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In Connecticut's Mystic Country, farmland, forests, lakes and small quaint villages combine with coastal adventures and exciting cities to create an amazing New England experience. Coventry Lake, also known by its Native American name Wangumbaug Lake, offers one of those deeply satisfying experiences you will never forget. Nestled in the charming and historic town of Coventry, the home of the Revolution War hero, Nathan Hale, Coventry Lake is the perfect destination to find some tranquillity.
The early 1700s brought the first English settlers to Wangumbaug Lake, most of which established farms around it. The lake was significant to the community; one of the first structures on the lake was a pavilion that sold ice cream and light snacks, refreshing visitors in the summer heat. Along with the popularity of the automobile in the 1900s came summer vacationers that spent weekends on the lake fishing and relaxing the hours away. Others created a permanent home away from home and bought parcels of farm land on which to build summer cottages. Coventry Lake quickly became a popular recreational destination and attracted celebrities that formed their own retreat camps. Soon, there were private associations rising everywhere around the lake.
Today, the land comprising these associations is over 800 acres. The private associations around the lake have beaches and most homes have docks and easy access to Lake Wangumbaug. Sailing, swimming, water skiing, and wind surfing are popular watersports. Fun does not end when the lake freezes over in winter, ice skating and ice fishing set the pace for recreation on the lake.
Patriots Park has a guarded beach, playground, picnic area, lodge facilities, a community center and a band shell. A boat ramp allows access to the lake where anglers can enjoy a diverse fishery. Wangumbaug Lake is a bass management lake. Besides bass, anglers should look out for walleye, brown trout, chain pickerel, black bullhead, brook trout, American eel, pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegill, yellow perch, smallmouth buffalo, lake trout and common carp. Alewives, blueback herring, gizzard, hickory, or threadfin is forbidden for use as bait.
Spanning 373 surface acres, Coventry Lake is a natural beauty fed by springs. Its only natural outlet feeds the Willimantic River. The Willimantic is a treasured river that sustains a greenway and a series of connections that lead to great fishing, canoeing and kayaking, and hike or bike trails through beautiful landscapes. Coventry is one of the nine towns on the river and provides access to the greenway.
There is an abundance to do in what is known as "the gateway Northeastern Connecticut's Quiet Corner." The annual CoventryFest, held at Patriots Park, offers stunning fireworks over the lake, food and live music. A visit to the Strong-Porter Museum is a must for history buffs. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the home of the Coventry Historical Society. It features rooms of the house, a carpenter shop, carriage sheds, barn and other buildings open to public exploration. The homestead of Connecticut's official state hero, Nathan Hall, is also a historic site and should be on every Coventry itinerary. The University of Connecticut is just a few miles away in the small campus town, Storrs. College athletics and games in season at the campus will attract any sports enthusiast and the vast Babbidge Library will intrigue booklovers.
Near Wangumbaug Lake is the Nathan Hale State Forest, open to hunting. Other fun things to do include golfing, antique shopping, visiting an herbs farm or taking in a movie at a drive-in theatre.
Coventry is the perfect place to relocate if you're looking for a charming place rich both in history and environment. Real estate options include waterfront lots and subdivision homes, and vacation rentals offer longer stays. Lake living is a peace-filled experience, and Coventry Lake, known for its beauty and clean water will offer more than just peace. As a soft breeze blows over your face, the birds chatter change to the tune of the coming night and the orange pink sunset reflects on the lake's surface, you will be more than at peace, you will be moved.
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