekend. On the other side of the lake, closer to the many inlets, is Sebago Trails Paddling Company, where kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards can be rented.

Highland Lake
This lake is only twelve miles from Portland, and although it has no public beaches, it is a popular respite for anglers and anybody with their own watercraft. Paddleboarders and kayakers will enjoy the calm shoreline, and boaters can launch from the public boat launch. Whether you’re fishing from land or water, anglers have a diverse population of fish to catch, such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, brown trout, white perch, splake, and chain pickerel. 

Originally called Duck Pond, the dam built here in the 1700s created a thriving community called Duck Pond Corners. The reason for the name change is unclear, but there are now over 500 homes along Highland’s shoreline. Although many people are fortunate to call this beautiful lake home, the dense forest creates a calm atmosphere and the chance to spot wildlife such as moose, deer, beavers, and fox.

-Written by Stacy Oswald & Photo by Uniq Trek