Pymatuning Lake, Pennsylvania & Ohio, USA

Also known as:  Pymatuning Reservoir

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

If you’re considering Pymatuning 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 Pymatuning Lake guide!

Pymatuning Lake visitor and community guide

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.

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.

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Custom Pymatuning Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

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

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Pymatuning Lake

The Pymatuning 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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Pymatuning Lake photo gallery

New photos coming soon!

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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