Caspian Lake, Vermont, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - New England - Vermont - Northeast Kingdom -

Tucked into Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, Caspian Lake may well be one of the state’s favorite vacation destinations. Set among the northern reaches of the Green Mountains, Caspian Lake has attracted summer visitors for many years. The shoreline is dotted with year-round residences, summer cottages and ‘camps’. The nearly-800-acre lake is one of the few lakes in the area with a town beach and public boat launch that allows water skiing. Those living on the lake stress their appreciation for peace and quiet, however, and remind visitors that there are loons in residence that must not be disturbed. Somehow it seems very appropriate that, for 65 years, lake residents and visitors have rowed to the dock of a local cottage for a Sunday evening recorded concert of classical music.

The first historic record of Caspian Lake dates to 1779, when the Bayley-Hazen Road was built through the area bound for Canada on orders of George Washington. The anticipated invasion of Canada never occurred, but the town of Greensboro was chartered two years later, although there doesn’t appear to have been any residents at the time. By 1791, a sawmill and grist mill were built at Greensboro, presumably by building a dam across Greensboro Brook as a power source. A dam still exists at the lake outlet, providing hydro-electric power to the local electric utility. The dam had the effect of stabilizing the water level, but there is no record of how much it deepened the lake itself. By the time the first ‘campers’ arrived around 1890, Greensboro and Caspian Lake were well established as both a town and an ideal Northeast Kingdom vacation spot.

Caspian Lake truly has something for everyone: Residents and visitors alike enjoy sailing, wind-surfing, pontooning, water-skiing and tubing, canoeing and kayaking. Boaters must observe the 40-mph daytime boat speed, and water skiers have specific rules as to where they can set up slalom courses. Snorkeling is reserved for the shallows, while divers enjoy the lake’s 142-foot depths. The wooded shoreline lends itself to quiet evenings around a campfire ring or visiting with friends on the deck. Early morning may treat the early riser to the haunting call of a loon, while other water birds are observed during the day. Fishermen enjoy angling for lake trout, brook trout, rainbow trout and landlocked salmon in the cold water fishery. Experienced Caspian Lake anglers warn however, that submerged rocks in some areas present a boating challenge, and those who launch here should first obtain a depth map to avoid boat damage. The winter freeze soon encourages a veritable village of ice fishing shanties. Other activities on the winter ice include ice skating and ice hockey. Snowshoeing, sledding and snowmobiling are guaranteed winter attractions as are cross-country skiing and downhill skiing on nearby mountain runs.

The area around Caspian Lake is well-supplied with nature-observation venues. Just east of the lake, the 256-acre Barr Hill Nature Preserve offers excellent trails and cross-country ski paths with spectacular views of much of the Green Mountains. Barr Hill is the highest point in Greensboro. Maps for the self-guided trails are available at the trailhead. Other trails not far away include Wheeler Mountain, Mount Norris and the Mount Elmore Trail. There are opportunities nearby for mountain biking, horseback riding and hiking, all surrounded by the sounds of nature.

Cultural and heritage activities are plentiful around Greensboro and Caspian Lake. The Greensboro Blues Jam occurs from May to October on the second Saturday of each month. There are local breweries, cheese-makers, farmers markets and organic farms guaranteed to make shopping for self-catered meals a delight of discovery. The Northeast Kingdom has long been an attractive location for artists and craftsmen; their small shops and galleries can be found both in the town of Greensboro and hidden along country roads surrounding the lake. The world-famous youth circus, Circus Smirkus, is based in Greensboro, so a couple of performances occur each year in town. This famed circus training camp for youth trains young would-be circus performers in a series of camps in nearby Lyndon Center.

Locally the town beach is owned by Hardwick Electric Department, which owns the dam and is maintained by the Greensboro Association of volunteers who raise funds for improvements and upkeep. Those without a suitable swimming beach are welcome to use the town beach. A golf course nearby will keep the golf fan happy, and a variety of nearby festivals offer entertainment for all members of the family. There are even local antique shops, providing eclectic shopping and specialty browsing to antique hunters.

Vacation rentals can usually be found near Caspian Lake, with many private rentals available along the lakefront. Hotels are found locally around Greensboro and in surrounding towns, while bed and breakfasts and country inns all offer their own special perks such as spectacular views or beautiful gardens. One famous lodge has operated overlooking the lake since the 1920s. There is little build-able lakefront property left, but existing real estate is often found with established lawns and lakefront. Caspian Lake is within 75 miles of many large cities, including Rutland, Burlington, Essex and Plattsburgh, NY. It’s well worth a visit to Caspian Lake to experience the relaxed lifestyle accompanied by the serenity offered by the lake and the surrounding forest and mountains. Plan to visit Caspian Lake this year – it will quickly become your favorite vacation destination for many years to come.

Things to do at Caspian Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Wind Surfing
  • Tubing
  • Snorkeling
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Ice Skating
  • Biking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Birding
  • Antiquing
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Caspian Lake

  • Brook Trout
  • Lake Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Salmon
  • Trout

Caspian Lake Photo Gallery

    Caspian Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

    Water Level Control: Hardwick Electric Department

    Surface Area: 789 acres

    Shoreline Length: 6 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,401 feet

    Average Depth: 57 feet

    Maximum Depth: 142 feet

    Water Volume: 44,973 acre-feet

    Completion Year: 1029

    Drainage Area: 7 sq. miles

    Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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