Cowanesque Lake, Pennsylvania, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Cowanesque Lake.

If you’re considering Cowanesque Lake vacation rentals, we’ve made it super easy to explore accommodations and nearby hotels using the interactive map below. Simply click on a listing to compare similar properties, best rates and availability for your dates. Or keep scrolling to read our Cowanesque Lake guide!

Cowanesque Lake visitor and community guide

Peacefully nestled between forested ridges in north central Pennsylvania lies Cowanesque Lake. Located near the New York state line, the name Cowanesque comes from a Native American word for “overrun with briars”. Today the area around the lake is groomed and maintained for outdoor adventure and water excitement.

Cowanesque Lake was formed as part of the Susquehanna River Basin Commission and built and maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers for low flow storage. With 1,090 acres of water, the lake offers visitors a get away from the hassles of everyday life and a chance to enjoy the beauty and fun of a great lake.

With recreational areas around the water, guests can access the beaches, swimming facilities, picnic areas, boat ramps, camp sites, hiking trails, hunting, amphitheater programs, an informational visitor’s center and scenic overlooks. Whether you choose a pleasure boat, bass boat, sailboat or canoe, there is no limit on boat size or horsepower. Many quiet coves with No Wake zones are available for those wanting the slower pace of kayaking or just to sit in the gentle rocking boat watching the wildlife come to shore for a drink or bird watching as osprey dive for their meal.

Birds are not the only fishing experts at Cowanesque Lake. Many tournaments are held each year for professional to novice anglers. Trophy size muskellunge, catfish, crappie, and largemouth bass are the most popular catches.

Located in the Pennsylvania Wilds Tourism Region, Cowanesque Lake is not the only recreational opportunity available in the area. The Alleghany National Forest offers scenic beauty in addition to opportunities for biking, camping, climbing, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, skiing, snowmobiling, and white water rafting.

“The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania”, Pine Creek Gorge is often described as “The Crown Jewel of Pennsylvania is also located in this region. The 47 mile long and 1000 feet deep gorge is the site of breathtaking beauty that is designated as a Natural National Landmark. Located in the Tioga State Park with two state parks on either side of the gorge, the many ways to explore and view this national treasure is as varied as your imagination and courage will allow. Hiking, backpacking, biking, skiing, snowmobiling, snow-shoeing, ice climbing, horseback riding, horse-drawn wagon rides, rock climbing, rafting, canoeing and kayaking are all available for your exploration.

Although much emphasis is placed on the mountains, forests, rivers, and lakes of the Pennsylvania Wilds Tourism Region, you will find many opportunities for shopping, dining, and native culture exhibits. Home to famous, Punxatawney Phil, the area is in the spotlight every February on Groundhog Day as the famous groundhog predicts the end of winter. It is here in these quaint communities that you will find opportunities for vacation rentals from quiet cabins and chalets, to cozy bed and breakfasts, to luxurious spas and romantic retreats whether you choose to stay in the towns or at ski lodges or somewhere in between.

Lake Cowanesque and the surrounding area offer opportunities for fun, excitement, breathtaking beauty, and relaxation. How you choose to spend your time is up to you and your imagination. Stop imagining and start packing – it is all there waiting on you.

Custom Cowanesque Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Cowanesque Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Ice Climbing
  • Biking
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • National Forest
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Cowanesque Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Pike

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Cowanesque Lake

The Cowanesque Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

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Cowanesque Lake photo gallery

New photos coming soon!

Cowanesque Lake statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: United States Army Corps of Engineers

Surface Area: 1,090 acres

Shoreline Length: 17 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,080 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 1,114 feet

Maximum Depth: 200 feet

Water Volume: 32,600 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1990

Drainage Area: 298 sq. miles

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