Highland Lake (Bridgton), Maine, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - New England - Maine - Lakes & Mountains -

Also known as:  Crotched Pond

Located in the Lakes and Mountains Region of Southwestern Maine, Highland Lake has long been a favored freshwater getaway. Once called Crotched Pond, the lake has spent several generations perfecting the art of making visitors happy. The Greater Bridgton Lakes area around Highland Lake acts as hub for the dozen villages and many, many lakes stretching from Sebago Lake to White Mountain National Park. Only 45 minutes from Portland, Highland Lake is ideally positioned to act as a weekend or summer hideaway. The heavily-wooded lakeshore hides a mix of summer cottages and year-round homes.

Early in the last century, canals were built connecting these rivers and lakes as a method to transport logs to the coast. This method of transport no doubt played a part in the early popularity of the lakes in the Bridgton area as vacation destination. Vacation rentals quickly sprang up around Highland Lake to accommodate the many families who wanted to spend a week or two each summer on an uncrowded sandy beach. The canal is long gone for the most part, but the cottages, cabins and resorts remain, updated and improved, yet in some ways as quaint and nostalgic as they were in past generations. You can still wake to the sound of loons in the morning mist, but now you can sit on the screened porch after dinner and connect your laptop wirelessly to the internet.

The 1300-acre lake is peaceful enough to host a variety of wildlife yet big enough to accommodate water sports such as water skiing, power boating, personal watercraft, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, pontooning and swimming. The nearly 17-mile lakeshore of Highland Lake contains many coves, inlets and islands to explore. There are even vacation rentals available on the lake’s islands!

Fishing has always been a favorite sport on Highland Lake. The warm-water fishery teems with smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, white perch, yellow perch, chain pickerel, hornpout, eel, white sucker, minnows and pumpkinseed sunfish. Brown trout are heavily stocked. Local fishermen in town at the bait stores will be more than willing to lend advice on favored hot spots, baits and techniques. Winter doesn’t stop the fishing action; warm-weather fishermen no sooner pull their boats from the water than ice fishermen are waiting anxiously for ice thick enough to engage in their favorite sport. Luckily, many of the lodging options are open year-round to accommodate hunting and other winter sports.

The Highland Lake area is nearly as popular in winter as it is in summer: in addition to ice fishing, the Greater Bridgton Lakes area boasts over 600 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, miles of trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing and a downhill ski area less than ten miles away. Every winter, Bridgton hosts the annual Mushers’ Bowl Winter Carnival.

There is never a shortage of things to do and see in the area surrounding Highland Lake; special events in Bridgton include the Big Night Celebration, July 4th concert, fireworks, road race and parade, Rowing Regatta, Art in the Park Show, Woodworkers and Artisans Show, seasonal Farmers’ Market, a Festival of Lights, and craft fairs throughout the year. Bridgton also has artists’ studios and art galleries, two ice arenas, four free public beaches and boat launches, five children’s playgrounds, golf and hiking and nature trails. One of Bridgton’s three museums is the Rufus Porter Museum and Cultural Center, featuring some of the famous murals painted by the local artist who also founded Scientific American magazine. Every summer, the Maine Bluegrass Festival is held in nearby Naples. There are plenty of trails for mountain biking, riding ATVs or just exploring and watching for wildlife.

Those wishing for more exotic excursions can take a trip on a replica steam paddle wheeler leaving from nearby Long Lake and heading down the Sebago-Long Lake Waterway toward big Sebago Lake. A trip to Sebago Lake State Park offers a change of pace for an afternoon. The it’s back to Highland Lake to plan tomorrow’s adventures. Or, maybe to take in a movie at the Bridgton Drive-in Theater.

The terrain around the lakes area rises away from the coastal plain toward the mountains. Mount Washington, the East Coast’s highest peak, is only 25 miles away over the New Hampshire state line. Everything at Highland Lake takes place with the backdrop of the White Mountains in the background. Driving and sightseeing tours are particularly popular in the autumn when the leaves begin their glorious color-changes. Visiting sightseers are always pleased to catch a glimpse of a moose wading along the many creeks and ponds. And, there are hiking trails galore in the White Mountain National Forest. Wise hikers in the area recommend sticking to marked trails and to always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return: too many adventurers have been lost in this remote wilderness.

Spending a weekend, a week or a summer at Highland Lake restores the soul and refreshes the mind. Vacation rentals and other lodgings such as bed and breakfast establishments are numerous. Once you visit, you will be looking for real estate in the area to make your own. Treat the children or grandchildren to the kind of lake vacations your grandparents gifted you with: come to Highland Lake and enjoy a timeless, classic Maine lake vacation. You’ll come away with memories to last a lifetime.

Things to do at Highland Lake (Bridgton)

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Park
  • National Park
  • National Forest
  • Museum
  • Playground
  • Drive-in Theater

Fish species found at Highland Lake (Bridgton)

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Brown Trout
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Eel
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sucker
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • White Perch
  • Yellow Perch

Highland Lake (Bridgton) Photo Gallery

    Highland Lake (Bridgton) Statistics & Helpful Links

    divider

    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

    Surface Area: 1,334 acres

    Shoreline Length: 17 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 426 feet

    Average Depth: 20 feet

    Maximum Depth: 50 feet

    Water Volume: 44,030 acre-feet

    Water Residence Time: 13 months

    Drainage Area: 8 sq. miles

    Trophic State: Mesotrophic

    At LakeLubbers.com, we strive to keep our information as accurate and up-to-date as possible, but if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you!
    Please let us know about it on our Content Correction form.

    Spread the word! Share our Highland Lake (Bridgton) article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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."


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.