Camp Candlewood is set on almost 90 acres and almost 2,000 feet of direct waterfront along picturesque and pristine Candlewood Lake, in beautiful Connecticut, 68 miles to Manhattan, nearby Danbury Airport, and plenty of shopping, dining, golfing, exercise and entertainment options.
This former Girl Scout camp is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The property can be reused as a day or overnight camp, developed into a gated community of luxury waterfront homes, converted into a spiritual or corporate retreat, used as a private “family glamping compound”, or cleared for a special estate with unequaled serenity and privacy.
About Candlewood Lake
Candlewood Lake is the largest lake in Connecticut, near the border with New York, stretching 16 miles long and 8 miles wide, and spanning 5000 acres across five towns in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties, including Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, New Milford, and Sherman, Connecticut.
Candlewood Lake is technically a reservoir created to generate clean, green hydro-power-electricity from the Housatonic River. The lake is around 40 feet deep in most places (with some areas that are 80 feet deep, or 24 meters)which is great for boating, water skiing, jet skiing, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, wind surfing, scuba diving – there are plenty of underwater buildings and roads from the 18th century, Model Ts, covered bridges, and plane wreckage from small craft that have perished -- and fishing for trout, bass, perch, walleye, and other species. The lake is 429 feet above sea level. There are 10 fully stocked marinas and restaurants where you can dock your boat and enjoy live music.
As a Camp
Currently, the property is set up as a recreational camp with rustic cabins and modern facilities like a dining hall with a commercial kitchen to feed hungry campers or cater a wedding. There is an airconditioned ADA compliant two-bedroom Lighthouse (with kitchenette) that can be used for meetings or breakout sessions, a First Aid Station, a Ranger Station or Caretaker’s Cottage with a beautiful front porch and water views. And, there is plenty to do with a boat house, a swimming beach, a dock and two boat launches; and archery, four nature trails, and a challenge course.
Click Here for a Camp Map
All of the main buildings are serviced by electric, water and septic (with porcelain flush toilets). There are multiple fresh water spigots around the property, along with electric.
There are three matching pavilions and approximately 30 cabins, sleeping roughly 200 campers. Cabins are grouped into four clusters around fire pits and smaller gathering areas: including Candleberry, Yarsloop, Catamaran and Captains. There are three open fields for recreation (Memorial Field, Daisy Field and Deer Run Field).
The Dining Hall easily accommodates 135 people seated around tables, or 300 in chairs in an open floor plan. The Kitchen is fully configured as a restaurant- or cafeteria-grade facility, with all the equipment, appliances, utilities and services needed to serve three meals a day, or cater elegant events like weddings and parties overlooking the Lake. The Kitchen allows compliance with all health and sanitary codes, including hand-washing stations, separated food prep areas, plating stations, designated food storage areas, and a large dishwashing area for continuous service.
The wheelchair-accessible Lighthouse was constructed with fully ADA compliant bathrooms, showers and facilities. This building is as beautiful as it is practical and flexible, with a two-story fieldstone fireplace and vaulted ceilings. It can be used as a two-bedroom air-conditioned cottage for those less keen on sleeping in the more rustic cabins which generally offer a more intimate experience with nature. Or, its several rooms can be used as indoor meeting spaces or breakout or planning rooms. There is also a full kitchen, for added convenience.
The Ranger Station (aka Caretaker’s Cottage) has two bedrooms, full bath and kitchen, living room or family room with vaulted ceiling and fireplace, and a loft living space. This log cabin style home sits perfectly with its natural surroundings. The front porch is oriented to offer views of the Lake. The home comes with a three-bay garage.
The Boat House has four bays, and is great for storing boats, and just about anything else water-related, including kayaks, canoes, life jackets, paddles and oars. And, just in front of the Boat House, there are docks for in-water boat storage. The Swimming Beach is a protected area for safe swimming, and it has its own dock for jumping in the water, safety buoys, and a lifeguard chair. There are two different boat launches for various watercraft like ponton boats, speedboats, jet skiis, paddle boards, and windsurfing.
Hiking trails and educational trails meander all around the property, including the aptly named Billy Goat trail which runs from the top of the property down to the water through one of the property’s dramatic rock outcrops and steeper topographies. The Woodland Walk and the Candlewood Lake Educational Trail are two of the more formally marked trails. Other less-traveled trails are marked by simple, old, wooden signs that announce the beginning of a “Nature Trail”. Highlighting the diversity of trees that form the forest canopy in the more wooded parts of the property, there are handmade signs created by Girl Scouts earning educational badges that identify the different deciduous trees found on the property, like White Oak, Birch, Eastern Hemlock, and Black Cherry.
Large open fields like Memorial Field have been the playground for decades of Capture the Flag and any other camp game you can think of. Deer Run Field is currently configured for use as an archery range. You can imagine the inspiration for Daisy Field. Scattered in the woods, remnants of an old Challenge Course (aka ropes course or obstacle course) can be found, like a tire swing, quad steps, rope swing across a lava pit, and climbing wall.
Alternatively, the campground could be developed into a gated community of luxury waterfront homes. One development plan proposes 22 homes, a Boat House or Club House, Boat Launch Ramp, Paddleboard Launch Pier, and boat docks. Over half the lots would have lake views (with some limited tree clearing), and six would be direct waterfront mini-estates on three acres. All of the lots would be served by private water supply wells and septic systems. Each lot is shown with a four-bedroom septic system layout, subject to field verification. The property contains natural wetland corridors consistent with the flora and fauna of the region, dramatic rock outcrops and freshwater streams. The plan includes a 15 acre parcel of permanently protected and preserved Open Space for the community’s enjoyment. All new subdivision utilities and individual lot service is intended to be underground. The proposed roadway and lot layout is just one of numerous options for the development of the site. The development potential is huge. Homes on Candlewood Lake have sold for as much as $5 Million each.
Click Here for a Conceptual Site Plan - Low Resolution
Click Here for a Conceptual Site Plan - High Resolution
Click Here for a Conceptual Site Plan - Satellite Overlay
This unbelievable property is bucolic and picturesque, with streams and footbridges. It defines “breathtaking”. Whether it is reused as a day or overnight camp; or developed into the premier association on the lake; converted into a spiritual or corporate retreat, used as private, family glamping compound; or for building a special lakefront [home/retreat] overlooking Candlewood Lake with unequaled serenity and privacy, not far from Manhattan; this property is a once in a lifetime opportunity. For more video, pictures and more information, call your Agent or the Listing Agent, because a property like this won’t last long….