In periodic surveys of recreational resources throughout Maine, the Department of Conservation (DOC) repeatedly identified a deficiency in west-central Maine where residents clearly needed more resources for water-based recreation. Seeking to fill this need, the Department searched for12 years before an ideal property came on the market–a former summer camp at the southern end of Lake George with 8,000 feet of shorefront and two sandy beaches perfectly suited to swimming and picnicking. This incredible opportunity might have slipped by if the Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) program and the DOC had not supplied the necessary funding. Area residents, delighted with the State’s lakefront acquisition, quickly became active in helping to build and maintain the new regional park.
Nearly a decade after Lake George Regional Park was created, park staff and community volunteers successfully sought a second LMF grant to expand the park, adding 37 acres and 2000 feet of shore frontage to the original parcel for a total of 320 acres. Hiking trails have since been created on this addition.Throughout the year, community members enjoy the park, swimming, fishing, boating, hiking, cross-country skiing, and ice-fishing. They join in the Annual Fishing Derby held each February, and the Lake George Fiddle Festival and Maine Mountain Bike Challenge held each fall. The Park is owned by the State, leased by the towns of Skowhegan and Canaan (whose boundary divides the lake), and managed by the nonprofit Lake George Corporation, whose volunteer board includes representatives from both towns. Entrance fees and rental fees from the buildings (which are used by groups and summer day campers) help to fund two year-round staff and seasonal staff to serve 27,000 visitors each year. Volunteers contribute substantially to the management effort. Please note: No pets (dogs or horses) are allowed in the park between May 15 and September 15. Snowmobiles are restricted to the main trail from Canaan to Lake George.
Western Mountains – Oxford, Franklin, Somerset
Directions from nearest town
DeLorme Maine Atlas and Gazetteer Map 21, B-2/3. From Skowhegan, drive east on Route 2 (Canaan Road) approximately 7 miles to the park’s west (Skowhegan) entrance on the left. Continue past the lake to access (on the left) the park’s east (Canaan) entrance and the boat launch.