Candlewood Lake - Connecticut's Treasure

June 10, 2016 scroll to read ...
Candlewood Lake is CT's largest lake and is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Boating, fishing, swimming and hiking are just a few of the recreational activities to enjoy. The lake's history is quite interesting. Candlewood Lake was the county's first large-scale project to build a man made reservoir to produce electric power.

Candlewood Lake, Connecticut's largest lake, is a wonderful treasure for outdoor enthusiasts! It is a boating and fishing paradise with a wealth of outdoor activities that can be enjoyed by all. Year round residents, seasonal visitors and summer vacationers seek out its recreational opportunities.

Candlewood Lake was named after New Milford’s Candlewood Mountain. The Candlewood tree's sapling branches were used as candles by early settlers. The lake's origin is an interesting piece of CT history.

The Rock River Valley stretched between five towns - Brookfield, New Fairfield, Danbury, New Milford and Sherman. In the early 1900's, the valley was a quiet farming community. On July 15, 1926 the Connecticut Light and Power Board of Directors approved a plan to create a man-made reservoir to produce electric power, a decision that changed the future landscape of the valley.

According to ConnecticutHistory.org, "this was the first large-scale project in the United States to employ the concept of a pumped water storage facility; basically, water from the Housatonic River was pumped up a 13-foot-diameter pipe and then held in a large reservoir. When needed, this water would flow back down into a turbine which produced the electricity".

4,500 acres of woodland was hand cleared, a dam was built and 5,420 acres of farmland, forests and the small community of Jerusalem was flooded to create the lake. Houses, schools and churches were relocated or demolished. Gravestones and remains were moved. The land belonged to a total of 35 families. Most of the families sold their property to Connecticut Light and Power, but a few homeowners refused. Some of the lake bed property is still privately owned.

Temporary work camps and a village with bunkhouses, a bath house, store, bank, bakery and barbershop were built to service workers. On September 29, 1928, the lake was complete and the plant was officially in operation. The Candlewood Lake Authority reports that "the entire project was completed in approximately 17 months by 920 men and at a cost $5,000,000, a bargain even in 1920s currency".

Candlewood Lake is 16 miles long and 3.2 miles wide with an average depth of 40 feet. It covers a surface area of 5,400 acres and its shoreline runs 60 miles long. When Candlewood Lake was first formed, real estate developers had no idea that property surrounding the lake would be so valuable or treasured. Summer cottages with small plots were sold for just a few hundred dollars. Today, Candlewood Lake is surrounded by year round and seasonal waterfront homes and supports a robust recreational industry.

Boating is one of the most popular recreational activities on the lake. Ski boats, pontoons, fishing boats, kayaks, canoes and other type boats can be seen on the lake. Lake access privileges are given to lakefront homeowners and there are also two public boat launches and rental dock areas for use. There is even a security boat on the lake to ensure a fun and safe experience. Check out the Connecticut Boater's Guide for CT boating laws.

Fishing is another popular activity at Candlewood Lake. The lake can be touted as the best fishing hole in CT. The fish are restocked annually and include bass, bluegill, catfish and a variety of other type fish. There are many different popular fishing spots. The lake has two islands and several coves for fishing off your boat or from the shore. More than 140 tournaments are offered each year at Candlewood's public launch areas. Visit the CT DEEP Fishing page for more information on fishing classes, weekly fishing reports, regulations, fishing licenses and permits.

Candlewood Lake swimming is a refreshing way to cool off during warm weather. There are 5 municipal beaches on the lake open to the public. Beaches offer on-site parking and some facilities such as picnic tables, sport courts, playgrounds and concession stands. Lifeguards are on duty during specified times. For more information, check out the parks and recreation page for each town - Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, New Milford and Sherman. Here is a video of Danbury's Candlewood Lake Park:

The Candlewood Lake area can also be explored by foot. Hiking trails of varying difficulty are abundant. Beautiful lake views and pet friendly trails are extra benefits of the lake. Some local trails to explore can be found at Bear Mountain Reservation in Danbury, Squantz Pond State Park in New Fairfield or Lakeside Trail in New Milford.

Enjoy a relaxed lifestyle living in close proximity to Candlewood Lake's vast recreational opportunities. Dagny's Real Estate of Fairfield County can assist you in finding a home in the Candlewood Lake area or surrounding towns. We currently have one home for sale in the immediate area.

The wonderful home at 33 Dick Finn Road in New Fairfield is just 2,000 feet from Candlewood Lake! New Fairfield Town Park is a quick 1.5 mile drive where you can enjoy recreational swimming, boat slips and moorings. Squantz Pond State Park is less than 8 miles from this home where hiking, swimming, boating and fishing can be enjoyed. This home is in a perfect location to enjoy the treasures of Candlewood Lake and conveniently located close to the New Fairfield town center.

This spacious 3 bedroom home features 1+ acres in lovely private setting. There is an updated Kitchen with Corian countertops and stainless steel appliances. The bright and sunny Living Room opens to the Dining Room. Warm up to the cozy fireplace in the lower level Family Room. A large deck overlooks the private yard with lovely gardens. This home has a great location close to Candlewood Lake and is just fantastic!

Please contact Dagny's Real Estate of Fairfield County if you are interested in this home or another in the surrounding area. We are here for all your home buying and selling needs!