Rangeley Lake State Park is a public recreation area located in the town of Weld, Franklin County, Maine. The state park occupies more than 1,100 acres (450ha) surrounding an artificial lake known as Rangeley It is managed by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.
Rangeley Lake has long been recognized as one of America’s top destination lakes for trout fishing. Anglers can access it via boat launch sites on both its north and south sides. The lake features brook, brown and rainbow trout, which thrive in its cold waters. A network of trails surrounds the lake, providing hikers with opportunities to explore the woods or visit scenic vistas. On its northeast side, the park abuts lands operated by the U.S. Forest Service as Mount Blue State Park; visitors can walk across the bridge over Stony Brook Road to reach the trailhead for the 0.8 mile (1.3km) loop Trail #2 around the lake.
Other nearby federal lands include Moulton Pond National Wildlife Refuge, Beech Mountain National Recreation Area, and Colebrook Island State Park. Camping facilities consist of 37 tent/RV sites and 15 lean-to sites. There are no flush toilets or hot showers at the campground, but there is a sanitary dump station at the camp site. Two cottages are available for rent. One cottage accommodates up to six guests, while the other sleeps eight. Both have central HVAC, modern kitchens and bathrooms, and yard space.
Boat rentals are offered from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus day, including kayaks, paddle boats, canoes, rowboats, and motorized pontoon boats. Half-day and full-day guided eco-history tours of Fort Greene, home of the CCC era, are offered seasonally. The park store sells firewood, ice, T-shirts, hats, bird keys, etc., and rents out bicycles, canoes, paddle boards and kayaks. Activities such as these help make Rangeley Lake a destination for outdoors enthusiasts throughout the year. Rangeley Lake State Park consists of approximately 700 acres of forested woodlands, open fields and wetlands that offer opportunities for wildlife viewing.
In the 1930s, workers with the Civilian Conservation Corps developed what was to become one of America’s most popular summer camps, using plans drawn up by architect Alfredo De Vido. Between 1934 and 1941, workers built roads, campgrounds, bathhouses, shelters, picnic areas, and other structures. They also cleared streams and forests, planted trees, constructed bridges and buildings, and began oil exploration. At its peak, the CCC employed some 20,000 people, half of them women. After the CCC disbanded, ownership of land near the lake fell into various private hands.Among those who acquired property were two men named John Noyes and Bradley Palmer. Their heirs sold almost all the land to the state for use as a state park in 1964. Some parcels remain privately owned, but are operated under lease by the state.
Lake and offers opportunities for:
- mountain biking
- water-based activities
- cross-country skiing
Winter activities include:
- Cross-country skiing