Crystal Lake is a beloved swimming pond of 36 acres, accessible from Monument Road (the second largest pond in Orleans.) With a maximum depth of 44 feet, Crystal Lake offers a deep, cool place to swim in the summer, popular despite its small public beach and limited parking. The Cape Cod Times wrote “even fish like to swim at Crystal Lake,” which captures this gem beautifully. As a Great Pond over ten acres, Crystal Lake is owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
There is a paved boat ramp on the northwest side of Crystal Lake off Route 28, and a small public beach off Monument Road on the southeast shore. Parking is limited by the Monument Road beach landing; access for kayaks or paddleboards is possible only with great caution due to the popularity of the area for young children. The north shore landing is a better place for boat access.
Crystal Lake supplies the fresh water for a Monument Road cranberry bog that ultimately discharges into Kescayogansett Pond. The cranberry bog has been toured as part of the Orleans Pond Coalition Celebrate Our Waters Weekend for many years, through the graciousness of its owners and the bog manager.
In addition to swimming, Crystal Lake offers opportunities for non-motorized boating. With the state stocking Crystal Lake with trout twice a year, fishing is a favorite activity. Species surveys of Crystal Lake over the years have shown a variety of fish from bass, pumpkinseed and eel. The beach faces west, and late afternoons are a favorite time to experience the magic of Crystal Lake.
With a watershed approaching 225.5 acres, and several storm drains from route 28 and adjacent roads leading into the waters, Crystal Lake also has some distress, with anoxic conditions in late summer. Hence, divers and water scientists have been collecting water samples since the summer of 2018. Phosphorus has been migrating into Crystal Lake for years, and the data collection underway this year will help the town determine the best ways to mitigate. See link here Water Water Everywhere – Crystal Lake for a lovely essay on Crystal Lake by author Wendy Shreve, who wrote “If Cape Cod is my home, Crystal Lake is my picture window.”