Lake Raponda, Vermont, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - New England - Vermont - Southern Vermont -

Occupying a prime spot in the recreational haven of the Southern Vermont Region, Lake Raponda has welcomed generations of visitors to its pleasant shores. The natural lake was entertaining resort-goers by 1890 with the opening of the first Lake Raponda Hotel. Not long after, the Raponda House Hotel ushered in the new century with a dance pavilion on the island off the peninsula where it stood. Over the years, Lake Raponda entertained such famous guests as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Rudyard Kipling, President Rutherford B. Hayes, and President Theodore Roosevelt. Long before air conditioning, the wealthy escaped the hot cities to the cool breezes blowing across Lake Raponda. A small dam was installed at some point, although history doesn’t tell us when. Apparently, the dam simply stabilizes water levels.

The days of Vermont lake resorts are long gone. Lake Raponda instead has settled in with a more permanent type of lodging and population. Today, the shoreline is dotted with homes and cottages, many with their own private dock and swimming beach. A small beach and picnic area owned by the Town of Wilmington is reserved for town residents and local taxpayers. A public boat launch at the north end of the lake provides access for fishermen but holds no accommodations for swimming or larger boats. Lake Raponda thus remains quiet and serene – far quieter than when bands played the pavilion. The heavily-wooded lakefront hides the many homes and cottages along the shore. No personal watercraft are permitted, but the occasional resident water skier circles the lake. Most boating activity is limited to sailing, wakeboarding, pontooning, rowing, canoeing and kayaking. The 121-acre spring-fed lake is particularly quiet during the week, as many cottage owners are absent except for week-ends.

Lake Raponda’s excellent water quality has produced an extremely good fishery. Rainbow trout, brown trout, yellow perch, chain pickerel, smallmouth bass, bullhead and pan-fish are all caught here. Lake Raponda is one of the locations stocked by Vermont Fish and Wildlife in their ‘trophy trout’ stocking program: 2-year-old rainbow and brown trout up to 18 inches long are stocked, giving fishermen a better opportunity to hook ‘the big one’, at least for a week or two each year. Stocking dates are publicized, and fishing pressure increases dramatically immediately following the completion of stocking. A Vermont Fishing License is a must.

Lake Raponda is still the perfect place to escape city heat. One of the reasons the lake and the Town of Wilmington are so popular for vacationing is the wide range of off-lake activities found in the area. The Lake Raponda Trail skirts the eastern shoreline for hiking and mountain biking. Those desirous of a ‘big lake’ atmosphere head for Harriman Reservoir less than ten miles to the west. The reservoir abuts Green Mountain National Forest and has several places for swimming, camping and nature hikes. The famous Marlboro Music Festival takes place in July or August just a few miles to the east. Molly Stark State Park offers camping, hiking trails and a picnic area. Mount Snow is only seven miles to the north and offers year-round family fun.

In addition to excellent downhill skiing , snowboarding and sledding in winter, the Mount Snow area has evolved a year-round schedule of activities that should please any visitor. Gondola rides provide a birds-eye view of the Green Mountain horizon and offer excellent opportunities for photographers. The annual Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival in August coincides with Mount Snow’s Bike Festival featuring world class riders and the Mount Snow Triathlon. Also in August, the Vermont Blues Festival at Mount Snow features top performers. The same month, the Deerfield Valley Farmers Day Fair provides a midway, competitions, exhibits and more. Nearby, and only five miles from Lake Raponda, Adams Farm still offers horse-drawn sleigh rides.

The town of Wilmington is a haven for antique hunters, with many antique shops and dealers offering a variety of specialty products from furniture to books to postcards. Local artists and craftsmen can be found both in town and on the country roads in the area. Many combine their craft with eclectic and charming inns and restaurants. Several locations offer sugar-house tours in the early spring during maple syrup season. Farmers markets are plentiful as the area still supports many small farms. Wilmington is large enough to provide the necessities such as grocery stores, health care, shopping and some arts venues, yet still retains much of the small-town look and feel.

Vacation rentals at Lake Raponda can usually be found if one is willing to reserve far enough in advance. Even private rentals not directly on the shore often have access to docks as the Lake Raponda Association owns around 50 acres of land in common for residents. Off the lake, there are a number of small inns and farm vacation opportunities. Campgrounds, both private and state-owned, are numerous in the area. Real estate also exists, both along the lakefront and in the surrounding area. There is a place for you and your family at Lake Raponda – waiting. When will you arrive?

Things to do at Lake Raponda

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • National Forest
  • Antiquing
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Lake Raponda

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Brown Trout
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Trout
  • Yellow Perch

Lake Raponda Photo Gallery

Lake Raponda Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Surface Area: 212 acres

Shoreline Length: 3 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,832 feet

Average Depth: 8 feet

Maximum Depth: 12 feet

Drainage Area: 1 sq. miles

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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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