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One of three lakes in Washington state of the same name, Kitsap County's Horseshoe Lake is the tiniest - and arguably the most beautiful - of them all. The lake is located southeast of the Bremerton National Airport, across Puget Sound from the Seattle metropolitan area. Horseshoe Lake, as its name implies, is shaped like a horse's shoe; it features a mostly rock bottom, with spring-fed waters that remain clean and crystal clear all year-round. Situated in the heart of the Burley Creek watershed, the lake has a surface area of 40 acres and an average depth of 12 feet. It is thought to be in a mesotrophic state, meaning that the water is moderately nutrient-rich in plant and animal life.
Relaxing activities such as swimming, boating, golfing, horseback riding and fishing are well suited to the tranquil ambiance so unique to Horseshoe Lake. For such a small body of water, anglers catch an impressive variety of fish, including rainbow trout, black crappie, largemouth bass, pumpkinseed sunfish, catfish, yellow perch, and bluegill. Trout are predominant during the first few weeks of spring, when fishermen have the most success using eggs, marshmallows, and worms as bait. Largemouth bass can be found in enormous quantities at Horseshoe Lake, and tend to grow to impressive sizes. This species likes to loiter around lily pads, docks, and floating tree branches.
Horseshoe Lake County Park offers 39 acres of public grounds to enjoy, with facilities like a roped-off swimming area, 12-foot concrete boat launch, hiking trails, picnic tables, baseball diamonds, and public bathrooms. Real estate and vacation rentals are available. December receives more rainfall than at any other time of year, while the month of July gets the least. Boating vessels are limited to seven miles per hour, and the entire lake is a designated 'no wake' zone. Wildlife watching enthusiasts will love Horseshoe Lake's otter, osprey an eagle populations. To the north, Kitsap Lake is much the same as Horseshoe Lake but larger - and ideal for boating, kayaking, and mountain biking.
Port Orchard is the closest major city to Horseshoe Lake. The municipality offers ferries that run to both Bremerton and Seattle. Submarines and other vessels dot the bay of this distinguished port town, while the majestic Olympic Mountains are always sparkling in the background. Salmon fishing and crabbing are the best marine activities in the area. Bremerton is another nearby city that makes for a great day trip. It features various theaters, art galleries, and parks. Notable attractions include the Kitsap Historical Museaum, the Puget Sound Navy Museum, and the Bremerton Boardwalk - 840 feet of shoreline along the peaceful waterfront.
Despite its immense popularity during the summer months, Horseshoe Lake always maintains its serene and inviting atmosphere. Horseshoe Lake County Park's season is from April 1 - September 30; visitors can call 360-337-5350 for updated information.
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