More than 100 lakes dot the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. The Pocono Lake Region is home to lakes carved by ancient glaciers as well as those carved out by modern machinery. Fish, swim, hike, boat -- or just sit by the lake and enjoy the view.
The Big One
Lake Wallenpaupack is the largest lake in the Poconos. Found 25 miles east of Scranton, the 13-mile long lake has 52 miles of shoreline. There's no limit on horsepower for motorized boats on the lake, which is also open to paddleboats and personal watercraft. Seven boat ramps around the lake provide access, and watercraft rentals are available at some of the marinas. Stretch out on the sand at Palmyra Township Public Beach. The beach has lifeguards from Memorial Day through Labor Day, as well as picnic areas, barbecue grills and a snack bar. A lakeside trail extends past the beach connecting with Wilsonville Campground, a visitors center and the Wallenpaupack Dike.
State Park Lakes
Several state parks in the Poconos have lakes with publicly accessible boat ramps and beaches. Beltzville Lake in Beltzville State Park has a 525-foot beach and a public boat ramp along the 949-acre lake. A boat rental next to the beach rents kayaks, motorboats and paddleboats. State parks at Promised Land Lake, Gouldsboro Lake and Tobyhanna Lake allow only boats driven by electric motors or paddles. You'll find sand beaches at the parks open from Memorial Day through mid-September.
Deep In the Woods
Delaware State Forest is home to 13 lakes within its 83,500 acres. Six of the lakes are glacially formed, with the remaining seven man-made. They range in size from the 2-acre Snow Hill Pond to 315-acre Peck's Pond. Only electric motors and paddleboats can set out on the forest lakes, and boat ramps lie at White Deer Lake, Lake Minisink, Little Mud Pond and Peck's Pond. Cast your line for native brook trout, muskie, walleye, shad and pan fish in the lake with a valid Pennsylvania fishing license.
In the City
Take a swim at Mauch Chunk Lake Park in Jim Thorpe from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Lifeguards are on duty from late morning until early evening when swimming is permitted. Pets and alcohol aren't allowed at the lakes, and you'll pay a nominal fee to access the sand beach. Lake Scranton has a 3.5-mile lakeside hiking trail as well as a fishing pier for exclusive use of blind or disabled individuals. One companion may assist the disabled individual while using fishing equipment.
- Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau: Lake Wallenpaupack Reflects the Brilliant Colors of Fall
- Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission: Lake Wallenpaupack
- Discover Pike Pennsylvania: Palmyra Township Beach
- Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau
- Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources: Delaware State Forest
- Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources: Find A Park
- Carbon County: Mauch Chunk Lake Park
- Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission: Miscellaneous Waters With Special Regulations
- Official Tourism Website of the State of Pennsylvania: Lake Scranton
- Photo Credit Alex Potemkin/iStock/Getty Images
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