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List of 15 Famous Lakes in Pennsylvania

List of 15 Famous Lakes in Pennsylvania (2024)

Pennsylvania is a beautiful American State made up of rolling hills, vast valleys, splendid metropolitans, quaint small towns, and charming lakes. The Natural scenery of the Pennsylvania State is spectacular, and when you add the lake beauty to it, the views become incomparable. The Keystone State is home to more than 2,500 natural and human-made lakes, some approachable, some viewable, but each one of them is an important part of the Pennsylvania scenery and itinerary.

The State of Pennsylvania does not have its own ocean line, though thanks to Lake Erie, it isn’t left alone from beaches. Along with that, there are several other Lake Stops like Allegheny Reservoir, Raystown Lake, or the Pymatuning Lake that will either make you feel like you are amidst some beautiful mountain scenery or are enjoying some of the Pacific or Atlantic beaches. While most of the Popular lakes in Pennsylvania are located inside the State Park, it isn’t really difficult to approach them.

List of 15 Famous Lakes in Pennsylvania

For some detailed insights and a more primitive experience, have a look below:

1. Raystown Lake, Huntingdon County

Raystown Lake is the largest Inland Lake in Pennsylvania, with a total of 8,300 acres spread. It is known for its archaeological significance, and if believed the rumors, it is nearly 12,000 years old. However official statement says that it was created in 1973 as a hydroelectric project. Raystown Lake is surrounded by small rolling hills and serenity, and you can access it via multiple beaches or the Susquehannock Campground. Along with Swimming, fishing, boating, and scuba diving, one of the best experiences here are residing in the houseboat.

2. Canadohta Lake, Crawford County

The 2nd largest Natural Lake within Pennsylvania, Canadohta Lake, is where you must head towards for water sports and other recreational activities. It is spread over 168 acres and is known to be formed thousands of years ago with the effect of melting glaciers. Locals and Tourist marks Lake and its nearby area as one of the favorite spots for hiking, sailing, swimming, fishing, camping, biking, canoeing, roller skating, golfing, and other outdoor activities. Canadohta also hosts a popular annual ice fishing tournament near the month of December, welcoming crowds from all over the State.

3. Lake Ariel, Wayne County

Lake Ariel in Wayne CountyImage Source

The Most dramatic and panoramic scenery that Pennsylvania offers definitely has to be the one around Lake Ariel. Lake Ariel is in the north-eastern part of the State, tucked somewhere within the Poconos mountains. It is one of the major tourist destinations of Poconos and has a small town around that goes with the same name. Visitors can either rent or launch their own non-powered boat and indulge in kayaking, paddle boarding, and canoeing. The water here is quite calm, and thus, Swimming and fishing are some popular recreational options here. The wooded region around is great for hikes or wildlife spotting.

4. Allegheny Reservoir, Warren County

Allegheny Reservoir, also known as Kinzua Lake, is one of the most popular and scenic outdoor destinations in Pennsylvania. The Lake is somewhere within the Allegheny National Forest on the border of New York. It is popular for water sports and recreational activities, including boating, fishing, and Swimming, and visitors can launch any non-motorized boats on the water level. Apart from that, the nearby region of Kinzua offers more fun like biking, ATVing, horseback riding, bird-watching, hiking, animal watching, and back wood camping.

5. Pymatuning Lake, Crawford County

Pymatuning Lake is one of the most frequently visited and the largest inland lakes in Pennsylvania, spanning nearly 17,000 acres. The Lake can be accessed via three public beaches that are open all throughout the summer season. Visitors here often indulge in Swimming, boating, and angling. Further, for an improved level of adventure, the Shenango River Water Trail nearby also offers great opportunities for kayaking and canoeing. Though all of these are well-known opportunities, one thing that not many people know about is the Tuttle Campground. Believed to be closed years ago, the Tuttle Campground can still be visited for one unique camping experience.

6. Edinboro Lake, Erie County

Edinboro Lake is a small lake surrounded by urban settlements with two beach access. The water level here is somewhat 8 to 10 feet higher than what it natural should be though that does not stop recreational opportunities here. Unlike those tranquil lake regions in the State, Edinboro has more of that celebrative vibe with live evening entertainment, locals’ eateries, cafes, grills, floating deck, and all light up atmosphere. It is also known for its diverse fishery, and one can catch some really large-sized crappie, bluegill, sunfish, and muskellunge here. Edinboro Lake is also a great spot for sunset watching.

7. Lake Nockamixon, Bucks County

Lake Nockamixon is one of the jewels of Pennsylvania, highly popular for a quick day trip. It is spread over 1,450 acres and nestled in the serenity of hills within Bucks County. It is one of the prominent parts of Nockamixon State Park, and during summers, you can see a considerable crowd doing canoeing, windsurfing, fishing, and boating. Lake Nockamixon is also a rest stop for migrating waterfowl; thus, you can find bird watchers and wildlife photographers at every corner of the Lake.

8. Gouldsboro Lake, Monroe County & Wayne County

Gouldsboro Lake is a human-made lake located inside the Gouldsboro State Park and very near to Tobyhanna State Park. It has one beach access that is open from Memorial Day through Labour Day and boosts Swimming opportunities all throughout the summer season. However, the fun does not end in winter, and the beach is open for ice fishing. The nearby region of Gouldsboro Lake is popular for picnicking, hiking, hunting, and trapping (license required).

9. Lake Erie, Erie, Cleveland, Buffalo, Port Colborne, Toledo, Monroe, Leamington

The eleventh largest Lake in the world and one amongst the five Great North American lakes, Lake Erie, needs no introduction in Pennsylvania. The Lake has blessed the State with not just the resources but also with several magnificent beaches that vibe no less than those of the Pacific and Atlantic. Because one cannot see the other side from most of the beaches, it is really difficult to differentiate it from an ocean. Being the largest Lake (though shared) in Pennsylvania, Lake Erie offers endless means of recreation, whether it is water sports, sunset watching, fishing, or beach fun.

10. Lake Wallenpaupack

Lake Wallenpaupack is the 2nd largest inland lake in Pennsylvania, known for its 52 miles shoreline and diversity of water recreation activities. It also has plenty of space, and no matter the crowd, you can always feel at peace when in or around Lake Wallenpaupack. Visitors can access its public beaches from Promised Land and Tobyhanna State Park, as well as Palmyra Township and the Wilsonville Recreation Area. The nearby region, either it is the beaches or the town around Wallenpaupack, everything here is a hub for entertainment and tourism.

11. Stillwater Lake, Pocono Summit

Stillwater lake is possibly the highest Lake in Pennsylvania and is set up at an elevation of 1,811 feet right on the summit of Pocono Mountain. It covers an area of 315 acres, fed by creeks, underwater springs, rivers, and flows down to Lake Naomi. Earlier in the days, it was a swamp; however, today, the lake beauty will leave you spellbound. All thanks to its location and the beautiful serendipity around, it welcomes travelers all throughout the year; during summers, it is one famous recreational spot, and during winters, you can see it all freeze.

12. Lake Harmony, Pocono Mountains

Another lake in Pocono Mountain, Lake Harmony, is known to be the cleanest natural glacier lake in Pennsylvania. The Lake is extremely beautiful, with greenery and panoramic views all around. Either you are seeking some peace or outdoor fun, there’s isn’t something that you cannot get on your trip to Lake Harmony. Travelers often choose it as a hot spot for water adventures, Snowsports, and thrilling NASCAR action. Also, due to natural waters, Lake Harmony is also popular for fishing and boating.

13. Conneaut Lake, Crawford County

The Largest Natural Lake in Pennsylvania, Conneaut Lake, is indeed one of the most popular spots in the State when it comes to lakes and reservoirs. It is popular amongst vacationers, especially for cottage and homestay. There’s also one lakeside amusement park nearby that has been operating and entertaining here for over a century now. For recreation on the Lake, visitors can indulge in boating, Swimming, water skiing, and fishing.

14. Shenango River Lake, Shenango River Valley

Shenango River Lake is known for its picturesque beauty, and if you are here during the spring or early summers, the serenity around will leave you spellbound. This 1,440-hectare Lake dated back to its establishment in 1965; though earlier it was just a means of flood relief, today it boosts tourism at a really high pace. It is quite popular for boating and fishing, especially bass, muskellunge, and walleye.

15. Beltzville Lake, Pocono Foothills

Beltzville Lake is a clearwater lake known for its serendipity and calmness. It is popular amongst anglers, and boating enthusiasts, especially the eastern Pennsylvanians mark it as their favorite spot. In terms of beauty and views, the gorgeous green scenery and the expansive sandy shores leave no chance to entertain and engage anyone who heads towards Beltzville.

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