Frequently Asked Questions

There are no public beaches on Lake Attitash.  The Merrimac town beach has been closed for many years and Sandy Beach, managed by AALSIA, is a private beach accessible only to people living in a designated area near the beach who pay an annual fee.

  • There is a State boat ramp located at the end of Attitash Ave, off of route 110 in Merrimac.
  • It is available for anyone to launch boats, sailboats, kayaks, canoes, etc.
  • There is no swimming or fishing allowed at the boat ramp.
  • Boat ramp monitors are at the ramp at peak use times to insure that invasive weeds are not brought into or taken out of the lake on boats or trailers.

There are no public boat slip rentals around Lake Attitash

All dock/mooring permitting is done through the State of Massachusetts with your local Conservation Commission. More information can be located here:
The contact information for your Conservation Commission agent can be located below:

Jet skis are not allowed on Lake Attitash by ordinances issued by the Town of Merrimac and City of Amesbury.

There are no limits on the type, size and power of boats allowed on the lake. Boaters are asked to be courteous, safe and to respect people and property on the lake.

Large wakes can be dangerous for swimmers, harm docks and wash away the shoreline. Please be aware of your wake and minimize it whenever possible.

In Massachusetts the following types of operation are extremely unsafe and are prohibited by law:

  • Operating a motorboat within 150 feet of a swimming area, whether public or private.
  • Operating at a speed greater than 45 mph.
  • Operating at greater than headway speed (6 mph or less) within 150 feet of a swimmer, water skier, mooring area, marina or boat launch.
  • Operating at an excessive speed considering weather conditions, boat traffic, and other hazards.

Massachusetts state law prohibits the use of trucks, campers, trailers, automobiles, ski mobiles, or other motorized vehicles on Lake Attitash, Lake Gardner, and the Powwow River.

Lake Attitash is a 373-acre great pond located within the borders of the Town of Merrimac and City of Amesbury. The maximum depth is 34 feet, and the average depth is 10 feet.

The bottom is predominantly sand, gravel and organic matter, with aquatic vegetation predominantly found along the shoreline and in the inlet and outlet coves. The shoreline is nearly completely developed with homes, with one third in Merrimac and two thirds in Amesbury.

There are many ways you can protect the lake and help keep it clean and safe for all of us. You can visit our Protecting the Lake section of our website to read more on what you can do, how you can become an active member of the lLake Attitash Association and/or make a donation towards protecting and improving the lake and its environment.

Yes, fishing is allowed on the lake at any time of the year.

Adults are required to obtain a Massachusetts freshwater fishing license. Please go to for specific information on where to buy a license on line or in stores, age and residence criteria.

Lake Attitash is a backup water supply for the City of Amesbury. They regularly test the water for bacteria and E.coli during the summer months. If the levels exceed those allowed, notices are posted and information is made available on the city’s website.

Over the last few years much effort has been made and funds raised to treat the lake to mitigate Cyanobacteria blooms. These efforts have been effective at minimizing this problem.

If you suspect a Cyanobacteria bloom or high levels of E.coli in your area, please reach out to your local Health Department to request testing: Merrimac, MA (978) 804-9534 or Amesbury, MA (978) 388-8134.

There are invasive weeds found in the lake, as there are in most lakes in New England. The Association, with the approval of the local Conservation Commissions, has implemented a plan to reduce the impact of these weeds. The plan includes:

  • Hand pulling small growths.
  • Using divers to vacuum up larger areas of growth.
  • Putting down “Benthic Barriers” or tarps to kill areas of growth.
  • Spot treating areas of growth during the spring and fall as needed.
  • Keeping weeds out of the lake by having “Association Boat Monitors” at the ramp to check boats coming in and going out for weeds.

There are also a group of “Weed Watchers” who patrol the lake on a regular basis to search for weeds needing to be dealt with.
Want to become a "weed watcher? Click here

Want to become a "boat ramp monitor?" Click here

The lake is teeming with wildlife. It is a great birdwatching area and particularly busy during the spring and fall migrations.

There is a resident swan population living on the lake and keeping up with the trials and tribulations of the parents and offspring is a popular pastime.

There are also, beavers, turtles, muskrats, snakes and many other species to observe.

Visit our Wildlife Rehab Reporting section of our website to learn more on how to report injured wildlife. 

The Lake Attitash Association sells lake oriented merchandise to raise funds to support its efforts to protect and enhance the lake. Shirts, fleeces, signs and other great stuff are available at the following local merchants:


LAA merchandise is available at Trendsetters Boutique, located in downtown Amesbury.  Trendsetter's Boutique was fueled by a love of affordable fashion. In addition to LAA merchandise, they offers a huge selection of goods at affordable prices. "We love to help our customers find just the right item no matter the occasion. We pride ourselves on sending you on your way with items you love."



LAA merchandise is now available at Five Daughters located in Merrimac, next to 110 Liquors.  Five Daughters is a local catering business that also sells fresh vegetables, delicious bakery items, prepared fresh and frozen side and main dishes. Located at 123 East Main Street, Merrimac, MA 01860.  More information on Five Daughters at: (web) and @fivedaughtersllc (Facebook)

Still can't find what you're looking for?

You can use our contact form to submit a specific question to the organization. Please allow for 24 hours for a response.