Pennsylvania might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of boating destinations, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the diverse and breathtaking options this state has to offer. From peaceful lakes surrounded by picturesque forests to vibrant rivers that wind through charming towns, Pennsylvania is a boater’s paradise waiting to be explored. Whether you’re a fan of fishing, water sports, or simply cruising along serene waters, this article will guide you to the best boating destinations in Pennsylvania. So, grab your sunscreen and get ready to set sail on an unforgettable adventure!
Located in the northwest corner of Pennsylvania, Lake Erie is the perfect destination for boating enthusiasts. One of the must-visit spots is Presque Isle State Park, which stretches along the coastline and offers over 13 miles of beautiful sandy beaches and clear blue waters. The park is home to several marinas where you can dock your boat and explore the park’s numerous islands and lagoons. Whether you’re into fishing, water skiing, or simply enjoying a quiet cruise, Lake Erie and Presque Isle State Park have something for everyone.
Another popular area to visit on Lake Erie is Dobbins Landing. This historic waterfront attraction in Erie offers breathtaking views of the lake and is an ideal starting point for various boating adventures. You can rent a boat or join a guided tour to explore the lake’s many attractions, including lighthouses, shipwrecks, and picturesque coastal towns. Don’t forget to bring your camera, as you’ll want to capture the stunning scenery to show your friends and family back home.
For those who appreciate nature and tranquility, the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park is a must-see. This unique botanical garden is located in Erie and features a variety of native and exotic trees, shrubs, and flowers. The Arboretum has several walking trails and picnic areas where you can relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. If you’re lucky, you may even spot some of the local wildlife, such as birds and small mammals, while boating around the lake.
Flowing through central Pennsylvania, the Susquehanna River offers boating opportunities for all skill levels. The state capital, Harrisburg, is a great starting point for exploring the river. You can rent a boat and embark on a leisurely journey, taking in the stunning views of the city skyline and the surrounding countryside. The river is also ideal for fishing, with an abundance of various fish species, including bass and catfish.
If you’re looking for a more adventurous boating experience, head to the Holtwood area. Located in Lancaster County, Holtwood is known for its exhilarating Class II and Class III rapids. Whitewater enthusiasts flock to this area to put their skills to the test and experience the thrill of navigating through fast-moving waters. Whether you’re an experienced kayaker or a beginner looking for a guided trip, Holtwood offers a unique and exciting boating experience on the Susquehanna River.
Another notable destination along the Susquehanna River is Sunbury. This charming town in Northumberland County is a popular spot for boating and camping. You can launch your boat from the Sunbury Riverfront Park and explore the river at your own pace. The town itself offers a variety of amenities, including restaurants and shops, making it a great place to stop for a meal or pick up any supplies you may need for your boating adventure.
If you’re looking for a picturesque boating destination in Pennsylvania, look no further than the Delaware River. One of the most stunning areas along the river is the Delaware Water Gap. Located on the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, this natural wonder offers breathtaking views of waterfalls, cliffs, and lush forests. You can rent a canoe or kayak and paddle through the gap, immersing yourself in the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Tinicum Island, located near Philadelphia, is another highlight of the Delaware River. This island is a haven for boating enthusiasts, with its calm waters and wide range of recreational activities. You can explore the island’s many coves and inlets, go fishing or birdwatching, or simply relax and enjoy the serene atmosphere. Tinicum Island is also home to several marinas and boat rental services, making it easy to access and enjoy the river.
History buffs will appreciate a visit to the Washington Crossing Historic Park. This iconic site in Bucks County marks the spot where George Washington famously crossed the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War. You can take a guided boat tour, retracing Washington’s footsteps and learning about the historical significance of the area. The park also offers picnic areas and hiking trails, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature while exploring the river’s rich history.
In the heart of the Pocono Mountains, Lake Wallenpaupack is a boater’s paradise. One of the must-visit areas on the lake is Paupack Point and Ledgedale Recreation Area. Here, you can rent a boat or bring your own and enjoy a day of cruising, fishing, or even trying your hand at water sports like jet skiing or wakeboarding. The area is surrounded by stunning forests and rocky cliffs, providing a scenic backdrop for your boating adventure.
Another popular spot on Lake Wallenpaupack is the Ironwood Point Recreation Area. This tranquil location offers ample parking, picnic areas, and a boat launch, making it a convenient starting point for your boating escapades. You can explore the lake at your own pace, taking in the beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and wooded shores. Be sure to pack a picnic and take advantage of the grilling facilities available to enjoy a delicious meal by the water.
For those seeking a quieter and more secluded boating experience, the Wilsonville Recreation Area is a hidden gem on Lake Wallenpaupack. This small but beautiful spot offers a boat launch and plenty of parking, ensuring easy access to the water. You can spend the day fishing, kayaking, or simply basking in the peaceful ambiance of the lake. The area is surrounded by nature, providing a true escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Nestled in the heart of the Allegheny Mountains, Raystown Lake is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, particularly boaters. The Seven Points Recreation Area is a hub of boating activity on the lake. This expansive facility offers several marinas, boat launches, and boat rental services, making it easy to get out on the water. Whether you’re interested in fishing, water skiing, or simply relaxing on a pontoon boat, Seven Points has everything you need for a memorable boating experience.
For breathtaking views of the lake, make sure to visit Hawn’s Overlook. This scenic spot provides panoramic views of Raystown Lake and the surrounding mountains. You can take a short hike from the parking area to the overlook or simply enjoy the view from the comfort of your boat. Hawn’s Overlook is a popular spot for photography, so be sure to bring your camera and capture the beauty of the lake from this vantage point.
If you’re looking to spend a day on the beach, Tatman Run Recreation Area is the perfect destination on Raystown Lake. This family-friendly spot features a sandy beach, picnic areas, and a designated swimming area, providing a great place to relax and cool off on a hot summer day. You can also rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the calm waters of the lake, taking in the scenic views along the way. Tatman Run Recreation Area is a great place to spend quality time with family and friends while enjoying all that Raystown Lake has to offer.
Located in Bucks County, Lake Nockamixon is a hidden gem for boating enthusiasts. Nockamixon State Park is the ideal starting point for your boating adventure, offering various amenities and services. You can rent a motorized boat or bring your own and explore the lake’s many coves and bays. Fishing is also popular on Lake Nockamixon, with a wide variety of fish species, including bass, catfish, and perch, inhabiting its waters.
For a quiet and serene boating experience, head to the Haycock Boat Launch. Situated on the northern end of the lake, this secluded spot provides easy access to the water and ample parking facilities. You can launch your boat and explore the peaceful surroundings, taking in the beautiful scenery and enjoying the tranquility of the lake. Haycock Boat Launch is also an excellent spot for fishing, with its calm waters and abundant fish population.
Another notable boating destination on Lake Nockamixon is the Tohickon Boat Launch. This area is a popular spot for kayakers and canoers, as it offers access to the Tohickon Creek. You can paddle along the creek and explore its winding channels and scenic landscapes. The area is also known for its vibrant wildlife, so keep an eye out for ducks, herons, and other waterfowl while you navigate the peaceful waters of Lake Nockamixon.
Nestled within Moraine State Park, Lake Arthur is a tranquil and picturesque destination for boating enthusiasts. One of the highlights of the lake is Moraine State Park, which offers several marinas and boat launch areas for easy access to the water. Whether you’re interested in sailing, powerboating, or simply cruising around on a pontoon boat, Moraine State Park has you covered.
For those who enjoy fishing, Davis Hollow Marina is a must-visit spot on Lake Arthur. This marina is known for its excellent fishing opportunities, with a variety of fish species, including bass, walleye, and muskellunge, inhabiting the lake. You can rent a fishing boat or bring your own and spend the day casting your line and enjoying the peacefulness of the lake. The marina also offers fishing equipment and supplies, ensuring you have everything you need for a successful day on the water.
Lakeview Beach is another popular destination on Lake Arthur, offering a sandy beach and designated swimming area for those looking to cool off or simply soak up the sun. The beach is surrounded by shaded picnic areas and hiking trails, providing ample opportunities to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the lake. You can also rent a paddleboard or kayak and explore the calm waters of Lake Arthur, taking in the views of the lush shoreline and forested hills.
Tucked away in the Allegheny Mountains, Lake Raystown is one of Pennsylvania’s best-kept secrets for boating enthusiasts. The Marina at Lake Raystown Resort is a premier destination for boaters, offering a full range of services and amenities. You can rent a pontoon boat, jet ski, or kayak and embark on a day of adventure and exploration on the lake. The marina also offers guided fishing trips, allowing you to learn from experienced anglers and increase your chances of reeling in a big catch.
The Haven at Seven Points is another fantastic spot on Lake Raystown, offering a variety of boating options for visitors. You can rent a houseboat and spend a few nights on the lake, enjoying the comforts of home while surrounded by nature. The Haven also offers canoe and kayak rentals, allowing you to paddle through the lake’s secluded coves and discover hidden gems along the shoreline. With its tranquil atmosphere and beautiful scenery, The Haven is a must-visit destination for boating enthusiasts.
The Entriken Bridge is a unique boating destination on Lake Raystown. This iconic bridge spans the lake and offers stunning views of the water and surrounding mountains. You can cruise under the bridge and admire its architectural beauty from the water or simply use it as a landmark while exploring the lake. The Entriken Bridge is also a popular spot for fishing, with many anglers finding success in its shadow. Whether you’re looking for a scenic photo opportunity or a prime fishing spot, the Entriken Bridge is worth a visit during your boating adventure on Lake Raystown.
In the heart of the Pocono Mountains, Lake Wallenpaupack offers a wealth of boating opportunities for visitors. Paupack Point and Ledgedale Recreation Area is a must-visit spot on the lake, providing easy access to the water and a range of recreational activities. You can rent a boat, go fishing, or simply enjoy a leisurely cruise around the lake, taking in the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and wooded shores. The recreation area also offers picnic areas and hiking trails, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
If you’re looking for a serene and secluded boating experience, the Ironwood Point Recreation Area is the perfect destination on Lake Wallenpaupack. This peaceful spot offers a boat launch and plenty of parking, allowing you to easily explore the lake at your own pace. The area is surrounded by nature, providing a tranquil setting for fishing, kayaking, or simply enjoying a peaceful day on the water. You can also take advantage of the picnic facilities and grilling areas available, making it easy to enjoy a delicious meal with family and friends while surrounded by the beauty of the lake.
Wilsonville Recreation Area is another hidden gem on Lake Wallenpaupack. This small but beautiful spot offers a boat launch and ample parking, providing easy access to the water. Whether you’re interested in fishing, water skiing, or simply taking a leisurely cruise, Wilsonville Recreation Area offers a quiet and serene boating experience. The area is surrounded by natural beauty, with towering trees and scenic vistas, creating a picturesque backdrop for your boating adventure.
Nestled in the Pocono Mountains, Lake Harmony is a popular destination for boating and water sports. Boulder View Tavern Marina is a hub of activity on the lake, offering boat rentals and a range of water-based activities. You can rent a pontoon boat, jet ski, or paddleboard and spend the day exploring the lake, enjoying water skiing, or simply relaxing on the water. The marina also offers a lakeside restaurant, allowing you to refuel and grab a bite to eat while enjoying the beautiful views.
The Split Rock Resort Lake Club is another notable spot on Lake Harmony. This family-friendly resort offers a range of activities, including boating, fishing, and swimming. You can rent a boat or kayak and explore the calm waters of the lake, taking in the stunning vistas of the surrounding mountains. The resort also offers picnic areas and beach access, making it a great place to relax and enjoy a day by the water with family and friends.
Lake Harmony Watersports is a must-visit destination for adventure enthusiasts. This water sports rental facility offers a variety of options, including jet skis, paddleboards, and water trampolines. You can enjoy a day of adrenaline-pumping fun, trying out different water sports or simply relaxing on the lake. With its crystal-clear waters and beautiful mountain scenery, Lake Harmony is a top choice for those seeking an action-packed boating experience.
In conclusion, Pennsylvania offers a wide range of boating destinations that cater to all types of boaters. Whether you’re seeking adventure, tranquility, or simply a day of relaxation on the water, there’s a destination in Pennsylvania that will suit your needs. From the picturesque shores of Lake Erie to the serene beauty of Lake Wallenpaupack, the state’s lakes and rivers offer endless opportunities for boating enthusiasts to explore, discover, and create lifelong memories. So pack your gear, gather your friends and family, and embark on a boating adventure in Pennsylvania that you won’t soon forget.