Harriman Reservoir / Lake Whitingham

Eight miles long with 28 miles of shoreline. This undeveloped jewel is home to bald eagles, loons, and a variety of wildlife. The lake is open for swimming, kayaking, powerboats, sailboats and paddleboards.

2.5 miles west of Wilmington on Rte 9 toward Bennington. Go left and over the Medburyville Bridge. Left again after the bridge; go .5 mile to dead end where trail head starts.

Eight miles long with 28 miles of shoreline.  This undeveloped jewel is home to bald eagles, loons, and a variety of wildlife.  The lake is open for swimming, kayaking, powerboats, sailboats and paddleboards.

Part of the Molly Stark Byway Heritage Trail.  For more information about the history of Harriman Reservoir click here.

Before Harriman Reservoir flooded 2,200 acres of surrounding farms and woodland, the meandering, uninterrupted Deerfield River wound its sinuous way through this fertile valley. The river’s power was harnessed in the late 19th century by the creation of Mountain Mills Pond as a holding area for logs floated down from Somerset Reservoir. By 1912, the Mountain Mills settlement included a railroad station with a store, post office, a 6-bed hospital, brick office building, a boarding house, row housing, and a water tower. The rich Deerfield River valley farmland supplied the settlement with food.

In 1923, Lake Harriman was created by the New England Power Company as part of their hydroelectric system. Fifteen hundred men labored for one year to provide hydroelectric power for the Northeast, including workers from surrounding towns, Nova Scotia, Maine, Prince Edward Island, as well as many Austrian Italians, Canadians, and some Native Americans from Maine. The Harriman Dam at the south end of the lake is named for Henry I. Harriman, engineer for the New England Power Company. Three cemeteries were relocated and 14 miles of highways were discontinued. When the waters began to fill the lake, some residents of Mountain Mills had to hastily gather their belongings as the waters rose to their doorways to engulf their former homes and village. The submerged foundations of the mill and other buildings can occasionally be seen when boating. The maximum depth of the reservoir is 185 feet.

Hydroelectric Power

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Wilmington VT US
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