A Day in the Sebago Lakes Region

Nirvana for freshwater enthusiasts, this is where vacationers mingle with locals all summer long. By day’s end almost every adult seems to have a sunburn on their neck and a beer in their hands. It’s a kids’ playground, too, of course, with numerous water sports available, from pontoon boat rentals and fully rigged fishing trips to simply jumping off a gigantic rock again and again…and again.


Sebago is the heavyweight lake around these parts, bordered by six towns—Casco, Naples, Raymond, Sebago, Standish, and Windham. But smaller lakes, ponds, and rivers also abound, as do countless marinas and outfitters. Save a full day (or longer) for Sebago Lake State Park; you’ll want to lavish plenty of attention on its sandy beaches, hiking trails, and campsites for tents and RVs. There are boat launches, too, and scads of picnic spots. Sebago is huge for salmon and trout fishing, and experts such as Sebago Lake Fishing Charters and Tours in Raymond are ready to outfit and guide you. Or spend a day in Naples, where the Causeway is ground zero for everything from pontoon boat rentals and waterski lessons to paddleboarding, river boat rides, and gin and tonics on the deck of Rick’s Cafe at sunset.


Don’t let the name’s gratuitous e’s fool you: Gary’s Olde Towne Tavern in Naples is the real deal for solid staples like mac ’n’ cheese and steak tips. Likewise, the Standard Gastropub in Bridgton slings above-standard (and filling) fare, including their house burger and a killer house-smoked brisket sandwich. For an adventure-meets-dining jaunt, catch a public ferry or private boat to Frye Island in the middle of Sebago Lake and head to Frye’s Leap General Store and Cafe midday—bloody Marys with bacon-infused vodka are a go-to—and play cornhole while you watch kids (and some grown-ups) jump off a huge rock into the water.


There’s so much activity off the water around here, you can leave the swimsuit at home if you like and instead opt to hike the Pleasant Mountain trail network (home to Shawnee Peak). Its treks are mostly moderate in difficulty; the Ledges Trail can be done in under two hours and rewards hikers with beautiful views of Moose Pond. For something more horizontal, walk the flat first 1.5 miles of the Sebago to Sea Trail that starts in South Windham. Rather swap rustication for refinement? Book a stay with Point Sebago Resort in Casco, and you’ll be in a lakeside lap of luxury— with a marina, sandy beach, all-day childcare programs, and an 18-hole championship golf course at your disposal. And when that (almost) inevitable rainy day comes along, make for Magic Lantern Movie Theater in Bridgton. Dating back to the 1930s, it’s been completely renovated and now includes a tavern. Oh, and it’s also rumored to be a good place for a sighting of Stephen King, who’s said to frequent the vintage gem.

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