Pymatuning Lake, Pennsylvania & Ohio, USA

Also known as:  Pymatuning Reservoir

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Pymatuning Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Pymatuning Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Pymatuning Lake

Pymatuning Lake, located in northwestern Pennsylvania and spilling over into northeastern Ohio, is a lake of superlatives: Clocking in at 17,088 acres in area, 17 miles in length, and 1.6 miles in width, it is the largest lake in Pennsylvania aside from Lake Erie.

Pymatuning Lake is also one of North America’s most important conservation areas, especially for the Common Goldeneye, Canada Goose, and Hooded Merganser. Like many North American lakes, Pymatuning is a man-made reservoir. Completed in 1934, its average depth is about 15 feet, with a maximum depth of about 35 feet. Its shoreline measures 70 miles.

Two ducks float on Lake Pymatuning at sunset
Courtesy of Denys Khrulov

Things to do at Pymatuning Lake

With nearly 2.5 million annual visitors, Pymatuning State Park, within which the lake is located, boasts more visitors per year than almost any other park in the state. All these superlatives add up to one thing: great fun for you and your family.

Pymatuning Lake is famous for its four-season offerings. Beginning in the warm summer months, water sports opportunities abound. Boating is one of the most popular, although visitors should be aware that there is a 20 horsepower limit imposed on all motorboats.

There are three boat marinas on the lake – Jamestown Marina, Espyville Marina and Linesville Marina; all offer rental boats, fishing gear, and places to moor your boat. Six beaches and seemingly endless acres of cool, sparkling waters lure thousands of swimmers every year.

Fill your afternoon with a power swim, a lazy dip, or spend hours floating on a raft in the calm waters. Catch some rays in the sand and observe children building sand castles around you. No matter what you do, you’ll leave the water and beach feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Geese float by the Spillway at Pymatuning Lake
Petropoxy (Lithoderm Proxy), CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Fishing is another popular Pymatuning activity: the Pennsylvania State Park’s Fish and Boat Commission operates one of the largest warm-water hatcheries in the world. The lake is well-stocked, so bring your pole (or rent one) and get set to catch walleye, crappie, muskellunge, bluegill, perch, smallmouth bass, and largemouth bass. And don’t let the seasons stop you: summer fishing and winter ice fishing are both allowed and enjoyed on this Pennsylvania lake.

One of the most unique sights at Pymatuning Lake is Linesville Spillway, where “the ducks walk on the fish.” Each year, an estimated 300,000 visitors come to the lake to feed the carp and the ducks thousands of loaves of bread each week. The carp, in their mad scurry to capture as many morsels as possible, are so thick in the water that the ducks, in competition for the bread, are able to walk the lake on the backs of the fish. This is truly a must-see, must-do event!

If you choose to visit the area during the cold winter months, you’ll be greeted with white vistas and myriad snow-based activities. Cross-country skiing is an ever-popular activity, as Pymatuning State Park’s walking and biking trails are covered with powder and readied for your skis. Another exhilarating option is to tackle the five miles of snowmobiling trails at the abandoned railroad grade near Tuttle Campground.

Fun for the whole family can be found on the sledding hills near the dam at Jamestown, or simply in the creation of snow angels and snowmen. No matter what you do there, you’ll enjoy your stay at Pymatuning Lake.

Related posts:

Things to Do at Pymatuning Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • State Park

Fish Species Found at Pymatuning Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Carp
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Find Places to Stay at Pymatuning Lake

If you’re considering a Pymatuning Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Pymatuning Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Pymatuning Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Pymatuning Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Pennsylvania Game Commission

Surface Area: 17,088 acres

Shoreline Length: 70 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,010 feet

Average Depth: 15 feet

Maximum Depth: 35 feet

Water Volume: 188,000 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1934

Drainage Area: 1,065 sq. miles

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