Located less than 30 miles from Hartford, Lake McDonough is one of Connecticut's
gems. A scenic, unspoiled public recreation area offering numerous ways to enjoy
the beauty of New England - every season of the year. With wheelchair accessibility
to beaches, bathhouses, the boathouse and picnic areas - as well as a fully accessible
nature trail for the disabled and the blind - Lake McDonough is truly for everyone.
Public safety is a high priority at Lake McDonough. Lifeguards are Red Cross
certified, first aid is available, and the area is patrolled by uniformed MDC police.
To have a safe and enjoyable time please abide by the Rules and Regulations:
Beach Rules and Regulations Boating and Fishing
Rules and Regulations
The Braille Trail, a fully accessible,
self-guided nature trail, complete with Braille signage and a system of ramps and
railings for the blind and physically challenged, is located on the west side of
Lake McDonough, just a few hundred yards from Goose Green Beach. The blacktop trail,
which is more than a quarter-mile long and in full compliance with Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, features more than 80 natural landmarks where
visitors can read about - and touch - many of the trees and rocks that are indigenous
to Southern New England. It's educational and fun! Parking and admission are free,
however reservations are required. For information call (860) 278-7850 ext. 3110.
Cross-country skiing is allowed on the roadways near West Beach and Goose
Swimming is allowed daily at East Beach and on weekends
and holidays at West Beach and Goose Green Beach from Memorial Day Weekend through
Labor Day Weekend.
East Beach is open weekdays from 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
East Beach is open weekends and holidays from 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
West Beach and Goose Green Beach are open weekends and holidays from 10:00 AM -
No commercial vehicles, U-Hauls, box trucks or campers allowed.
Fishing by boat and from the shore is allowed from the third Saturday in
April though Labor Day. Fishing from shore is also permitted through November 30.
Each spring the MDC and Connecticut DEP stock Lake McDonough with brown trout, rainbow
trout and brook trout. A wheelchair accessible fishing pier is located at the south
end of Lake McDonough on Route 219, approximately two miles from the intersection
of Route 44 in New Hartford Center.
Boating: MDC rowboats are available for rent at the Lake McDonough Boathouse. Private boat, canoe and kayak launching is also allowed for a small fee. Motor boat speed is limited to 10 miles per hour. For rules and additional information about boating at Lake McDonough click here.
Picnic sites, with wheelchair accessible tables and a limited number of on-site grills are open from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend. Picnic tables and grills are available on a first come first served basis.
Dogs must be on a leash at all times; dogs are allowed in rowboats and in picnic areas, but not allowed on the beaches. Please clean up after your dog.
For beach and boathouse information call 860 379-3036 (in season) or 860 278-7850 ext. 3110. For group reservations, call 860 278-7850 ext. 3814.
The Lake McDonough recreation area is located on the west side of Route
219 in Barkhamsted, Connecticut, just over three miles northeast of the Route 44
intersection in New Hartford Center.