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Indian Lake

Birding in Massachusetts

Indian Lake
Worcester, Massachusetts 01605
Indian Lake (MassachuesttsPaddler) webpage
Indian Lake Beach webpage

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Worcester County

Indian Lake
Coordinates: 42.2982622, -71.8126488
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About Indian Lake
Indian Lake, once known as North Pond, is located in the northwest portion of the city. North Pond was the peak source of water for the Blackstone River. In 1828, a dam was built at the outlet of the pond to increase the amount of water for use by the Blackstone Canal. This new reservoir was part of a system of lakes and ponds used to control the flow of water in the Blackstone Canal. However, the canal was a short-lived project that vanished due to the rising use of the rail system and complaints from mill owners within the Blackstone River watershed.

Indian Lake was also home to a local ice harvesting operation. During the days before automated ice-making machines, the harvesting of ice on local lakes and ponds was a big business employing hundreds of local residents. During a few short weeks in the winter, men would begin the harvest in mid-January or when the ice was about eighteen inches thick. Ice harvesting began in Worcester in 1848, with Dr. Benjamin F. Heywood harvesting ponds and providing ice to the local establishments. A few years later, Benjamin Walker bought the ice harvesting business and in 1855, established the Walker Ice Company with Samuel S. Sweetser. A storage facility was established on the western shore of Indian Lake, where Morgan Park is now located. This facility would harvest approximately 15,000 to 18,000 tons of ice per year. The Walker Coal and Ice Company continued to harvest ice from Indian Lake until its storage facility burned down in 1935. From the early days as the power source used for mills during the industrial revolution to today’s recreational uses, this body of water, now nearly two hundred acres (193 acres) in total, has played a significant role in Worcester’s history. As the city has developed, the land around Indian Lake has remained primarily residential in nature.

Today, activities on Indian Lake include boating (motorized and non-motorized), swimming, fishing, ice fishing, skating, and snowmobiling.
From Indian Lake Beach webpage

Indian Lake is a Great Pond situated in the northern part of Worcester between I-190 and MA-122A. The waters are turbid, often with a brownish or greenish tinge resulting from high levels of dissolved nutrients and periodic algal blooms. The bottom is muck and rock and the shoreline is heavily developed with residential dwellings and commercial buildings. Indian Lake is subject to a historical drawdown during winter, thus, water depths may vary.
From Indian Lake (MassachuesttsPaddler) webpage

There are three parks that provide access to the lake: Shore Park on the north, Indian Lake Beach on the east side of the lake, and Morgan Park on the west side of the lake.