If you’re looking at a map of Maine—like the one in the centerfold of this magazine—you can’t miss Sebago Lake. The deepest and second largest lake in the state, it takes up 440 square miles—though shaped more like a Rorschach test ink splotch.
It’s a myth that you “can’t get there from here”—that the lakefront property is all taken up by private homes and weekly rentals. Not true! Sebago Lake State Park in Casco, for example, is open to visitors daily from 9 a.m. to sunset for a small fee, and the park includes two public boat launches and a 250-site campground. Tassel Top Park in Raymond is also open to the public for a small fee and has 900 feet of beach. There, you can claim your little patch of sand alongside some pine trees for shade, access to a nature trail, a picnic table and a basic grill.
If you have a boat—motorized or not—there are public boat launches in Standish, Raymond and Casco, in addition to a half-dozen marinas around the lake.
One of the most iconic spots on Sebago Lake is Frye’s Leap—the very leap immortalized by Sebago Brewing Company’s Frye’s Leap IPA. You can get to Frye’s Island by public ferry from Raymond Neck. Or, if you have your own boat, dock at Frye Island for lunch at the café.
Off the water, Seacoast Adventure in Windham has a lot of fun stuff to do in one place: mini golf, go karts, Crazy Apes ropes course, Shipwreck Cove water playground, sky swing and hill slide tubin’ (seacoastadventure.com).
To get between the northern end of Sebago Lake to Long Lake in Naples, pleasure boaters use the Songo Lock. On the Songo River, the lock is the last surviving part of a 19th-century canal originally built to ship commercial goods. It’s certainly an interesting piece of engineering.
The Naples Causeway on Long Lake and Brandy Pond has several attractions worth a mention. Rick’s Café, in an historic casino building, serves up live music as well as casual meals (rickscafenaples.com). The Songo River Queen II, a replica of a Mississippi paddle wheeler, takes up to 350 passengers on cruises of Long Lake (songoriverqueen.net). And seaplane rides (naplesseaplaneadventures.com) have been a summer tradition here since the days of the Wright Brothers.
The Mountainview Woodies Classic Boat Club is in the Naples area the second weekend of August for various boat-related excursions (if you have a classic boat, check out their public Facebook group). Head to the Naples Causeway on Friday, Aug. 10, to see a parade of antique and classic boats from Brandy Pond to Long Lake from 6:30–8:30 p.m. The next day there’s a 25th anniversary classic boat and car show on the Causeway from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer from Scarborough whose first job was at Point Sebago Outdoor Resort—dressing up as Chippy the Chipmunk.