(Last Updated On: September 19, 2022)

View of Damariscotta Lake in Maine with a person on a kayak passing an island

Damariscotta Lake State Park is a 17-acre park next to Route 32 in Jefferson Maine, about ½-hour east of Augusta, the state capitol. The park’s setting is on the shore of this 4600-acre lake.

The lake and its sandy beach are made for a getaway day of swimming and sunbathing. You’ll find tables, grills, a playground, and group picnic shelter, offering you a relaxed spot for family fun.

Accessibility here is indicated as limited, although it is very good in the parking area, by the restrooms, and to enjoy two picnic table spots. The beach can be accessed with assistance and there is a beach wheelchair available.

Activities at Damariscotta Lake State Park

This Maine state park is a perfect place for swimming, including for little people. You can soak up the sun, retreat to the shade, or play in the sand, all the while knowing how easy it is to get here.

The park opens at 9am and fills quickly on a warm day. You can access the peaceful beach area in the winter by parking outside the gate for a walk in. Closing is at sunset.

Since the park is at the north of end of 14-mile long Damariscotta Lake, you can enjoy a day filled with sunshine and distant views. That, a picnic, and hours of play, may be all the activity you want.

If you’re looking for more adventures, you can boat, fish, and go birding here. Nearby there are places to go hiking or while away the hours watching for wildlife.

There’s a sheltered spot for a group picnic that you can reserve by calling the State Parks Northern Region Office at (207) 941-4014, or from May 1st through the summer, call the park at (207) 549-7600. The shelter has power, running water, and a group grill.

Boating at Damariscotta Lake State Park

Damariscotta Lake is a boater’s dream. It’s expansive, deep, is dotted with islands, and has inviting coves. Davis Stream and Mill Stream flow into the lake with the Damariscotta Mills dam and fish ladder being its outlet into the Damariscotta River.

Although there isn’t a motorized boat launch at the park, there’s a long, hard launch with parking for 28 rigs halfway down the lake at Lat 44.10350, Long -69.52110 in Jefferson.

The lake is good for kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding. Best to call ahead to the park to ask about launching from the beach, after moving your gear from the parking lot to the lake.
Although there aren’t any boat rentals at the park, a quick google search shows nearby places.

Swimming at Damariscotta Lake State Park

Swimming here can be relaxing, invigorating, or made into a real workout. The water is right there with long stretches for swimming, or if you prefer, wading for a while. There is a lifeguard on duty during the summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Hiking at Damariscotta Lake State Park

The park and surrounding areas are made for family fun. Although hiking trails aren’t available here, they are quite nearby, including:

  • Davis Stream Preserve is just under a mile away. Leave your car at the park and walk over as the trail itself is also under a mile. It’s an easy amble through woods by the stream with the forest floor underfoot. Your leashed pet can keep you company.
  • The Stetser Preserve Trail is 10 miles away. It’s a year-round site where you can snowshoe during the winter. The trail is just over 2 miles, covering easy to moderate ground in a well-marked system that is part of a 7,000-acre tract of conserved land. Hunting is permitted here, so please be prepared with blaze orange.
  • Great Salt Bay and Hart Family Heritage Trail is 20 minutes from the park and offers you the opportunity to hike along a salt marsh’s shoreline. You can then visit Glidden Point’s centuries old native shell heaps. Your leashed pet can accompany you on this sometimes wet underfoot trail.

Biking at Damariscotta Lake State Park

The park’s location places it close to a number of biking loops. Some head to the coast while others loop more locally. With a quick google search you’ll come up with descriptions and trail maps to guide you.

Fishing at Damariscotta Lake State Park

This is one of the listed park activities to do from shore or boat. Your catch may include landlocked salmon, lake and brown trout, and small and large-mouthed bass, among others. The state has laws to follow for inland waters fishing.

Birding at Damariscotta Lake State Park

Salt Bay Farm is a preserve 20 minutes from here. You can combine birding and hiking with wildlife viewing. You’ll see osprey, bald eagles, and diving ducks that are joined by shorebirds and dabblers by the salt marsh.

During breeding season you’re likely to see hooded mergansers, and wood and black ducks. Along the shoreline or overhead watch for blue or green heron. Savannah sparrows, bobolinks, and various warblers add to birder delights.

Nature & Wildlife at Damariscotta Lake State Park

At the park you’re most likely to see small common wildlife like squirrels, along with frogs, and possibly otters. The latter are most likely seen in sheltered, grassy coves, and near stream openings in winter. Taking time to visit some of the preserves noted here will expand your wildlife viewing options.

Pets at Damariscotta Lake State Park

Pets are not allowed at state park beaches from April 1 through September 30. Your leashed pet can visit with you in the off-season.

Camping at Damariscotta Lake State Park

There is camping quite close by, although not at the state park. Here are two that are located in wooded, waterside spots:

Town Line Camping is four miles away. The site is on the shores of Damariscotta Lake has tent and camper sites, including some on the water. Plus there are trailer, cabin, and cottage rentals. Boat slip rentals are available for campground tenants. Rates begin at $42 per night for waterfront sites, and $32 per night for those away from the water.

Duck Puddle Campground is 10 miles away and located on Lake Pemaquid. There are over 100 family-friendly tent and camper sites. Some are waterfront or with various hookup options. Golf cart, boat, and kayak rentals are available as well as cabins. The campground features a wide range of activities. Rates begin at $40 per night for a tent site, up to $75 per night for a deluxe site.

Park Location

Damariscotta Lake State Park
8 State Park Road
Jefferson, ME 04348
Phone: 207.549.7600

Website
Reservations

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing the scenery at Damariscotta Lake State Park: