Last Updated on September 28, 2020 by Karen Rice
Is Lake Wallenpaupack the Largest Lake in PA?
Published September 28, 2020 by Karen Rice.
A question frequently asked: Is Lake Wallenpaupack the largest lake in PA? In a word, no, even though you may see it stated as such on local Wallenpaupack real estate websites. First of all, Lake Erie is the largest lake in PA.
Oh wait…it’s the largest man-made lake in PA, right? Wrong again! Some websites may say it’s the 2nd largest man-made lake in PA, but it’s not quite that either.
Lake Wallenpaupack is the 3rd largest man-made lake in PA…unless you disqualify the largest lake due to the fact that part of it is shared by Ohio. If you wanted to say “the 2nd largest man-made lake completely within the borders of Pennsylvania,” then good old Lake Wally could have bragging rights to that.
Naming The Largest Man-made Lakes in PA
The Largest Man-Made Lake in PA: Pymatuning Reservoir
Pymatuning Reservoir, partly in Pymatuning State Park, claims to be the largest man-made lake, period, in the Commonwealth of PA…but a small part of it spills over into Ohio. Sprawling out over 17,088 acres, Pymatuning Reservoir is a CCC project and was constructed in the 1930s. Some sources claim it has 100 miles of shoreline, others state a more modest 70 miles. The maximum depth of this lake is about 35 feet. Motorboats are permitted but the maximum motor size is 20 horsepower. Three different marinas on the lake offer a combined total of 557 boat slips.
Pymatuning State Park is in Jamestown, about 1 hour 40 minutes north of Pittsburgh. It makes several claims:
- Over 16,000 acres in size, making it one of the largest state parks in PA.
- Offers the most campsites (320) in the state park camping system.
- In 2019, received over 2,400,000 visitors.
Fun Fact: US Route 6, which stretches past a portion of Lake Wallenpaupack, also comes pretty close to Pymatuning Reservoir.
The Second Largest Man-made Lake in PA: Raystown Lake
Raystown Lake is in south-central PA in Huntingdon County. Created in the late 1960s and early 1970s by the US Army Corps of Engineers as a flood control project, it is about an hour south-east of Altoona. At 8,300 acres with a maximum depth of about 200 feet, Raystown Lake claims to be the largest man-made lake that is entirely within the Commonwealth. It is a serpentine shape and is about 30 miles long and is part of a large natural recreation area in the Allegheny Mountains.
Not to be outdone by the boasts made by Pymatuning Reservoir, Raystown Lake has a unique claim to fame: the largest freshwater striped bass caught in Pennsylvania, according to the official record, was caught at Raystown Lake. It was a whopping 52 pounds 12 ounces! Learn more about things to do at Raystown here.
Like Lake Wallenpaupack, Raystown Lake has part of a village beneath its depths. Also like Lake Wallenpaupack, Raystown Lake does not have horsepower or boat size limits.
Fun Fact: Raystown Lake is the only lake in Pennsylvania where you can spend your vacation on a houseboat!
The BEST Man-made Lake in PA: Lake Wallenpaupack
Lake Wallenpaupack is 5,700 acres in volume,13 miles long, and has a maximum depth of about 60 feet. That ranks our beautiful lake as the 3rd largest man-made lake in PA. It is the largest lake in Northeastern PA, and has no boat size or horsepower restrictions. As you may probably know, PPL (Pennsylvania Power and Light) created the lake in the late 1920s, but no longer owns the lake. Brookfield Renewable owns and manages Lake Wallenpaupack.
Originally a hydroelectric project, Lake Wally still generates electricity during high energy demand times. It quickly became a popular and important vacation and tourist destination in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Every year visitors from all over, including New York, New Jersey, and the Philadelphia region flock to the lake for boating, fishing, and nature-loving in general. There are hundreds of thousands of acres of state forest nearby, offering many options for hiking, and enjoying other lakes owned by the Commonwealth. Promised Land State Park is only a short distance away from Lake Wallenpaupack.
So, although Lake Wallenpaupack is not the largest man-made lake in PA, we here in the Northern Pocono Lakes Region consider it to be the best! (But we might be prejudiced, just a little…) There is so much to see and do here…local wineries, farm markets, wonderful restaurants, and cute gift shops.
One gift shop in particular is dedicated to Lake Wallenpaupack art, apparel, & souvenirs: Lake Art
Not The Only Lake in the Poconos
While Lake Wallenpaupack is the largest lake in the Poconos, it is not the only lake popular with visitors and vacation home owners. There are many lakes in Wayne and Pike County that feature lakefront and lake rights homes. Currently (September 2020) the area is in the midst of a strong seller’s market. Buyers want to purchase a lakefront get-away, but supply is extremely limited and demand is at an all time high. If you’re thinking about selling your lakefront or lake rights home – on any lake in Northeastern PA – request a complimentary market analysis today. Take advantage of this seller’s market while it lasts!