Essex County Hidden Gems – Chebacco Lake
A Closer Look at Chebacco Lake
The north shore of Massachusetts is well known for its world class beaches that draw thousands of tourists each year to its picturesque coastline. From Crane’s Beach to Singing Beach to Good Harbor, there is no shortage of acreage to get your toes in the sand and remedy any potential Vitamin D deficiencies.
But if you are looking for a new freshwater adventure and like the serene pace of lake life, you may want to consider taking a cruise over to Chebacco Lake. Surrounded by pristine woodlands and beautiful cottages and vacation homes, it’s a great spot to relax and unwind. Let’s take a closer look at this Essex County hidden gem.
Where Is Chebacco Lake Located?
Chebacco Lake is located in the towns of Essex, Massachusetts and Hamilton Massachusetts. It is a 209-acre body of water that is classified as a “Great Pond.” That great pond classification places it under state ownership but Chebacco Lake is open to public use.
The name Chebacco came from the local Agawam Native American tribe that inhabited the region. In fact, Essex itself was actually originally referred to as the Chebacco Parish of Ipswich before it was officially incorporated as a town in 1819.
Can You Swim in Chebacco Lake?
Chebacco Lake is a great spot for all water sports, including swimming. The maximum depth of Chebacco is about 30ft, but the average depth of the water is about 10 feet which keeps the water warmer than the ocean and makes a perfect spot for swimming.
Visitors love to enjoy swimming in the warmer waters of Chebacco Lake but it is also a popular spot for boating, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and other water sports. The 209 acres provide plenty of fantastic areas for visitors to spread out and explore.
Where Can I Launch My Boat?
There is a public concrete boat ramp that you can use. The boat ramp is located in the town of Hamilton at approximately 340 Chebacco Road. It’s right near the town line of Manchester-by-the-sea. There is no charge for the use of the boat ramp.
The parking lot by the launch can hold about 17 vehicles with trailers. Additional vehicles will be sent further down the road to the old closed beach area to park.
Is There A Trail System Near The Lake?
There is a fantastic set of trails that are maintained by the Essex County Trail Association right by Chebacco Lake. The trails weave around the neighboring ponds – Coy Pond, Round Pond, Gravelly Pond and Beck Pond and head all the way out to nearby Gordon College.
There are some nice trails in the 3-4 mile range that are surrounded by some beautiful scenery. They are perfect for running, hiking, biking, horseback riding, or finding a nice spot to cast a line.
What Type of Fish Are In Chebacco Lake?
There are a number of fish species that can be found in Chebacco Lake including: Perch, Largemouth Bass, Brown Bullhead, Black Crappie and Chain Pickerel. Fishermen should be aware that there can be some boat traffic, especially on weekends. But Chebecco has some nice hidden coves, and shoreline weed growth that makes for fantastic fishing grounds.
Another option for the more rugged New Englanders is ice fishing. It can yield a good catch and provide for a peaceful way to pass a winter day in Massachusetts.
Where to Stay When Visiting?
There are a number of excellent places to stay when visiting Chebacco Lake, it just depends on the experience you are looking to create.
We are obviously quite biased, but we think staying in Rockport at the Addison Choate is a great option! You get a complimentary breakfast, stylish and comfortable accommodations, and can walk to the shops, restaurants and galleries on Bearskin Neck.
But, if you are looking for something a little more off the beaten path there are a number of great Air BnB options right by the lake as well as Cedar Hill Farm, a B&B located right in Essex.
Other Fun Activities in the Area
Regardless of where you decide to stay, there is so much to explore on the north shore. Whether you’re in the mood to stroll down the Essex Antique Trail, shop on Bearskin Neck in Rockport, or take in a polo match at Myopia in Hamilton there is something for every mood.
Should you need some fuel to recharge you can always hit up some of the fantastic restaurants local eateries such as Woodman’s of Essex (for your fried clam fix), Great Marsh Brewery (for some tasty pub grub and microbrews) or Black Cow in Hamilton (for everything from burgers to lobster ravioli).
We hope that you enjoyed this overview of Chebacco Lake. It’s natural beauty makes it a fantastic spot to relax and unwind in any season. That is why it makes our list of Essex County Hidden Gems!