14 Most Gorgeous Lakes In Pennsylvania, USA - Updated 2024

lakes in p.a
Contributing Writer
| 6 min read

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 by booking a stay in one of the top lakefront rentals or maybe via a camper rental and head out to one of the most gorgeous lakes in Pennsylvania, USA.

1. Raystown Lake

Raystown Lake - panoramio (33)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ron Shawley used under CC BY 3.0

Revitalize and rejuvenate at Raystown Lake, which boasts a dimension of 118 miles (189 kilometers). You can plan a family picnic and enjoy activities, such as boating, fishing, and much more, during your time here.

Furthermore, connect with nature by taking a walk in the surrounding forest or checking out the nearby wineries and breweries. Adventure seekers can also explore the many biking and hiking trails that surround the region. Also, the lake area is popular for hosting regular events of all kinds, including gingerbread contests and bingo nights.

Raystown Lake

Address: Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, United States

Website: Raystown Lake

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2. Greenwood Lake

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Greenwood Lake is a lovely destination located in Northeastern Pennsylvania and boasts 600 acres (243 hectares) of natural woodland. Families and friends can enjoy activities such as kayaking, swimming, fishing, and hunting, among other things here.

Travelers can also have fun in the 15 acres (6 hectares) of recreational area and partake in boating and beach adventures at the lake. What’s more, amenities, including a clubhouse and a jungle gym, are available at your disposal.

Greenwood Lake

Address: Pocono Mountains, Northeastern Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, United States

Website: Greenwood Lake

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3. Lake Harmony

Lake Harmony
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Editorofthewiki used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Lake Harmony is a natural glacier lake in the Pocono Mountains and one of the most beautiful lakes in Pennsylvania. It’s known for its pristine natural beauty and serene environment. Aside from the fresh cool air coming from the mountains, the lake’s crystal clear water is also quite a beautiful sight to see. Because of its stunning natural beauty, it draws in numerous visitors a year, hence, the booming tourist industry in the adjacent town.

Despite being relatively small at 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) long, the beautiful lake offers tons of thrilling things to do such as jet skiing and boating. It is also a popular fishing destination as it carries plenty of game fish such as perch, trout, and bass.

Lake Harmony

Website: Lake Harmony

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4. Lake Erie

Lake Erie, Presque Isle State Park, Erie, Pennsylvania
Source: Photo by Flickr user Ken Lund used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Lake Erie is one of the five Great Lakes of North America with its shores passing through one Canadian province and eight US states. Despite its vastness, Lake Erie is actually the shallowest and the smallest in terms of volume among the Great Lakes.

On the southeastern shore of the lake, you’ll find the city of Erie, Pennsylvania, which features a peninsula that encloses a natural harbor. The peninsula also features Presque Isle State Park, which boasts a scenic coastline with so many recreational activities to enjoy, drawing in millions of tourists each year.

Lake Erie

Address: 2901 E Lake Rd - Erie PA

Website: Lake Erie

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5. Lake Wallenpaupack

Lake Wallenpaupack
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ameer Attia used under CC BY 3.0

Lake Wallenpaupack, a prime recreational destination in Pocono Mountain region, is one of the top lakes in Pennsylvania. It 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.

Lake Wallenpaupack

Address: Route 6, P.O. Box 150, Hawley, PA 18428

Website: Lake Wallenpaupack

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

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6. Shenango River Lake

Shenango Lake
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user U.S. Army Corps o... used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

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)

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7. Lake Nockamixon

Lake Nockamixon Marina
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Dan Kirby Photogr... used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The highlight of Nockamixon State Park, Lake Nockamixon is located in Bucks County. Fed by Tohickon Creek, this popular lake in Pennsylvania 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.

Lake Nockamixon

Address: 1542 Mountainview Dr, Quakertown, PA 18951-5732

Website: Lake Nockamixon

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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8. Beltzville Lake

Beltzville Dam and Lake
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Anthony Bley, U.S... used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

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 the nearby town of Jim Thorpe, which is one of the best places to go on vacation in Pennsylvania.

Beltzville Lake

Address: 2950 Pohopoco Drive, Lehighton, PA 18235-8905

Website: Beltzville Lake

Opening hours: 8am - sunset (daily)

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9. Hammond Lake

Go fishing in Hammond Lake
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user U.S. Army Corps o... used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

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.

Hammond Lake

Address: 710 Ives Run Lane, Tioga, PA 16946-8643

Website: Hammond Lake

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10. Lake Marburg

Lake Marburg
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Idawriter used under CC BY-SA 3.0

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 waterfowl and shorebirds, making it one of the best places to visit in Pennsylvania, especially for 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.

Lake Marburg

Address: 2600 Smith Station Road, Hanover, PA 17331-8000

Website: Lake Marburg

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11. Gouldsboro Lake

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Nicholas A. Tonelli used under CC BY 2.0

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.

Gouldsboro Lake

Address: SR 507 & State Park Rd Gouldsboro, PA 18424

Website: Gouldsboro Lake

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12. Lake Arthur

Moraine State Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ILoveCustard used under CC0

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 windsurfing, camping, picnicking, and infotainment programs. It’s also one of the best boating lakes in Pennsylvania. 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.

Lake Arthur

Address: 225 Pleasant Valley Road, Portersville, PA 16051-2031

Website: Lake Arthur

Opening hours: 11am - 7pm (daily)

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13. Lake Scranton

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ajay Suresh used under CC BY 2.0

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.

Lake Scranton

Address: Route 307, Scranton, PA 18505

Opening hours: 6am - 9pm (daily)

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14. Lake Wilhelm

Lake Wilhelm
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Pennsylvania Depa... used under CC BY-SA 3.0

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.

Lake Wilhelm

Address: 684 Lake Wilhelm Road, Sandy Lake, PA 16145-2310

Website: Lake Wilhelm

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All weather fun

In addition to fun theme parks and must-visit monasteries in Pennsylvania, there are also beautiful lakes in the state. And each one invites you to enjoy nature’s bounty all around the year. Don’t miss out on any of these most gorgeous lakes in Pennsylvania, USA.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Chandana is a versatile writer with nearly two decades of experience in media, spanning clients across the globe. An avid traveler, she enjoys experiencing every new place to the fullest. Having...Read more

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