A week-long getaway or extended weekend at the lake means you can enjoy plenty of fresh air and outdoor fun. From Beltzville Lake to Crooked Creek Lake, Pennsylvania features an abundance of great lakes for an unforgettable trip. Book a stay at one of many spacious Pennsylvania vacation rentals today. Here’s a cheat sheet to the 10 best lakes in the state.
1. Canonsburg Lake
Fishing and boating are the two biggest draws at Canonsburg Lake in Washington County. You can toss in your line and expect to catch trout that the Fish and Boat Commission stocks the lake with each year. Find a comfy spot and fish from the banks or opt to cast a line from the pier. A public launch makes it easy to get your boat out on the water. Practice your swing at the Northway’s Golf Oasis, a local driving range. For dinner, enjoy a little spice in your life at Mad Mex.
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2. Beltzville Lake
Featuring more than 900 acres of water, Beltzville Lake is great for exploring on water and on foot since it lies within the Beltzville State Park that includes the foothills of the Pocono Mountains. If you love the beach, then this is the lake for you with sandy shores for days spent soaking up the sun while your kids play in the water. Find a seat at the counter and have a hearty breakfast at the Country View Diner, or opt for dinner out at Sunny’s Pizza.
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3. Allegheny Reservoir
Year round, Allegheny Reservoir is a hot spot for visitors looking to enjoy the outdoors. In the summer months, whiz around the lake on water skis or slow down on a sailboat. In the winter months, find a vacation rental with a fireplace and spend your days snowmobiling or cross-country skiing on the numerous hiking trails. Book a tee time at the Kane Country Club and play 18 holes of golf. Be brave and walk out on the Kinzua Sky Walk for stunning views.
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4. Conneaut Lake
As the largest natural glacial lake in Pennsylvania, Conneaut Lake is a great option. Spend your days out on the clear water boating, fishing, and swimming, or opt for a little sunbathing on the shores. Nearby, there is a historic boardwalk with amusement rides to enjoy in the evenings. Older family members can take a tour and indulge in some sampling at the Conneaut Cellars Winery and Distillery. One evening, take the family for a sit-down meal at Miller’s Food Factory that offers all your favorite comfort foods.
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5. Crooked Creek Lake
Close to Pittsburgh, Crooked Creek Lake offers fun throughout the year with cross-country skiing in the winter months. When you arrive in the summer, do a little fishing to take home a few sunfish, muskie, crappie, and bass. There’s a public boat launch, and swimming is allowed around the lake. Take a tour of the area on horseback with Crooked Creek Farm, a local stable. The Grill at Crooked Creek Marina provides your favorite comfort foods and views of the lake.
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6. East Branch Clarion River Lake
Another lake close to Pittsburgh, East Branch Clarion River Lake is popular for anglers who catch smallmouth bass and tiger muskellunge. In the winter months, put on your warmest clothes and do a little ice fishing. The lake has a public launch for boats and some coves for some quiet time. Families with older children enjoy a meal at Clarion River Brewing Company, or take little kids to Fox Pizza Den for a bite.
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7. Cowanesque Lake
Close to the border of New York, Cowanesque Lake is a large for your family to explore over a week’s vacation. Fishing, water skiing, and swimming are popular pastimes at this lake, and there are three public launches that make getting a boat in the water a snap. The surrounding forest offers numerous hiking trails to explore. Dana’s Diner is a popular spot for a hearty breakfast or opt for the kid-friendly Perkins Restaurant and Bakery and take some sweets back to your vacation rental.
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8. Lake Marburg
Lake Marburg is one of the few lakes in the state, where you can go scuba diving. On the east side of the lake in Sinsheim Cove, the park permits scuba diving. When you’re not under the water, enjoy boating, fishing, and swimming. Located inside the massive Codorus State Park, this lake has a public pool for swimming in clear water. Rent a boat and pick up supplies at the AOS Marina. After a long day of fun, grab a pie from Giovanni’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant and chill at your vacation rental.
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9. Blue Marsh Lake
Blue Marsh Lake has a lot to offer for a family vacation. There are beaches, picnic areas, and public launches if you bring your boat from home. At the lake’s Visitor’s Center, you can grab a snack from the concession stand. Explore the more than 30 miles of trails that surround the lake on foot, bike, or horseback. On a rainy afternoon, spend a day at the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum and take a ride in a real vintage plane. Enjoy Christmas any time of the year with a visit to Koziar’s Christmas Village and see the cool exhibits.
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10. Foster Joseph Sayers Reservoir
Foster Joseph Sayers Reservoir is a great spot for boating, fishing, and swimming. This quaint lake sits in the middle of the Bald Eagle State Park so your family can blend their love of the water with their fondness for hiking. Check at the Visitor’s Center and sign up for one of the guided hikes or nature lectures. Swim in the lake or fish from the banks for a day of relaxation. The Bald Eagle State Park Marina rents boats for a day on the water and bikes to explore the park.
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