Lakefront property on Big Bear Pond in the Sebago Lakes Region towns of Turner and Hartford will yield a lifetime of pleasure. Whether you are a seasonal or year-round resident, every day will feel like a vacation when its spent on the pond.
Big Bear Pond covers a surface area of 324 acres and has a maximum depth of 28 feet with an average depth of 12 feet. Scott Williams, executive director of the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program, reported to the Bear Pond Improvement Association (BPIA) that the water quality is above average.The BPIA oversees "the well-being of Big Bear and Little Bear Ponds, and the surrounding watershed . . ."
In 2001-02, the association conducted a watershed survey to identify areas of run-off erosion. Common problems included slight to moderate surface erosion, bare and sparsely vegetated soil and lack of vegetated buffers along the shoreline. Easy and inexpensive solutions meant seeding and mulching bare soil, creating run-off diverters, and establishing or enhancing buffers.
A grant from the Clean Water Act, Section 319, paid for a portion of these improvements. While all run-off problems pose a significant threat to the lake, it was the lakefront owners' willingness to correct them that has helped maintain above average water quality.
Big and Little Bear are connected by a shallow, rocky passage. Motorboats can pass through, but operators need to use caution.
Since the ponds are both shallow, you'll find good fishing for warm water game fish such as bass and pickerel. Keep in mind that there is no public boat launch. Both ponds are open to ice fishing during winter months. The Turner Town Beach on Bear Pond Road is for residents only.
As a four-season recreation destination, Bear Pond has much to offer including swimming, boating and fishing. Water-skiers will find the calm sheltered waters of Little Bear ideal. Hikers will enjoy the views of both Big and Little Bear Ponds from Bear Mountain. Hayford Hill and nearby Streaked Mountain also have hiking trails. The Turner Highlands Golf Course and Country Club offers scenic views of surrounding fields and mountains. The Turner Timberland ATV Club maintains trails for adventurous riders. And the Turner Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club connects "trails from Auburn to Livermore and Buckfield alongside Turner's scenic Androscoggin River, The Wildlife Game Preserve, Bear Pond and Bear Mountain." The snowmobile club is also home to the "One Lunger 100" Vintage Race, the Northeast's only vintage snowmobile race.
Located only 20 minutes north of the Twin Cities of Lewiston/Auburn, the pristine waters of Big and Little Bear Ponds provide an ideal setting for all your outdoor adventures.
Little Bear Pond, mentioned above, is also part of the BPIA. Little Bear, at 109 acres, is a shallow cove with a maximum depth of 10-12 feet and an average depth of 6 feet. The water quality is rated as average.