Pushaw Lake can get busy on warm summer weekends as it is the closest lake of size (4860 Acres) to Bangor. The lake is fairly developed along most of its shore with homes and camps as well. With that said, the best time to go is midweek if possible.
The lake is rather long and narrow and large enough to allow some solitude at parts, especially on the north end around Hudson. My most recent visit was on a hot August weekday morning and I saw only a handful of boats that were fairly close.
I managed to see many birds around the lake including a bald eagle and over a dozen loons, some pretty close to my kayak. There are also several large islands to paddle around and explore.
Like any of the lakes in Maine, Pushaw Lake can get rather choppy in windy weather. For those looking for some lake paddling in the Bangor, Old Town, Orono areas, Pushaw Lake is a good bet for a fairly large lake only minutes away.
At different points around the lake, facilities range from put ins that have nothing more than a small beach, to put ins at a commercial campground with full facilities including camping, store, bathrooms, etc.
There are no fees to use the lake, however fees may be charged at commercial campgrounds to access the lake.
Most common access is exit 191 of I95. Go west off the ramp until you get to Essex St. Take a right on Essex to ramp. You could also take Pushaw Rd or Essex St out of Bangor to get there.
The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer Maps 23 and 33 show access points.