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The Southwest Cove at Lake Willoughby

Off of Route 5A, Orleans, Vermont 05860 USA

“Vermont's most impressive example of glacial-sculpting”

This 5 mile long lake is without a doubt Vermont's most impressive example of glacial-sculpting. Around 12,000 years ago a glacier carved a wide U-shaped deep gap right through the middle of a mountain. It opened up deep underground springs which feed the lake as virtually its only water source. This makes the water the clearest, cleanest you'll ever see in a lake. Willoughby ialso has the distinction of the deepest lake in New England, 312 feet maximum depth. Because of the depth and deep feeder springs, the water temperature is on the chilly side throughout July but finally rises to more comfortable levels for August and much of September. The southwest cove is the only clothing-optional beach on the lake and also just happens to be the spot with the most spectacular view. The towering cliffs on each side are breathtakingly magnificent. Despite it being such a deep lake, the water at this beach deepens so gradually that you can wade in for up to 200 feet from shore before getting in above your neck. The large shallow area is ideal for small children. Suited swimmers usually make up the majority of beach goers there but they all seem comfortable with others near them being nude. The amount of sandy beach for sunbathing here is limited and the state forest behind keeps the beach shaded much of the morning. Some large rocks to sit on in spots where sandy beach is lacking. There's a hiking trail back in the woods forking off from the beach trail that takes you up close to the left cliff and many have enjoyed this 45 minute hike nude. 

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Reviewed by
kate.oneill.127

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
November 06, 2013

One of our favorite spots.

1 person found this review helpful

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The Southwest Cove at Lake Willoughby

Off of Route 5A
Orleans, Vermont
05860 USA

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