Lake Marburg, Pennsylvania, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Mid-Atlantic - Pennsylvania - Pennsylvania Dutch Country -

Also known as:  Codorus Lake

Pennsylvania Dutch Country near Hanover, Pennsylvania holds a spectacular recreational resource called Lake Marburg. This 1,300-acre reservoir combines the needs of local industry with water-based opportunities for area residents. The lake’s creation came about in an unusual collaborative effort between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and P. H. Glatfelter Paper Corporation; the company and the people of Spring Grove needed a reliable water source, while residents and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources wanted an additional state park with recreational lake. With the damming of Codorus Creek, a 1,275-acre water resource for boating, fishing and wildlife habitat was created, surrounded by a new 3,452-acre state park.

Nearly all of the lakefront is within the confines of Codorus State Park. P.H. Glatfelter owns and controls the dam and water releases. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission controls boating and fishery management. Lake Marburg, also known as Codorus Lake, is now a noted fishing destination for anglers seeking largemouth bass, yellow perch, crappie, muskellunge, catfish, northern pike, and bluegill. This warm-water fishery is complemented by cold water fishing for rainbow trout and brown trout on the east branch of Codorus Creek. Lake Marburg is in the Big Bass Program, meaning that largemouth and smallmouth bass must be a minimum of 15 inches long to be harvested, and the daily limit is four fish of either species, combined. Lake Marburg sport fishing has recently been threatened by unauthorized planting of white perch which have begun to impact food supplies for some of the more highly-sought-after bass. Local fishery managers have been encouraging anglers to catch and keep these interlopers, stressing their desirability as ‘fish fry’ fare and their attractiveness to children and beginning fishermen. Bottom structures have been installed to encourage breeding of the larger species. In winter, ice fishing is available everywhere on the lake, but is often most productive on some of the arms of the reservoir.

All types of boats and watercraft are permitted, with a speed limit of 20 horsepower. All watercraft must be property licensed. A marina concession rents several types of boats, including canoes, kayaks, pedal boats, fishing boats, pontoons, party barge and bass boats. Seven boat launch ramps are provided, with the one located in the camping areas available only to registered campground users. Sailing Lake Marburg is very popular. Boat storage facilities are available and include canoe and kayak racks, sailboat racks, sailboat dry storage, small marina slips for boats up to 17 feet long, and large marina slips for boats up to 26 feet long. Ice boaters must obtain a state park launch permit. Scuba diving is permitted in one cove with appropriate registration through the Park office.

Because Lake Marburg is used for water supply to the paper industry, summer draw-downs sometimes result in water levels being reduced by as much as 22 feet. Due to irregular water levels, beach areas cannot be adequately constructed, so a swimming pool offers a swim area with a handicap-accessible ramp. Swimming in the lake is prohibited for safety reasons. A spray park delights younger visitors. Three picnic areas with covered pavilions, grills, picnic tables and rest rooms are scattered throughout the park. A seasonal snack bar offers hot and cold foods and beverages. Other amenities include two 19-hole disk golf courses and two bonus 9-hole courses, one a cross-country course. Codorus State Park also offers 19 miles of trails dedicated to hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Two of the trails are ‘hiking only’. All trails are within the area of the park that is open to hunting in season, so hikers are encouraged to wear fluorescent orange vests during fall and winter. The most common game species are ruffed grouse, eastern gray squirrel, wild turkey and white-tailed deer.

Codorus State Park does not close in winter; the trails are available to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling in certain areas. A downhill sledding slope is popular, and a 10-acre lighted ice skating area is maintained when ice conditions are deemed safe. The campground is open from April to November. Nearly 200 campsites, some handicapped-accessible, offer a variety of amenities, including hot showers, flush toilets, boat launch, shoreline mooring and a sanitary dump station. Camping cottages and tent yurts are available for rent, but reservations must be made as they are quite popular. The same concessionaire that operates the marina area offers day camping for children during the summer. The Friends of Codorus State Park, an association of volunteers, produces a series of events at the park year-round, including a fishing symposium, a family fishing ‘fun’ day, children’s fishing activities, Easter egg hunt, Halloween party, ‘Breakfast With Santa’, musical productions and other events.

Only three miles from historic Hanover, Lake Marburg is a popular weekend spot to find cool breezes and enjoy the wildlife. No private housing is available along the shoreline, but some nearby developments outside of park boundaries have great views of the lake and nearby wooded areas. Hanover holds all of the amenities any visitor desires and includes several points of interest, particularly to history buffs. All of York County is awash with Civil War history, with the Gettysburg Battlefield not far away. In Hanover, a self-guided walking tour commemorates the Battle of Hanover, a Civil War battle that occurred the day before the Battle of Gettysburg. The Hanover Fire Museum features antique fire equipment dating as early as 1770. There are even some local stops featured on the UnCork York Wine Trail. Hanover is filled with quaint shops, artisan galleries, restaurants and farmers markets, making a trip to Hanover an enjoyable side-trip from a stay at Lake Marburg. Several hotels, inns, bed-and-breakfasts and guest facilities offer full-service lodgings for those not inclined to camping.

Lake Marburg gains its name from the small village of Marburg that now lies under its waters. In periods of extreme low water, the streets and some of the buildings of the old town can still be seen. Codorus State Park encompasses the former Mary Ann Furnace property which manufactured munitions, including cannonballs and grapeshot for the Revolutionary War soldiers. Captured Hessian soldiers were employed at the foundry to free up native fighters. Nothing is left of the former historic site, but one of the hiking trails within the park crosses the site and is named the Mary Ann Furnace Trail. So, come to Hanover to re-live history and to Lake Marburg to enjoy its many recreational offerings.

Things to do at Lake Marburg

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming Pool
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Scuba Diving
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Ice Skating
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Museum
  • Antiquing

Fish species found at Lake Marburg

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Brown Trout
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • White Perch
  • Yellow Perch

Lake Marburg Photo Gallery

Lake Marburg Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: P.H. Glatfelter Paper Company

Surface Area: 1,275 acres

Shoreline Length: 26 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 622 feet

Maximum Depth: 110 feet

Completion Year: 1970

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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.


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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.


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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."


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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