Lake Carmi, Vermont, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - New England - Vermont - Islands and Farms -

Also known as:  Franklin Pond

Lake Carmi represents the mental picture most have of a northern New England ‘camp’ lake. Hidden just south of the Canadian border in Vermont’s Islands and Farms Region, Lake Carmi holds over 200 seasonal cottages or ‘camps’ along its 7.5-mile shoreline. Lake Carmi State Park lays claim to another portion of the shore, while Franklin Bog Wetland anchors a portion of the south shore. There are some year-round residences on the lake, but new zoning regulations do not encourage permanent residences in an effort to protect water quality. Many of the camps have been in the same family for generations, and property owners present a strong sense of community. The Lake Carmi Campers Association, in existence since the 1950s, was instrumental in having a dam built across the outlet in 1966 to regulate the lake level. The still-active association publishes newsletters for members several times a year. The dam was rebuilt in 1970 a half-mile downstream of the outlet creek at the mill pond. The resultant stable water level protects the viability of the Franklin Bog, the third largest peat bog in Vermont.

The 1400-acre lake is relatively shallow and warms quickly, making it ideal for swimming. Summer residents and visitors enjoy sailing, water skiing, jet skiing, pontooning, windsurfing, canoeing and kayaking. Always a fine warm-water fishery, anglers pursue northern pike, walleye, perch, smallmouth bass and panfish. The lake itself is owned by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and stocked on a regular schedule. Increased attention to environmental conditions and natural habitat has encouraged nearly 60 mating pairs of loons to call Lake Carmi home for the past several years. A variety of ducks, geese and such large water dwellers as great blue heron and bald eagles are regularly seen at the lake. The state cautions summer residents not to feed these water birds as it upsets the natural balance. Winter brings fewer visitors for ice fishing, skating and winter trekking on the ice to observe wildlife that winter here. Especially enjoyable is an early morning hike around the lake margins after a fresh snow to see what has passed that way recently. Children enjoy learning about the various tracks and the habits of these hardy winter lake inhabitants.

Lake Carmi State Park provides a place for non-camp residents and visitors to access both the water and the surrounding countryside. With 588 acres, the park allows visitors to camp, swim, picnic and enjoy boating and fishing using the park as an entry point. The park is well-supplied with hiking trails and nature viewing. The park also holds a playground and rents boats during the summer months. In winter, the park’s trails are available for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing even though the park is officially closed. Parts of the park are available for hunting in season.

Even in winter, some Lake Carmi camps are in use as convenient lodgings for nearby ski areas such as Jays Peak, Stowe and Smuggler’s Notch – all within about a half-hour’s drive. Vermont has a large network of groomed snowmobiling trails. Local snowmobile clubs always welcome new visitors and can provide maps and organized runs. The Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge near Swanton provides 6,729 acres including most of the Missisquoi River delta where it flows into Missisquoi Bay. The refuge attracts large flocks of migratory birds and is highly prized by bird watchers. The Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail passes nearby in South Franklin and offers over 26 miles of limestone-surfaced trailway for walking, bicycling, skiing, horse riding, snow shoeing and snowmobiling. The occasional bout with ‘cabin fever’ can be cured with a trip to St Albans, 20 miles away. Here, the Lake Carmi visitor can grab a movie or a special meal at one of the specialty restaurants, shop, browse several galleries or visit the Historical Museum. During the Maple Festival each spring, the museum offers a variety of special events such as a huge antique show.

Originally named Franklin Pond, Lake Carmi was renamed in 1910 by the Vermont State legislature in honor of a former Senator and Franklin resident, Carmi Marsh. By this time, the lake was known as a resort location, popular for Adirondack-style camps and resort hotels. The lake was well-known for Thursday night dances which attracted young dancers from the surrounding area and St Albans, 20 miles away. By the 1940s, the lake boasted a bowling alley and roller skating rink. Many of the returning yearly campers attended these activities in their youth and are always willing to regale the visitor with stories of Lake Carmi’s Past.

Vacation rentals are abundant at Lake Carmi. A loose association of rental owners keeps the locals abreast of which camp might be available even when they are themselves completely booked. The surrounding area is supplied with a number of bed-and breakfasts and country inns set among the dairy farms. The larger towns have hotels available, and Lake Carmi State Park has a limited number of camping cabins available for rent. Some real estate is available as camps are sold, and off-water property is often found in the area. A better New England north-country location can’t be found for your next vacation. Make your plans for a Lake Carmi vacation now. You’ll remember it for a lifetime.

Things to do at Lake Carmi

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Wildlife Refuge
  • State Park
  • Museum
  • Playground
  • Antiquing

Fish species found at Lake Carmi

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Walleye

Lake Carmi Photo Gallery

    Lake Carmi Statistics & Helpful Links

    divider

    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

    Water Level Control: Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation

    Surface Area: 1,402 acres

    Shoreline Length: 8 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 436 feet

    Average Depth: 13 feet

    Maximum Depth: 33 feet

    Water Volume: 18,226 acre-feet

    Completion Year: 1970

    Drainage Area: 7,710 sq. miles

    Trophic State: Eutrophic

    Spread the word! Share our Lake Carmi 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.