Lake Williams State Park Scenic Reserve, Lebanon
Once or twice a year, we become Lake People. It happens when our friends Sean and Marni invite us to their little lake house on Lake Williams in Lebanon to spend a day doing things Lake People do.
What do Lake People do?
Lake People do lake things. Day drink beer from cans and mixed drinks from red Solo cups. Lake people take their boats out, whether they are moldy kayaks or 15-seat pontoon boats. Lake people play loud country music while setting off fireworks any time they darn well please. Lake People all have dogs and Lake People seem generally nice.
We’ve been enjoying Lake Life for many years of parenthood with (mostly) UConn friends and families. I had no idea that Lake Williams had graduated to “State Park Scenic Reserve” status and still don’t really know when that happened, or what the actual boundaries of the state’s property are.
I have a feeling the actual “state park-ish” area is a small patch of woods near the dam on the southern end of the lake, but for the purposes of this page, I’m just going to consider the entire lake – which used to be Williams Pond for decades, so its used to “graduating” into designations. Well done, Lake, well done.
According to the ever intrepid Matt at Explore CT:
There is a trail (unconnected to the boat launch area) from a pull-off that looks like a driveway near the boat launch. The road leads up to a gate and beyond that small clearings along the dam. The trail is .25 miles long and dead ends at a clearing with a sign dedicating the area in memory of Adam Liebman, a local who passed away in 2012.
Sigh. Way to bring me down, Matt. RIP Mr. Liebman.
The lake was originally the site of a sawmill. Sometime in the mid-1800’s, it was permanently flooded and became Williams Pond, later named Lake Williams.
It’s a very pretty lake, and we always love our Lake People days. Calvin can spend hours in the water, despite that one time he had two large water snakes coiling around his legs. I taught him to kayak and canoe on Lake Williams, and he’s even done some small boat sailing with my friend Sean.
We have taken long kayak and canoe trips the full length of the lake, slaloming the dozen or so islands that dot the surface. A couple of the islands are inhabited, which I’ve always thought is a really cool. There’s one particular A-frame that looks like it was helicoptered here from Vermont. I like that house.
The lake itself is actually owned by the town of Lebanon and they’ve been battling invasive lake weeds for many years now. I’ve seen parts of it absolutely choked with fanwort and other junk. Lake People: please take the proper precautions when putting your boats in these types of lakes!
There is a campground here as well, but it’s all highly managed by an “association” of some sort, so good luck with that.
All of you without friends who have lake property, you can do all the same stuff via the public boat launch somewhere near the southern end of the lake. There are lots of these little lakes in eastern Connecticut, and they’re all pretty.
All Lake People, however, are not pretty.