Plan A Fun Lakeside Adventure At This East Coast State Park

Maine is the perfect environment for scenic lakeside fun and Rangeley Lake State Park is the ideal place to do it. Considered to be one of the "best state parks in the U.S." by the Solitary Wanderer travel blog, the lake is set in the beautiful landscape of Maine's Western Mountains. It is also close to the town of Rangeley, one of America's greatest lake towns.

During the 1860s, the area was made famous for its trout which attracted wealthy people who would visit for a sport fishing vacation. As visitors were being taken out on the lake so often, a new design of water vehicle was developed called the Rangeley boat. It helped that the backdrop made it the perfect setting for an adventurous yet peaceful and scenic getaway. Nowadays, the park is a great place for hiking, water sports, wildlife spotting, and camping. However, it is important to check the weather conditions to ensure that you have the best time while you're here.

Know before you go to Rangeley Lake

The Rangeley Lake State Park is open from 9 a.m. until the sun sets from May 1 to October 1, with a fee charged from $1-8 depending on where you live and your age. Outside of this time, visitors can still enjoy the lake but there are no facilities open and the gate is closed so you will need to park outside the gate. As Rangeley is famous for its salmon and trout populations, fishing is allowed but the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry encourages it for pleasure purposes only (catch and release) instead of taking it home.

Swimming is only allowed in designated areas of the lake and a personal flotation device is recommended because it can be cold as well as windy. If you want to stay overnight, the Rangeley Lake State Park has 50 campsites next to the lake, by the beach with facilities that include showers, a picnic area, and a playground. The campsites can be reserved in advance in summer through the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry, but from September until October they are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Staying overnight here gives you more opportunities to enjoy the excellent activities that this beautiful state park has to offer.

What to do at Rangeley Lake

Naturally, the lake hosts a wide range of watersports during the warmer months, including canoeing, kayaking, cold-water swimming, and motorized boating. On land, two popular and scenic trails for hiking are the 0.7-mile Moose Corridor Trail which runs from the park entrance to the ranger hut and the 0.9-mile lakeside path that takes you from South Cove to the campground. There are several picnic sites in the park so that you can enjoy a snack during your wandering.

Birdwatchers will love looking for species like grouse, jays, chickadees, owls, ducks, loons, and woodpeckers in the forests and lakes. Moose can also be found here and the best months to see them are from May until September. The beautiful lake town of Rangeley is nearby and worth visiting to eat or drink with a picture-perfect view. Outside of the park, but in the areas nearby, ATV driving and snowmobiling are popular in the colder months. Whatever you do while at Rangeley Lake, you're sure to find fun in this waterside paradise.