Highland Lake Watershed Association

A Nonprofit Organization Dedicated to the Preservation and Protection of Highland Lake and Its Watershed

Welcome to Highland Lake

Picturesque Highland Lake is located in the historic town of Winchester, in Litchfield County, CT. At its deepest, our 444 acre lake is 63 ft. deep, with a mean depth of 24 ft. It is comprised of three bays, approximately three miles long and seven miles around. A natural lake, Highland Lake was raised up 10 ft. with the construction of a dam in 1860.

A unique feature of this dam is its spillway! Often in the summer, high water will overflow over the dam and across a major street encircling the lake. Cars splash through slowly as they drive across the spillway. Lined with permanent homes and summer residences, Highland Lake is also home to a state park on the southwestern end of Third Bay.

The watershed of Highland Lake encompasses approximately 4,000 acres and includes the land surrounding Highland Lake, Crystal Lake and Winchester Club Pond. These bodies of water are connected by Sucker Brook, Taylor Brook and smaller ponds. Just beyond the official boundary of the watershed lies Rugg Brook Reservoir, with tributaries flowing into the Mad River. This large network of water bodies, all located in the Town of Winchester, are monitored and maintained by the town as well as the State of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection(DEEP). HLWA conducts monthly water sampling in each of the Highland Lake’s three bays in April through November. DEEP also tests the water at the two lake beaches during the summer.

The crystal-clear water is valued for its fishing, boating, swimming and water sports opportunities. The natural beauty of the lake and watershed can be enjoyed in each season. Highland Lake is designated by the CT DEEP as a Trout Management Lake and is periodically stocked with trout. Two public beaches are located in First Bay, each with small parking areas (parking permits available through the town). The lake is monitored by the Winchester Marine Patrol and State Environment Conservation Police (ECON) to enforce state boating safety regulations.

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