Lake Gardner, located in Amesbury Massachusetts, is a long, narrow lake formed by a dam on the Powow River.  It stretches from Amesbury center to the New Hampshire border.  The lake has a rich and interesting history, and is currently used for passive recreation.  Homes line its western shore, and a sandy public swimming beach is at the southern end.  The eastern and northern shores are undeveloped conservation land made up of woods and other open space.

Lake Facts

Date Created: 1872
Historical Uses: River control, Ice harvesting, Power generation
Current Uses: Swimming, boating, fishing
Area: 80 acres
Length: 1.3 miles
Width: 0.25 miles
Max Depth: 17 ft

Lake History

Lake Gardner was created just after the Civil War, in 1872. It was formed by the construction of the dam, which was built by the Salisbury Mills Corporation.  The dam itself was constructed at a cost of $60,000 using granite brought in from not-so-nearby Cape Ann. More

Lake Maps

Water Quality

On behalf of the Town of Amesbury, the LGIA performs water testing each week of the summer. Water is tested at bathing areas on both Lake Gardner and Lake Attitash. Testing is done by Biomarine of Gloucester and results are usually posted by the end of the day on Friday.

Boating Info

Kayaks and canoes can be launched from the beach.  Boaters can explore the lake and wander north to the beautiful and tranquil Powow river.

In the past, the LGIA has hosted Milk Jug Derbies, the Lake Gardner Classic, a canoe and kayak race and orienteering events.

We now sponsor birdwatching hikes and an annual Paddle Hike, co-sponsored by the Camp Kent Science Center.

Goose Control

When spring returns to Lake Gardner we can expect to see the Canada Geese return.  Each year as this Canada Goose population has grown, our yards, parks, lakes are increasingly fouled with goose feces. The problem has continued to escalate in recent years, and in the past steps were taken to help reduce the population through barrier fencing at the Lake Gardner Beach & Dam area. The benefits did not warrant continued fencing efforts. More

Ice Safety

Amesbury is well known for its abundance of water resources, perfect for year-round recreation. For many people living in Amesbury, working or playing on the frozen surface of a river or lake is a normal part of winter. However, knowing how to do so safely can be a matter of life or death. More