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Lake Wononscopomuc is one of six lakes and ponds found in the town of Salisbury in far northwest Connecticut. Offering a lakeside retreat only 90 miles north of New York City, Lake Wononscopomuc has become the exclusive home to a number of week-end and part-time residents. Whether you come for summer swimming, sailing and fishing or winter skating and cross country skiing at the foot of the Berkshire Mountains, Lake Wononscopomuc has all the ingredients for a perfect family getaway.
The Township of Salisbury was settled around 1720 with Lake Wononscopomuc (originally known as Lakeville Lake) serving as a source of power for a growing iron industry within the community of Lakeville. By the middle of the 19th century Lakeville was becoming less of an industrial center and more of a scenic rural community with a recreational center. In 1848 Lakeville Lake was renamed Wononscopomuc, believed to be a corruption of a Native American lake description meaning "marshy area at the bend in the lake." Today Salisbury's population of 4,200 is spread out over approximately 60 square miles and includes the villages of Salisbury and Lakeville as well as the hamlets of Amesville, Lime Rock and Taconic. Exceptionally picturesque during the fall, the surrounding low mountains are home to the Housatonic River, South Pond and Wononscopomuc, Washinee, Washining, Wononpakook, and Riga Lakes.
Contained within the village of Lakeville, 353-acre Wononskopomuc Lake is the deepest natural lake in Connecticut. This fairly circular lake is divided in half by a north-south ridge running below the water's surface. The western basin holds a maximum depth of 106 feet. The eastern basin has a maximum depth of 60 feet, leaving Lakeville Lake with an average depth of 36 feet. Underground springs feed this marl lake along with surface water from Sucker Brook and two unnamed streams.
Along the three-mile shoreline residential neighborhoods now stand where farms, factories and railways once flourished. Land-use changes within the watershed now receive the attention of the Lake Wononscopomuc Association. Formed in 1988, the association works hard to preserve water quality and quality of life on Lakeville Lake. Among their many efforts, the association is working to control the growing problem of Eurasian milfoil. With acres of this invasive plant spreading across the lake, the association operates a milfoil harvester and has inserted barrier mats in the swimming area to counter the advancing plant and maintain Lakeville Lake's beauty.
For more than 150 years Town Grove has served as the center of recreation on Lake Wononscopomuc. Originally serving as a steamboat launch in the 1870s, the Grove became a popular entertainment center. Located off Ethan Allen Street on the northeast end of the lake, the fee-based park now maintains a swimming area with beach and dressing rooms. Additional attractions include a fishing jetty, sailing and kayaking lessons, children's playground, picnic area, outdoor grills, paddleball court and meeting hall.
A launch site with boat rentals, moorings and canoe racks is available at Town Grove. Motor boats are restricted to 10 horsepower or less. Personal water craft and towing of skis or floatation devices are prohibited. Sailing, canoeing and kayaking are popular pastimes on quiet Wononscopomuc Lake with opportunities to observe bald eagles, osprey, blue heron and migrating Canada geese and cormorants.
With the majority of Lake Wononscopomuc's shoreline developed into private residences and estates, shoreline fishing is limited. Anglers can take advantage of Town Grove's fishing jetty or boat launch to fish what is considered one of Connecticut's premier fishing lakes. Stocked with fish annually, Lake Wononscopomuc is home to trout, largemouth bass, chain pickerel, yellow perch and sunfish. A fishing license is required and available at the Town Grove office. For information on state fish consumption advisories, please see the link provided.
Just beyond the peace and harmony of Wononscopomuc Lake visitors can find endless opportunities for an adrenaline rush. The Housatonic River, flowing east of Lake Wononskopomuc, offers everything from Class I whitewater runs to an extremely dangerous Class VI run near Falls Village (Canaan). If hiking is in your plans, Undermountain Trail can be found three miles north of Salisbury. The two-mile trail rises straight up to Bear Mountain at 2.316 feet where you can choose to continue on the Appalachian Trail or return after the five-to-six mile round trip hike. Feel a need for speed? Lime Rock, located less than five miles southeast of Lakeville Lake, is home to one of the country's oldest continuously operating auto race tracks where you can test your driving skills.
At Lake Wononscopomuc you will experience the best that Connecticut's Litchfield County has to offer. Explore the lake, river and mountains; drink in the hospitality and charm of the countryside; but come sunset, return to the relaxation of the ideal vacation rental, charming inn or real estate property found near beautiful Lake Wononscopomuc.
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