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Crystal Lake is a tiny gem nestled within the Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket tourism region of Massachusetts. This body of water is a prime spot for canoeing and kayaking, as well as birding and wildlife watching. With an average depth of three feet and a maximum depth of seven feet, it is better known for its stunning aesthetic beauty than for its recreational opportunities. A natural body of water, Crystal Lake has a surface area of 12 acres. While it is a fresh water lake, its close proximity to the ocean means that it can contain some salinity.
Crystal Lake is situated less than two miles from Oak Bluffs, a region known as "the best of Martha's Vineyard" for its stunning Victorian architecture and array of extraordinary attractions. The area offers everything from scenic ferries to amusement parks, and it comes as no surprise that it is a popular family-oriented destination. Sightseeing tours are available throughout Martha's Vineyard, lasting 2.5 hours and visiting all six of the area's island towns. The Featherstone Center for the Arts is perfect for lovers of visual, performance and literary arts. It boasts six acres of green pastures, art galleries and workspaces just off Barnes Road; the Center is also home to an annual holiday gift show and decadent chocolate festival.
Adrenaline-pumping biplane rides are offered throughout the day and at sunset, providing spectacular views of Crystal Lake, Chappaquiddick, Edgartown and the Aquinnah Cliffs. The century-old Flying Horses Carousel, the oldest operating attraction of its kind in the United States, is a National Historic Landmark. Additionally, the Waters of the World public aquarium is sure to provide hours of educational fun for marine lovers of all ages.
Hiking trails near Crystal Lake are unbeatable. Featherstone Farm is home to several relaxing interpretive paths, and its 18 acres of land produce at least 50 species of crops each year. The 27-acre Farm Pond Preserve is connected to the 72-acre Tradewind Field Preserve by the Runway Trail, a 3.1-mile path that is perfect for plant and wildlife studies. The trek is wheelchair accessible, and also permits biking and dog walking. Also nearby you'll find the beautiful Pecoy Point Reserve, a 14-acre protected zone of various marshy and forested trails (including one to Sengekontacket Pond).
Biking is another wonderful activity available near Crystal Lake. The Oak Bluffs to Edgartown Bike Trail is a great adventure; its flat six-mile trek is just perfect for children and amateur bikers. Stop for a break along the way at any of the various shops and ice cream parlors, or bring your fishing rods to cast off of the Memorial Dock. For experts, there is also a hilly 40-mile trail to the dramatic Aquinnah Cliffs.
Three coastline areas are available near Crystal Lake, offering opportunities for swimming, sunbathing and water sports. East Chop Beach is located west of the Oak Bluffs harbor, offering amazing vistas of Nantucket Sound. Town Beach is a popular swimming beach close by Farm Pond. It features lifeguards on duty throughout the day. Lastly, the four-mile long Joseph Sylvia Beach stretches from the bridge after Hart Haven to Edgartown. It is perfect for wind surfing and shell fishing (although a permit is required for fishing).
With so much to see and do, families, couples and solo travelers alike can't help but fall in love with Crystal Lake. Luckily, numerous real estate properties and vacation rentals are available for visitors wishing to return. Many cottages offer luxuries like mahogany outdoor showers, charming wraparound patios, and breathtaking lakeside and ocean vistas. Come find yours today, and start calling Crystal Lake "home!"
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