The northeastern state of Pennsylvania is bordered by six other states and Lake Erie. One of the founding states of the USA, this keystone state also played an instrumental role in the American Civil War. Apart from the popular cities of Philadelphia, the first capital of the country, and Pittsburgh, the City of Bridges, the state also has ample rural charm with sprawling farmlands and Amish settlements. Pennsylvania is endowed with rich biodiversity, thanks to its diverse topography near Great Lakes and the Appalachian ranges running through it. Nearly three percent of Pennsylvania is made up of water bodies with about 190 lakes. The lakes are popular hubs of recreational activities such as camping, swimming, hiking, fishing, and boating. Explore nature at its best and enjoy a fun day out, or maybe even a weekend at one of these 10 most gorgeous lakes in Pennsylvania, USA.
1. Lake Wallenpaupack
Lake Wallenpaupack, a prime recreational destination in Pocono Mountain region, lies close to Hawley Boroughs and borders Pike and Wayne counties. The lake was created by Pennsylvania Power and Light Company by building a reservoir across Wallenpaupack Creek. Named by Lenape Indians to denote “stream of swift and slow water”, Lake Wallenpaupack covers 5700 acres (2306 hectares) with sparkling water in which you can swim, boat, fish, ice skate, and go ice fishing. Some of the species you will find in this lake are bass, walleye, and pickerel. Camping is possible in four public recreational spots. You can rent boats from the marinas and resorts around. Do visit its four islands and enjoy hiking along the trails in the surrounding areas to spot wildlife such as bald eagles, wild-tailed deer, and black deer.
Address: Route 6, P.O. Box 150, Hawley, PA 18428
Website: Lake Wallenpaupack
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
2. Shenango River Lake
The scenic Shenango River Lake has formed off a reservoir that was intended as a flood control measure for Shenango River Valley, Pittsburgh, and upper Ohio Rivers. Maintained by the United States Army of Corps of Engineers, this 11-mile long lake (18 kilometers) hosts a variety of recreational activities. Unlimited horsepower operations in most areas of the lake make this a popular destination for boating and waterskiing. Several picnic shelters and modern campsites are available to let you make the most of this underrated lake. Fish the waters for bass, channel fish, muskellunge fish, and trouts. Hike Seth Mayers or Coonie Trail to birdwatch and enjoy scenic views. Check out the ruins of Erie Extension Canal and don’t forget to catch the golden sunset at the lake.
Shenango River Lake
Address: 2442 Kelly Road,Hermitage, PA 16148-7308
Website: Shenango River Lake
Opening hours: 9am - 8pm (daily)
3. Lake Nockamixon
The highlight of Nockamixon State Park, Lake Nockamixon is located in Bucks County. Fed by Tohickon Creek, this reservoir lake offers recreational activities on its waters and from the shore. Perfect for water sports, you can enjoy windsurfing, whitewater kayaking, or boating on catamarans, sailboats, pontoons, and rowboats. The lake attracts migratory waterfowl, and its warm waters are home to bass, walleye, and catfish among others. You can fish or angle from the boat or the fishing pier at the marina. Besides biking and hiking trails, choose options such as horse riding and birdwatching to enjoy nature at its best. The frozen lake in winter is ideal for ice skating, ice fishing, and cross-country skiing and sledding.
Address: 1542 Mountainview Dr, Quakertown, PA 18951-5732
Website: Lake Nockamixon
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
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4. Beltzville Lake
Beltzville Lake sits at the southern foothills of Pocono Mountains, next to Beltzville State Park in Carbon County. A year-round recreational spot, here you can water ski, raft the white waters, boat the lake, and lounge on its beach. Winter presents opportunities for skiing, ice skating, and ice fishing. The lake is well-stocked with game fish, making it a popular fishing destination. Natural areas surrounding the lake offer ample wildlife viewing and birdwatching opportunities. In addition, there are 15 miles of trails (24 kilometers) where you can hike or bike. Hike Saw Mill Trail for a glimpse into the park’s past. Take a nice walk past the relocated 19th-century bridge near the picnic and beach areas. You can also visit Jim Thorpe town nearby.
Address: 2950 Pohopoco Drive, Lehighton, PA 18235-8905
Website: Beltzville Lake
Opening hours: 8am - sunset (daily)
5. Hammond Lake
This beautiful lake sprawls amid the scenic vista of rolling mountains and open fields of Tioga County. Created and maintained by the US Army of Corps of Engineers, it is a part of the Tioga-Hammond Lake project. The lake, along with Ives Run Recreation Area, offers plenty of fun for the entire family. You can boat for fun and enjoy fishing for a variety of species ranging from crappies to giant musky. Ives Run comes with a grassy beach, sand volleyball court, playground, boat launches, and campsites. Picnic on the shores, go hiking, or practise archery. You can look out for wildlife or visit Display Gardens to learn about native flora.
Address: 710 Ives Run Lane, Tioga, PA 16946-8643
Website: Hammond Lake
6. Lake Marburg
A reservoir lake in Codorus State Park, Lake Marburg is named after Marburg, the region that was flooded to create the lake. The lake is a rest stop for migrating waterfowls and shorebirds. It is also popular with boating and fishing enthusiasts. In this big bass lake, you can also catch northern pike, bluegill, and rainbow trout. The lengthy shoreline of the lake offers plenty of modern and rustic campsites as well as picnic facilities. A swimming pool and a 54-hole disc golf course are also available in the area. Explore hardwoods and wetlands on Mary Ann Furnace trail and LaHo trail.
Address: 2600 Smith Station Road, Hanover, PA 17331-8000
Website: Lake Marburg
7. Gouldsboro Lake
This beautiful lake is located within Gouldsboro State Park in Moroe and Wayne counties. You can enjoy a day in the wooded picnic areas and swim on its sandy beach. Mooring spaces and boat rentals are available for boating enthusiasts. The lake’s warm water is best for bass, pickerel, and sunfish. Ice fishing is an option in winter. The park features 10 miles (16 kilometers) of trails offering hikes, from easy to challenging. Old Route 611 trail is excellent for mountain biking. Explore its evergreen forest and bog mosses to spot unique species of flora and fauna. Hunting is permitted in certain areas.
Address: SR 507 & State Park Rd Gouldsboro, PA 18424
Website: Gouldsboro Lake
8. Lake Arthur
Lake Arthur is the main attraction of Moraine State Park in Butler County. This artificial lake and its parks suffered in the heydays of coal mining and oil drilling. Luckily, with the efforts of the people and environmental engineering, the park and lake have been restored to its picturesque glory. It now offers year-round recreational entertainment with boating, windsurfing, camping, picnicking, and infotainment programs. Its two beaches are open for swimming. The lake is home to Lake Arthur sailing club and hosts Regatta at Lake Arthur. Bald eagles and ospreys are commonly sighted here. The park houses several hiking and biking trails. Snowmobiling and sledding are popular winter activities here.
Address: 225 Pleasant Valley Road, Portersville, PA 16051-2031
Website: Lake Arthur
Opening hours: 11am - 7pm (daily)
9. Lake Scranton
Lake Scranton is a large lake located five minutes away from downtown Scranton in Lackawanna County. The lake was developed from Burned Bridge Reservoir and is primarily fed by Stafford Meadow Brook. The lake is owned by Pennsylvania American Water Company and the area is well-patrolled. The secluded atmosphere of the lake along with its forest area makes it an ideal spot to enjoy the vibrant fall colors. There is a winding asphalt pathway around the lake for jogs and leisurely strolls. However, dogs and bikes are not allowed here.
Address: Route 307, Scranton, PA 18505
Opening hours: 6am - 9pm (daily)
10. Lake Wilhelm
Lake Wilhelm is a shallow lake bordering Pennsylvania Game Land and Maurice K Goddard State Park near Franklin. Created as a flood control measure by damming Sandy Creek, the lake now serves as an excellent year-round recreational spot offering outdoor activities. Rent a boat at the marina or head out to fish for largemouth bass. You can also enjoy birdwatching from the waterfowl observation station or along the trails. Hikers will enjoy the dramatic scene at Falling Run Nature Trail. Winter invites you to enjoy activities such as iceboating and fishing, tobogganing, and snowmobiling.
Address: 684 Lake Wilhelm Road, Sandy Lake, PA 16145-2310
Website: Lake Wilhelm
All weather fun
Each of these beautiful lakes invites you to enjoy nature’s bounty all around the year. Don’t miss out on any of these 10 most gorgeous lakes in Pennsylvania, USA.
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