Lake Hortonia, Vermont, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - New England - Vermont - Crossroads of Vermont -

Also known as:  Hortonia Lake, Horton Pond

Lake Hortonia, in the Crossroads of Vermont Region, inhabits a special place in the history of Vermont and Rutland County. Although the original pond may have been natural, the outlet – a tributary of Hubbardton River – was first dammed in the 1790s. The resulting impoundment became Horton Pond, later Lake Hortonia, named after the builder of the dam and his water-powered grain and lumber mills. By the time of its creation, the towns of Brandon and Hubbardton had been in existence for over 30 years. The little town of Hubbardton, six miles south of the lake, was where the Green Mountain Boys flew the first American flag into battle against the British in 1777.

The mills have been gone for many years, as has the settlement called Hortonville that grew up around the dam. Hortonville Rd still winds around the north side of the lake. Now, instead of wagon-loads of grain and logs, the road serves to bring cottagers and residents to the lovely placid pond they call home. Here, residents swim, sail, wakeboard, pontoon, jet ski, water ski, canoe and kayak on the nearly 500-acre lake. As many lakes in Vermont have low boating speed limits and prohibit personal watercraft, the lake is especially prized by those who enjoy faster boating speeds and jet skis. Only 25 miles from Rutland and 15 miles from Ticonderoga, NY, Lake Hortonia is ideally positioned as a commuter community for the larger cities. What better way to relax after a hard day on the job than lounging on the deck overlooking Lake Hortonia?

Lake Hortonia has had a reputation as an excellent fishing lake for many years. State trophy fish records show Lake Hortonia recording several species trophies caught, including black crappie, largemouth bass, northern pike, smallmouth bass and yellow perch over the years. The lake also holds brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout and lake trout and landlocked salmon, but the salmon are off-limits to anglers. The Lake Hortonia Ice Fishing Derby is one of Vermont’s biggest ice fishing tournaments. Officially held in Hubbardton, the event always takes place the second weekend in February. Vermont Fish and Wildlife owns the dam which was last rebuilt in 1955. They maintain a small public boat access at the dam with space for fishing from shore.

The Battle of Hubbardton was the only Revolutionary War battle fought entirely in Vermont. Although the colonists technically lost the battle, it marked the beginning of the end for Burgoyne and his great plan to divide New England from the rest of the colonies. A massive British invasion from Canada chased the Continental Army from Mount Independence south to Hubbardton. The Green Mountain Boys succeeded in holding up British Regulars long enough for the main forces to retreat. While the British held the field and technically won the battle, their losses were so heavy that they gave up chasing the Americans to tend to their wounded. The Hubbardton Historical Society maintains the Hubbardton Battlefield Monument at the edge of the Hubbardton Battlefield Wildlife Management Area. A group of re-enactors recreate the historic battle here annually, drawing large numbers of visitors interested in historic military actions.

The quaint town of Brandon, eight miles to the east of Lake Hortonia, is a vacation destination in its own right. Settled in the 1760s, this village has maintained its authentic New England charm. Two hundred and forty-three buildings in Brandon are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Brandon actually has two village greens with the Neshobe River flowing between them. Brandon has attracted a number of local artists and craftsmen who maintain shops and galleries in or near Brandon.

Among the many events held in Brandon, Art in the Snow is held during the winter months to help brighten the cold days. The Great Brandon Auction and the town’s Yard Sale Day attract antique and collectible fans. Brandon also hosts ‘The Largest Independence Day Celebration in Vermont’, followed by the Basin Bluegrass Festival, also known as “Pickin’ By The Pond.” The Brandon Museum and Visitor Center is housed at the Stephen A. Douglas Birthplace, featuring information about the life of this famous American statesman. A walking tour is available, featuring information on abolitionist activities and the Underground Railroad in Brandon. A Civil War Reenactment unit sometimes holds battle reenactments on the banks of the Neshobe River in Brandon.

The visitor wishing more outdoor activity can find plenty of hiking and mountain biking trails both on the country roads surrounding Lake Hortonia and at nearby Bomoseen State Park. The 3,576-acre park is located in the Taconic Mountains on the shores of Lake Bomoseen, the largest lake entirely within Vermont’s borders. The park offers camping, fishing, swimming, picnicking and several marked hiking trails including a self-guided Slate History Trail. Just east of Brandon, the Green Mountain National Forest offers hiking, rustic camping, rock climbing, canoeing and nature observation. Several locations for downhill skiing exist within a 20-mile radius. The full complement of winter sports can be enjoyed near Lake Hortonia, making it a year-round vacationer’s paradise.

Vacation rentals at Lake Hortonia can usually be found in the form of private self-catering cottages and homes. Most provide a canoe or rowboat along with the rental. Off the lakefront, Rutland County is well-supplied with country inns and bed-and-breakfasts, often with excellent views and menus. The larger towns provide hotels and motels along the main highways. Campgrounds are numerous in the area, although they fill up quickly on holiday weekends. As with most popular vacation venues, early reservations will assure the best possible choices. So come and enjoy history near Lake Hortonia. Whether your joy is a full day of antique hunting or angling for that elusive trout, you can indulge to your hearts content at Lake Hortonia. See you soon!

Things to do at Lake Hortonia

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Tournaments
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Biking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Park
  • National Forest
  • Museum
  • Antiquing

Fish species found at Lake Hortonia

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Brook Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Crappie
  • Lake Trout
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Salmon
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Trout
  • Yellow Perch

Lake Hortonia Photo Gallery

    Lake Hortonia Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

    Water Level Control: Vermont Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

    Surface Area: 479 acres

    Shoreline Length: 6 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 679 feet

    Average Depth: 19 feet

    Maximum Depth: 60 feet

    Completion Year: 1955

    Drainage Area: 7 sq. miles

    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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