Allegheny Reservoir, New York & Pennsylvania, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Mid-Atlantic - New York - Chautauqua-Allegheny - Pennsylvania - Pennsylvania Wilds -

Also known as:  Kinzua Dam Lake, Kinzua Lake, Lake Kinzua

Flowing across tree-covered hills in northwestern Pennsylvania and southwestern New York, the Allegheny Reservoir’s 12,080 acres provide an open invitation to enjoy and explore the great outdoors. Located in Warren and McKean Counties, Allegheny Reservoir is part of the Pennsylvania Wilds Tourism Region. Cross the state line into New York, and you find the Allegheny Reservoir in historic Cattaraugus County, part of New York’s Chautauqua-Allegheny Tourism Region. Whether you stay in New York or Pennsylvania, Allegheny Reservoir has something to satisfy every outdoor enthusiast.

Designated a National Wild and Scenic River, the Allegheny River provides the primary water source for Allegheny Reservoir. Follow the Allegheny River 198 miles northeast of Pittsburgh and you will come to Kinzua Dam. Completed in 1965, the dam is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part of their regional flood control efforts. Allegheny Reservoir, also known as Kinzua Dam Lake, is now part of the region’s leading recreational center.

Originally home to the Seneca Nation, heavily wooded regions of Pennsylvania and New York were clear cut by loggers in the 1800s. By 1900, efforts were underway to restore the forest. Success came with the establishment of Allegheny National Forest in 1923. Today, it is a second-generation forest that surrounds Pennsylvania’s portion of the Allegheny Reservoir.

Covering more than one-half million acres, the Forest Service provides endless opportunities to enjoy Lake Kinzua. Numerous campgrounds have been built along Allegheny Reservoir’s Pennsylvania shores. Campsites range from full amenities for trailers and RVs to rustic sites accessible only by boat or hiking trails. Kinzua Swimming Beach is located 11 miles east of Warren, Pennsylvania. Additional swimming areas may be found in designated campgrounds. Recreational activities on Allegheny Reservoir, and within Allegheny National Forest, include boating, waterskiing, hiking, mountain bike and ATV riding, climbing, geocaching, horseback riding, hunting, skiing, wildlife viewing, scenic drives, and some of the northeast’s best fishing.

With a maximum depth of 132 feet and average depth of 48 feet, Allegheny Reservoir’s deep, clear water has provided record-setting catches of walleye and northern pike. Additional fish species found in Kinzua Lake include smallmouth bass, muskellunge, walleye, northern pike, yellow perch, channel catfish and brown trout. Kinzua-Wolf Run Marina is located 11 miles east of Warren with six additional boat launches available within the Allegheny National Forest.

The creation of Allegheny Reservoir required flooding a substantial portion of land belonging to New York’s Seneca Nation. Today, the majority of New York’s Allegheny Reservoir shoreline lies within the Allegany Indian Reservation. As a result, fishing regulations for much of New York’s Allegheny Reservoir fall under the jurisdiction of the Seneca Nation. Access to Lake Kinzua can be found in the reservation’s campground along with a boat launch, swimming facilities and camp store. The Allegany Indian Reservation also offers visitors a change of pace. For those interested in history, the Seneca-Iroquois Museum provides a glimpse into the culture and history of the Seneca and Iroquois people. Located within the reservation near the community of Salamanca, visitors will find the Seneca Nation’s casino hosting live entertainment that will spice up any evening.

The remainder of Kinzua Dam Lake lies within New York’s Allegany State Park. Boaters and fishermen will find access to Allegheny Reservoir at Onoville Marina Park along New York’s western shore. With over 65,000 acres open to adventure and exploration, Allegany State Park is known as “the wilderness playground of Western New York.” Two developed park areas lie along Kinzua Lake’s eastern shore. Red House Area, named for its historic administration building, lies at the far northeast end of Allegheny Reservoir. Red House Lake provides the center of activity with boat rentals, sandy beaches, swimming and fishing. Accommodations include over 100 campsites and cabins, some of which are winterized for year-round use. Quaker, the second park area, offers two fishing piers, canoe and kayak launches, cave exploration, horseshoe pits, baseball fields, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts for the sport enthusiast. Additional campsites and cabins are maintained with both winterized and handicapped-accessible sites available.

At Kinzua Dam Lake, the rich diversity of cultures, landscape and activities merge to create a perfect vacation destination. The 91-mile shoreline is lined with inlets and bays ideal for the quiet observance of wildlife. Hike beyond the shoreline and spectacular views will unfold around each bend. Follow your spirit of adventure into two designated wilderness areas; take in picture-perfect scenery at James Rocks, Rimrock and Tidioute Overlooks, or pack your gear and hike the North Country National Scenic Trail.

Beyond the trails and protected forests lie small, welcoming communities where you will find fishing guides, groceries, restaurants and quaint shops. Secluded vacation rentals and rural real estate properties are nestled among the communities of Warren, Tidioute, Sugar Grove, and Sheffield in Pennsylvania; or Salamanca, Steamburg and Coldspring in New York. Begin now! Select your accommodation and follow the urge to get out, explore and create the perfect vacation.

Things to do at Allegheny Reservoir

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Park
  • National Forest
  • Museum
  • Playground
  • Casino Gambling

Fish species found at Allegheny Reservoir

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Brown Trout
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Trout
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Perch

Allegheny Reservoir Photo Gallery

Allegheny Reservoir Statistics & Helpful Links

divider

Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: US Army Corps of Engineers

Surface Area: 12,080 acres

Shoreline Length: 91 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,328 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 1,365 feet

Average Depth: 48 feet

Maximum Depth: 132 feet

Water Volume: 579,840 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1965

Drainage Area: 2,180 sq. miles

Spread the word! Share our Allegheny Reservoir article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.