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Top Lakes In Pennsylvania

The state of Pennsylvania has a stunning and picturesque natural environment. From the Allegheny and Pocono mountains, the Dutch countryside, and the many lakes, Pennsylvania is one of the top states for outdoor lovers. Over 2,500 Pennsylvania lakes make the state ideal for boating, swimming, fishing, and kayaking as well as spending time resting on the beaches.

Most of the lakes are man-made, however, there are 50 created by glaciers. The state’s lakes, though, are all worthwhile destinations. If you’re searching for a more basic experience, there are a few excellent lakes that aren’t easily accessible inside the Pennsylvania State Park system, but they’re certainly worth the effort.

If you’re looking to plan a vacation to Pennsylvania, these are the best lakes to visit.

1. Lake Erie

Lake Erie in Pennsylvania is the state’s largest natural lake, which does not wholly reside inside its borders, yet it’s still one of the top tourist lakes in the surroundings. You can reach Lake Erie most easily from the state’s northwest point at Erie, Pennsylvania.

At Presque Isle State Park, you can enjoy some of the warmest waters in the Great Lakes while relaxing on any of the park’s 11 miles of sand beaches.

If you enjoy swimming, then you’ll be able to enjoy it at Lake Erie. Aside from swimming, you can also enjoy kayaking, fishing, boating, and canoeing. In Erie, renting water sports equipment or hiring a guide for a water adventure is simple and easy.

Take a sunset ride on Lake Erie, or go fishing for walleye, perch, and steelhead aboard a charter boat at Pennsylvania’s premier fishing sites.

2. Lake Wallenpaupack

Lake Wallenpaupack aerial shotMan-made Lake Wallenpaupack is Pennsylvania’s second-largest body of water, situated in the northeastern Pocono Mountains near the town of Hawley. There are 52 miles of coastline on the 5,700-acre lake, offering plenty of opportunities for boating or shore-based recreational activities.

You can rent a boat at Lake Wallenpaupack, from any of the four boat launches around the lake.

There are public beaches in Tobyhanna State Park and Wilsonville Recreation Area as well Palmyra Township’s public beach is situated in Hawley. Lake Wallenpaupack is a popular location for water sports and fishing, and there are several rental firms in the region. There are many hiking paths around the lake that can be explored as well as numerous museums, boutique stores, and restaurants in the town of Hawley.

3. Raystown Lake

Raystown Lake natural glacier lake

In addition to being one of the top lakes in Pennsylvania, Raystown Lake is the state’s biggest inland lake, with more than 8,200 acres of water. Located in Hesston, south-central Pennsylvania, Raystown Lake is a sought-after destination for explorers.

For boaters, swimmers, and people who want to enjoy the surroundings, the lake can be accessed through 12 public access points. Raystown Lake, an artificial reservoir, offers many public beaches and a popular campsite Susquehannock Campground.

Nearby towns like Martinsburg and Huntington make it very easy to rent houseboats for a week or vacation homes. Raystown Lake and the surrounding area are famed for their abundance of outdoor activities so that you won’t have a problem occupying yourself for many days.

4. Lake Nockamixon

Lake Nockamixon, near Quakertown in Buck County’s picturesque hills, is one of Pennsylvania’s most beautiful lakes. Nockamixon State Park’s 1,450-acre lake is the park’s crown feature.

Many pontoon boats, windsurfers, canoeists, anglers, and picnickers may be seen on the lake throughout the summer, taking advantage of the cool shade of the trees that line the shore. However, there is also a public swimming pool located inside the state park.

Lake Nockamixon has four boat ramps where you may either launch for the day or anchor overnight. There are miles of hiking and bike routes in the state park that surrounds the lake.

Bird-watching is also a popular pastime at Lake Nockamixon State Park park since it is situated along a waterfowl migration route. The Knecht’s Covered Bridge, which has been in the region since 1873, is a great site to view the sunset after a day at Lake Nockamixon.

5. Lake Harmony

Lake Harmony in the Poconos is one of the cleanest icy lakes in Pennsylvania. One of its most appealing features is the crystal-clear water that flows from the surrounding mountains.

Visitors can find Many cottages and lakefront residences in Lake Harmony’s nearby vacation community. Water sports such as kite surfing and boating are prevalent here. There’s bass, trout, and even perch thanks to the natural waterways of the area’s lakes and rivers.

If you want to stay in one of the vacation homes, there are plenty of options. Lake Harmony, which is 2.5 miles long is exclusive, yet easily accessible. Swimming and boating facilities are available at the lake’s shore and a marina. Additionally, Hickory Run State Park and a golf course can be found nearby, along with the Pocono Raceway and a theme water park.

6. Pymatuning Lake

Sunrise at Pymatuning Lake

Nearly 17,000 acres ring Pymatuning Lake, which has a canal that connects to the state of Ohio. The lake is situated in the Pymatuning State Park, in Jamestown. This park is a favorite destination for swimmers, boaters, and fishermen alike.

It’s possible to camp out throughout your visit if you’d want to make the most of it. In the summer, Pymatuning Lake has three beaches available to the public. There are three marinas and various concession areas on the lake, making boating convenient.

It’s a terrific place to go kayaking or canoeing on the water. To get to Greenville, you’ll have to go nine miles on the Shenango River Water Trail. In addition to aquatic sports, you may take in some of the park’s seven miles of hiking trails to round out your day’s adventure.

7. Conneaut Lake

Conneaut Lake, the state’s most significant natural lake, is located in northwest Pennsylvania. The town of Conneaut Lake, where it is located, is well-known for its popular vacation spots.

Recreational activities such as wakeboarding, swimming, and fishing are popular at the 929-acre lake for holidaymakers. In addition, individuals who prefer to sit on the shore rather than in the water may take advantage of this lakeside setting.

In addition to the amusement park, Conneaut Lake is a well-desired destination for vacationers. The park, which was opened to the public in 1892, retains a sense of nostalgia for its early days as a family getaway. Visitors can find a wooden coaster on the midway, which holds the 17th place of the oldest ones in the United States. As a bonus, Conneaut Lake is only a short walk from the park.

8. Canadohta Lake

Next to Conneaut Lake lies Canadohta Lake, a 168-acre natural lake situated in the town of Canadohta, Pennsylvania, north of Pittsburgh.

Canadohta Lake is well-known for being a safe, family-friendly destination throughout the year’s warm months. Boating and fishing are popular pastimes at this lake. In the winter, a well-attended ice fishing contest is held.

Aside from water sports, Canadohta Lake has a lot to offer in activities and attractions. The area around the lake is lovely, offering activities like golf and miniature golf, as well as hiking, bicycling, and roller skating. Rentable lodging options abound around the lake, including cabins and campsites.

9. Edinboro Lake

Suppose you’re looking for a quieter lake to fish and swim in. In that case, Edinboro Lake, located in Erie County in northeastern Pennsylvania, is an excellent choice.

There are two beaches and various fish species in the 245-acre lake, which is why fishermen like it. Additionally, Edinboro Lake is a popular destination for boating and kayaking sports.

While vacationing at Edinboro Lake, you can find Erie Zoo just a few miles away from you. Nearby, there are also Hurry Hill Farm Maple Museum and Presque Isle State Park. You may spend a whole day swimming or hiking, respectively. Near Edinboro Lake, you’ll find many vacation rentals, including anything from little cottages to sprawling mansions.

10. Dutch Springs

Visitors can enjoy recreational water activities such as diving and snorkeling in the spring-fed water at Dutch Springs. Boat rentals are available, but the lake is arguably best known for its Aqua Park, which caters to families.

The Aqua Park offers a fun way to enjoy the lake with a range of water inflatables, such as slides, trampolines, and balancing towers.

In Dutch Springs, a 100-foot-deep lake once used for quarrying limestone, scuba divers may enjoy the crystal-clear waters. Scuba divers may investigate automobiles and aircraft that are underwater.

Dutch Springs is an excellent place for anglers to catch perch, bass, and bluegill because of its diverse ecosystem.

11. Kinzua Lake

The Allegheny Reservoir, commonly known as Kinzua Lake, is a popular water recreation location and one of Pennsylvania’s most picturesque tourist attractions. An area of the Allegheny National Forest covering 513,000 acres surrounds the artificial reservoir in northern Pennsylvania near Warren, on the New York state boundary.

Around the lake, there are six boat ramps and a marina where you can get supplies and hire a boat. Kinzua Lake is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and swimming.

In addition to the two public beaches, the park has a variety of picnic sites with beautiful views of the forest and lake and restrooms. You may go hiking, biking, ATVing, horseback riding, bird-watching, and wilderness camping off the lake. There are 600 miles of trails accessible.

12. Gouldsboro Lake

Gouldsboro Lake, an artificial body of water in northern Pennsylvania, is a popular destination for watersports enthusiasts. Ice fishing is permitted on the 250-acre lake during the winter, which draws visitors.

Gouldsboro State Park, where the lake is situated, contains several hiking and bike paths and picnic sites. At Gouldsboro, a public beach with restrooms is accessible throughout the summer. You can find species of flora and animals unique to the Pocono Plateau in the lake and state park.

13. Fairview Lake

Fairview Lake in the Summer

Fairview Lake in Palmyra Township, eastern Pennsylvania, is one of the best fishing lakes in the state because of its shallow waters. It contains a wide diversity of fish species because of its distinctive natural features.

This 169-acre lake is entirely natural. An interesting geological feature is a ridge that runs across it, which reduces the depth to around three feet at its deepest point. It’s little wonder that bass fishermen go to Fairview Lake in search of a little fishing fortune.

Fairview Lake is said to have been where Bassmaster Mike Iaconelli caught his first fish as a child. Despite its fishing legends, there are several vacation houses and boating options on Fairview Lake, a family-friendly lake.

14. Antietam Lake Reservoir

This lake is a gorgeous body of water near Reading, Pennsylvania. Picnickers and hikers can find plenty of natural beauty on the lake’s 643 acres of designated green area.

Visitors have the golden opportunity to walk on the park’s 12 miles of interconnected paths. Angora Fruit Farm, located on 22 acres in the park’s heart, hosts year-round environmental activities as part of the park’s mission to safeguard the state’s natural resources.

Stone cottage and wooden bridge, which trace back to the 1800s and lend a historic feel, are the most beautiful spots on the lake. Walking around the park, you’ll see the original caretaker’s residence from 1880 is still standing on the grounds.

15. Beltzville Lake

Located in Lehighton, Pennsylvania, the 949-acre Beltzville Lake is a beautiful spot for kayaking and canoeing. Located in the Pocono Mountains’ foothills, the park and lake attract tourists and residents alike.

Visitors may enjoy a 525-foot public beach on Lake Michigan from May to mid-September. Convenience stores and a bathhouse are available for changing. The Saw Mill Trail is one of 15 miles of hiking trails that go all around the lake. It provides a glimpse into the region’s history by passing through a gristmill raceway, a quarry from the 18th century, and some wetlands.

Boating, fishing, and wildlife watching are popular pastimes at Beltzville Lake, home to a wide variety of waterfowl. An excellent time to search for ducks and warblers is when they migrate through the lake in the spring.

16. Blue Marsh Lake

Suppose you’re searching for a lake with a wide range of activities and local facilities. In that case, Blue Marsh Lake in Leesport, Pennsylvania, can be an excellent pick. Small beach and boat launch are available for anyone who wish to spend time on the sea.

There are 36 miles of trails that wind through more than 5,000 acres around the lake for those who want to go out and explore. You may have a barbecue at one of the many picnic areas that include tables and chairs.

There is a tourist center near Blue Marsh Lake if you are new to the region and searching for activities to do in the area. It’s easy to spend a whole day at the lake since there are refreshments and facilities to help you out.

Prepare yourself for your next outdoor trip using this guide for the top lakes in Pennsylvania.

17. Marsh Creek State Park

One of the best lakes in southeastern Pennsylvania is Marsh Creek State Park, which is located only a short drive from the busy city of Philadelphia.

Located in the picturesque Chester County hills, Marsh Creek Lake and its environs provide a wide range of recreational opportunities. Sailing, fishing, and seeing the birds and other species that make the area their home on a permanent or temporary basis are all examples.

Many educational, and environmental programs, such as guided hikes and participatory activities, are offered at Marsh Creek Lake, which offers a swimming pool for the small ones to enjoy.

18. Promised Land State Park

Visitors to the Pocono Plateau’s Promised Land State Park are in for a treat, as the park is sure to deliver on its promise of time spent in nature. It’s located on Pennsylvania’s northeastern tip at 1,800 feet above sea level. With two lakes and an entire forest, the park provides access to hemlock, maple, oak, and beech trees that dot its many hiking routes.

Among the park’s features is a campsite with cabins, a refreshment stand in the picnic area, and an animal observation post. A natural history teaching facility, the Masker Museum, is also located there.

19. Shenango River Lake

Shenango River Lake, a reservoir in the Shenango River Valley in western Pennsylvania, is surrounded by picturesque scenery. It was created in 1965 as a flood-control procedure.

There are several types of fish at Shenango River Lake, including bass, muskellunge, and walleye. With approximately 300 campsites, it’s a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Boat ramps, picnic sites, and playgrounds are within a few miles of the lake’s perimeter. Seth Myers and Coonie trails and Shenango Water Trail may all be found nearby.

20. Foster Joseph Sayers Reservoir

This lake became part of Bald Eagle State Park in 1971. That same year was the year when this artificial lake was dammed and formed. The reservoir gathers water from Bald Eagle Creek and numerous other minor streams. The 5,900-acre park is located in the north-central part of Pennsylvania. It has a beautiful mix of woodlands, marshes, and open terrain.

These areas are available to the public and may be enjoyed by those who want to camp, boat, fish, swim, or view nature. In addition to recreational activities, the park offers a variety of educational opportunities, such as guided walks and lectures about the area’s natural history.

21. Codorus State Park

3,500-acre Codorus State Park is situated in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and is a popular tourist destination for visitors from all over the United States. One of the park’s most prominent features—the vast body of water—Lake Marburg—covers about half of the park’s total area. While migrating, birds often stop at this vast lake. Tourists may enjoy days of motorboating, sailing, and swimming in the lake’s calm waters.

On the eastern shore of Lake Marburg, Sinsheim Cove provides scuba divers with a unique opportunity to explore its depths. Camping and picnics are available with a kid-friendly swimming pool and a zoo. At this location, educational sessions take place throughout the summer months.

22. Fuller Lake

For those looking for an intimate lakeside experience, Fuller Lake is an excellent option in Pennsylvania’s state capital. Located in Pine Grove Furnace State Park, the 1.7-acre lake features paths and amenities that allow for hiking, camping, and bicycling, among other activities. A sandy beach lines the lake’s shoreline, and there are always lifeguards on duty to ensure the safety of swimmers.

Fuller Lake does not allow boating. Fishermen are welcome to try their luck at capturing the many species of trout, perch, and pickerel that dwell in its waters. Additionally, visitors can find the Appalachian Trail Museum inside the state park, only a short walk from the lake.

23. Memorial Lake State Park

Lebanon County and the region around Pennsylvania’s country’s capital of Harrisburg now have Memorial Lake State Park as a designated natural reserve. There are 230 acres of parkland located at the base of the Blue Mountain. Near the lake and its parent park, Fort Indiantown Gap, which serves the Army and National Guard, is situated.

Visitors can enjoy recreational activities like fishing and resting on Memorial Lake’s vast shorelines, which lead out into the lake. Picnic shelters and seating are also ready for big parties or families to use.