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Lake St. Catherine is a 930-acre lake located in the Crossroads of Vermont tourism region, along Route 30 south of the Town of Poultney. Lake St Catherine is actually a string of lakes: north to south, Lily Pond Lake comes first. This tiny lake drains into the much larger Lake St Catherine. At the south end of Lake St Catherine, a narrow outlet directs water into Little Lake. Finally, the water goes over the small water control dam through Mill Brook Creek and ends up in the Mettawee River. On its journey, water travels through the Lake St Catherine chain and eventually into the south end of Lake Champlain to the delight of all who live and visit here.
Lake St. Catherine has had a string of names since the area was first settled in the 1700s. Old records show that at various times it was identified as Lake Austin, Wells Lake, and St. Augustine Lake. No one knows why it was first named St. Augustine (Austin may be a shortened form of that name); since the chain ends up in the Town of Wells, this temporary name makes sense. However, it's been Lake St Catherine since 1767. Today, the lake's name appears three different ways: Lake St. Catherine, Lake St Catherine, and Lake Saint Catherine.
The Lake St. Catherine area was contested territory for some time before the Revolutionary War, being claimed by both New York and New Hampshire. To the north, the Town of Poultney claims Ebenezer Allen, cousin of Ethan Allen as a founding settler. The Green Mountain Boys hailed from these parts and remained staunchly committed to the revolution. Apparently, patriotism is indigenous to the area as Poultney also claimed Horace Greeley who performed his apprenticeship here before going on to conquer the world of news with the New York Times. The Lake St Catherine area quickly became known for the excellent quality of quarried slate and soon supplied many schoolhouse slates and roofing tiles.
Now, Lake Saint Catherine has matured into its permanent role as favorite lakefront to both full-time residents and the many summer visitors. The lakeshore is quite heavily settled, but it still appears spacious due to both tree cover and the fact many lots are quite large. On the northeast side of the lake, Lake St. Catherine State Park provides 117 acres of swimming, hiking and camping. A public boat launch is available for the many fishermen who enjoy not only the large lake, but the two smaller lakes that provide excellent weed cover. A second boat launch is available at the bridge that divides the main lake from Little Lake. Due to the lake's size, both a warm-water and cold-water fishery exist, allowing a wide variety of fish to be caught, including Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Lake Trout, Rainbow Trout, Smelt, Perch, Northern Pike, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Panfish and Catfish. In the winter, fishermen eagerly await enough ice to slide the shanty out for winter fishing comfort. The lake is the location of the annual Frosty Derby ice fishing contest held every February.
Residents and summer visitors alike enjoy boating, sailing, windsurfing, jet skiing, kayaking, canoeing, and waterskiing. Nearby, hiking and bicycling trails, bird and wildlife watching provide loads of entertainment for the nature lover. A nesting pair of Bald Eagles has called Lake St Catherine home for the past few years. More citified entertainments may be found in Wells and Poultney. Poultney has museums, including the slate quarrying museum and several historic buildings that will interest history buffs. Antiquing is always popular: all sorts of interesting one-of-a-kind artifacts can be found in local barns and hidden in small shops. Those feeling the need for a little more active nightlife find Lake St. Catherine is only 30 miles from Rutland.
The entire Green Mountains are at your fingertips from Lake Saint Catherine. Book a vacation rental, and come for a visit. Stay awhile-maybe forever.
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