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Trout – Rainbow Lake (MD)

Approximate Boundary: 39.695454,-77.388407 to 39.694397,-77.392098

The 8 acre Rainbow Lake is also known as the Emmitsburg Reservoir. You need a free permit issued by the town in addition to your state fishing license. To obtain this permit, go to the Emmitsburg town office with your fishing license. The reason for this is that Rainbow Lake is a conservation area and provides water to the surrounding community. Therefore, there is no boating, swimming or camping allowed in the vicinity of the lake.

Once you deal with the hurdles of being legal, you will be pleased to discover that Rainbow Lake is a large and vibrant fishery. Happily, the shoreline is not clogged with underwater vegetation. Instead, it features clear water and a sand/gravel shelf that drops quickly into the deep water.  The western end of the lake is shallow while the east holds the deep water. At the eastern end, the lake butts up to the high dam whose manicured summit provides a direct path and easy access to the far shore. Once off the spillway on the northern shore, follow the narrow, well beaten fisherman’s trail that leads part of the way around the perimeter of the lake. The shoreline is forested, but not enough to restrict access to the water.  instead, the pricker bushes are more of a problem. Be prepared to cut your way through them if you do not want to use the established access points. The most frustrating thing about fishing here is knowing that you cannot reach the fish rising outside of casting range in the middle of the lake.

Getting There:

From Frederick MD, drive north on US 15.  Once past Thurmont, turn left onto North Franklinville Road followed by a right onto Orchard Road.  Continue onto Kelbaugh Road and make a slight left onto Black Road.  Take the right fork from Black Road onto 3 Springs Road.  The road undergoes a name change to Eylers Valley Road shortly after the fork.  Eventually, Eylers Valley Road will make a 90° turn to the left at a “T” intersection.  To not turn.  Continue straight ahead on Hampton Valley Road.  The lake is about 1.2 miles from this intersection on the left.

Parking is available all along the southern side of the lake along Hampton valley road. You will have to dodge pricker bushes if you park in a turnoff that does not have a beaten trail leading to the water’s edge.

Access Point: Off of Hampton Valley Road (39.695454,-77.388407)

Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented in the Maryland DNR stocking plan.

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View looking west from the dam

Northern shoreline

View looking east to the dam

Western shoreline

Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore

Articles on this site are out of date since some go back to 2006. Regulations and property ownership may have changed since publication. It is your responsibility to know and obey all regulations and not trespass on private property.

Disclaimer and Warning:  The contents of this site reflect the opinion of the author and you, the reader, must exercise care in the use and interpretation of this information.  Fishing is a dangerous sport.  You can slip and fall on rocks and sustain severe injury.  You can drown.  You can get hooks caught in your skin, face, eyes or other sensitive places.  All sorts of bad things can happen to you when to go into the woods to visit the places documented here.  Forests, streams and lakes are wild areas and any number of bad things can happen.  You must make your own judgment in terms of acceptable behavior and risk and not rely on anything posted here.  I disclaim all liability and responsibility for any actions you take as a result of reading the articles on this site.  If you do not agree with this, you should not read anything posted on this site.

Disclaimer and Warning:  The contents of this site reflect the opinion of the author and you, the reader, must exercise care in the use and interpretation of this information.  Fishing is a dangerous sport.  You can slip and fall on rocks and sustain severe injury.  You can drown.  You can get hooks caught in your skin, face, eyes or other sensitive places.  All sorts of bad things can happen to you when to go into the woods to visit the places documented here.  Forests, streams and lakes are wild areas and any number of bad things can happen.  You must make your own judgment in terms of acceptable behavior and risk and not rely on anything posted here.  I disclaim all liability and responsibility for any actions you take as a result of reading the articles on this site.  If you do not agree with this, you should not read anything posted on this site.

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