Best Lakes to Visit Near Poconos, PA

The Poconos have always been a popular summer getaway with lush forests, beautiful hills, serene lakes and world class water parks. What better way to beat the heat this summer than exploring some of the best lakes this region has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing retreat or for some aquatic adventures, the Poconos offers a plethora of options. Keep reading to discover some of the best lakes to visit near Poconos, PA.

  1. Lake Wallenpaupack

Sunset on Lake Wallenpaupack in the Summer

Sunset on Lake Wallenpaupack in the Summer
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Lake Wallenpaupack is the third-largest man-made lake in Pennsylvania and the most popular lake in the Poconos. With nearly 52 miles of shorelines, gorgeous blue waters, and surrounded by lush green hills, it is perfect for a summer getaway. Lake Wallenpaupack is widely known for its boating; you can rent different types of boats and enjoy the lake. You cannot miss the tour offered by Wallenpaupack Scenic Boat Tour & Boat Rentals, which is the only tour company on the lake. Lake Wallenpaupack is also a wonderful spot for swimming and fishing. You can also explore the lake on your own on a kayak or a paddleboard.

You can enjoy the lake during the winter as well, as it is a hotspot for skating and snowmobiling.

  1. Beltzville Lake


Beltzville lake
Photo by Flickr

Beltzville lake is in Beltzville state park and is 3 miles long spanning 949 acres. The dam this lake rests on was built by the Army Corps of Engineers to control flooding and to provide water.

This lake is a sought-after fishing spot and is stocked with species like trout, walleye, largemouth and smallmouth bass, striped bass, muskellunge, perch, and chain pickerel. Ice fishing is also practiced here during the winter.

You can enjoy boating on this lake as most recreational boats are allowed and the speed limit is 45 mph, so have fun! If you’re up for it you can enjoy water skiing in the zoned ski area.

There’s also a 525 feet sand beach at this lake, perfect for relaxing and lounging. This beach also has showers, a first-aid building, and a food stand. Beltzville lake beach is open from late May to mid-September. If you’re looking for something beyond water and beaches, then there are 15 miles of hiking trails nearby.

  1. Lake Harmony

Lake harmony is a glacial lake with pristine waters fed by the nearby mountains. The landmark has been a popular getaway since the 1900s. It is great for activities like boating, swimming, and fishing. The most common fish species in Lake Harmony are Largemouth Bass, Yellow Perch, Flathead Catfish, and Smallmouth Bass.

Lake Harmony is also a hub for adventure sports and offers numerous activities like wakeboarding, water skiing, knee boarding, wake surfing, tubing, kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddle boards.

Lake Harmony Watersports and Yeti Watersports offer these activities with all necessary safety equipment and training. You can also grab a bite at Nick’s Lake House Restaurant, which is one of the top restaurants in Lake Harmony. This restaurant offers serene views of the lake along with a great atmosphere, delectable food, and outdoor entertainment.

  1. Locust lake

Locust Lake is located in Locust Lake State Park and stretches across 52 acres. This lake offers an easy way to escape into nature. It is great for fishing and is stocked with species like Brook trout, Pickerel, Largemouth bass, Smallmouth bass, and Panfish. Remember, that only electric boats are allowed.

A cloudy sunrise at Locust Lake State Park, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, USA.

A cloudy sunrise at Locust Lake State Park, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, USA.
Photo by

You can explore the lake and enjoy its tranquility by renting kayaks, paddleboards, rowboats, canoes, and pedal boats. The swimming beach is a family-favorite spot for a refreshing dip in the cool waters during the summer. You can also buy food and snacks at the nearby camp store. The beach is open from late May to mid-September.

Close to the lake are three hiking trails that pass through forests and streams. It also features a 1.3-mile-long paved bike trail that circles the lake. This bike trail is paved and ADA and stroller accessible. Locust Lake State Park is a prime location for birdwatching, as you can witness over 100 species of birds during migration season, along with majestic owls and hawks.

  1. Gouldsboro lake

Gouldsboro lake is a 250-acre man-made lake that stretches across Monroe and Wayne Counties. It is a well-known destination for swimming, boating, and fishing. The most popular species found in this lake are pickerel, yellow perch, bass, walleye, sunfish, muskellunge, and catfish. All gas-powered boats are prohibited, while electric and non-powered boats with valid documents are allowed. There’s a sand beach nearby which offers great views of the lake and a quiet spot to spend time with family. This beach is open from the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend to mid-September, from 8:00 A.M. to sunset.

It is also a famous ice-fishing destination during the winter. However, the ice thickness is not monitored, and necessary precautions must be followed.

Gouldsboro Lake is 30.8 miles from Lake Harmony, and the drive takes 30 mins.

  1. Mauch Chunk Lake

Mauch Chunk Lake

Photo by Flickr

Mauch Chunk Lake rests on a dam designed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers to stop flooding. This 345-acre lake offers clean sandy beaches, warm water fishing complete with a fully accessible fishing pier, and boating. But, only electric motors and unpowered boats are allowed with two launch ramps. You can also explore the lake on canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, paddleboards, and rowboats which you can rent from here. The sand beach and swimming area are accessible from Memorial day through Labor day. This lake is in Mauch Chunk Lake park and has several beautiful trails, hikes, and the Carbon County Environmental Centre.

  1. Skytop lake

Skytop lake is a private lake located at Skytop Lodge. This exquisite lake is well-maintained and has very few crowds. It is ideal for swimming from May to September. The beach is spacious and secluded, perfect for soaking up the sun and lounging all day.

The Skytop Lodge, Pennsylvania

The Skytop Lodge, Pennsylvania
Photo by Flickr

There are plenty of activities available including a kayak tour during the summer. This private lake has many fish species such as perch, pickerel, largemouth bass, etc. The trout stream is suitable for beginners to learn, as it is catch and release. You can rent out all the necessary gear too.

Apart from the lake, you can enjoy the hiking trails and activities like paintball and archery.

Skytop lodge is located 31.4 miles from Lake Harmony.

Conclusion :

The Poconos are a great place to enjoy the summer and make some splashes. Luckily, Poconos are surrounded by many serene lakes which make superb summer retreats. So, whether you’re looking for a peaceful getaway, a fishing trip, or some adventures, make sure to check out these beautiful lakes.


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