Lake Morey, Vermont, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - New England - Vermont - Eastern Vermont Gateways -

Also known as:  Fairlee Pond

Located in one of Vermont’s oldest and most historic areas, Lake Morey has been a summer camp getaway for generations. Just west of the Connecticut River in the Eastern Vermont Gateways region, Lake Morey has hosted summer camps for over a hundred years. Even before the creation of summer children’s and family camps, Lake Morey had an unusual claim to fame. Originally called Fairlee Pond, the water body was re-named in honor of one of the area’s most famous inventors.

In 1792, Samuel Morey launched the first steam-powered boat on Lake Morey – a full 20 years before Robert Fulton’s famous Claremont. It seems Mr. Fulton took advantage of a loophole in the U.S. Patent Morey was issued, thereby receiving the recognition of becoming the first to invent the steamboat. Undaunted, Mr Morey went on to invent a gas-vapor engine that was a forerunner of the internal combustion engine. Samuel Morey lives on only in the memory of this small town and lake named after him.

There ia little record of when the natural lake was first dammed. Settlement in the area began before 1770. By the 1860’s, Lake Morey was drawing summer visitors wishing to escape the heat of the cities to a cool lakeside retreat. One resort hotel still in existence was built in 1907, an early example of ‘economic development through tax reduction’: the town of Fairlee gave a leading citizen a five-year tax break if he would develop a resort hotel on the shore of Lake Morey. The hotel he built has been expanded over the years and still operates as a resort hotel/golf course/dining establishment.

The Lake Morey Protective Association was founded in 1907, making it the oldest lake association in the state of Vermont. The association works diligently to monitor water and environmental conditions and works with the town to maintain and plan activities at the town beach. The association plans and produces a variety of yearly activities for lake residents and visitors alike. The lake level is now set by law with minor variations for winter draw-down under the control of the lake association.

Lakelubbers at Lake Morey engage in sailing, pontooning, canoeing, kayaking wind surfing, water skiing and tubing. Boats are limited to a 40 mph speed limit and personal watercrafts are not allowed. Lake Morey residents are very proud of their resident loons, and all boaters are urged to give them a wide berth. Cottages are concentrated on the eastern side of the lake, mostly seasonal. Much of the north and west shoreline is owned by the Aloha Foundation which provides a series of summer camps for children.

Lake Morey is a fishing hotspot, with several species of fish caught here proving to be state record-holders. Champion largemouth bass, northern pike, pickerel, smallmouth bass and walleye have held state records from Lake Morey. The shallow lake is an excellent warm-water fishery, although brown trout are sometimes caught. There is a public boat launch at the south end of the lake near the town beach. A leisurely cruise along the lesser developed western shoreline rewards canoeists and kayakers with views of herons, geese, ducks and a variety of turtles, and frogs.

In winter, Lake Morey Ice Skating Trail is the longest ice trail in the United States, when ice conditions permit. The skating trail crosses the lake or skirts the perimeter to provide a wide-angle view of the entire shoreline. The Ice Skating Trail is the site of an annual Winter Fest in January, weather and ice conditions permitting. The trail also hosts speed skating marathons when ice conditions allow. Ice fishing, of course, is always popular.

The Aloha Foundation’s Hulbert Outdoor Center on the north end of the lake offers various family and child-centered activities both winter and summer. As a community service, Hulbert offers activities centered around natural history and environmental education, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, high ropes and rock-climbing, multi-generational family camping, wilderness search and rescue, outdoor emergency medicine, leadership development and team-building. Between their camp locations on Lake Morey and Lake Fairlee, the Foundation provides camper scholarships to at least 100 disadvantaged children each year along with their regular camps.

Away from the lakefront, a variety of activities such as hiking and cycling keeps the visitor’s interest. The many acres of public land provide ample opportunities for nature observation and exploration. Ski areas can be reached within an hour, and local trails offer plenty of opportunity for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding and snowmobiling.

Although there are few hotels near Lake Morey, many lakeshore cottage owners rent their properties as vacation rentals. Several bed-and-breakfasts are also located nearby. The town of Fairlee offers a diner, ice cream shop, general store, antique shops and a golf course nearby. There is even a vintage drive-in movie theater for a special treat. Real estate is sometimes found right on the lake but there is little vacant property for new construction. Montpelier and Barre are less than 40 miles away and Rutland a short hour-and-a-half drive. Lake Morey is the ideal spot to drop the kids off for camp, then sneak over to a second honeymoon across the lake. They’ll never know how near you are – and you’ll enjoy your vacation all the more. Come see Lake Morey, and bring the bait!

Things to do at Lake Morey

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Wind Surfing
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Ice Skating
  • Rock Climbing
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Dog Sledding
  • Movie Theater
  • Antiquing

Fish species found at Lake Morey

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Brown Trout
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Trout
  • Walleye

Lake Morey Photo Gallery

Lake Morey Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Lake Morey Protective Association

Surface Area: 547 acres

Shoreline Length: 5 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 416 feet

Average Depth: 24 feet

Maximum Depth: 43 feet

Water Volume: 13,128 acre-feet

Drainage Area: 8 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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