Lac de Maine, Angers, Loire, France.
Sheltered, placid, city located lake fed by the Loire River. No tide but occasionally windy Lac de Maine is Angers’ watersports and outdoor activities focal point for those living close by.
Lac de Maine is slap bang in the middle of Angers – a French city located along the Loire River. Surrounded by trees, and being inland, means there’s plenty of shelter from whatever conditions Mother Nature throws your way. The lake can be windy but it’s not hard to find a less breezy spot around the shore.
Onsite at the launch there’s a watersports centre and dinghy sailing club. Sailing, windsurfing, foiling, kayaking and SUP lessons take place regularly through summer and these groups should be kept clear of. A few mooring buoys also need to be given a wide birth as do exposed banks (depending on water depth) where roosting birds can often be found.
Along certain shores of the lake there are also overhanging tree branches which should be avoided so you don’t get snarled up. And the swimming area, just around from the watersports launch, is a no go with lifeguards making sure (during summer) you don’t encroach.
Access is super easy with a free car park opposite a short walk down to the water’s edge. Launching is also free is very welcome. Hire and lessons are available but this is chargeable via the watersports school.
Being in close proximity to Angers city centre you’d expect Lac de Maine to be bombed out with people. Especially as the main swimming area boasts a sandy expanse with kiddy friendly activities just behind. And whilst it certainly gets busy there’s usually room to move. The water is also a big enough ‘playing field’ to find your own space. Get there early for parking though.
The watersports centre hosts all types of discipline with hire/lessons available. Toilets are close to hand just behind the launch. Parking is free as is going afloat. Head to the swimming area, where imported sand has created a beach environment. A children’s play area and activities set up is just behind. As is a bar and picnic area. Cyclists have the option of paddling along designated routes around the lake.
Lac de Maine is a little oasis among the traditional and new of Angers. Fed by the Loire River the lake is a haven for all kinds of watery discipline. There’s a big contingent of windsurfers and sailors with paddle sports all well catered for. On any given sunny day you’ll find paddles jaunting around the lake – mostly in recreational form. SUP racing has also been a thing in the past.
The lake, being an inland water way, is pretty sheltered. Even when it’s breezy you can find a spot along the tree lined shores where’s it flat and calm. Some areas need to be kept well clear of, due to wild and birdlife. But these are clearly marked and roped off. Same with the swimming areas.
Where the river floods into the lake, directly opposite the launch site, there’s a slalom kayak course. If there’s any flow this can be a hazard if you’re not used to white water. Also, boats, windsurfers and sailors should be given a wide birth. There’s usually no issue though.
Lac de Maine is a great spot for recreational and family SUP that evokes a feeling of being by the beach. It’s a well looked after location that any paddler will love to spend time at. Angers city is historical and worth a look. Whilst the wider Loir region is famous in its own right. Not least for the liquid stuff you drink.
There are lots of paddling spots locally, although most aren’t quite as good for the beginner, early intermediate of progressing SUPer as Lac de Maine.
Be sure to check out more places to paddle here.