The Litchfield Hills is laced with an irresistible 16,332 surface acres of glistening lakes and spring fed ponds perfect for "on the water" excursions.
Here, in Northwest Connecticut, water aficionados have a tempting array of lakes and ponds to explore. Spend the day on a small sun dappled pond shaded by hemlocks, oaks and maples, explore a picture book lake nestled in the hills with views that stretch to the horizon, or unwind on the sandy beach of a spring fed mountain lake whose waters are teeming with trophy trout. Here are a few of our favorite lakes waiting to be discovered.
Bantam Lake in Litchfield/Morris the state's largest natural lake noted for northern pike. Most of its shoreline is owned by White Memorial Foundation and Conservation Center. The boat launch is in Morris on Bantam Lake Rd. on Rte. 209.
Burr Pond, Torrington offers something for everyone from a three mile hiking trail that follows the entire shoreline of the lake to sailing or canoeing on this crystal clear lake or just unwinding on the sandy beach or in one of the shaded picnic groves. Rte. 8 N, Ex. 46, left on Old Rte. 8 S, right on Burr Mountain Rd.
Twin Lakes in Salisbury is rimmed by forests and surrounded by hills. This Trophy Trout Lake is spring-fed with unusually high transparency to 25 feet. The largest brown trout ever recorded in the state (16 lbs. 14 oz.) was caught here. O'Hara's Marina (Twin Lakes Rd. off Rte. 44) rents boats and has a launch area.
Highland Lake is a Trophy Trout/Bass Management Lake situated in a high valley overlooking Winsted. The lake is fed by a series of small brooks and streams. The State boat launch is off Rte. 44/183 in Winsted; west on Lake St. at Rte. 263 jct. right on Boyd St., left on Woodland Ave., right at end of road. The State boat launch also provides fishing access for persons with disabilities.
Hop Brook Lake on Rte. 63 in Middlebury is operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers. It offers many recreational activities from fishing, sailing and canoeing (motor boats prohibited) to hiking and picnicking. The area is open mid.- April - mid. Oct., 8 am through sunset.
Mamanasco Lake in Ridgefield is a pristine Bass Management Lake. This serene lake is an ideal spot to canoe because internal combustion engines are prohibited. The launch is at the south end of the lake, Rte. 116, left on Mamanasco Rd., launch on left.
Squantz Pond, a Trophy Trout and noted Walleye Lake has scenic steep wooded slopes that rim the water. It is located 4 miles north of New Fairfield on Route 39 and is an arm of Candlewood Lake, also a Trophy Trout Lake and the state's largest. Visitors may also relax on the sandy beach and picnic along the shore. The State boat launch located in the park also provides fishing access for persons with disabilities. (7.5 h/p engine max.).
West Hill Pond in Barkhamsted is a Trophy Trout Lake with a long history of being one of the best trout ponds in the state because of its clear spring fed well-oxygenated water. The boat launch is on Perkins Rd., first right off West Hill Pond Rd., off Rte. 44. (7.5 h/p engine max.).
Winchester Lake in Winsted, a manmade lake is noted for northern pike. The shoreline is entirely undeveloped with trees of all kinds rimming its shoreline. Take Rte. 272 north to Rte. 263 east, left on West Street. State boat launch on right.