The Lake

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: Mill Power, Ice harvesting, Power generation and currently, River management,

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

Click for Interactive Map

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 Thursday.

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. Powersports vehicles, such as jet skis and trailered boats are strictly prohibited.

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

We have sponsored birdwatching, stargazing, hikes, and paddles.

Check our Facebook page for current events listings.

As with so many bodies of water in New England, ours has been dealing with an incursion of invasive plants, the most recent and most concerning is the sighting of water chestnut...if you see it, pull it!

Ducks and Canada Geese
We seem to have some ducks in permanent residence now, and each spring and fall, 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, which is problematic, often causing brief beach closures.
Weekly water testing is performed in the summer per the Amesbury Board of Health.

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.