Knickerbocker Lake, Maine, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - New England - Maine - Mid-Coast -

Also known as:  Knickerbocker Ponds

Knickerbocker Lake, in Maine’s Mid-Coast Region, is a picture of north country serenity. Less than five miles from well-known Boothbay Harbor, Knickerbocker’s tranquil waters belie the busy seaports just a few miles away. Originally two separate bodies of water called Knickerbocker Ponds, someone dug channels across the few short feet separating the two. The newly-enlarged body of water is now accessible to the kayaks and canoes that carry fishermen and nature lovers along the wooded shoreline. As boats on the lake are limited to motors less than nine horsepower, no powerboats break the silence in the early morning fog. The heavily-wooded shoreline hides the many cottages and private homes built along the shore. One can envision summer residents peacefully watching the dawn break from their decks while they sip their morning coffee. Fishermen travel here to access the lake via the public access at the water pumping station. Otherwise, it is just nature and the neighbors at their cottages also enjoying the quiet lake.

At 105 acres, Knickerbocker Lake is the perfect size for a quiet, very private vacation. Several small inlets and outlets help drain water from Maine’s interior down to the sea. Less than a mile to the west, a finger of water leads out into Sheepscot Bay. Both Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor are within five miles, with conveniences and attractions that lure visitors to explore their history and current delights. Here at Knickerbocker Lake, it can all seem so far away. Luckily for the discerning visitor, there are vacation rentals on the lake in the form of small housekeeping cottages and more elaborate lakefront homes. Knickerbocker Lake makes an ideal base camp for visits to the coast and the delightful small towns on the BoothBay Peninsula.

Swimming is popular at Knickerbocker Lake, along with nature hikes and paddling the shoreline. Fishermen pursue brook and brown trout, largemouth bass and perch. Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife regularly stocks trout in the lake. Children will especially love searching the shallows for minnows, turtles and the occasional frog. The wooded setting encourages deer, wild turkeys, raccoon, rabbits, fox and moose. Bald eagles are often seen soaring above the treetops and a wide variety of song birds and waterfowl visit the lake on a regular basis. In winter, the lake is popular as an ice fishing destination. The area is well-supplied with trails and paths for hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and mountain biking.

Only a few miles from Knickerbocker Lake, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens provides some of the most beautiful grounds for the visitor’s enjoyment. Miles of trails lead the visitor to experience ornamental gardens, waterfalls, exceptional natural beauty, incomparable stonework and sculpture, waterfront and woodlands. A full schedule of educational events, art exhibits and culinary delights featuring world-famous chefs and herbs and produce grown in the Kitchen Gardens means something is always going on to pique the visitor’s interest.

Heading south from Knickerbocker Lake, Boothbay Harbor provides all of the charm of a historical working fishing harbor. Many of the villages here have historically survived by fishing. Although commercial fishing has declined, lobster is king. The lobster boats set out every morning as they have for generations, bringing back a bountiful harvest of the delectable crustaceans for dining delicacies world-wise. Nowhere on earth are the lobster more plentiful or more fresh. Boothbay Harbor abounds with specialty dining establishments in historic surroundings, with Maine coast views and plenty of reasonably-priced lobster – the town’s chief crop. As commercial fishing has declined, Boothbay Harbor has become a world-choice destination of seacoast fans. Full-service marinas cater to privately-owned yachts and pleasure boats. The rugged Maine coast is a favored location for photographers and artists, many of whom manage galleries in the harbor area. Here, it’s possible to find gallery tours so the visitor will never bypass the best local finds. Boats can be rented at the local marinas – sea kayaking is a favorite. There are spots for fishing along the rocky shoreline where visitors may try to hook a striped bass. Or, charter fishing can be arranged on short notice. Sightseeing cruises are available by schooner or excursion boat. Up to seven lighthouses can be seen in the Boothbay region – many have tours. In summer, one can take the ferry to Squirrel Island, a summer-only colony where cars are forbidden and most of the cottages date from the late 1800s.

There are so many things to see and do in the Knickerbocker Lake region that it’s best to plan your daily itinerary over coffee at your rental lodgings and leave with a list so as not to get distracted by the many interesting sights along the way. The Maine State Aquarium in West Boothbay Harbor is a highly educational activity with native fish, sea and shore life and even a shark ‘touch-tank’. The Boothbay Railway Village holds restored buildings, a variety of antique cars and a wealth of antique railroading equipment and rolling stock. Train rides are available most week-ends in summer. The Boothbay Harbor Opera House produces musical events all summer and the Boothbay Playhouse presents Broadway favorites in a summer theatre setting. A visit to the Boothbay Region Historical Society helps place the many sights and activities in a historic perspective.

The Boothbay Peninsula holds nearly a dozen wildlife preserves so no matter which direction you go from Knickerbocker Lake, you are sure to be able to experience Maine’s natural inhabitants, be they animals, birds or plants. Always be on the look-out for the famed Maine moose that seem to appear at the most unexpected moments. For this reason, it is best to drive slowly on back-country roads. And, in nearly any direction, you can explore isolated tidal pools and ocean vistas so be sure to take your camera.

Several options exist at Knickerbocker Lake for vacation lodgings, although reservations are highly recommended. The entire peninsula is well-supplied with quaint bed-and-breakfasts, centuries-old lodges and specialty resort properties near the coast. Real estate is available, often with fabulous views lakefront or seacoast views. If you’ve never visited the rugged Maine coast before, you are in for the treat of a lifetime. Be forewarned, however – Knickerbocker Lake could quickly become an annual family tradition.

Things to do at Knickerbocker Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Waterfall
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Antiquing

Fish species found at Knickerbocker Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Brown Trout
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Striped Bass
  • Trout

Knickerbocker Lake Photo Gallery

    Knickerbocker Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

    Surface Area: 105 acres

    Shoreline Length: 4 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 17 feet

    Maximum Depth: 32 feet

    Water Residence Time: 283 Days

    Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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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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