Candlewood Lake, Connecticut, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Candlewood Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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All About Candlewood Lake

Candlewood Lake is Connecticut’s largest man-made reservoir. The City of Danbury and four other towns (Brookfield, New Milford, Sherman and New Fairfield) all claim Candlewood Lake’s 86 miles of mostly steep forested shoreline and a surface area of over 5,000 acres. Candlewood Lake is a utopia for both residents and visitors that seek out its recreational opportunities.

While boating is a major drawing card, fishing, diving, water skiing, hiking and camping are just some of the other recreational possibilities. With the city of Danbury nearby, Candlewood Lake is an ideal location to head out for a day’s sightseeing and play. Candlewood Lake is located in the far western part of the state, within a few miles of the New York state line. The name ‘Candlewood’ came from the use of pitch pine torches taught to the settlers by local Indians.

Candlewood Lake was formed by the construction of the Rocky River Dam impounding the Housatonic River and four smaller streams. Construction was completed in 1928 by Connecticut Light and Power and it is the first pumped storage unit built in the U.S. Candlewood Lake’s primary purposes are hydroelectric power generation and flood control. Spectacular recreation of all types is a byproduct of the Dam. Northeast Utilities Company operates and maintains the dam, powerplant and reservoir, generating a maximum of 32,000 kilowatts of electricity.

Superb boating is a major enjoyment on the gorgeous waters of Candlewood Lake. Ten large fully stocked marinas dot the lake. Water sports abound, with proximity to major cities, and boating can be enjoyed most of the year. Launch ramps in convenient locations are nicely accessible. For those not having or wanting a boat of their own, everything from 24 foot pontoon boats and runabouts to canoes and kayaks may be rented at many of the marinas. A daytime speed limit of 45 mph and a nighttime limit of 25 is enforced by the Candlewood Lake Authority’s patrol.

For the angler, Candlewood Lake is arguably the best ‘fishing hole’ in Connecticut. The lake is managed as a trophy trout lake, but the over 100 annual bass tournaments emphasize the excellent bass fishery that it is. Large and smallmouth bass, stocked brown and rainbow trout, shad, walleye, perch, catfish, sunfish, rock bass and crappie are found in the most likely spots. The State record walleye was caught in 1941 and the state white perch record was set in 1996.

Candlewood Lake covers a number of valleys and when it was filled covers a number of farms, roads and residences, with the residents relocated. The bottom of Candlewood Lake is replete with much farm equipment, covered bridges, old roads, old cars and a few crashed airplanes. Scuba divers now find these artifacts in their dives. Brookfield has dive shops to facilitate this activity. Also, there are more than 100 geocaches situated nearby for new ‘finds’. Although some are mainly boat accessible (including at least one island), many are relatively easy to find and log.

Squantz Pond State Park is adjacent to Candlewood Lake and popular activities include hiking, camping, fishing, picnicking, photography, and boating.

All in all, Candlewood Lake is a boater’s and fishing paradise with a wealth of outdoor activities for any outdoors person.

Reference: A Fisheries Guide to Lakes and Ponds of Connecticut, published by the Department of Environmental Protection, Hartford, Connecticut, 2002

Things to Do at Candlewood Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Tournaments
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Scuba Diving
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • State Park

Fish Species Found at Candlewood Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Perch
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Shad
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • Walleye
  • White Perch

Find Places to Stay at Candlewood Lake

If you’re considering a Candlewood Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Candlewood Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Candlewood Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Candlewood Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Northeast Utilities

Surface Area: 5,420 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 429 feet

Average Depth: 33 feet

Maximum Depth: 89 feet

Water Volume: 167,112 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1923

Drainage Area: 41 sq. miles

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

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