Connecticut may have a long, beautiful coastline, but one of its most popular boating destinations is miles inland.
Candlewood Lake in western Connecticut near the New York border is a favorite among boaters. It offers something for every type of boater, from its exciting wakeboarding scene and spectacular fishing to its quiet, secluded coves, ideal for families who want to picnic.
Candlewood is the largest lake in Connecticut at 5,420 acres. It was created in 1928 for generating electricity by the Connecticut Light and Power Company. Parts of it are located in the city of Danbury and the towns of Brookfield, New Milford, Sherman and New Fairfield.
Large stretches of open water make the lake popular among boaters who enjoy wakeboarding, waterskiing and tubing. Among the favorite spots for watersports is the area off Hollywyle Park in New Fairfield.
Candlewood Lake is a big hit among families. The lake is known for its many secluded anchorages and is home to lots of small islands that are inviting places to beach a boat and have a picnic. One popular spot among boaters is Chicken Rock in Sherman, where visitors can climb rocks and jump into the water.
Anglers flock to the lake because it is known to be one of the best smallmouth bass fishing lakes in the United States. It also has trout, perch, white catfish and other species.
The lake is a popular spot for trailer boaters, but it is restricted to boats under 26 feet unless approved by special permit. Call 860-354-6928 or visit www.candlewoodlakeauthority.org for information. There are two main boat ramps on the lake – one in Lattins Cove in Danbury and one in Squantz Cove in New Fairfield.
Boaters looking for dockage should visit Crownline dealer Echo Bay Marina (www.echobaymarina.com; 203-775-7077) in Brookfield. Echo Bay is a full-service marina with dockage and fuel, and it is located in one of the most beautiful and popular sections of the lake.
When you get hungry, a great dock-and-dine option is Down the Hatch Restaurant (www.downthehatchrestaurant.com; 203-775-6635) in Brookfield. It is open from May to October and offers a diverse menu. Another restaurant not far from the lake is Mangia Mangia (www.mangiamangia.weebly.com; 203-775-2191), a popular Italian restaurant in Brookfield. Also, Widow Brown’s Café (www.widowbrowns.com; 203-743-7021) is an enjoyable bar and grill in Danbury.